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Title: A history of the Zulu Rebellion, 1906: and of Dinuzulu's arrest, trial, and expatriation
Author: Stuart, J.
Language: English
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REBELLION, 1906 ***









[Illustration: COLONEL SIR HENRY E. McCALLUM, R.E., G.C.M.G.,

(Governor of Natal, 1901-1907).]











 GOVERNOR OF NATAL (1901-1907),



Although the object of this book is stated in the opening paragraph, it
is, perhaps, proper that the circumstances under which it came to be
written should also be set briefly before the reader.

Towards the end of the campaign, probably the first to be conducted by
a British colony without the assistance of the Mother Country,[1] the
Government of Natal decided that a history of the military operations
should be compiled. On being asked, I consented to undertake the
task. But, though promptly entered upon, the greatest difficulty was
experienced in carrying it to a conclusion. This arose from my being a
civil servant and being obliged to continue discharging certain special
as well as ordinary official duties. As, when the Union of South Africa
was established, the work had not been completed, the attention of the
Minister of Defence was drawn to the matter. General Smuts intimated
that the new Government was unable to ratify the original instructions,
and that if the book was ever to be published (which he personally
hoped would be the case) it would have to be on my own responsibility
and at my own expense. In these circumstances, particularly as an
opportunity occurred of severing my twenty-four years' connection with
the Civil Service, I resolved to go on with it and appeal for support
to those who had taken part in the campaign. This appeal was made to a
somewhat limited extent in 1912, and it is owing very largely to the
guarantee then obtained that the heavy costs of publication have been

But, although the volume can no longer claim to be an official
publication, it is in the unique position of being based as much on
official information as, perhaps, any exclusively official history
could have been, for I am pleased to say that considerable assistance
has been given by the Government, especially by all records, _e.g._
commanding and other officers' reports, statistics, maps, etc., being
placed freely at my disposal. The reader will, however, soon perceive
that the subject has been treated with a fulness and freedom that
could hardly have been expected in a more formal production. Owing,
for instance, to having for years specialized in Zulu history, habits,
and customs, I have not hesitated to incorporate information, germane
to the subject, which I felt the reader might wish to have, especially
as some of it is not procurable elsewhere. Moreover, instead of being
limited, as at first intended, to the events of 1906, the narrative
includes a detailed account of the Dinuzulu Expedition, and other
topics incidental to that important sequel of the Rebellion.

Although I had the privilege of serving as intelligence officer
throughout the campaign, as well as during the Expedition, and
therefore was an eye-witness of many of the operations, it became
necessary, as it was desired that the history should be comprehensive,
to obtain exact information regarding several actions, operations,
etc., at which I was not present. A party, which included a first-class
surveyor and professional photographer, was accordingly organized
by direction of the Commandant, as early as November, 1906, for the
purpose of visiting the battle-fields. The members were selected
for their personal knowledge of what had occurred at the places in
question. Quantities of accurate information, not previously available,
were thereupon collected by me at each spot, the surveyor at the same
time preparing the maps and plans included herein.

So abundant is the material accumulated then, as well as on various
other occasions, that it would have been easy to compile a much larger
work than the present one. That the book is as full as it is, is due
to the fact that no general account exists of an occurrence that must
for long loom large in the history of the Native races of South Africa.
To some extent, owing to my recent intimate connection with the Native
Affairs Department, the book may even claim to be an introduction to
and a study of some of the more fundamental aspects of the Native
Question--no doubt the greatest problem with which South African
statesmen will ever be called on to deal.

The main object throughout has been to ensure accuracy. Working, as
I have had to do, practically alone, the task has proved long and
difficult. This is the sole reason why the time originally fixed for
publication has, I regret to say, been exceeded by a few months.

I cannot conclude without acknowledging my indebtedness and expressing
my thanks to the many officers, non-commissioned officers and men,
and others not in the military service, who, from time to time, have
given valuable information and helpful suggestions or advice. To
name but a few of these would be invidious. I can only say that the
uniform readiness and unfailing courtesy of all to whom I was obliged
to appeal have been greatly appreciated, and have gone a long way
towards rendering the undertaking less arduous than it otherwise would
have been. To say that the greatest assistance has come from the
Government, especially the Militia and Police Departments in Natal and
the Volunteer Department in the Transvaal, is but to state what will be
patent to everyone.

The despatches from the Governors, Sir Henry McCallum and Sir Matthew
Nathan, to the Secretary of State for the Colonies in various
blue-books have been invaluable. Captain W. Bosman's and Mr. W.J.
Powell's well-known books have, of course, also been consulted; the
help derived from them, especially the former, is very gratefully

My thanks are also due to J. Windham, Esq., and my mother for reading
several of the chapters and suggesting various improvements.

The index is the work of Miss M. Marsh, of the _Encyclopædia
Britannica_ staff; no pains have been spared in rendering it as
complete and accurate as possible.


London, _June, 1913_.


[Footnote 1: But see p. 63.]


  CHAPTER                                                           PAGE

  I. Introduction,                                                    1

  II. System of Native Administration in Natal,                      18

  III. State of Military Organization on the Outbreak
  of Rebellion,                                                      38

  IV. Zulu Military System and Connected Customs
  (with a Note on the Rebel Organization, 1906),                     67

  V. Events and Conditions antecedent to Outbreak
  of Hostilities.--Murder of Hunt and Armstrong,                     92

  VI. Mobilization and Demonstrations in Force
  (_a_) in the South-west, (_b_) at Mapumulo.--Executions
  at Richmond,                                                      127

  VII. Outbreak at Mpanza,                                          155

  VIII. Flight of Bambata to Nkandhla Forests.--First
  Steps taken to cope with the Situation.--Zulu
  Customs,                                                          178

  IX. The Nkandhla Forests.--Sigananda and his
  Tribe.--Dinuzulu's Attitude.--Early Operations
  at Nkandhla.--Murder of H.M.
  Stainbank,                                                        204

  X. Mobilization of Zululand Field Force.--Mansel
  Engages the Enemy at Bobe,                                        222

  XI. Converging Movement on Cetshwayo's Grave.--Negotiations
  for Sigananda's Surrender.--Further
  Operations, Nkandhla.--Tate Gorge,                                237

  XII. Operations by (_a_) Umvoti Field Force, (_b_) Mackay's
  Column.--Battle of Mpukunyoni,                                    257

  XIII. Further Operations by Zululand Field Force.--Action
  at Manzipambana.--Enemy decides to move in Force to Mome,         280

  XIV. Action at Mome Gorge,                                        299

  XV. State of Affairs at Umsinga.--Operations by
  Murray-Smith's Column.--Further Operations
  by Umvoti Field Force and Mackay's
  Column,                                                           318

  XVI. Concluding Operations, Nkandhla.--Visit of
  Dinuzulu's Indunas to Pietermaritzburg.--Position
  at Mapumulo.--Actions at Otimati
  and Peyana (Hlonono),                                             333

  XVII. General Concentration at Thring's Post.--Actions
  at Macrae's Store, Insuze and
  Ponjwana.--Converging Movement on Meseni's
  Ward,                                                             359

  XVIII. Action at Izinsimba.--Concluding Operations.--Disbandment.
  --Courts-martial.--Cost of the Rebellion,                         386

  XIX. Some Lessons of the Rebellion,                               407

  XX. Native Affairs Commission.--Visit of Dinuzulu
  to Pietermaritzburg.--Murders of Loyalists.--Escape
  of Bambata's Wife and Children
  from Usutu.--Remobilization of Militia
  to arrest Dinuzulu,                                               424

  XXI. Dinuzulu Expedition.--Surrender of Dinuzulu.--Calling
  in of Firearms.--Searching for
  Outstanding Rebels,                                               443

  XXII. Preliminary Examination and Trial of Dinuzulu.--Withholding
  of his Salary.--His Settlement
  in the Transvaal,                                                 460

  XXIII. Review of Policy followed in Connection with
  Dinuzulu.--His Status.--His Attitude during,
  and subsequent to, the Rebellion,                                 477

  XXIV. Conclusion,                                                 504


  I. Casualties, (_a_) Killed, (_b_) Wounded,                       540

  II. Honours,                                                      543

  III. Strength of Forces, 7th May, 1906,                           546

  IV. Disposition of Forces, 7th May, 1906,                         547

  V. State of Transport, 7th May, 1906,                             548

  VI. Strength of Active Militia called out, December, 1907,        549

  VII. Strength of Reserves in the Field, December, 1907,           549

  VIII. Expenditure, Rebellion and Dinuzulu Expedition,             550

  IX. Zulu Songs sung at Usutu,                                     551

  X. Causes, Superstitions, etc., Matabele Rebellion, 1896,         551

  XI. Native Corps,                                                 557

  Index,                                                            563



 Colonel Sir Henry E. McCallum, R.E., G.C.M.G.,      _Frontispiece_

 Hon. C.J. Smythe,                                           16

 Hon. Sir Thomas Watt, K.C.M.G.,                             "

 Hon. T.F. Carter, K.C.,                                     "

 Hon. H.D. Winter,                                           "

 Colonel H.T. Bru-de-Wold, C.M.G., D.S.O.,                   48

 Major-General Sir J.G. Dartneli, K.C.B., C.M.G.,            "

 Colonel G. Leuchars, C.M.G., D.S.O.,                        "

 Sir Abe Bailey, K.C.M.G.,                                   "

 Mr. H.M. Stainbank,                                        124

 Mr. Oliver E. Veal,                                         "

 Sub-Inspector S.H.K. Hunt,                                  "

 Trooper G. Armstrong,                                       "

 Bambata,                                                   188

 Cakijana,                                                   "

 Sigananda,                                                  "

 Mangati,                                                    "

 Brigadier-General Sir D. McKenzie, K.C.M.G., C.B.,         226

 Mveli,                                                     430

 Sitshitshili,                                               "

 Sibindi,                                                    "

 Mankulumana,                                                "

 Bambata's Wife,                                             "

 Usutu Kraal,                                               450

 Group: Dinuzulu, Hon. W.P. Schreiner, K.C., AND OTHERS,    472


 Key Map, and Area of Operations,      _End of Index_

 Mpanza,                                                    172

 Bobe,                                                      232

 Mpukunyoni,                                                274

 Manzipambana,                                              290

 Mome, showing Tate Gorge,                                  310

 Otimati,                                                   351

 Peyana (Hlonono),                                          358

 Insuze,                                                    370

 Ponjwana (Sikota's Kraal),                                 372

 Izinsimba and Macrae's Store,                              390


 B.M.R.         Border Mounted Rifles.
 Cd.            Command, _i.e._ "Presented by 'Command' of His
                  Majesty to both Houses of Parliament."
 C.M.R.         Cape Mounted Rifles.
 C.N.A.         Commissioner for Native Affairs.
 D.C.M.         Distinguished Conduct Medal.
 D.L.I.         Durban Light Infantry.
 H.F.F.         Helpmakaar Field Force.
 I.L.H.         Imperial Light Horse.
 J.M.R.         Johannesburg Mounted Rifles.
 L. and Y.      Lancaster and York.
 M.C.R.         Militia Composite Regiment.
 N.C.           Natal Carbineers.
 N.D.M.R.       Northern District Mounted Rifles.
 N.F.A.         Natal Field Artillery.
 N.M.C.         Natal Medical Corps.
 N.M.R.         Natal Mounted Rifles.
 N.N.C.         Natal Naval Corps.
 N.N.H.         Natal Native Horse.
 N.P.           Natal Police.
 N.R.           Natal Rangers.
 N.R.R.         Natal Royal Regiment.
 N.S.C.         Natal Service Corps.
 N.T.C.         Natal Telegraph Corps.
 N.V.C.         Natal Veterinary Corps.
 O.C.           Officer Commanding.
 R.H.           Royston's Horse.
 S.A.L.H.       South African Light Horse.
 Sc.H.          Scottish Horse.
 S.N.A.         Secretary for Native Affairs.
 T.M.R.         Transvaal Mounted Rifles.
 Transport      Natal Transport Corps.
 U.D.R.         Umvoti District Reserves.
 U.F.F.         Umvoti Field Force.
 U.M.R.         Umvoti Mounted Rifles.
 U.S.N.A.       Under Secretary for Native Affairs.
 V.D.           Volunteer Decoration.
 Z.F.F.         Zululand Field Force.
 Z.M.R.         Zululand Mounted Rifles.
 Z.N.P.         Zululand Native Police (Nongqai).


  _Commando_                A Boer military force, usually one recruited
                              from a particular district.

  _Division (District)_     The magisterial areas in Natal are usually
                              spoken of as 'divisions,' in Zululand as

  _Donga_                   A channel or hollow worn in the earth by a
                              current of water; a gully; the bank of a
                              river, etc.

  _Impi_                    A force,--military, hostile, etc.

  _Indaba_                  A story, affair, public inquiry, etc.

  _Induna_                  An officer. The word, however, connotes in one
                              context, military, and in another, civil,
                              functions. In the case of Dinuzulu it may
                              also be taken to mean 'political adviser.'

  _Isibalo_                 Corvée or compulsory labour.

