This might help.
Then came a proposal for a meeting between President Kruger and the, British High Commissioner, to which the Volksraad gave its approval, the general opinion being that the meeting would clear the air of most of the existing political troubles.
The arrest at Johannesburg^ May i6, 1899, of eight alleged former British officers on the charge of high treason had caused intense excitement in Pretoria, to which city the prisoners were brought by a special train. After they had been lodged in jail they were visited by the British Diplomatic Agent.
The arrests were affected by a detective who joined the movement, which, it is asserted, was for the purpose of enrolling men in order to cause an outbreak of rebellion. Incriminating documents were found upon the prisoners. The men arrested were said to be Captain Patterson, formerly of the Lancers; Colonel R. F. Nicholls, Lieutenant E. J. Tremlett, Lieutenant C. A. Ellis, lately a detective at Johannesburg;Lieutenant John Allen Mitchell, formerly of the Horse Artillery; ex-Sergeants J. Fries, R. P. Hooper, and Nichols. None of them had been in the employ of the British South Africa Company. It was said that the Commissioner of Police, who had the affair in hand, had been working up the case for four months.
The Executive of the Transvaal sat in secret session that evening-to consider the arrests, and during the afternoon the British Agent had an interview with President Kruger and expressed regret that men who had worn the Queen's uniform should be concerned in such a movement. President Kruger replied that he would not believe that the
men were British officers until it had been proved, adding that he hoped the afifair would not interfere with the proposed meeting between himself and Sir Alfred Milner.
The eight alleged revolutionists were arraigned in court at Pretoria, May 17, of that year, were charged with the capital offence of high treason and were remanded.
Sworn affidavits showed that two thousand men had been enrolled for military service, and that it was intended to arm them in Natal, to return them to the Rand and at a given signal to seize and hold the fort of Johannesburg for twenty-four hours, pending the arrival of British troops.
Later the charges against some of the prisoners were withdrawn and Others of the party were:ommitted for trial. Still later all the prisoners were discharged.
Mr. Rhodes, who was in London at the time the arrests were made, Said he had heard nothing regarding the arrests made at Johannesburg, and he knew nothing about the reason for which they were made.
Mr. Chamberlain the same evening said he had heard nothing Officially regarding the arrests, and did not think, "Too serious a significance ought to be attached to them." No information had reached him from South Africa, he asserted, that could lead him in way to anticipate or to explain the arrests. The news caused considerable excitement among the Members of the House of Commons. President Kruger's reform proposals were. Presented to the Volksraad May 18. They suggested that the franchise be conferred on aliens five years after eligibility to the Second Raid, instead of ten years after such eligibility, thus making a nine years' residence in the Transvaal "necessary to qualify for the full franchise. In the House of Commons, May 19, Mr. Chamberlain gave the names and identity of the men arrested at Johannesburg. All of them, excepting Tremlett and Fries, were formerly non-commissioned officers in the British Army.
He added that President Kruger had informed the British Agent at Pretoria that there was no proof that the prisoners were British officers, and that in any case the incident would not be allowed to disturb the friendly relations existing.
The Johannesburg correspondent of the London Morning Post said that facts had arisen since the arrests of the "former British officers" on charge of conspiracy to promote a rising in the Transvaal, left no doubt that the alleged plot was "engineered -by Boer officials to divert attention from the real demands of the Outlanders."
Source: War in South Africa and the Dark Continent from savagery to civilization. The strange story of a weird world from the earliest ages to the present, including the war with the Boers. (1899) [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]