29 Desember 1895
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Sedert die ontdekking van goud aan die Witwatersrand het die nuwer inwoners van die land, wat veral in en om Johannesburg kom woon het, toenemend ontevrede geraak met hul gebrek aan politieke regte, die ontoereikendheid van openbare geriewe, belasting, monopolieë in die vervaardigingsbedryf en talle ander sake. Hulle ontevredenheid het toegeneem omdat die Boere-owerheid min simpatie met hul klagtes gehad het. In 1892 stig hulle die Transvaal National Union om na 'n oplossing te soek, maar mettertyd het die Union se gematigde program al hoe meer ekstreem geraak. Cecil John Rhodes het die beweging ten sterkste ondersteun.
Baie van die bekendste figure aan die Rand het begin belangstel in die idee om hulp van buite te kry. Geleidelik het hul plan vorm aangeneem om 'n opstand in Johannesburg te begin en so is groot hoeveelhede wapens en ammunisie ingesmokkel. Die beweging was nie heeltemal seker oor presies wat hulle wou bereik nie, maar lede was dit oor die algemeen eens dat hulle die Republiek sou handhaaf, maar onder 'n ander leier as pres. Paul Kruger. Geheime voorbereidings vir militêre optrede is getref.
Dr. Jameson, indertyd administrateur van Rhodesië, het 'n mag bymekaar gemaak op Pitsani aan die grens van Betsjoeanaland en Transvaal wat bestaan het uit polisiebeamptes en vrywilligers. Hy was ongeduldig om in die pad te val en begin sy opmars na Johannesburg op 29 Desember 1895 sonder die goedkeuring van sy samesweerders in die Goudstad of Rhodes in Kaapstad. Die Z.A.R. se owerheid het 'n waarskuwing van die inval gekry en onmiddellik kommando's gemobiliseer.
Daar het groot verwarring in Johannesburg geheers. Jameson se man, onder aanvoering van sir John Willoughby, het bestaan uit 511 wit mans en 150 swart drywers met maxims, drie gewere, 640 perde en 158 muile. By Doornkop naby Krugersdorp het die invallers die Boeremagte teëgekom. Hulle is gedwing om hulle oor te gee en later deur pres. Kruger aan Brittanje uitgelewer vir verhoor.
Intussen is 'n "Reform Comitee" van vooraanstaande Johannesburgers op die been gebring. Met die mislukking van die inval is hulle in hegtenis geneem en in Pretoria aangehou. Die komiteelede se verhoor het begin op 27 April 1896 in Pretoria. Vier van die lede is ter dood veroordeel: sir Lionel Philips, Frank Rhodes, George Farrar en John Hays Hammond, terwyl die res twee jaar gevangenisstraf en 'n boete van £2 000 elk opgelê is. Pres. Kruger het die doodstraf versag tot boetes van £25 000 en verbanning uit die Transvaal, terwyl die twee-jaar-strawwe ook tersyde gestel is.
Die verhoogde politieke spanning wat op die inval gevolg het, het die Anglo-Boereoorlog amper onafwendbaar gemaak.
The Jameson Raid (29 December 1895 – 2 January 1896) was a botched raid on Paul Kruger's Transvaal Republic carried out by a British colonial statesman Leander Starr Jameson and his Rhodesian and Bechuanaland policemen over the New Year weekend of 1895–96. It was intended to trigger an uprising by the primarily British expatriate workers (known as Uitlanders) in the Transvaal but failed to do so. The workers were called the Johannesburg conspirators. They were expected to recruit an army and prepare for an insurrection. The raid was ineffective and no uprising took place, but it was an inciting factor in the Second Boer War and the Second Matabele War.
What later became South Africa was not, during the late nineteenth century, one single, united nation; rather, the territory had four distinct entities: the two British colonies of Cape Colony and Natal; and the two Boer republics of the Orange Free State and the South African Republic, more commonly referred to as the Transvaal.
 Foundation of the colonies and republics
The Cape, more specifically the small area around present day Cape Town, was the first part of South Africa to be settled by Europeans; the first immigrants arrived in 1652. These settlers were transported by, and remained under the control of, the Dutch East India Company. Gradual consolidation and eastward expansion took place over the next 150 years; however, by the beginning of the nineteenth century, Dutch power had substantially waned. In 1806 Great Britain took over the Cape to prevent the territory's falling under Napoleon's hands and to secure control over the crucial Far Eastern trade routes.
Antipathy towards British control and the introduction of new systems and institutions grew amongst a substantial portion of the Boer community. One of the primary causes of friction was the attitude of the British authorities to slavery in the colony. In 1828 the British authorities passed legislation guaranteeing equal treatment under the law for all, regardless of race. In 1830 the government passed a new ordinance imposing heavy penalties for harsh treatment of slaves. The measure was controversial among some of the population, and in 1834, the government abolished slavery altogether. The Boers opposed the changes, as they believed they needed enslaved labor to make their farms work. They believed the slaveholders were compensated too little upon emancipation. They were also suspicious of how the government paid for compensation. This resentment culminated in the en-masse migration of substantial numbers of the Boers into the hitherto unexplored frontier, to get beyond the control of British rule. The migration became known as the Great Trek.
