A coal railhead on the Molteno - Sterkstroom line, this town has a small
With General Gatacre's force: the action at Cyphergat, 23 January 1900
Soon after dawn, 2,000 Boers attacked the Cape Police advanced post near Molteno. The men at the post numbered only 250. Troops from Bushman's Hoek and Sterkstroom moved out to relieve them. The enemy having been shelled for some time with great accuracy, retreated to the mountains back to Stormberg.
1st Royal Scots shown bottom left. Philip's farm bottom right. Cyphergat is the town in the middle left. Police camp just over the ridge. 79th Field Battery on the right.
On January 3 the Boers moved out from Stormberg 1,000-1,500 strong. Joined by the Dordrecht district commando, they attacked the police camp in front of Cyphergat, at the same time occupying a steep hill called the Looperberg, north of Bushmanshoek, up which they dragged a couple of guns. Their plan apparently was to prevent any attempt to relieve the police camp from Bushmanshoek. However, the 150 police under Inspector Neylan, aided by a company of Kaffrarian Rifles, kept the Boers at arm's length long enough to allow reinforcements to come up from Sterkstroom. These, in conjunction with the mounted infantry and colonials at Bushmanshoek, soon cleared the Boers out of Cyphergat, and a few shells from the 79th Battery, which arrived early in the afternoon, sent them hurrying down the Looperberg and across the hills back to Stormberg. The Boers were fortunate to get off so easily, for if more artillery had come up and the Penhoek force had been ordered to co-operate, many of them might have been cut off on the Looperberg. The hill was subsequently occupied by the Kaffrarian Rifles, with two naval 12-pounders.