=== Return to South Africa ===[[File:Sir Harry G W Smith.jpg|thumb|left]]
In 1847 he returned to South Africa as governor of [[British Cape Colony|Cape Colony]] and high commissioner, with the local rank of [[Lieutenant-General (United Kingdom)|]],ref to grapple with the difficulties he had foreseen eleven years before. He took command of an expedition to deal with the disaffected [[Boer]]s in the [[Orange River Sovereignty]], and fought the [[Battle of Boomplaats]] on 29 August 1848.
It has been asserted that "the half-mad Smith's" seizure of the entire region of "British Kaffraria" in 1848 was launched and carried out "entirely on his own initiative." Piers Brendon described "Smith, placing his foot on the neck of the Xhosan ruler and proclaiming, 'I am your Paramount Chief, and the Kaffirs are my dogs!'"ref
In December 1850 war broke out with the [[Xhosa people|Xhosa]] and some of the [[Khoikhoi]]; Sir Harry Smith was insufficiently supplied with troops from England; and though his conduct of the operations was warmly approved by the Duke of Wellington and other military authorities, , in a dispatch never submitted to the queen, recalled him in 1852 before the Xhosa and Khoikhoi had been completely subdued. He protested strongly against the abandonment of the Orange River Sovereignty to the Boers, which was carried out two years after his departure, and he actively furthered the granting of responsible government to Cape Colony. His reputation now is of someone who behaved autocratically and oppressively towards the Xhosas, and did a great deal of harm. It is said he insisted chiefs kiss his feet, for example.
His wife Juana gave her name to [[Ladysmith, South Africa|]] in [[KwaZulu-Natal Province|KwaZulu-Natal]]. [[Harrismith]] in the [[Free State Province|Free State]] was named after Smith himself (two other towns, [[Aliwal North]] in the [[Eastern Cape Province|Eastern Cape]] and [[Smithfield, Free State|]] in the [[Free State (South African province)|]], also mark Smith's connection with South Africa).