  _Ka_                      A preposition, signifying son or daughter of,
                              _e.g._ Matshana _ka_ Mondise.

  _Kloof_                   A ravine or gorge.

  _Kop_                     A peak.

  _Kopje_                   A small hill or peak.

  _Krantz_                  A precipice or cliff.

  _Lagers_                  Enclosures of various kinds erected to serve as
                              temporary or permanent fortifications.

  _Loopers_                 Large shot, or irregularly-shaped pieces of
                              metal used instead of shot.

  _Nkomondala_              Name of Dinuzulu's bodyguard; formed about

  _Nongqai_                 Policeman. Members of Z.N.P. Corps. The word,
                              which really means 'watching,' is probably
                              derived from _uGqainyanga_, a moon-gazer,
                              _i.e._ night-watchman.

  _Outspan_                 _v._ To unyoke or unharness; _n._ Place where
                                unyoking or harnessing occurs.

  _Spoor_                   A recently-formed track.

  _Supreme Chief_           Title assumed by Governor in his capacity as
                              head of the Native population.

  _Thorn country, the_      Country, usually low-lying, covered with
  _thorns_                    stunted trees of Mimosa (thorn) species.

  _Trek_                    Travelling by waggon, especially when drawn by

  _Tshokobezi_, properly    Bushy portion of ox or cow-tail, usually white,
  _umtshokobezi_              worn about the head or neck by adherents of
                              the Usutu faction among the Zulus; the
                              wearer of such badge.

  _Umkumbi_                 The close, circular formation in which an
                              _impi_ is drawn up to be doctored, to receive
                              instructions, etc.

  _Usutu_                   (1) Name of the tribe or faction recently
                               presided over by Dinuzulu. (2) The war-cry
                               used by members of Dinuzulu's tribe, as well
                               as by those who espoused his or Bambata's

  _Veld_                    Open, unenclosed country.

  _Viyo_                    A company of warriors, usually varying from
                             fifty to eighty or more in number.

  _Voorlooper_             A person, generally a small Native boy, who leads
                             a span of oxen.

  _Voortrekker_            A pioneer.



The main object of this book is to describe the military operations of
the Rebellion of 1906-08, a rebellion in which a considerable section
of the Zulus of Natal and Zululand took up arms against the Government
of Natal. Such conflict was, of course, between a race of savages on
the one hand, and a number of Europeans or representatives of Western
Civilization on the other. An account of the campaign that ensued
might, indeed, succeed in holding the reader's attention and even
afford information of practical value. However that may be, whenever
great and sudden outbursts of hostility occur in human society, no one
is quite satisfied unless he can, at the same time, learn something of
the inner or underlying circumstances under which they came to take
place. Particularly is this the case when, as in the present instance,
the hostilities were planned by people with whom the British race had
been in close contact and on terms of amity for upwards of eighty
years. This aspect of the matter will, therefore, be kept carefully in
view, in the hope that some of that fuller information, which, it is
assumed, every reader naturally desires to have, may be afforded. In
order that this better understanding may be obtained, it is necessary
to begin with the first coming into contact of the colonists with the
Zulu people.

It was in May, 1824, that the first group of European settlers arrived
in Natal by sea from the Cape Colony.[2] They found large tracts of
country about Port Natal almost uninhabited.[3] Learning that the King
of that important section of the Bantu family, the great and terrible
Tshaka, then residing in what is now called Zululand, claimed the
territory as his, they immediately repaired to the royal headquarters,
Bulawayo,[4] obtained from the despot permission to take up their
abode at the Port and enter into commercial dealings with his people.
Notwithstanding the ease with which a footing was obtained, their
position was, for many years, one of very considerable insecurity,
which, indeed, was inevitable under the prevailing mode of government.

The circumstances might have been different had the Zulu dynasty been
long in power. As it was, for barely a decade had any kingdom existed
in those parts, its existence having been brought about by Tshaka
himself by means of a newly-created and remarkable military system,
to be described in a later chapter, under which practically every man
and youth capable of bearing arms was bound to serve. As, through
the King's aggressive tactics, the borders of the country were being
rapidly expanded, it can be seen his forces were constantly being
augmented in proportion.

Owing, then, to the existence, on the north side of the Tugela, of this
large, efficient and highly-organized army of warlike barbarians, an
army whose movements were dependent on the caprice of as absolute an
autocrat as it is possible to conceive--an army prepared and able, upon
emergency, as was proved upon various occasions, to mobilize 40,000
to 50,000 men (inhabiting roadless, mountainous regions) within a
week--it became a matter of vital importance for such state of affairs
to be borne perpetually in mind; for these early colonists, it must
be remembered, were, from 1824 to 1837, but a handful of strangers
in a strange land. It became their first duty to maintain a strictly
friendly disposition towards the Zulu monarch, and to avoid, by all
means in their power, a conflict which must have severely crippled
them, if it did not result in the complete annihilation of themselves,
their families and dependants.

There were, however, not a few influences at work, feeble though these
were, in the direction of placating the Zulu monarch, and securing,
as far as possible, his continual friendly co-operation and goodwill.
Among these, practical services of various kinds were rendered by the
pioneers from time to time, in a collective as well as individual
capacity. For instance, they were occasionally called on to assist
in military expeditions; when not so engaged, they established and
developed a commerce in sundry commodities, notably blankets, cloth,
bangles and beads of different colours and sizes, in exchange for
ivory, cattle, goats, corn, maize, etc., which proved as beneficial
to the aborigines as it was lucrative for the settlers. Then again,
men like Henry F. Fynn, the first European to settle permanently in
Natal, ministered unceasingly to the numerous sick, indigent and
wounded people, including the King and his relations, whom he found
about him on every side during his journeys of exploration. In these
and other ways, the foundations of a warm friendship (soon extended
to every member of the party, and, later on, to all other Europeans
that came to Natal) were gradually and successfully built up. Alive to
the material advantages arising out of having the British settlers
so close at hand--for were they not the makers of firearms?--not to
refer to the intense interest undoubtedly aroused through his coming
into contact with a strange, exceedingly capable and amicably-disposed
race, apparently so situated at Port Natal as not to be a source of
domestic or political annoyance, Tshaka, on being appealed to, readily
agreed to cede to them, "their heirs and executors," a tract of country
stretching some thirty-five miles along the coast, north and south of
Port Natal, and running "about one hundred miles backward from the
sea-shore,"[5] and there, in 1835, at the Port, was laid off the now
beautiful town of Durban.

Thus, the earliest provisions consisted in nought else than the
establishment and consolidation of a bond of friendship between the
little band of adventurers and the rulers of the land, and, so long as
that bond was faithfully observed, so long was there peace between the
parties, whatever else might have been the position in respect of the
adjoining states.

From 1824 to 23rd September, 1828 (the date of Tshaka's assassination),
the British settlers averaged about twenty-five souls in number.
Between the latter date and 1834 they fell to a smaller figure. But,
from then on to 19th October, 1837,[6] when a party of Boers under Piet
Retief arrived at Durban from the Cape Colony, the numbers, through
the coming of traders and missionaries, and their families, were
considerably increased.

The policy of the pioneers, indeed, could be no other than, for the
time being, to place themselves wholly and unreservedly under the
protection of the Zulu sovereign, first Tshaka, their declared and,
as it proved, real and constant friend, and subsequently, Dingana,
perfidious autocrat as he soon revealed himself to be. The kindly
feelings entertained by Tshaka towards _his_ Europeans (_abelungu_),
as he always called them, and the invaluable services and substantial
concessions extended to them up to the day of his assassination, are
not borne in mind in these days as much as they deserve to be. This
disposition carried with it, as a matter of course, an unqualified
attitude of amity and respect on the part of the entire Zulu nation,
only too eager to render immediate obedience to their tyrant.

With his successor and brother Dingana, the position became greatly
altered. So far from cherishing a friendly disposition towards the
immigrants, he regarded them as sources of peculiar inconvenience, if
not as an insidious and growing menace to his very throne and person.
He resented their harbouring refugees from his country at Port Natal,
notwithstanding that Tshaka had always refrained from troubling himself
with such escapades, on the ground that, in quitting Zululand for the
_abelungu_ at Isibubulungu (as the Zulus called Port Natal), they had
but gone to his friends, and were, therefore, within reach whenever
required. So uneasy and hostile did Dingana eventually become that,
in 1834, he dispatched a strong raiding-party to massacre every soul,
white as well as black, settled in the neighbourhood of the Port,
and this vindictive order would have been carried out to the letter,
had they not fled precipitately either towards the Cape Colony, or
concealed themselves in the numerous bushes round about. As it was,
a party, headed by Fynn, consisting of a considerable number of his
Native adherents, was overtaken by the raiders south of Umzimkulu, and
exterminated almost to a man, Fynn himself escaping. Nor was this the
only occasion on which this King betrayed his hatred of the British

With the arrival overland from the Cape Colony of the Boer
voortrekkers, however, a great change came over the scene. Momentous
events followed one another in quick succession. Here was a well-armed,
mounted and efficient force, extremely small in numbers as compared
with the Zulus, and very desirous of occupying the land they found
vacant in the northern portions of Natal. Although in no way intending
to be aggressors, the entirely amicable and co-operative spirit in
which they entered upon negotiations with Dingana being evidence of
this fact, they were undoubtedly regarded _ab initio_ in that light
by the Zulus. The Boers, however, had arrived in these practically
unexplored regions prepared for all contingencies, war included;
Dingana saw this, and war they were compelled to enter upon forthwith.
The treacherous and brutal massacre of Piet Retief, along with some
sixty followers and forty Hottentot and Native servants, at the
principal royal kraal, Mgungundhlovu, on the 6th February, 1838,
followed almost immediately by the cold-blooded murders of 281 Boer
men, women and children, together with 250 of their coloured servants,
at Bushman's and Blauwkrantz Rivers in Natal, were the initial acts
of that wholly unprovoked war. The valiant manner in which 460
voortrekkers subsequently went forth to oppose an army outnumbering
them by at least 40 to 1; the readiness with which they moved about the
roadless country with cumbersome transport, notwithstanding the traps
occasionally laid by a crafty foe; their crushing victory over some
9,500 Zulus at Blood River on 16th December, 1838; and their further
expedition of January-February, 1840, when, as the result of a battle
between Dingana and their ally Mpande, the former's power was finally
shattered, will always stand to their credit, and be a lesson as to how
operations can be conducted with success against a race of barbarians.

Subsequently to the death of Dingana, probably from poisoning, in
January, 1840, his brother, Mpande, who, towards the end of 1839, had
crossed over into Natal with a vast concourse of adherents to seek the
protection of the Boers, was later on formally installed by the latter
as Paramount Chief of the Zulus.

Between 1840 and 1843, the relations between the English settlers on
the coast and the Boers, who had taken up their residence further
inland,[8] unhappily became so strained that open hostilities broke
out between them in the winter of 1843, the former having been
strengthened by a regiment sent overland to Durban in 1842. This
regrettable conflict resulted in the formal annexation of Natal by the
British Government, the majority of the Boers falling back to establish
themselves in territory across the Vaal, then already partly occupied
by their own countrymen, and now known as the Transvaal.

After being invested by the Boers, as already stated, Mpande maintained
and even elaborated the Zulu military system. This system continued to
exist, not only to the end of his reign in 1872, but throughout that of
his son Cetshwayo, that is, until the Zulu War of 1879.

       *       *       *       *       *

During this long period, notwithstanding that numerous immigrants
arrived in Natal, nothing in the shape of regular military organization
took place among the white settlers, beyond the formation, from time
to time, of volunteer corps[9] (this, however, does not apply to the
Boers who, between 1837 and 1843, were well organized). Lagers[10] were
erected in various parts of the Colony, as well as a few magazines for
arms and ammunition. Where magazines existed, rifle associations soon
began to be formed.

If it was never possible to determine how long it might be before
trouble arose, the Government was aware that a general rising could
originate only in Zululand. From the time the first colonists arrived
in Natal, up to the end of the Zulu War, August, 1879, the principal
arbiter of savage warfare in South Africa was the Zulu sovereign.
It was to him that the whole of the tribes of Zululand--the real
storm-centre of South Africa--looked, including those of Natal, who
were without any hereditary King. The latter were, indeed, only
too glad to place themselves under the protection of the British
Government, and even actively assist against their former King in the
campaign of 1879. The majority of the Natives of Natal then, and the
same is still the case, consisted of people who, at various times, had
fled from Zululand, fearing lest they should be put to death on some
bogus charge of practising witchcraft, of infringing the very stringent
and remarkable marriage regulations, or of neglecting to conform to
a hundred and one instructions or directions. Ever since the days of
Dingana, the King became exceedingly incensed on hearing of any of
his subjects breaking away to place himself under the notoriously
milder European rule south of the Tugela. Any neglect to conform to
his pleasure, where, in former days, similar desires would have been
carried out with alacrity and without the least demur, appeared to
be no less than outrageous defiance, and, as such, punishable with
the utmost rigour. The tendency of fleeing to Natal from the despotic
laws, which became even more arbitrary as the possibility of infringing
any of them with impunity appeared greater, grew to such formidable
proportions, that special regulations were introduced in Natal to cope
with the situation. Refugees, for instance, were required to indenture
themselves as labourers to European house-holders, farmers, etc., for
a period of three years. But, by the time Cetshwayo, long the _de
facto_ ruler of Zululand, actually began to reign (October, 1872), the
prestige of the Imperial Government had become so firmly established in
Natal, and to such numbers had the farmers and other Europeans grown,
backed up by an Imperial garrison at Fort Napier, Pietermaritzburg,
that the King perceived that any attack was not only destined to fail,
but must result in the prompt dispatch of irresistible forces to bring
an end to his rule. The fact, however, remained that the relations
between Cetshwayo and the representatives of Imperial authority in
Natal became more and more strained, and the outbreak of war between
the two races sooner or later inevitable.

