How did Swaziland become the British protectorate?

How did Swaziland become the British protectorate?

  • The Swazi state was forced to befriend the British and the Boers as the result of the Mfecane, and the Zulu attacks in particular.

  • This started when the trekker Boers from Transvaal went to Swaziland. At first the Boers were peaceful and thus warmly welcomed.
  • The Boers were attracted to Swaziland by the fertile soils. Swaziland was also a route to Kosi Bay which gave them an out let to the sea.
  • In 1845, Mswati gave large trunks of land to the Boers for their own use
  • In 1864, the Boers helped the Swazi against the Poka tribe. This increased Boer influence in Swaziland.
  • After the death of Mswati, in 1868, the Boers intervened more directly in the affaires of Swaziland by supporting Mbandzeni to succeed Mswati after succession dispute.

  • Mbandzeni gave land to the Boers for farming, settlement, and mining. However, they were never satisfied.
  • The increased influx of whites threatened the Swazi people and their independence especially as the Boers were less willing to respect the Swazi chiefs.
  • Mbandzini tried to solve the above problem by appointing Theophilis Sheptone as a chief for the welfare of the whites and answerable to him.
  • The arrogance and military power of the whites made them to disrespect the Swazi authority and wanted to annex it to Transvaal.
  • In 1889, queen mother regent of the Swazi sent a delegation to London requesting for the British protection against the Boer threat.
  • In 1894, the British government accepted Transvaal to take control over Swaziland by annexing it.

  • In 1902, the British took over total legislative and judicial roles in Transvaal without annexing Transvaal as the British territory.
  • In 1903, Swaziland was finally declared the British protectorate until 1968 when it achieved its independence


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