Battle of Kaye

Start Date End Date
1900-02-16 1900-02-16
Battle in South African War between Boers and the baKgatla.

 The baKgatla of Kgosi (chief) Linchwe were actively engaged as participants in the South African War. On 16 February 1900, Kgosi Linchwe mobilised two baKgatla regiments, the Makoba and the Mojanko, under the commands of Ramono and Motshwane, respectively. At Kaye (Afrikaans, 'Kayaseput'), half-way between Derdepoort and the Dwarsberg mountains, the two regiments waited in an elaborately planned ambush for a large convoy of Boer troop reinforcements and supply wagons coming from Rustenburg, bound for Derdepoort (See 'Battle of Derdepoort'). In the ensuing attack, many Boers were killed, and their wagons and supplies captured. The news of this incident was so unsettling that a Boer commando at nearby Sepitse abandoned their laager when they heard about it. This famous incident in baKgatla war history has vividly lived on in popular memory, especially among the older generation of baKgatla men and women and is graphically depicted in a praise-poem dedicated to the bravery of one of the commanders in that war, Ramono Pilane. Soon after the Kaye ambush, Commandant P. Steenkamp and some of the Rustenburg commando went to Derdepoort and brought back all of the remaining Boers. As a direct result of that ambush, the Boers abandoned Derdepoort – it remained unoccupied for the remainder of the South African War.

South Africa's North-West province: A Guide to its History and Heritage. © 2017

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