No one appreciated better the position than did the Natives in Natal.
Because, in most cases, their having come to the Colony was tantamount
to flagrant defiance of the royal will, so, no one knew better than
they, that, in having placed themselves under alien protection, they
had thereby burnt their boats behind them and incurred the unappeasable
wrath of the Zulu dynasty. It is for this reason that Natal Natives
were, formerly, at all times only too eager to co-operate with their
protectors in the direct or indirect destruction of the Zulu power.

In these circumstances, as actual warfare between the colonists and
the Zulus was never imminent, notwithstanding sharp differences in
civilization, manners and customs, till shortly before 1879, it was
unnecessary to promote systematic enrolment and organization of the
local forces.

There was, however, an important factor in the situation to which
reference should be made. Natal became a British Colony in 1843, and
remained such, though at first, for a few years, annexed to the Cape
Colony, until the grant of responsible government in 1893; thus,
during the long critical period preceding and succeeding the Zulu
War, it devolved on the Imperial Government to provide continually
for the protection of its recently-acquired possession. A regiment
was stationed at Fort Napier. With the existence of this organized
and well-armed force, capable of quelling any local disorder of
limited proportions, there was still less necessity for organizing the
Colony's fighting material. For all ordinary purposes, the Volunteers
and the Natal Mounted Police, commanded for many years by Major (now
Major-General Sir John) Dartnell--the first to organize the Volunteers
into a military body--were sufficient, with the Imperial troops behind
them, to preserve order. After responsible government was granted,
however, it became imperative for Natal to consider how to defend
herself by means of her own resources against an internal or external

       *       *       *       *       *

Although there was no regular Native war in Natal proper between
1824 and 1906, there were periodical disturbances, limited, however,
to particular districts. Among these may be named: the Fodo Revolt
(Unkomanzi River), 1846; the Sidoyi Expedition (Ixopo division), April,
1857; the Matshana Expedition (Umsinga division), March, 1858; and the
Langalibalele Rebellion (Estcourt division), November, 1873.

The most important occurrences outside, though near, the borders of
Natal were: the conquest of Zululand by the Boers, assisted to some
extent by British colonists, 1838-9; a raid by a Boer commando from
Natal on Ncapayi, (Pondoland), 1841; battle between Cetshwayo and
Mbuyazi, sons of Mpande and rival claimants to the Zulu throne, near
the mouth of the Tugela (Ndondakusuka), December, 1856; the Bushman
Expedition, 1866; the Sikukuni Rebellion, 1878-9; the Zulu War, 1879;
and the Zululand disturbances, 1883-8.

Other battles or campaigns, in which, however, the Natives were only
indirectly concerned, were: Battle of Congella, 1843; the Boer War,
1881; and the Boer War, 1899-1902.

Of the foregoing campaigns, etc., it is proposed to refer specially to
two only, the Langalibalele Rebellion and the Zulu War.

The Langalibalele Rebellion, the only internal warfare of any
importance prior to that of 1906, and for that reason worthy of
notice here, occurred in 1873. It was directly connected with the
Kimberley diamond fields, which began to be developed in the year
1870. Contractors recruited labourers in Natal for the mines. Many of
these Natives received guns in lieu of wages and returned with them
to Natal. The Government, objecting to unregistered arms being held,
proceeded to call them in for registration, or confiscation, where
any owner was regarded as unfit to possess a firearm. Langalibalele,
Chief of the Hlubi tribe, living near Estcourt, refused, in the name
of those of his tribe concerned, to comply with the order, although
aware of instructions issued by the Government prohibiting the
introduction and holding of guns, except under the usual conditions. It
was believed most of the unlawfully-held weapons were in possession of
this particular tribe. A force, accompanied by the Lieutenant-Governor
and consisting of 200 regular troops, 300 colonial volunteers, and
some 6,000 Natives, marched on 30th October to enforce obedience.
Langalibalele, with a large following, fled at once into Basutoland.
Many of his cattle, etc., as well as those of a Chief, Putili, who was
associated with him, were seized. In attempting to hold a difficult
pass in the Drakensberg Mountains,[11] by which it was correctly
supposed the fugitives would travel, Major A.W. Durnford[12] and
his men[13] who had been directed "not to fire the first shot,"
were attacked by about 200 rebels on the 4th November--three Natal
Carbineers and two Natives being killed. It was found necessary to
proclaim martial law on the 11th of the same month over the disaffected
area, but only, as it happened, for a period of fourteen days. During
the operations, some 200 rebels were killed. Langalibalele himself
was followed up in December by a force under Capt. A.B. Allison,
one of the Magistrates of the Colony. Finding himself opposed by
Natal forces, Cape Colony troops (which had been specially sent to
co-operate), as well as by the Basutos, Langalibalele, after offering
some resistance, surrendered. Of the 7,000 cattle captured from him in
Basutoland (besides 200-300 horses), 2,000 were awarded to the Basutos,
Allison conveying the remainder, with the Chief and a number of other
prisoners, back over the mountains to Natal. The Chief, with some of
his sons and followers, were afterwards tried at Pietermaritzburg. He
was deposed and banished to Robben Island, Cape Town, and his tribe
broken up. After some years, however, he was permitted to return to
Natal, where he subsequently died a natural death.

With regard to the Zulu War, the fundamental causes were disputes with
Transvaal Boers over land matters, notably territory lying between the
Buffalo River--then part of the eastern border of Natal--to as far down
as where the Blood River enters it, and the Pongolo River. Another
cause was, violation of Natal territory in July, 1878, by three sons
and a brother of Sirayo, a Zulu. One of these sons was Mehlokazulu, of
whom more will be heard when the Rebellion itself is being dealt with.

The land matters were investigated by a Commission. Whilst the award to
be made was under consideration, various incidents occurred, thereby
complicating still further an already strained position. An ultimatum
was sent, by direction of the High Commissioner (Sir Bartle Frere), to
the Zulu King, Cetshwayo. This, _inter alia_, required that certain
promises, alleged to have been made by Cetshwayo at his coronation
in respect of governing his people should be observed, _e.g._ that
his army should be disbanded; that the military system should be
discontinued, except on certain specified lines; that, on arriving at
man's estate, Zulus should be free to marry, without waiting to receive
special royal sanction; that a British resident, whose duty it would
be to see that these and other stipulations were observed, should
henceforth reside in Zululand.

The King failed to meet the demands, whereupon his country was invaded
by three columns. During the campaign, which lasted just under eight
months, several severe engagements were fought. Among these were
Inyezane, Isandhlwana, Rorke's Drift, Hlobane, Kambula, Gingindhlovu
and Ulundi.[14]

The last battle, Ulundi, when the Zulu power was broken up, was fought
on the 4th July, but it was not until 28th August that the King was

On the conclusion of the War, the country was divided into thirteen
districts, over which as many Chiefs, with very extensive powers, were
appointed by Sir Garnet (later Viscount) Wolseley. The arrangement
soon proved calamitous and unsatisfactory, notwithstanding that a
British resident was stationed in the country to supervise internal and
external affairs.

After his arrest, Cetshwayo was imprisoned for a time at Cape Town. In
1882, he was allowed to visit England, where he had an audience of Her
Majesty, Queen Victoria. He was subsequently repatriated, but, owing
to the refusal of two or three of the thirteen appointed Chiefs to
recognize him as head of the district assigned him, his position became
untenable. He attacked one of these Chiefs, Zibebu, who, retaliating,
forced the ex-King to take refuge in reserved territory south of the
Mhlatuze River, first at Nkandhla, then at Eshowe. Cetshwayo died at
the latter place on the 8th February, 1884. His body was conveyed by
his people to the vicinity of the Nkandhla forests and there interred.
Of this grave and forests a good deal will be heard later.

The disturbances that had broken out between Zibebu and the royal
family continued down to the middle of 1888, by which time Dinuzulu,
eldest son of Cetshwayo and bearer of his father's tattered mantle, had
reached his majority.[15]

As the part played by Dinuzulu both before and during the Rebellion was
of the greatest importance, it would be as well to include here, by
way of introduction to what has to follow, a somewhat fuller notice of
his antecedents. He was born about the year 1868. As Zulus are nothing
if not expressive in the selection of names, so, in devising one for
his eldest son, Cetshwayo gave evidence of the well-known national
characteristic. Dinuzulu means "_one who is a source of worry to the

Under Sir Garnet Wolseley's settlement, Ndabuko, Dinuzulu's uncle, and,
next to Cetshwayo, the man of greatest rank and influence in Zululand,
was placed under one of the thirteen "kinglets," Zibebu, a blood
relation of the King. During Cetshwayo's imprisonment, Ndabuko became
Dinuzulu's guardian. As the result of endeavours by this prince to
secure the return of Cetshwayo, friction arose between him and Zibebu.
It was not long before civil war broke out between the royalist party
and that of Zibebu. Ndabuko's cause became the cause of Dinuzulu. The
British Government had, in the meantime, definitely refused to take
over the government of the country.

In 1883, when, at Ulundi, Cetshwayo was surprised and defeated by
Zibebu, Dinuzulu was saved by a faithful adherent Sitshitshili, who
will be referred to later.

On the death of Cetshwayo, the heads of the nation nominated Dinuzulu
as successor.[16] The claim of his younger brother, Manzolwandhle,[17]
to the heirship has, however, always been regarded by the majority of
Zulus as superior to his own.

Dinuzulu soon found it necessary to seek the assistance of the Boers
against Zibebu and Hamu (another of the "kinglets" and an uncle of
Dinuzulu). The latter (Dinuzulu) called in the support of Boers of
the Transvaal, who, on the 21st May, 1884, went through the farce
of "crowning" the prince "King of the Zulus," thereby recalling
the occasion on which, forty years before, they had installed his
grandfather as Paramount Chief. On the 5th June following, Dinuzulu's
adherents, aided by 600 Boers, attacked and completely routed Zibebu
and his followers at Tshanini.[18] The Boers, for their moral
assistance--hardly more than moral--induced the young "King" to sign
a document ceding them a large tract of north-eastern Zululand,
extending down to the sea at St. Lucia Bay. This they cut up into farms
and created the "New Republic," afterwards the Vryheid district of
the Transvaal. In Sir A. Havelock's settlement with the Boers, this
Republic was recognized by Britain, its limitations were defined, and a
large portion of country alleged to have been ceded was recovered for
the Zulus, including all the coast land round St. Lucia Bay.

In May, 1887, the Imperial Government assumed full control of the
affairs of Zululand, the Governor's proclamation of formal annexation
being read at Eshowe in the presence of some 15,000 Zulus.

Other disturbances arose between Dinuzulu and Zibebu in 1887-8, but as
the country had been formally annexed by the Imperial Government, and
as it appeared Dinuzulu and his two uncles, Ndabuko and Tshingana, had
deliberately contravened the law, of whose provisions they were fully
aware, they were arrested on a charge of public violence. Their trial
took place at Eshowe before a specially-constituted court, when all
three were convicted and sentenced to ten, fifteen and twelve years'
imprisonment, respectively. Early in 1889, they were deported to St.
Helena. There they remained until the end of 1897, when they were taken
back to Zululand. Their return followed immediately upon the annexation
of Zululand to Natal, when, of course, the Imperial Government ceased
to directly control the affairs of the former territory. The terms of
Dinuzulu's repatriation will call for particular notice in a later

In the Act of Annexation[19] it was provided that "until other
provisions shall have been made ... with the approval of Her Majesty,
no grants or alienation of Crown Lands ... shall be made, nor till
then shall the Natives be disturbed in the use and occupation of any
lands occupied or used by them at the time of the taking effect of
this Act." In 1902, a Commission was appointed for the purpose of
delimiting tracts of country to be reserved for occupation of the
Natives, on the one hand, and those for immediate and future European
occupation, on the other. About seven-twelfths of the country (whose
total acreage is 6,695,000), or approximately 3,887,000 acres, divided
into twenty-one separate locations, were reserved for the exclusive
occupation of the Natives, whose numbers, at that time, fell just short
of 200,000. Much of this land, however, was and still is unsuitable for
human habitation, either because of its being too arid and stony for
cultivation, of malarial fever being prevalent therein, or of its being
infested with the tsetse fly. The total area set apart for European
occupation was 2,808,000 acres. The recommendations of the Commission
received the approval of the Imperial Government, whereupon the blocks
set apart for Europeans were surveyed into farms not exceeding 500
acres apiece, mainly on the coast belt south of the Mhlatuze River, and
disposed of to sugar planters. Similarly reserved lands in other parts
were not so readily taken up. This opening of the door on a large scale
to European settlers undoubtedly went a long way towards unsettling the


 _Elliot and Fry,
 London, W._

 _W.B. Sherwood,


Prime Minister and Colonial Secretary.


