The Course of the Battle of Vegkop of 1836

The Course of the Battle of Vegkop of 1836

By the end of 1836, fighting had been between the Boers and the Ndebele people under their leader Mzilikazi.

Mzilikazi had successfully destroyed early Boer trekkers led by Liebenberg and Erasmus who attempted to cross Ndebele land.

However, Potgieter, an outstanding leader of the Boer trekkers considered it sensible to bring all the fifty wagons in the locality to a protected camp.

The Battle of Vegkop started on 19th October 1836, between the Boer trekkers and the Ndebele under Chief Mzilikazi.

The Boers’ wagons were chained together, and the gaps in between were filled with thorn bushes.

The circle of the wagons called a ‘lagger’ by the Boer trekkers used as defence against the Ndebele fighters.

The lagger made it difficult for the Ndebele to breakthrough as the Boers had enough gunpowder and soldiers to fight against the Ndebele forces.

The Boer fighters seriously defended all the parts of the circle of the wagons from the Ndebele forces.

The Ndebele were not able to destroy the lagger, but they were able to drive off all the Boer sheep and cattle.

The Boer, later joined up with an early group led by Maritz and decided to revenge against the Ndebele.

The Boer Commando group led by Potgieter carried out a surprise attack on the Ndebele kraal.

The Boer commando successful in their operation against the Ndebele and they captured 7,000 cattle and recovered the lost wagons and the three American missionaries.

The defeated Mzilikazi forced to migrate northwards where he set up his capital at Bulawayo lived there until his death in 1868 and left the Orange Free State for the Boer Settlement.

In conclusion, the brief description of the course of the Battle of Vegkop between the Ndebele and the Boer trekkers.


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