The Barolong, Bakwena and other Bechuana tribes, through whose lands the " lower road " ran, claimed however to be independent, among them Sechele (otherwise Setyeli), at whose chief kraalKolobeng - Livingstone was then stationed.
Sechele was regarded by the Boers as owing them allegiance, and in August 1852 Pretorius sent against him a commando (in which Paul Kruger served as a field cornet), alleging that the Bakwena were harbouring a Bakatla chief who had looted cattle belonging to Boer farmers.
Although under strong British influence the country was nevertheless ruled by its own chiefs, among whom the best-known in the middle of the 19th century were Montsioa, chief of the Barolong, and Sechele, chief of the Bakwena and the friend of Livingstone.
Not only was Sechele attacked at his capital Kolobeng, and the European stores and Livingstone's house there looted, but the Boers stopped a trader named M`Cabe from going northward.
At the age of seventeen Paul found himself an assistant field cornet, at twenty he was field cornet, and at twenty-seven held a command in an expedition against the Bechuana chief Sechele - the expedition in which David Livingstone's mission-house was destroyed.