Minister of Justice and Defence.


Attorney General, 1907-10.


Minister for Native Affairs.]


[Footnote 2: Natal was discovered by a Portuguese navigator, Vasco da
Gama, when engaged in his quest for a sea-route to India, on Christmas
Day, 1497. But little more was heard of the country until Farewell and
Fynn, having proceeded in 1823 as far as St. Lucia Bay and Delagoa Bay
respectively, returned to Cape Town and organized the party referred to
in the text.]

[Footnote 3: The notorious Zulu King Tshaka's catastrophic reign
began about 1814. Great tribes were, at quick intervals between then
and 1820, driven headlong into Natal, only to sweep the peaceful
inhabitants of the land away with them into the Cape Colony and
elsewhere. Three or four of these appalling exoduses, taking place by
no means only on the south-west boundary of Zululand, soon denuded
Natal, and other adjacent territories, of the greater portion of their
aboriginal population. The country was transformed into a howling
wilderness, overrun with lions, hyænas, and wolves; and any stray
wight, who had succeeded in evading the Zulu fury and was eking out an
existence on wild-roots or shell-fish, was hunted by members of his own
species, so far de-humanized, within half-a-dozen years, as to have
become converted into expert and voracious cannibals.]

[Footnote 4: It was after this kraal that Mzilikazi, "the lion of the
North," named his own principal kraal--a name subsequently adopted
by the Chartered Company of Rhodesia for the already well-known town
established on the site of the kraal.]

[Footnote 5: Bird, _Annals of Natal,_ 194.]

[Footnote 6: _Ibid._ i. 326.]

[Footnote 7: Much of the earlier history of the Colony will be found
in the following works: N. Isaacs, _Travels and Adventures in Eastern
Africa_, 2 vols. London, 1836; Capt. Allen F. Gardiner, _A Journey to
the Zoolu Country_, London, 1836; H.F. Fynn, _Papers_, printed in part
on pp. 60-124, vol. i. Bird's _Annals of Natal_, Pietermaritzburg, 1888.

Up to the day of his death, Fynn, the friend of Isaacs and the source
from which the latter drew much of the information in the work above
quoted, was the final authority on all matters appertaining to the
Natives of South-East Africa. He, fortunately, left a number of
valuable manuscripts. These are being prepared for the press by the
author. They include a large quantity of matter connected with early
Zulu history, customs and habits hitherto unpublished.]

[Footnote 8: Pietermaritzburg, the capital of Natal, was laid off by

[Footnote 9: Among these were the _Natal Frontier Guards_, _Weenen
Yeomanry_, _Victoria Mounted Rifles_, _Alexandra Mounted Rifles_,
_Natal Hussars_, _Royal Durban Rifles_, Natal Carbineers, Natal Mounted
Rifles, Border Mounted Rifles, Natal Field Artillery, Durban Light
Infantry, Natal Royal Rifles, also the Natal Mounted Police and _Natal
Native Police_. (The corps in italics have either ceased to exist
or been merged in those printed in ordinary type.) The last-named
corps, organized in 1848, and about 150 strong, was disbanded by the
Government in 1854, without any reasons being given as to why such
action had become necessary. To this day, Natives wonder what the
reasons could have been. Mr. (later, Sir) Theophilus Shepstone, was its

[Footnote 10: Often wrongly spelt "laagers." See Glossary.]

[Footnote 11: Known as Bushman's Pass.]

[Footnote 12: It was this officer who, on 22nd January, 1879, was
Colonel in command when the Imperial and Colonial troops suffered their
reverse at Isandhlwana.]

[Footnote 13: Consisting of one officer, one sergeant and thirty-three
rank and file of the Natal Carbineers (with forty rounds of ammunition
per man), and twenty-five mounted Basutos; of the latter, seventeen
had various kinds of guns (with about three charges apiece); the other
eight were armed only with assegais.--_A Soldier's Life and Work in
South Africa_, edited by Lt. Col. E. Durnford, London, 1882, p. 32.]

[Footnote 14: The strength of columns at 11th January was: _European
troops_--85 Staff and departments, 263 Royal Artillery (20 guns--7 and
9 pdrs., 2 rocket tubes, 8 rocket troughs), 5,128 infantry and 1,193
cavalry = 6,669 (of these, 292 were from Natal mounted volunteer corps
and 80 Natal Mounted Police). _Native troops_--315 mounted, 9,035
infantry = 9,350; making a grand total, including 1,910 conductors,
drivers and voorloopers, of 17,929 officers and men.

After the Isandhlwana disaster, another 10,000 men from England, Ceylon
and other parts were sent as reinforcements, disembarking at Natal at
the beginning of April.

The _losses in action were_: Killed--(Europeans) 76 Officers (including
the Prince Imperial of France), 1,007 N.C.O. and men; (Natives) 604.
Wounded--(Europeans) 37 Officers, 206 N.C.O. and men; (Natives) 57.
The returns are incomplete as regards Native casualties. Between
11th January and 15th October, 1879, 17 Officers and 330 men died of
diseases consequent on the operations. The total cost of the war was
£5,230,323.--_Narrative of the Field Operations connected with the Zulu
War of 1879._ War Office publication. London, 1881.

A Natal official return (1880) shows that, in addition to a reserve
of 360 Europeans and 2,500 Natives, the Natal forces called out were:
Natal Mounted Police, 130; Volunteers, 582; Levy leaders, etc., 86;
Natives, 20,037. Total, 20,835.]

[Footnote 15: Dinuzulu's mother, a daughter of a commoner, Msweli,
was a concubine and never became Cetshwayo's chief wife. There was a
posthumous son by the chief wife, called Manzolwandhle, now a Chief in
Nqutu district, Zululand, who would, under ordinary circumstances, have
succeeded his father, but, with the country in an unsettled condition
at the ex-King's death, it was decided that Dinuzulu, because the only
son then living, should be recognized as head of the Zulu House.]

[Footnote 16: The Imperial Government did not at any time recognize
Dinuzulu as a king.]

[Footnote 17: The name means "_water of the ocean_," in memory of the
voyage that was made by his father to England.]

[Footnote 18: Where Mkuze River passes through the Ubombo Range.]

[Footnote 19: No. 37, 1897 (Natal).]



When the first colonists arrived, there were, as has been seen, but
few aboriginal inhabitants, so few that nothing in the shape of formal
government could exist. Gradually, however, refugees from Zululand
and various parts of Natal proper began to attach themselves to the
British settlers. And so, by 1835, the population at Port Natal had
grown to about 4,000. Capt. Allen F. Gardiner, R.N., who arrived in
the year referred to, accordingly found it necessary to enter into a
treaty with Dingana (May, 1835) in the name of the settlers at Port
Natal, wherein the latter engaged themselves "for the future never to
receive or harbour any deserters from the Zulu country ... and to use
every endeavour to secure and return to the King every such individual
endeavouring to find an asylum among them."[20] In the following year,
the British Government appointed Gardiner, at his own request, a
Justice of the Peace, without, however, providing for the execution of
the powers so conferred. The result was a protest on the part of the
pioneers, and an immediate and complete failure by Gardiner to assert
his authority.[21] A petition from the residents to the effect that
Natal, to which they had given the name of "Victoria" in honour of our
late revered Queen, then Princess, should be recognized "as a Colony
of the British Empire," met with no encouragement from the Imperial
Government. And so it happened that practically no regular government
existed when the Boers arrived in 1837-39.

The relations between the voortrekkers and the Zulus have been already
touched on. Although, with the defeat and death of Dingana, the menace
of the Zulu power had been temporarily removed, the installation of his
brother Mpande as Paramount Chief meant a continuance of the military
and tribal systems, though in a modified degree. The Boers governed
on somewhat similar lines such aboriginals as they found already in
the country, or those who, since the arrival of the Boers, had fled
there from across the Tugela.[22] No reservations were at that time
set apart for the occupation of the Natives, the Boer custom being to
treat them as squatters when living on lands occupied by Europeans,
and require them to render service in lieu of paying rent.[23] No
equality as between Europeans and Natives was permitted. Had Boer
administration continued in Natal, steps would probably have been taken
to prohibit further ingress of refugees; such as were unprepared to
serve would, probably, have been refused an asylum and compelled to
return to Zululand or to the district between Umkomanzi and Umzimkulu
Rivers, if not still further south.[24] As it was, in 1843, when
that administration came to an end, there were between 40,000 and
50,000 refugees in Natal (exclusive of some 5,000 or 6,000 original
inhabitants), notwithstanding the treaty above referred to.[25] The
British settlers at the Port, however, looked upon themselves as
wholly independent both of the Boers and of the Zulu King, and accorded
the refugees and all others living under their protection similar
concessions in the matter of self-government, if somewhat more liberal.

The same disposition to allow Natives to live in accordance with their
ancient laws, habits and customs--so long as these were not repugnant
to civilized usages--is seen in the Instructions issued in March,
1848, by the Imperial Government to the first Governor. By that time,
the Native population had increased to over 100,000. So significant
is the 28th clause and so pivotal in the long government subsequently
maintained, that it would be well to notice it in its original, though
slightly abbreviated, form: "And whereas the said District of Natal
is inhabited by numerous Tribes, ... whose ignorance and habits unfit
them for the duties of civilized life, and it is necessary to place
them under special control, until, having been duly capacitated to
understand such duties, they may reasonably be required to render ready
obedience to the Laws ..., We do hereby declare it to be our Will and
Pleasure ... that, in assuming the sovereignty thereof, we have not
interfered with or abrogated any Law, Custom or Usage prevailing among
the Inhabitants previous to the assertion of sovereignty ... except so
far as the same may be repugnant to the general principles of humanity
recognized throughout the civilized world...."

The same Instruction, whilst further declaring that, civil or criminal
jurisdiction of the Chiefs had not been abrogated, went on to reserve
to the Crown the right of amending Native laws, and providing for
better administration of justice among them, "as may be found

It is not intended here, of course, to trace, step by step the
development of Native policy from the issue of the Instruction here
quoted to the introduction of responsible government in 1893, and on
to the establishment of the Union of South Africa. It will suffice,
perhaps, to observe that the key-note thereof has, all along, been to
govern these people in accordance with principles inherited from, and
followed by, their race from time immemorial. It has been a cardinal
feature of this policy "to make haste slowly," on the ground that a
change, not spontaneously desired by the majority of the people, is
detrimental to their interests. Moreover, it is productive of unrest
if forced on by a government pledged to administer the affairs of its
own race on lines radically and obviously different. Consequently,
in the endeavour to maintain what every humane man will agree is a
laudable practice, Natal, by steadily marking time in the interests of
the people, and in order to fulfil what, after all, is the greatest
function of government, viz. to endeavour to promote the happiness
and contentment of all her subjects, has laid herself open to the
charge of _doing nothing_. If what she has done for the Natives in the
way of prohibiting cherished habits and customs of untold antiquity;
abrogating laws of various kinds long familiar to the people; urging
them to hasten to educate themselves and their children in accordance
with European, that is, foreign standards; persuading them to forsake
their own creeds to adopt one or other of the numerous forms of
Christianity--if these be the only evidences of action, then it would
seem Natal has not a great deal to advance. But, if there be other
standards by which a government that presides over the destinies of a
lower race may be judged, if any merit attach to a government which,
while it does not actively repress legitimate aspirations, reasonably
assists the people, whilst penalizing practices such as witchcraft,
putting to death without trial and marrying off girls without their
consent, and ordains "that there shall not be in the eye of the law any
distinction or disqualification whatever, founded on mere distinction
of colour, origin, language, or creed, but that the protection of the
law, in letter and in substance, shall be extended impartially to all
alike," also "that slavery in any shape or under any modification is
absolutely unlawful"; if, we say, there be any merit in these things,
then the policy of Natal in the past, if it appears to have been
somewhat wanting in energy, has at least been friendly; if it has
not caused the people to 'progress' with leaps and bounds, it has at
least recognized that _natura non facit saltum_ is as true to-day as
it was in the time of Aristotle, and as it will be ten thousand years
hence; if it has not sought to impress the European character in all
its complexity on a race fashioned in moulds vastly different to those
of Europeans, it has preferred to rely on nature to produce such a
character as she will produce, regardless of any well-intentioned
efforts of impassioned promoters of a civilization which, to say the
least, would appear to be not altogether without spot or blemish.

The government of the lower races is a problem of stupendous
difficulty, not because of any fear lest, being badly ruled, they will
combine _à la militaire_ to wreak vengeance on those they consider
their oppressors, but chiefly because of the ever-changing legal,
political and social position that has to be accorded them within the
limits of the British system, framed, as that was, for people whose
members are admittedly on a footing of equality with one another.

