Topic: BatzB - Grobelaar
Article - London Times 21 May 1901, p. 5.
SUMMARY OF THE SITUATION.
CAPE TOWN, MAY 20.*
Having returned from the north, I am enabled to give a summary of the present state of affairs in the Transvaal and Orange colonies. In the northern Transvaal, General Bindon Blood's advance has driven the majority of the Boors west, though a few are still left in the north of the Zoutpansberg. Delarey is drawing round him most of these fugitives. A number of men who have lately been operating in the neighbourhood of Ermelo have also crossed into Delarey's command, leaving Botha. The British columns are moving in every direction, the great object being not to allow the enemy any rest. Delarey has organized a system of remounting from the Orange Colony, but the horses are in the poorest condition.
Lord Methuen and General Babington still move accompanied by small bodies of infantry. The new and excellent system of blockhouses which has been inaugurated for the protection of the line is very economical, releasing for active operations over 6,000 men. The railway from Elandsfontein to Volksrust is studded with blockhouses, effectively preventing attacks on the line.
The troops in Orange Colony are busily employed in denuding the country east of the railway. Many columns are operating, moving slowly and taking all horses and stock. A few wandering small commandos are west of the line, but in the south Hertzog and Brand temporarily hold the country round Petrusburg. Hertzog sets as treasurer, and each Orange commandant receives regularly £45 monthly. The Orange commandos refuse to accompany De Wet, stating that it is too dangerous.
De Wet's latest journey, in company with an escort of 40 men, was a wonderful performance. heaving Credo, he passed north to Ermelo, and thence across the line near Nylstroom. Winding south-west between Zeerust and Lichtenburg, he halted for a few days near Maribogo, and thence proceeded southwards to Boshof and Philippolis, where he is said to have had an interview with Hertzog. In confirmation of this, I believe it is a tact that all rebels attached to the Orange commandos have received orders to concentrate near Orange River.
The following official statement is published regarding the military operations Scheepers's commando is being kept moving in the hilly contiguous to the Graaf Reinet and Somerset Fast boundaries. Its strength is stated to have dwindled to 100 men, and the horses are much exhausted. In the eastern province the enemy have been reinforced by Lotter, Myburgh, Lategan, and, it is reported, by Kruitzinger, who have crossed from the Orange River Colony to the north and north Rest of Venterstad. The reinforcements, to the number of 800, appear to be making the country south of Venterstad their base. It is assumed that they were unable to obtain subsistence in the southern part of the Orange River Colony, and that they have crossed partly with the object of living on Cape Colony and partly to come to the aid of Fouche, who is sorely pressed.
Lategan ambushed a patrol of 14 of Nesbitt's Horse at Damplaats. Lategan's brother was wounded and taken prisoner. Another patrol of seven men was ambushed south of Venterstad.
The total of the Boer casualties in April was killed, 105 wounded, 118 prisoners and surrenders, 2,183.
Citation: Grobelaar Recht - Article - London Times 21 May 1901, p. 5.