Sunday, June 12, 2011

Peace Treaty of Vereeniging

In March 1901 the first overtures for peace failed mainly because the Boer leaders had refused to give up their countries` independence. In April 1902 the republican governments once again met at Klerksdorp and agreed to negotiate with Kitchener. 

Melrose House 
The Boer leaders felt that elected representatives of the different commando's must duly make any detailed negotiations which may ultimately lead to the sacrifice of their independence. Accordingly a conference of sixty representatives was convened with British approval at Vereeniging to discuss further proposals. 

On 31 May 1902, a little before midnight the two parties signed the peace treaty of Vereeniging at Melrose House in Pretoria. By 54 votes to six the representatives agreed to surrender their independence and to recognize the authority of Edward VII in return for:
  • The repatriation of the prisoners of war.
  • A general amnesty with a few exceptions.
  • Limited protection of the Dutch language in the courts.
  • Various economic safeguards such as the maintenance of property rights.
  • Honouring of the republican war debt to a sum of £3 million.
  • Generous relief for the victims of war.
  • Promise of eventual self-government and an agreement that no decision would be taken regarding the franchise of black people until after the introduction of responsible government.

The Bitter Ender - Danie de Jager 

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