But, although government of the Natives mainly in accordance with
their own laws and customs has been the outstanding feature of Natal's
policy, changes being introduced with care and deliberation as they
appeared to be necessary, there have not been wanting occasions
on which, instead of being sympathetic, her administration has
been cold and artificial; instead of being content with advance in
harmony with nature's slow processes, she has imposed laws involving
sudden and widespread change; instead of being occasional and simple
to understand, the laws have been frequent and to some extent
unintelligible, having in view rather the benefit of the higher than of
the lower race. Instances of such inconsistency will be given later;
for these, indeed, are the stuff out of which the bonfire of the
Rebellion was built up. Had Natal been true to herself, had she but
steadily adhered to the general principles above outlined, it is not
too much to say, there would have been no Rebellion.

On the initiation of Native "own-laws" policy in Natal, the Imperial
Government took steps to see that it was followed in the letter as
well as in the spirit. The officer selected as the principal exponent
thereof was Theophilus Shepstone, a young man of but twenty-eight years
of age, who, having arrived in the Cape Colony with his father in 1820,
with the Albany Settlers, had lived nearly the whole of his life in
Native areas north-east of Grahamstown. The proficiency attained by him
in the Native dialects was remarkable, so much so, that he was able, on
the one hand, materially to assist the Rev. W.B. Boyce in discovering
the underlying philological principle of the Bantu languages known
as the _euphonic concord_, and, on the other, to be employed by the
Imperial Government in the Cape Colony at the age of eighteen as
interpreter and negotiator of treaties with important Native Chiefs,
during a critical period. No more competent officer could have been
found for the post of Diplomatic Agent, as it was at first called,
especially as he had recently and for seven years been in personal
charge at Peddie of various Zulu tribes--locally known as amaMfengu or
Fingos--who had, since 1820, been driven out of Natal and Zululand by
Tshaka and Dingana's inhuman tactics.

The story of Shepstone's early connection with the tribes on the then
eastern frontiers of the Cape Colony is itself matter of history, and
we cannot stay to consider it, it being enough to note the experience
brought by this brilliant young officer to the discharge of the
peculiarly difficult duties of his new post.[26]

Shortly after his arrival, he, along with Dr. William Stanger,
Lieutenant Charles J. Gibb, R.E., and Messrs. N. Adams and D. Lindley
(American Missionaries), were commissioned to lay off tracts of country
known as "locations," suitable for Native occupation, and conveniently
situated in respect of areas inhabited, or in the near future to be
inhabited, by Europeans.[27]

At first, six or seven locations of about 50,000 acres each, were laid
off, followed later on by others, until, in 1906, the aggregate area so
set apart amounted to 2,262,066 acres. Arrangements were made for the
whole of these lands to be vested in trustees appointed under Letters
Patent.[28] A singularly wise provision by the Imperial Government was
that such trustees should be the officer-administering-the-government
for the time being, together with the members of the executive council.
By this means, Native interests were effectually protected against
any pressure that might be brought on the Government in the future by
would-be European or Asiatic purchasers.

Another early work of importance which Shepstone performed with tact,
and credit to himself, was the levying of a tax of 7s. on every Native
hut. By 1845, the coloured population had risen to nearly 100,000. As
control of so great a number, scattered over many parts of the Colony,
involved considerable expense, it was only fair that the people should
contribute to the revenue, seeing they were securing the very real
benefit--of which the younger generations are too often oblivious--of
being completely protected against the tyranny of their quondam rulers.
The odd amount of 7s. was made up thus: 5s. "in respect of each hut;
it being understood that every kraal, having the usual establishment
of a Native kraal, that is, cattle and cultivated ground, whether in a
location or on private farms, should be subject to this property and
protection tax";[29] and 2s. "as a quit rent for land on all kraals
or villages residing either in the locations or on government land
without any location."[30] Some twenty years later, the tax, which in
reality was in respect of wives--Zulus, like all Bantu races, being
polygamists--was doubled. By that time, however, the people were
earning far higher wages, whilst labour was readily procurable among
the steadily increasing European immigrants.

Shepstone, in 1856, when, under "Royal Charter," a representative
legislature was first established in Natal, ceased to be styled
Diplomatic Agent. He then became Secretary for Native Affairs. This
office he only relinquished some twenty years later, on proceeding
to the Transvaal in connection with a mission too well known to
need explaining here. Throughout this long period (1845-1876), he
had controlled the Natives with consummate tact and ability and, on
several occasions, undertaken missions of much delicacy and importance
to Zululand and elsewhere, invariably with success and credit to
the Government. Although his policy, so well known as to be usually
referred to as the "Shepstonian policy," has been charged with being
one of _laissez faire_, the mere absence of war between 1845 and 1906
is eloquent and abundant testimony of its worth. To this day, thousands
of Natives deplore the setting aside of such natural and well-tried
methods for those more in accordance with European civilization.

One of the consequences of upholding Native law was the introduction
of a system of labour known as the _isibalo_ or modified corvée. This
system originated about the year 1848, on the occasion of the road
between Durban and Pietermaritzburg being in a bad and impassable
state. The Lieutenant Governor, in his capacity as Supreme Chief,
thereupon called out a party of Natives, who were paid fair wages, to
effect the necessary repairs. Owing to certain political excitement,
the system was discontinued shortly after 1854, but, on its resumption
in 1858, it remained continuously in vogue until 1911, when the
Union Government, instead of introducing regulations to correct
the prevailing abuses, merely refrained from using the power of
requisitioning labourers, which still, however--the people being as
uncivilized as they are--rightly exists in the law.

During the Zulu regime, it was customary for the king to call at any
time on young men to serve on public works, such as building royal
apartments, erecting cattle enclosures, hoeing and weeding crops. Under
the new order of things, the necessary authority being vested in the
Supreme Chief, steps were taken, from time to time, to call youths out
for service on public works, notably those connected with roads, the
difference between the old system and the new being that, whereas in
former days Natives received no remuneration whatever for their labour,
they were, under European government, paid a fair wage, even though
somewhat less, as sometimes happened, than what was obtainable in the
open market.

Notwithstanding that excellent and plentiful rations were supplied,
and the hours and conditions of labour all that could be desired, the
_isibalo_ became unpopular, owing largely to the favouritism shown,
in later years, by Chiefs,[31] and to the ease with which some of
these officers were induced to accept bribes from those anxious to be
exempted. Abuses of this kind could, of course, have been effectually
put a stop to by modifying the system and controlling it with
better-framed regulations.

Special mention of the _isibalo_ has been made here because, being
unpopular, its systematic enforcement, especially in later days, when
many Natives had become educated and capable of earning higher wages
than those allowed, may be said to have contributed in some degree to
the dissatisfaction with European administration that prevailed prior
to the Rebellion. However, it is but fair to remark that, in practice,
only one in thirty of those liable and able to work was ever called on
in any year, and then for never more than six months at a time. The
duty of seeing that individuals were not too frequently enrolled, that
they were not physically unfit, and that each of the 238 tribes in
Natal proper furnished its right proportion of labourers, devolved on
the Native Affairs Department and the Magistrates. These duties were
generally discharged in a careful manner, irregularities being checked
as soon as they were brought to notice. Owing, however, to changes in
conditions of living, the system, originally adapted to a state of pure
tribalism, could not be carried out in all respects with the desired
fairness. It called not so much for abolition or discontinuance as for
modification, at any rate at that particular time (1910). The practice
of exacting labour, within the restricted limits referred to, proved
to be a valuable stimulus, especially in earlier days, when the people
knew practically nothing about manual work. Boys living in far-off,
secluded locations, who would otherwise have devoted their lives to
courting girls, drinking beer, and faction fighting, were compelled
to go out and work--not on the public roads unless specially ordered
to do so, but wherever they chose--and, in so doing, were soon in the
position of being able to benefit themselves as well as their parents
and relations in ways they had not dreamt of.

After Magistrates had been appointed in different parts, varying
considerably _inter se_ in their knowledge of Zulu habits, customs and
language, it was not long before the desirability of preparing for
their use a Code of Native law (_i.e._ an attempt to codify Native
tribal law) made itself felt. As matters stood, uniformity in judicial
pronouncements was practically impossible. Such uniformity, essential
in every community, is especially so among savages, who should at
once be impressed with the idea of justice under British rule. The
periodical meetings of Magistrates that were convened, were of much
assistance in attaining consistency before promulgation of the Code in
1877. On being brought into practice, it was soon found that this Code,
though ably drawn, was not sufficiently comprehensive (as a matter of
fact, it was never intended to be comprehensive), but it was not until
1893 that a more elaborate instrument was enacted by Parliament. The
Code, as then expanded, with sundry later amendments, is still the law
by which the great majority of Native conditions of life are regulated.
On the whole, the Code and the manner in which it has been administered
have given considerable satisfaction to the Natives. At time of
writing, it has not been extended to Zululand; to do so may facilitate
administration, but it would probably result in disappointment and
discontent among people happy enough under the proclamations issued
from time to time whilst the territory was under immediate control of
the Imperial Government.[32]

In addition to the Magistrates, over forty of whom had, by 1906, been
appointed in Natal and Zululand, civil and criminal business of a more
important character was dealt with by a Native High Court. This court,
now consisting of four Judges, but originally of only one, was first
created in 1875, to relieve the Supreme Court of a class of work it was
incompetent, and had insufficient time, to deal with.

From what has been said, it is seen that, in 1906, and since 1893, when
responsible government was granted, Native affairs were presided over
by a Supreme Chief, appointed by the Imperial Government, though bound
to conform to the advice of his ministers, except on certain important,
rarely-occurring occasions. The portfolio of Native Affairs was held by
one of the cabinet ministers, assisted by a permanent Under-Secretary
and staff.

The Under-Secretary selected for the post was Mr. S.O. Samuelson.
This painstaking officer, with an unsurpassed knowledge of the Zulu
language and customs, did a vast amount of useful and varied work under
difficult conditions. During his long tenure of office, which extended
from 1893 to 1909, there were several changes of ministry and, with
each, came a new Minister of Native Affairs, holding views sometimes,
as it happened, widely differing from those of his predecessor. It
seemed so strange to the Natives to have movable ministers in charge
of their affairs, that they tended to focus their attention rather on
Mr. Samuelson than on the minister, with the result that the former
stood constantly in a false light, as unfair to himself as to the
people. This mutation of ministers and frequent introduction of new
policies, were radical defects in the Constitution Act of 1893. They
opened the door, not only to modifications arising out of the personal
predilections of the minister, but, what is far more important, to
those dictated by the party in power for the time being in Parliament.
As this party depended on the support of their constituents, needless
to say, the latter, with brains ever active in devising solutions
of the Native problem, and not unnaturally anxious to promote their
own interests, brought pressure, through their members, to bear on
highly-placed officials, and, through these, on Magistrates and
other established officers, not excluding Native Chiefs--all with
the cumulative effect of unsteadying the entire fabric of Native
administration and imperilling the general welfare of the people.

After Zululand was annexed to Natal (December, 1897), the office of
Resident Commissioner and Chief Magistrate of that territory was
converted into one of Commissioner for Native Affairs. Under the
Under-Secretary and Commissioner came the Magistrates, the thirty[33]
of Natal proper, as _ex-officio_ Administrators of Native law, coming
under the former, and the eleven of Zululand under the latter,
officer. After the Magistrates came the Chiefs of tribes, 238 in
Natal proper,[34] and 83 in Zululand. Salaries and allowances were
paid to 227 of the Natal Chiefs,[35] and stipends to seven of those
in Zululand.[36] All Chiefs were required to control their tribes in
accordance with the tribal system and keep in close touch with the
Magistrates of their respective wards.

Some attempt must now be made to describe the tribal or patriarchal
system (analogous in many respects to that of the ancient Jews), the
very backbone of Native administration and still the most prominent and
radical feature of the South African Native population.[37]

Confining attention to the Zulus, we shall begin by observing that
they are polygamists and occupy circular huts of beehive formation,
invariably constructed of wattles, thatched with grass, and supported
inside by poles. Each wife has a hut of her own. There are, especially
in larger homesteads or kraals,[38] additional huts for the occupation
of young men, storing grain, etc. If, then, a man has four wives, we
shall expect to find him in possession of five or six huts. Now, it
is universal custom to arrange these huts in circular formation, from
which method, indeed, the word "kraal" has evidently been derived. For
sanitary reasons, the rule is to select for the kraal-site slightly
sloping ground, though, when this is done, the floor of each hut is
carefully levelled. At the highest point of the site is built the
hut of the head or principal wife, not necessarily the one first
married, whilst subsequent wives' huts are placed in a sequence
determined by the kraal-owner, who, however, is compelled to act in
terms of rigid tribal practice. The intervals between the huts are
so regulated as to preserve the symmetry of the kraal as a whole.
But, in connection with the circular arrangement referred to, must be
considered the indispensable cattle-pen or enclosure, locally known as
a cattle-kraal. This, too, is invariably round or oval, the gate being
at the lowest, with one or two wickets in the topmost, portion. When
it is realized that cattle are given for every woman taken to wife,
the close association of cattle and their milk with the huts becomes
more intelligible, though the fact of the pen being inside rather than
outside the huts as arranged, is possibly also accounted for by the
numerous lions, leopards and other beasts of prey that existed before
the introduction of firearms, not to refer to human foes.

