Bondelswarts affair

The Bondelswarts affair (Bondelswart Uprising, Bondelswart Rebellion) was a controversial violent incident in South Africa's League of Nations Mandate of South West Africa.

In 1917, the South African mandatory administration had created a tax on dogs, and increased it in 1921.[1] The tax was rejected by the Bondelswarts, a group of Khoikhoi, who were opposed to various policies of the new administration. They were also protecting five men for whom arrest warrants had been issued.[1]

There is disagreement over the details of the dispute, but according to historian Neta Crawford, "most agree that in May 1922 the Bondelswarts prepared to fight, or at least to defend themselves, and the mandatory administration moved to crush what they called a rebellion of 500 to 600 people, of which 200 were said to be armed (although only about 40 weapons were captured after the Bondelswarts were crushed).[1]

Gysbert Hofmeyr, the Mandatory Administrator, organized in 400 armed men, and sent in aircraft to bomb the Bondelswarts. Casualties included 100 Bondelswart deaths, including a few women and children.[1] A further 468 men were either wounded or taken prisoner. [1]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Crawford, Neta (2002). "6 - Sacred Trust". Argument and Change in World Politics: Ethics, Decolonization and Humanitarian Intervention. Cambridge University Press.


Freislich, Richard. THE LAST TRIBAL WAR. A History Of The Bondelswart Uprising. 1964: Struik. 

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