Cannon Kopje, Mafikeng





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Post date: 07/08/2012
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History: Mafeking is situated in the northernmost corner of the Cape Province. On rising ground about a kilometre to the south-west of the town there is a very interesting fort known as ""Kanonkoppie"".
In 1882 the Boers in this vicinity established two small republics, Stellaland and Goshen. Two years later President Paul Kruger incorporated Goshen in the South African Republic. This caused a considerable stir because the westward expansion of the Republic threatened to cut off the so-called road to the north. The Imperial Government sent Sir Charles Warren with a demonstration force of 4 000 men to restore British prestige in Bechuanaland which at that time included Botswana and part of the Northern Cape. The fort at Kanonkoppie was built by Warren in 1884.
Warren’s visit was very short, but when the Anglo-Boer War broke out in 1899 the fort, which was very well sited to command the town and the valley of the Molopo River, was again occupied. The breastwork of packed stones round the fort was repaired and earthworks were built up against it on the outside. On the inside, a shelter was dug along the wall and covered with corrugated iron sheets supported on rails. A thick layer of earth was piled on top of the corrugated iron. A deep trench provided communi cation between the fort and the town.
Kanonkoppie was manned by the Bechuanaland Protectorate Regiment and one of the few guns in Mafeking was mounted there.
When the Anglo-Boer was declared in October, 1899, a nurtiber of Boer-commandos under the overall command of General Piet Cronje crossed the western boundary of the South African Republic and besieged Mafeking. During the early part of the. siege the fort was subjected to heavy attacks by the Boers and the defenders suffered serious losses. When Lord Roberts broke through at Paardeberg the Boers were obliged to give up the siege of Mafeking. When peace came the Kanonkoppie fort fell into disrepair but it has recently been well restored by the Municipality of Mafeking.
Proclaimed 1962"
Visual Description:
Site Features:
Condition: FairThe dry stone walls of the fort is still in a fair condition, but the bushes and weeds growing in an
Construction Date: 1884
Catalogue: , No: , Significance Category:


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