HC Deb 30 March 1900 vol 81 cc790-1
MR. HAZELL (Leicester)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether his attention has been called to the alleged miscarriage of justice in connection with the administration of martial law at the Cape; whether he will cause inquiries to be made into the matter, with a view to steps being taken to prevent recurrence in the future; whether, in particular, he has information as to the case of F. A. Botha, aged upwards of sixty, who was arrested on his farm near the Modder River on 27th November last, and sent thence about 700 miles to Cape Town, whence he was returned to the Modder River; whether he was kept in gaol till 9th January, when he was convicted by a military court on the evidence of four native servants, who said the accused had told them that he would lend a wagon and oxen to the Free State burghers, though it was not alleged that he ever did lend them, and whether the accused denied the charge; whether on this evidence Botha was sentenced to two years hard labour, and is now treated as an ordinary convict, doing hard labour in the Hope Town Gaol under the guard of Kaffir constables; and whether similar cases have been brought to his notice.


The Secretary of State for War cannot undertake to question the decisions of competent military tribunals in areas within which martial law has been proclaimed; but if the hon. Member will place a question on the Paper, I shall be glad to explain the constitution and procedure of such tribunals.