What happened at Sam Khubis - the day of the covenant of the Rehoboth Baster people of Namibia?Tuesday, May 08, 2012 - 17:41, by Milton Louw
Sam Khubis Commemorated - 8 May 1915
South African (SA) Prime Minister Louis Botha arrives in Swakopmund and takes over command of SA’s 43 000 soldiers (on 11.02.).
The Basters rise against the Germans as a result of a secret meeting between Botha and Baster Captain Cornelius van Wyk on 01.04. The Basters are specifically dissatisfied that the "Baster Corps" is used to guard SA prisoners of war in Otjiwarongo. In Schlip, Pieter Mouton collects all available able-bodied Basters to proceed to Sam-Khubis. On the way they kill inter alia the German policemen Rudolf Rogge and Richard Ewald Ernst Putzier on Büllspoort. The Germans, on their way to Sam-Khubis, attack the Basters at Heuras, Uitdraai and Kabirab. Among the Basters fighting the Germans are Samuel and Johannes Beukes.
The battle of Sam-Khubis is fought between the Germans and Basters. The Baster community still commemorates the battle every year.
The German troops travel by railway to Bergland station (12.05.). On 13.05. they move from Hohewarte to the Waterberg.
Article below taken from RehobothBasters.Org:
Every year on the 8th of May, the battle of Sam Khubis is remembered. This historical battle took place on 8 May 1915, when the German colonial army attacked the Baster people who had fled to their last stronghold of Sam Khubis. The fear of total annihilation by a better equipped German army created a strong sense of common destiny.
The battle turned into a miraculous survival, which is celebrated every year to remind the Baster people of the threats faced, which can be overcome together.
In 1885, the Kaptein of the Rehoboth Basters signed a Treaty of Protection and Friendship with the German government. This international treaty arranged the rights and duties of the Rehoboth polity vis-à-vis the German colonial power. This treaty continued to be operational until 1914 when World War One changed the political landscape.
The Basters refused to take up arms against South African troops that were threatening to invade German controlled South West Africa. They also refused to guard captured South African soldiers and did not agree to patrol outside the territory of Rehoboth.
The escalation of events started on 13 April 1915 when the German authorities demanded from the Baster Council that the armed Baster troops would go to Otjiwarango to guard Prisoners Of War. If these demands were not to be met, all weapons in possession of the Rehoboth Basters had to be handed in to the German army. The Germans gave the Baster Council a three day deadline.
However, the following day the Germans secretly ‘disarmed’ Baster soldiers in Sandputs. Several of the Baster soldiers tried to escape in which one was killed and another one escaped to tell the Baster Council of the events. In the mean time the Germans were also ‘disarming’ the Basters in Rehoboth. In the following days, several armed skirmishes occurred leaving a number of Baster and German soldiers dead.
These events lead to the cancellation of the 1885 Treaty by the German authorities who declared it null and void as of 22 April 1915. Consequently, the Germans sent many soldiers to Rehoboth, while in the mean time Baster families were fleeing to the Sam Khubis area, which was considered a militarily defendable position.
In the early morning of 8 May 1915, the Germans attacked the Baster stronghold of Sam Khubis, where a large part of the population had found refuge. The fighting lasted until the evening. The Basters feared that the superior weapons of the German army would mean a total defeat and possible annihilation the next day. However, the Germans withdrew from the fight the next day, leaving a relieved and hopeful Baster people behind.
The German withdrawal was caused by the South African army that was on the march and conquered the territory of South West Africa, including Rehoboth, to mark a new chapter in the struggle for self-determination of Rehoboth and the Baster people.