This anti-British feeling was by no means universal: in the Western Cape, few Boer felt compelled to move. The Trekboers, frontier farmers in the East who had been at the front of the colony's eastward expansion, were the ones who elected to trek further afield. These emigrants, or Voortrekkers as they became known, first moved east into the territory later known as Natal. In 1839, they founded the Natalia Republic as a new homeland for the Boers. Other Voortrekker parties moved northwards, settling beyond the Orange and Vaal rivers. Reluctant to have British subjects moving beyond its control, Britain annexed the Natalia Republic in 1843, which became the Crown colony of Natal. After 1843 British government policy turned strongly against further expansion in South Africa. Although there were some abortive attempts to annex the territories to the north, Britain recognised their independence by the Sand River Convention of 1852 and the Orange River Convention of 1854, for the Transvaal and the Orange Free State, respectively.
After the First Anglo-Boer War, Gladstone's government restored the Transvaal's independence in 1884 by signing of the London Convention. No one knew there would be the discovery of the colossal gold deposits of the Witwatersrand two years later.
Despite the political divisions, the four territories were strongly linked. Each was populated by European-African emigrants from the Cape; many citizens had relatives or friends in other territories. As the largest and longest established state in Southern Africa, the Cape was economically, culturally, and socially dominant: by comparison, the population of Natal and the two Boer republics were mostly pastoralist, subsistence farmers.
The fairly simple agricultural dynamic was upset in 1870, when vast diamond fields were discovered in Griqualand West, around modern-day Kimberley. Although the territory had historically come under the authority of the Orange Free State, the Cape government, with the assistance of the British government, successfully annexed the area, taking control of its vast mineral wealth.
 Discovery of gold
In 1886, gold was discovered at an outcrop near modern-day Johannesburg; it became clear there were massive deposits of gold. A huge inflow of Uitlanders (foreigners), mainly from Britain, came to the region in search of employment and fortune. The discovery of gold made the Transvaal overnight the richest and potentially the most powerful nation in southern Africa, but it attracted so many Uitlanders (in 1896 approximately 60,000) that they quickly outnumbered the Boers (approximately 30,000 white male Boers).
Fearful of the Transvaal's losing independence and becoming a British colony, the Boer government adopted policies of protectionism and exclusion, to include restrictions' requiring Uitlanders to be resident for many years in order to obtain the franchise, or right to vote. They heavily taxed the new goldmining industry. The Uitlanders became increasingly resentful and aggrieved about the lack of representation. This gave rise to considerable discontent and tensions escalated. As Johannesburg was largely an Uitlander city, leaders there began to discuss proposals for insurrection.
Cecil Rhodes, governor of the Cape, had a vision to incorporate the Transvaal and the Orange Free State in a federation under British control. Having combined his commercial mining interests with Alfred Beit to form the De Beers Mining Corporation, Rhodes and he also wanted to control the Johannesburg gold mining industry. They played a major role in fomenting Uitlander grievances. In mid-1895 Rhodes planned a raid by an armed column from Rhodesia, the British colony to the north, to support an uprising of Uitlanders with the goal of taking control. The raid soon ran into difficulties, beginning with hesitation by the Uitlander leaders.
As part of the planning, a force had been placed at Pitsani, on the border of the Transvaal, by the order of Rhodes so as to be able to quickly offer support to the Uitlanders in the uprising. The force was placed under the control of Leander Starr Jameson, the Administrator General of the Chartered Company (of which Cecil Rhodes was the Chairman) for Matabeleland. Among the other commanders was Raleigh Grey. The force was around 600 men, about 400 from the Matabeleland Mounted Police and the remainder other volunteers. It was equipped with rifles, somewhere between eight and sixteen Maxim machine guns, and between three and eleven light artillery pieces.
The basic plan was that Johannesburg would revolt and seize the Boer armoury in Pretoria. Jameson and his force would dash across the border to Johannesburg to "restore order" and with control of Johannesburg would control the gold fields.
However Jameson waited and waited for the insurrection to move but in the meantime differences arose within the Reform Committee and between Johannesburg Uitlander reformers regarding the form of government to be adopted after the coup. At a point, certain reformers contacted Jameson to inform him of the difficulties and advised him to stand down. Jameson, with 600 restless men and other pressures, became frustrated by the delays, and, believing that he could spur the reluctant Johannesburg reformers to act, decided to go ahead. He sent a telegram on 29 December 1895 to Rhodes warning him of his intentions - "Unless I hear definitely to the contrary, shall leave to-morrow evening" - and on the very next day sent a further message, "Shall leave to-night for the Transvaal". However the transmission of the first telegram was delayed, so that both arrived at the same time on the morning of the 29 December, and by then Jameson's men had cut the telegraph wires and there was no way of recalling him.
On 29 December 1895 Jameson's armed column crossed into the Transvaal and headed for Johannesburg. It was hoped that this would be a 3 day dash to Johannesburg before the Boer commandos could mobilise, and would trigger an uprising by the Uitlanders.
The British Colonial secretary, Joseph Chamberlain, though sympathetic to the ultimate goals of the Raid, was uncomfortable with the timing of the invasion and remarked that "if this succeeds it will ruin me. I'm going up to London to crush it". He swiftly travelled by train to the Colonial Office, ordering Sir Hercules Robinson, Governor-General of the Cape Colony, to repudiate the actions of Jameson and warned Rhodes that the Company's Charter would be in danger if it were discovered the Cape Prime Minister was involved in the Raid. Chamberlain therefore instructed local British representatives to call on British colonists not to offer any aid to the raiders.
Later, Jameson became Prime Minister of the Cape Colony (1904–08) and one of the founders of the Union of South Africa. He was made a baronet in 1911 and returned to England in 1912. On his death in 1917, he was buried next to Cecil Rhodes and the 34 BSAC soldiers of the Shangani Patrol (killed in 1893 in the First Matabele War) in the Matobos Hills, near Bulawayo.