On the 9th of October 1899, Francis William Reitz, the Zuid Afrikaansche Repulick (ZAR, South African Republic or Transvaal) State Secretary handed an ultimatum to the British Agent Sir William Conyngham Greene:
"Her Majesty's unlawful intervention in the internal affairs of this Republic, in conflict with the London Convention of 1884, by the extraordinary strengthening of her troops in the neighbourhood of the borders of this Republic, has caused an intolerable condition of things to arise, to which this Government feels itself obliged , in the interest not only of this Republic, but also of all South Africa, to make an end as soon as possible; and this Government feels itself called upon and obliged to press earnestly, and with emphasis, for an immediate termination of this state of things, and to request her Majesty's Government to give assurances upon the following four demands:
"First - that all points of mutual difference must be regulated by friendly recourse to arbitration or by whatever amicable way may be agreed upon by this Government and Her Majesty's Government
"Second - that all troops on the borders of this Republic shall be instantly withdrawn
"Third - that all reinforcement of troops which have arrived in South Africa since June 1, 1899, shall be removed form South Africa within a reasonable time, to be agreed upon with this Government, and with the mutual assurance and guarantee on the part of this Government that no attack upon or hostilities against any portion of the possessions of the British Government shall be made by this Republic during the further negotiations, within a period of time to be subsequently agreed upon between the Governments; and this Government will, on compliance therewith, be prepared to withdraw the armed burghers of this Republic form the borders
"Fourth - that Her Majesty's troops which are now on the high seas shall not be landed in any part of South Africa
"This Government presses for an immediate and affirmative answer to these four questions, and earnestly requests Her Majesty's Government to return an answer before or on Wednesday October 11, 1899, not later than five o'clock p.m.
"It desires, further , to add in the unexpected event of an answer not satisfactory being received by it within the interval, it will, with great regret, be compelled to regard the action of Her Majesty's Government as a formal declaration of war, and will not hold itself responsible for the consequences thereof, and that, in the event of any further movements of troops occurring within the above-mentioned time in a nearer direction to out borders, this Government will be compelled to regard that also as a formal declaration of war."
The British replied the next day:
"...Her Majesty's Government have received with great regret the peremptory demands of the Government of the South African Republic ... and I am to inform your in reply that the conditions demanded ... are such that Her Majesty's Government deem it impossible to discuss."
President Stephanus Johannes Paulus (Paul) Kruger responded by sending a telegram to international newspapers on the 11th of October:
"Last Monday the Republic gave Great Britain forty-eight hours' notice within which to give the Republic an assurance that the present dispute would be settled by arbitration or other peaceful means, and that the troops would be removed form the borders. This expired at five today. The British agent has been recalled. War is certain. The Republics are determined , if they must belong to Great Britain, that a price will have to be paid which will stagger humanity. They have, however, full faith. The sun of liberty will arise in South Africa..."
The second Anglo-Boer War, known to Afrikaner nationalists as the Second War of Independence or the South African War, had begun.