The cattle handed over by the bridegroom to his bride's father are
known as _lobolo_. For two or more generations it was customary for
five, six or seven cattle to be so delivered (afterwards restricted by
the Natal Government to a number not exceeding ten). This passing of
cattle was not, as is commonly supposed, by way of purchase, but as
compensation for loss of the girl's services, and, further, as a living
and visible guarantee that she would receive proper treatment at the
hands of her husband.

The next essential to consider is this. When a young man marries, he
either continues for a time in his father's kraal (his wife, of course,
having a hut of her own), or moves, along with his mother (if she can
be spared), to some site at a distance, approved by the Chief or his
representative, and there proceeds to act on the same principles that
governed his father's domestic affairs. In time, other sons leave to
establish themselves on similar lines. And so, like the pumpkin plant
(a favourite simile among the people), the family expands, throwing out
fruitful off-shoots here and there, only, in their turn, to do the same.

In the case of Chiefs, the number of wives is frequently beyond a dozen
in number, and, in respect of Kings, without limit. Owing to this and
other reasons, such as jealousy among the women and rivalry among the
male children, it was and is still found convenient to erect different
kraals, though on the same general lines as those already outlined.

So much for the domestic side. Let us now glance at the administrative.

The King was assisted by a privy council of some five or six members
and a general assembly of non-elected and more or less elderly men.
The latter deliberated in public, anyone being permitted to listen to,
and even take part in, the proceedings. In view of the fact that the
assembly included men of high rank, those of inferior status usually
remained silent. But as, when the Rebellion broke out, there was
no Native King, it is necessary to confine attention to the actual
machinery in vogue at that time.

The King's place had been taken by the Supreme Chief (Governor), whilst
the functions of the privy council were discharged by the executive
council, and those of the assembly by the Legislative Assembly and
Council. It is needless to remark that Native opinion, under such
arrangement, where not only the Supreme Chief, but the councils
consisted entirely of Europeans, and where no Native council existed
at all, except occasional and partially representative gatherings
called together by the Magistrates--more to assist the Government
in communicating its laws or regulations than to discussing their
necessity or suitability--did not find more than apologetic, and the
feeblest, expression.

In regard to the various tracts of land specially set apart for
Natives, the same tenure was in vogue as had existed under tribal
rule from time immemorial. The land was held in common. And this rule
applied as much to the Chief as to his humblest followers. There was no
such thing as alienation of land; no freehold, no leasehold, no rents.
Occupancy depended on good behaviour, together with ready and loyal
discharge of all civic and military duties. Considerable care was taken
by the Chief, in allotting building and garden sites, not to interfere
with the commonage or existing rights. If these arrangements, in the
face of an increasing population, were not always judicious, pressure
of circumstances had begun to teach lessons, as it does all other

Anything required by the Government to be done was communicated by
Magistrates to the Chiefs, whose tribes varied greatly in size. These
then passed the order on to responsible headmen--generally conveniently
situated in different parts of the ward or wards[39]--who, in their
turn, transmitted it to the various individual kraal-owners in their
areas. When, on the other hand, anything of importance occurred in a
Chief's ward, such as commission of crime or outbreak of disease, it
was, under Native law, the duty of the one nearest whose kraal such
incident had happened, to report to the headman, who, after taking
such immediate action as appeared necessary and within his power, sent
the intelligence on to the Chief, and so on to the local Magistrate.
And it is wonderful with what rapidity these reports were transmitted,
notwithstanding that Natives, as a rule, are unable to read or write,
and are not possessors of horses or any other means of locomotion. The
obligation resting on all, on pain of heavy penalty, to report crime,
transformed members of every tribe into an organized and efficient
police force. It is owing to this fact that the expenditure of the
Colony on account of police was, in earlier years, as surprisingly
small as it was.

Among the most important crimes was cattle-stealing. Every kraal-owner
in regard to cattle--the greatest of all forms of Native property--was
exceedingly vigilant, never allowing a beast to be driven past his
kraal unless he knew where it had come from, where it was going to,
etc. This principle of "collective responsibility," as it is called,
had the effect of preserving order in the tribe and even guaranteeing
to every member and the Chief that order would be maintained.

Enough has, perhaps, been said to enable the reader to infer that the
position of women was a low one. They could not, except in rare cases,
inherit or hold property. Generally speaking, they fell much into the
background, and it devolved on them, not only to perform all domestic
duties, draw water at the spring or stream and collect firewood, but to
cultivate and keep clean the crops as well.

It can also be readily understood that the tribes of Natal and Zululand
(whatever may have been their interrelation when Tshaka began his iron
rule and the process of welding the nation together), had, in the
main--albeit within a couple of centuries--sprung from but three or
four parent stocks. It is this universal intermingling of types which,
as in England, has gradually evolved a people well-nigh homogeneous
and possessing a remarkable degree of solidarity. Although, in 1906,
many feuds and differences--some of these dating back two or more
generations--existed among many of the tribes, when anything powerful
enough to inflame particular sections occurred, it required but little
effort and time to bring on a conflagration of the whole. There is
nothing puny or dilatory about a Zulu when he begins to sharpen his
assegais and cut shields for war. It will be seen in a later chapter
how strained the relations between Natives and Europeans became, and
how the black race came to feel that the white man's civilization
was oppressing it. With such resentment latent in a million warlike
savages, living under such system as has been outlined above, the
danger of the tribal system, as well as its meaning, become, perhaps,
sufficiently clear; at any rate, for the understanding of the story
narrated in these pages. And yet, of all people on this earth, the
Zulus are the most respectful, the most amenable to discipline, and the
most easily managed--chiefly because of the many excellences inherent
in the tribal system.

Having regard to the profound differences in social organization
between the Zulus and the British people, differences which, chiefly
because of their immense scope and variety, have been but briefly
indicated herein, it has, ever since Natal became a British Colony,
been a problem of extreme difficulty to devise a method whereby, whilst
safeguarding Native interests, their affairs could be managed in a
completely satisfactory manner. The elimination of the higher machinery
of Native government, _e.g._ the King and his councils, has imposed
on an alien people, animated by vastly different ideals, the duty
of controlling present Native progress, if such, in fact, it be. If
evidences of imperfect grafting of the Native system of administration
into our own have often been conspicuous during the last seventy years,
it will surprise no one; nor will anyone be astonished to hear that
strong Commissions have been appointed at different times specially to
investigate the condition of the Natives. One of these bodies was at
work in 1852-3, another in 1882-3, and yet another, in the interest of
South African Natives as a whole, in 1902-4. What _is_ remarkable is
the apparent apathy displayed by the public, its representatives and
the Government, whenever the result of such investigations and reports
thereon are in their hands. Not that the various recommendations should
all be adopted, but one would think a little time could be spared to
examine the development of a problem, probably greater than all other
problems put together, that South Africa will ever be called on to
deal with, and to consider seriously if such development is or is not
proceeding on sound lines. A further Commission was appointed in 1906,
on the conclusion of the Rebellion; it, indeed, fared better, but into
the sincere and liberal administrative reconstruction brought about by
the Government, it is unnecessary to go at this stage.

In the Constitution Act of 1893, provision was made whereby a sum of
£10,000 a year was set apart "for the promotion of the welfare and
education of the Natives." More than half this sum was, latterly,
placed annually at the disposal of the Education Department for
furthering Native education, whilst the balance was applied to other
Native purposes, such as industrial training, cottage hospitals,
irrigation, dipping tanks (East Coast Fever), and barrack or shelter
accommodation. With the increase of Native population from 500,000
in 1893 to 945,000 in 1906,[40] this sum soon became inadequate,
particularly when regard is had to the fact that the beneficiaries
have contributed, on the average, about £250,000 per annum in direct
taxation since the annexation of Zululand to Natal.

In addition to this contribution, however, the Government, as long ago
as 1862, began making extensive grants of land upon trust to missionary
societies, "that the same might be used for missionary work amongst the
Natives by the ecclesiastical or missionary bodies named in the several
deeds of grant."[41] By 1887 (the date of the last), seventeen of these
reserves, aggregating 144,192 acres of the best agricultural land, had
been so set apart. Numerous other, for the most part, smaller blocks
have since been granted in Zululand. By way of still further assisting
these societies, Parliament, in 1903, passed an Act transferring
the administration of the trusts to the Natal Native Trust[42] and
authorizing this body to charge rent from Natives living on the
reserves.[43] One half of these monies was to be handed over to the
missionaries for purposes of Native education and industrial training.
It was not feasible to adopt such course in respect of the Zululand
lots. Thus the education and general welfare of the people was promoted
directly as well as indirectly.

Difficulty has always been experienced by the Government in inducing
the people to take up industrial pursuits. On more than one occasion,
large sums of money were voted and spent in erecting suitable buildings
and providing instructors, but all to no purpose. Lack of enterprise
on the part of the Natives was also exhibited in the matter of
tree-planting, even when necessary for fuel, and this as to areas in
regard to which they had every reason for thinking their occupancy
would continue undisturbed for many years.

There are other directions in which difficulty has been met with
when striving to promote material development. In some instances,
disinclination to adopt European ideas is due to almost ineradicable
superstitious notions.

Although Native law is in force in Natal, the Government, many years
ago, foresaw the necessity of enabling individuals who had shown a
disposition to adopt civilized habits, to obtain exemption therefrom. A
law affording facilities, but, in practice, not free from difficulty,
was accordingly passed in 1865.[44] Many men, women and children have
availed themselves of its provisions.[45] It was also foreseen that
these people, according as they conformed to civilized conditions of
life, would stand in need of means whereby their voice could be given
expression to. Hence, the passing of the law[46] under which a male
Native, who has been resident in the Colony for a period of twelve
years, who has the necessary property qualification, and has been
exempted from the operation of Native law for a period of seven years,
is entitled to be registered as a qualified elector in the district
in which he possesses property qualification. In practice, but little
advantage had been taken of this law. This tends to show that the
Native _per se_ has no special desire to obtain European franchise.

There are two disabilities all classes of Natives suffer from, viz.
the impossibility of possessing firearms, except with the special
consent of Government, and of obtaining European liquor, except on the
production of a medical certificate.


[Footnote 20: Bird, _Annals of Natal_, i. 307.]

[Footnote 21: Among the reasons of the protest drawn up about May,
1837, were: That Natal was not part of the British dominions, but
belonged to the resident European inhabitants; that the power given to
Gardiner extended only to British subjects, and did not empower him to
punish acts of aggression committed by Natives upon British residents;
that Gardiner had been given no civil jurisdiction. The colonists,
moreover, expressed the hope that the Imperial Government would take
over the country and appoint Magistrates.--Bird, _Ibid._ i. 320.]

[Footnote 22: The military system, however, was not permitted to
operate universally as in Zululand, though there was no objection to
Chiefs maintaining a certain amount of military organization within
their respective tribes.]

[Footnote 23: The policy was to distribute the refugees over the
European farms. "Each farmer was allowed 5 families on his farm, but
not any more without consent of the authorities."--_Proceedings_,
Native Affairs Commission, 1852-3, i. 20, 25.]

[Footnote 24: Henry Cloete, _Evidence_, Native Affairs Commission,
1852-3, i. 18. 25.]

[Footnote 25: _Ibid._ i. 25. 27.]

[Footnote 26: Shepstone arrived in 1845, but did not begin to hold
office till January, 1846.--_Proceedings_, Native Affairs Commission,
1852-3, i. 58.]

[Footnote 27: The very able report of this Commission was dated 30th
March, 1847, and will be found _in extenso_ in i. pp. 62-67 of the
publication referred to in the preceding note.]

[Footnote 28: Dated 27th April, 1864.]

[Footnote 29: _Memorandum_, T. Shepstone to Legislative Council, 18th
June, 1849.]

[Footnote 30: _Ibid._]

[Footnote 31: Chiefs were called on by Magistrates to supply labourers
according to the size of their tribes.]

[Footnote 32: Zululand was annexed to Natal in December, 1897, when
practically the same system of Native administration in vogue at that
time was permitted to continue.]

[Footnote 33: The statistics here given are for the year 1906.]

[Footnote 34: These include those (23) of the so-called Northern
Districts--a tract of country annexed to Natal on the conclusion of the
last Boer War.]

[Footnote 35: Total, £2,618 for the year.]

[Footnote 36: Total, £1,200, of which £500 was paid to Dinuzulu, £60 to
each of three of his uncles, and £300 to Mciteki (formerly Zibebu).]

[Footnote 37: At the last Census (May, 1911), the total number of
Natives in South Africa was 4,019,006 (males, 2,012,949; females,

[Footnote 38: The word "kraal" which will henceforth be used, is
derived from the Dutch "coraal."]

