Cobus van Bosch

Kgosi Toto and fellow rebels after their surrender to Cape colonial forces near Langeberg in 1897. (Oil on canvas, 42cm x 62cm, 2013).

Kgosi Toto of the Batlharo was an ally of Batlhaping chief Luka Jantjie who rose against colonial forces in 1897 in the Langeberg region south of the Kalahari. While Jantjie was killed and decapitated by British soldiers, the 60 year-old Toto surrendered and was sentenced to six years imprisonment with hard labour in Cape Town. Despite a court of enquiry into the matter and wide media publicity, it remains uncertain what became of Toto since his imprisonment, or of several of Jantjie’s severed body parts.