A still further reason for Shepstone's annexation, given by Sir Bartle Frere, was that Burgers had already sought alliance with European powers, and Shepstone had no reason to doubt that if Great Britain refused to interfere, Germany would intervene.
In May 1880 he returned to England, having established in the Transvaal a legislative council with powers so limited as to convince many of the Boers that there was no intention of fulfilling Shepstone's promises.
During the interval between Shepstone's arrival in the country and the annexation the Volksraad had rejected the proposals for confederation laid before them in accordance with Lord Carnarvon's permissive bill, and had made no real attempt at reform.
He was inclined to regard Shepstone's act as premature, and he realized that it stirred very deeply Dutch national feeling throughout South Africa.
Accordingly on the 2nd of August 1880 Frere received a telegraphic despatch from Lord 1 Had Shepstone's promise been redeemed at an early date, it might well have extinguished the agitation for independence.