[Footnote 39: For many years past, many Chiefs had portions of their
tribes living in two, three or more Magisterial divisions. In such
cases, a Chief was called on to nominate a headman, with powers almost
equal to his own, to control each section. It was, moreover, the
Government's policy, on the death of such Chief, to make an arrangement
whereby the outlying sections would be absorbed by Chiefs actually
resident in the Magisterial districts in which such sections happened
to be.]

[Footnote 40: Zululand, with a Native population of about 170,000,
became, as has been seen, a province of Natal in 1897.]

[Footnote 41: Preamble, Act No. 49, 1903.]

[Footnote 42: See p. 24. A separate Trust, though consisting of the
same personnel, was created in 1909 for Zululand. In this territory
alone, the area reserved for Native occupation amounts to nearly
4,000,000 acres.]

[Footnote 43: £3 a hut was at first levied, subsequently reduced to

[Footnote 44: Law No. 28, 1865.]

[Footnote 45: Some 1,800 men, women and children had been exempted by
31st December, 1908.]

[Footnote 46: Law No. 11, 1865.]



When it is borne in mind that the campaign which forms the subject
of this history is probably the first to be conducted from start to
finish by a British Colony, independently of other than merely moral
assistance of Imperial troops, the contents of this chapter will
probably prove of greater interest to the reader than would otherwise
have been the case. No apology is, therefore, needed for attempting to
describe the beginnings and development of military organization in
Natal, and to show how it became possible for the Colony, aided to some
extent by her sister Colonies, to deal as successfully as she did with
the Rebellion.[47]

In 1893, when the Imperial Government granted responsible government to
Natal, it was arranged that the Colony should assume direct control of
her large Native population. It was, at the same time, decided that the
garrison of Imperial troops should remain for a period of five years,
so as to afford the colonists time within which to organize a defence

After the expiry of the five years, the Imperial Government began
gradually to withdraw the troops.

A Volunteer Act was passed by Natal in 1895. The post of Commandant
of Volunteers was conferred on Colonel (now Major-General Sir John)
Dartnell, K.C.B., C.M.G., who, in addition to having for years
controlled the various, though small, volunteer corps, had, for
twenty-two years, been in command of the Natal Mounted Police. On his
resignation from the former office in 1898, he was succeeded by his
staff officer, Major W. Royston, who, promoted to the rank of Colonel,
continued in command until his untimely death in 1902. Colonel H.P.
Leader, of the Imperial Army, succeeded. He was assisted by the four
District Adjutants who were in charge of a like number of military
districts into which the Colony was divided.

Much useful work was accomplished between 1893 and 1902 towards
increasing the strength and efficiency of the force, as well as placing
it on a sound war footing. To Colonel Royston belongs a large measure
of credit for the high degree of organization achieved, notably in
connection with the Boer War. During this war, of course, all Natal
troops took the field to assist in repelling invasion. The alacrity
with which they responded to the calls, and the smartness with which
the duties assigned them were carried out, were commented on in the
most favourable terms by the distinguished general officers in charge
of the operations. But, notwithstanding the promptness displayed, it
was impossible to disguise the fact that, out of an available manhood
of 12,000, only 2,000 were actually _liable_ for service.[48] It is,
therefore, not surprising that Parliament should have been ready to
provide for a better and more comprehensive system of defence than was
possible under the Volunteer Act.

Organization proper, in the sense of exclusively local adjustment and
systematization of local forces and _matériel_, could not and did not
begin until some years after the bestowal of autonomy on Natal, and the
first step in the process was the passing by the legislature of the
Militia Act (1903) imposing on every class of the European inhabitants,
between certain ages, the liability to undergo military training and
service. By exacting compulsory service universally, with, of course,
certain exceptions, a powerful instrument was placed in the hands of
the Commandant of Militia, and one which enabled the Colony to be put
in a more thorough-going state of defence than had ever before been

The word "organization" is used here in a precise and definite sense,
and is taken to mean establishment of the requisite regiments or
corps, personnel, horses, arms, transport, etc., and a placing of the
same by constant training, inspection or otherwise, in a condition
of readiness, with the object, on the outbreak of hostilities, of
realizing, in the shortest possible time, the general purpose in
the minds of those in authority. Connected with such organization
is the ascertainment by the responsible officer of the resources of
his command in regard to provisions, labourers, horses, the means of
transporting troops and stores, and the obtaining of accurate knowledge
of all the strategic features of the country, of fortified places, and
the means of defence, the erection of lagers, making of roads and means
of communication, and of every particular which may increase his power
of acting with advantage against an enemy.[49] But it is one thing to
enact a law and frame accompanying regulations, quite another to see
that the various provisions are complied with by the three arms and
administrative services in such way as will conduce to efficiency and
the smooth working of every part when the force is called upon to take
the field.

General peace organization, of course, in the way of holding annual
camps of exercise, rifle meetings, sending of patrols from time to
time through Native locations, arranging for the conveyance of camp
equipment, saddlery, etc., by railway or by ox and mule waggon,
purchase and hire of remounts, registration and insurance of horses,
etc., continued just as they had done for years prior to the passing of
the Militia Act, except that improvements on the efforts of preceding
years were continually being introduced.

Having regard to the great importance of the new Act, it is proposed
to allude briefly to the genesis thereof, to some of its principal
features, and to the way in which it was administered. Unless the
fundamental provisions are grasped at the outset, it is not unlikely
that indistinct impressions will arise in the mind of the reader, with
the result that the achievements of the Colony during an important
crisis, full of meaning as they are and of lessons for the future, will
be insufficiently appreciated.

In 1902, a motion, introduced into Parliament by Mr. (now Sir) Thomas
Watt, K.C.M.G., member for Newcastle, in favour of universal compulsory
service, was carried unanimously. A bill was next drafted and formally
introduced by the Prime Minister, Sir Albert Hime, K.C.M.G., but was
withdrawn. This was followed by the appointment of a Commission in
November, 1902, under the chairmanship of Mr. Ernest L. Acutt, C.M.G.,
"to consider and report upon the general measures proper to be taken
for the defence of the Colony and to advise as to the most suitable
mode of constituting a defence force according to the general object
of the bill (No. 36), which was introduced into Parliament at its last
ordinary session."

This Commission reported in favour of compulsory military service,
drafted another bill and recommended the enactment thereof. The
recommendations were supported by the then Commandant of Volunteers
(Colonel Leader, whose services had been specially lent to Natal by the
Imperial Government). This officer was appointed to take command of
the troops during the period of their transition from a volunteer to a
militia force, or otherwise to institute such other radical changes as
might appear imperative.

The bill was passed into law with but little opposition towards the
end of 1903.[50] The labour of initiating, drafting and supporting in
Parliament this statesmanlike measure was undertaken chiefly by Sir
Thomas Watt.

Among its principal features were the following:

"That the Militia, with the Governor as Commander-in-Chief, and a
Commandant of Militia, with the rank of Colonel, as responsible for the
administration of all Militia and Defence matters, should consist of
all the male inhabitants of European descent in the Colony, from the
age of 18 to the age of 50 years inclusively ... not being aliens."
Certain exemptions were allowed.

The Force was divided into four classes:

"(_a_) Active Militia, consisting of all men who may volunteer and who
may be accepted for service in this class, and all other men who may be
balloted for service.

"(_b_) Militia First Reserve, consisting of all unmarried men from 18
to 30 years of age inclusive, who are not in the Active Militia.

"(_c_) Militia Second Reserve, consisting of all married men between 18
and 30 years of age inclusive, and all men from 31 to 40 years of age
inclusive, who are not in the Active Militia.

"(_d_) Militia Third Reserve, consisting of all men from 41 to 50 years
of age inclusive, who are not in the Active Militia...."

The strength of the Active Militia was to be determined from time to
time, by the Governor-in-Council, but, in time of peace, might not
exceed 4,000 men.

Whenever called out for active service, it became competent for the
Governor-in-Council to place the Militia "under the orders of the
Commander of His Majesty's Regular Forces in the Colony, provided such
officer shall not be below the substantive rank of Major-General in the

In the event of the Active Militia being mobilized for military
service, the Commandant was required to advertise in the Government
Gazette and the press for volunteers, and "should enough men have not
volunteered and been accepted in any district to complete the quota
required for that district," within the time specified, "the men
enrolled in the Militia First Reserve shall be balloted for" and "any
man balloted for ... shall be attached to such corps in his military
district as the District Commandant may notify."

The period of service in time of peace was not less than three years,
irrespective of age at time of enrolment.

The Militia Reserves were liable to be called out by the
Governor-in-Council for active service in time of "war, invasion or
insurrection, or danger of any of them." Their officers (designated
Chief Leaders and Sub-Leaders) were appointed "at the instance of the
Commandant of Militia in pursuance of a vote passed by a majority
of the members of such Militia Reserves," in accordance with the

In so far as the Native, Indian or coloured male population
(outnumbering the European by about 10 to 1) was concerned, the Act
empowered the Governor to call out any portion thereof, being British
subjects, for military training or service in time of peace, or for
active service in time of war, and to form the same into contingents
for employment as scouts, drivers, labourers, stretcher-bearers, etc.,
under officers subject to the Commandant of Militia.

An amending Act, passed in 1906, enabled the Commandant to call out the
Reserves for training, and so introduce some degree of organization
among them, impossible under the main Act.

Although, during 1906, the entire European population was under
100,000, it was found that 5,000 men (all volunteers) were at the
disposal of the State as Active Militia, with about 15,000 Reserves,
divided into the three classes referred to.

A defect in the principal Act was the concession to Reserves of
the privilege of electing their own officers (Chief Leaders and
Sub-Leaders), as the selections, in many cases, were not determined by
the military knowledge, military service, firmness of character and so
forth of the candidate, but simply by the degree of wealth possessed,
or popularity enjoyed, by him in the district. When the Reserves of
certain parts were called out for active service, the seriousness of
this mistake speedily manifested itself, with the result that the best
efforts of which some of the corps were capable were not put forth.
Having regard to the numerical strength of the Reserves, it was of
the greatest importance that only efficient officers should have been

But, given the power of exacting compulsory service and the
availability of _matériel_, there was wanting another and most
important factor, namely, something which could so co-ordinate and
systematize the heterogeneous elements as to weld them into that for
which they were intended, namely, an engine of war, endowed with the
power of life, movement and destruction. There was wanted, in short, an
organizer. It was one thing for the legislature to provide the law, the
money, the men, the horses, the equipment, ordnance and transport, but
he that was to transform these masses of incongruous material into the
desired entity could only be born, not made.

Without the active sympathy of a Government, an organizer can
accomplish but little. To prepare for war is a task which, in order
that it may be properly fulfilled, exacts tribute in numberless
directions. Its dimensions are of universal scope and variety, and,
unless the State is prepared to meet the reasonable demand of its
agent, his efforts are foredoomed to failure. As the goal is to
transform the material at hand into a living thing, it devolves on a
Government to see that means are forthcoming or the efforts of the
artificer become lacking both in efficiency and usefulness. This lesson
the Government of Natal had learnt far better than did Canning and his
Council at the time of the Indian Mutiny. Instead of refusing offers
of assistance from local volunteers, every expedient was adopted by
Natal to encourage volunteering; instead of an unsympathetic ruler, the
Colony found in the Governor, Sir Henry McCallum, an ideal helmsman,
who, supported by a strong and capable Ministry[52] and a far-seeing
Commandant, strained every nerve to suppress the Insurrection in a
swift and vigorous manner, well knowing that clemency and indecision
would help only to aggravate the situation and imperil the State.

On the Militia Act becoming law in 1904, the Government appointed its
Commandant of Volunteers, Col. H.P. Leader, as the first Commandant
of Militia. He, thereupon, temporarily assumed the rank of Brigadier
General. A District Commandant was also appointed to each of the three
military districts into which the Colony was then divided.

Assisted by these officers, his staff and the various commanding
officers of corps, the Commandant took early steps to establish the
system envisaged by the Act.

It will be remembered that May 31st, 1902, saw the conclusion of
hostilities between England and the South African Republics. In
that great conflict, Natal had thrown all her regular volunteer
forces, numbering only about 2000 men, into the field.[53] Such
forces, distinctly well-organized, were maintained at a high state of
efficiency as long as the war lasted.

There can be no question but that the exacting discipline undergone by
the troops during the Boer War prepared them and the rest of the Colony
for the compulsory service imposed by the 1903 Act. But for the serious
risks and trials of that war, even though commonly said to have "killed
volunteering" in Natal, it is highly probable greater objection would
have been offered than was done when the Militia bill was debated in
Parliament. The War was, indeed, a blessing in disguise for Natal. It
taught her manhood what defensive warfare was, as well as the necessity
of establishing an adequate and constantly efficient force. In these
circumstances, Leader found his task much easier than it would have
been under ordinary conditions. His commanding and other officers were
all ready and eager to co-operate. If he was crippled for the want of
funds, owing to the Colony passing through a time of severe financial
depression, an excellent spirit prevailed, men being anxious to enrol
in the various corps and help forward the realization of the general
purposes of the Act.

Among the District Commandants was Lieut.-Col. (now Colonel), H.T.
Bru-de-Wold, D.S.O., C.M.G., V.D., J.P.[54] This officer, whilst
discharging the ordinary duties of his post, observed, not long after
peace had been concluded with the Boers, what, no doubt, a number of
other colonists also did, namely, that there was a certain amount of
restlessness and disregard of authority among the younger sections of
the Natives of his district which, on its south-western side, bordered
on Pondoland. He made a point of visiting European homesteads in
various parts, where he found his observations frequently corroborated,
whilst his attention was drawn to other suspicious indications. He took
steps to gather, from all available sources, information regarding the
tribes, including those living along the border in the Cape Colony.
Their probable fighting strength was ascertained, as also tribal
differences, distinctions being drawn between hereditary blood-feuds
and those of a minor character. Those tribes that had established
intimate relations by marriage, etc., or were off-shoots of existing
older stocks, though commonly designated by different names, were also
noted. These particulars were tabulated so as to show which group was
likely to take the field against another in the event of hostilities,
and so on. By degrees, there grew up in his mind the idea that an
open rupture between the white and the black races would occur in
the near future, and on such presentiment appearing more reasonable
and palpable as time went on, he set himself to consider how far he
would be ready should any such contingency arise in his particular
district. He prepared mobilization schemes on a small scale, that is to
say, assumed a revolt had broken out at a particular point within the
Colony, and then devoted himself to utilizing all available resources
so as to grapple with the imaginary outbreak in the most effective
manner. These schemes, along with others on somewhat similar lines by
the other district officers, were submitted to headquarters. Those
by Bru-de-Wold evoked a special interest, with the result that he
was invited to prepare others. This time, he was not limited to the
resources of his own district, but was instructed to lay under tribute
those of the entire Colony. This "day-dreaming," as persons devoid of a
military sense may choose to style it, soon turned out to be, not only
an amusing and engrossing pastime, but the thing of all others that the
Colony stood most in need of at that particular juncture. That this
view is correct, will become clearer the further we proceed.

On the post of Commandant being vacated by Leader in August, 1905,
Bru-de-Wold was appointed thereto with the rank of Colonel.

But, although Col. Bru-de-Wold was so mindful of the necessity of
preparing for war, it is only fair to remember that the foundations of
Militia organization were laid whilst the first Commandant was still in
office, not to refer to the various other and important contributory
efforts in earlier days. The organization of the Volunteers during the
Boer War, for instance, was everything that could have been desired,
though, of course, it differed in character from a scheme which had in
view hostilities with savages, who might rise in a number of places
at the same moment. Royston had in view and prepared for possible
hostilities with civilized forces living _beyond the borders_ of the
Colony, a very different undertaking to operating against barbarians
residing _within_ the Colony. "For the latter, one must have each
division complete in itself, but, in organizing for a European war,
one knows perfectly well that he must collect his men together in the
bulk before there is to be any resort to arms at all. So long as one's
brigade is organized as a brigade, that is sound. In Native warfare,
however, there should be organization practically of the individuals,
for each of these might be called on to deal with a Native enemy in his
immediate vicinity. Just before the Rebellion, each little unit was
absolutely complete and prepared to take the field as it stood."[55]

Manuals of instruction based on those of the Imperial army, but adapted
to local requirements, were prepared and issued. In these, the various
duties of each arm, on receipt of an order to mobilize, were fully and
clearly set forth.

Had Leader not felt obliged to resign, it is more than probable that
with, for instance, so enthusiastic a lieutenant as Bru-de-Wold, the
highly creditable system subsequently developed by the latter would
have fully matured. But, whatever _may_ have happened in his time,
cannot be allowed to obscure well-deserved distinction and prevent
the bestowal of that meed of praise the Colony owes to the man who,
if he did not actually initiate, took infinite pains, in season
and out of season, assisted by an efficient and willing staff, to
further the scheme, until it actually assumed the solidarity it did
and that capacity for simultaneous and harmonious movement which are
the leading characteristics of every sound system of defence. Natal,
therefore, owes her gratitude to Col. Bru-de-Wold as to one who, keenly
alive to her best interests, in the face of much political and other
discouragement, resolutely held to the course he had embarked on,
until the long-entertained idea had been fairly realized. Without him,
it is conceivable, the Colony might have become so involved during
the Rebellion as to have been unable to suppress it without appealing
for help to the Mother Country, when the command of the whole of the
operations would have passed automatically from her own hands to those
of the Imperial Government. That is to say, a Colony which, but a
dozen or so years previously, had deliberately resolved to take on
the burden of responsible government and all attendant risks, would
have been so far incapable of exercising control and utilizing her own
resources as, at the first sign of trouble in connection with purely
internal affairs, to seek the aid of external authority to set them in
order. Had any such assistance been invoked and rendered, Natal must
inevitably have forfeited, especially in the eyes of the Natives, much
of the prestige she had so long enjoyed and which she was determined,
if possible, to maintain. But let no one suppose these remarks to be
made in any ungenerous spirit or unmindfully of that bond of sympathy
and warm attachment that will for ever endure between the Motherland
and her sons in Natal. It is impossible to gauge the degree to which
Natal is indebted to the "old block" of which she is but a chip; her
social system, laws, education, and institutions were, for the most
part, "made in England," so, too, were many of the better features
of the military system of which she is so justly proud. She is not
oblivious of the instruction and encouragement her officers have
received from innumerable representatives of His Majesty's army, in
South Africa and at home, or of the keen interest that has constantly
been shown in the general development of her forces.


 C.M.G., D.S.O.,
 Commandant of Militia.

 K.C.B., C.M.G.




_Active Militia._--The strength of the Active Militia was limited to
4,000 in time of peace. This figure, as a matter of fact, was never
reached, owing to the severe financial depression the Colony passed
through in the years 1902-1906, and later. Although the strength rose
from 1,864 officers and men in 1902 to 3,449 in 1904--that it did
not increase beyond the latter figure was due to Government fixing
3,500 as the temporary maximum strength--it decreased in 1906 to
2,854. Consequently, there was a shortfall of no less than 1,146 men
on a maximum authorized peace establishment at the outbreak of the
Rebellion. In his report, dated January, 1907, Bru-de-Wold says:
"Assuming office in October, 1905,[56] during a period of great
financial depression, I was confronted with the task of immediately
reducing expenditure.... At the same time, I was convinced that, at no
period since I became connected with the Defence Forces of the Colony,
had there been a greater urgency for efficiency and readiness to take
the field. I felt sure that the Native trouble, which I had seen for
some years past drawing nearer and nearer, was now within a measurable
distance, and in my own mind I fixed the latter end of May or June
as the most probable time for the disturbance to break out. I was
instructed to reduce the Active Militia to 2,500 of all ranks...."[57]
Again: "To organize the Force with its reduced numbers, and still to
retain its efficiency as an effective fighting force, I arranged a
Peace and War establishment for each regiment, the ranks to be filled
up when required for war purposes by supernumeraries, or special
service men...."[58]

Nothing could show more clearly than the foregoing facts how severe
must have been the financial depression through which the Colony passed
in 1905 and 1906, and how great the risks run by being compelled to
reduce to 2,500 men, the first line of defence of a Colony controlling
about a million warlike savages. When, as then situated, Natal
determined to deal with the trouble by means of her own resources, she
took a bold and even hazardous course. But it was just such decision
that appealed to the imagination of the staunchest of her colonists,
and it was not long before she had the satisfaction of knowing that her
courageous attitude was amply justified by the results.

Having decided, in 1904, to recruit to a figure falling short by 500
of the maximum peace strength authorized by law, and again, in 1905,
directed a further reduction by 1,000 men, it would be thought the
Government, on the first acts of rebellion occurring in February and
April, would have been only too glad to avail themselves of the power
to ballot for recruits,[59] to raise the depleted ranks to at least
the maximum peace establishment. By rights, the final word as to when
the ballot should be brought into force, should rest with the officer
responsible for the defence of the country. Experience has shown that
an elective ministry will not so act if it can possibly be avoided.[60]
If not imperative, so as to restore the authorized establishment,
such necessity certainly appeared to arise when the character of the
_terrain_ selected by the rebels came to be closely considered. For
operations in connection with Nkandhla forest alone--an area covering
100 square miles, _i.e._ equivalent to that of Greater London, some
10,000 European troops were declared by competent military advisers to
be required. If others advised lesser numbers, it was because they were
confident (though having no military reasons for saying so) that their
extremely elusive foes could be hoodwinked at their own game, and in a
country, too, as well-known to them as a cornfield is to the mice that
run up and down and between the growing stalks.

The Government, of which The Hon. C.J. Smythe was Prime Minister and
Sir Thomas Watt Minister of Defence, declined to use the ballot. The
reasons for such paradoxical attitude were briefly these: Owing to
the reports of unrest and threatened attack received almost daily
from widely-separated parts, in some cases panic-stricken men, women
and children taking refuge in lagers and clamouring for help, it
was desirable to allay the panic; this alarm must have been greatly
heightened had there been sudden recourse to the ballot, which the
unexpected initial success of the April rising appeared to demand.
Owing to there being no general organization among the rebels, it was
highly probable outbreaks would occur here and there, until, having
acquired sufficient momentum, a large force had been successfully
massed on ground favourable to their tactics. Thus, to denude any
particular district of men, was practically to offer it to the enemy
as a convenient point of attack. It should be borne in mind that the
scanty European population was so distributed as to be almost in
every direction in the immediate vicinity of what are known as Native
locations. These, laid off for the exclusive use of the Natives as far
back as 1845, were made numerous and kept separate for the very reason
that, through one large group of Natives gradually losing touch with
the others, their power for mischief, in the event of hostilities,
would be reduced, whilst Europeans, taking up their abode, either as
farmers or as townsmen, on the intervening territory, would serve
to leaven the aborigines with civilized habits, and promote their
spiritual and material advancement.

On the other hand, it is no less true of savage than of civilized
warfare, that the best defence consists in attacking the enemy wherever
he may be found, and not leaving the initiative to be taken by him. The
latter method, it is true, leaves exposed numerous vulnerable points,
at each of which, owing to greater numbers, he ought in theory to

The Government decided to call for volunteers among the colonists and
to attract the many soldiers of fortune and adventurous spirits in
South Africa by offering them inducements to join specially-raised
corps. It was in this way that the required number of men was obtained.
Those Militia Reserves in the various districts who had not taken the
field were thereupon able to assemble, elect officers, select lagers
and take other measures for the defence of their respective districts.

_The Reserves._--In view of the necessity of hastening on the
organization of the Active Militia, and of the difficulties in
preparing rolls, as required by law, complete lists of the 1st, 2nd
and 3rd Reserves could not be made until the Rebellion was over and,
indeed, not until after the conclusion of the Dinuzulu expedition
(December, 1907 to March, 1908).

At the beginning of 1906, the numbers of the Reserves were
approximately: First, 5,050, Second, 6,875, Third, 3,175; Total, 15,100.

In January and February, 1906, beginning at Dundee, meetings were
convened for the purpose of electing Chief Leaders in terms of the Act.
After the various classes of Reserves had been organized, Lieut.-Col.
(now Colonel) A.T.G. Wales was placed in command.

Among these men were to be found many ex-soldiers and volunteers, who
had fought in nearly all the campaigns of the preceding thirty years.
There were also many Dutchmen who had fought against England during
the Boer War, but who had since become valuable acquisitions to South
Africa's fighting material.

Notwithstanding the presence of "old campaigners," it was soon patent
that the majority of the men had not received any military training
worthy the name. To remedy this serious defect, only one way seems to
be open--do as Australia did later, in 1908, viz. compel every man and
boy within the State to undergo a systematic course annually.

As in the case of the Militia, the Government was obliged to keep
down expenses in regard to the Reserves. Such action was felt more by
the latter forces than by established corps, and yet nothing was more
reasonable than that the Active Militia should, whenever necessary,
be in a position to draw without delay on the younger branches of the

_Cadets._--See p. 65.

_Intelligence and Maps._--In this connection again, nothing but the
want of funds rendered it impossible to employ officers and other
agents to collect necessary and readily-accessible information before
the Rebellion began. Practically all the Magistrates, however, Police,
farmers, planters, etc., were emissaries of the Government, though not
placed directly or indirectly in touch with the Militia department
as they might have been. Many of these employed Native servants, who,
in their turn, were in intimate and constant touch with their own

"Immediately previous to the outbreak of the Rebellion," says the
Commandant, "I received a great deal of information from people in
outlying districts, but, as there was no intelligence department to
classify, sift and deal with this, it was very difficult to place much
reliance on the information thus obtained. Ultimately, the acting
Chief Commissioner of Police (Lieut.-Col. W.J. Clarke) gave orders to
the police in the rural districts to collect information from farmers
and others and to send everything direct to him."[61] This Police
officer, owing to his excellent knowledge of the country, and the
various informants, was able to condense and appreciate all that came
to hand and thereafter place classified summaries at the Commandant's
disposal, and very valuable these proved to be. "Subsequently all this
was stopped as, for some reason unknown to me, the Commissioner, _i.e._
the permanent officer, was either unwilling or unable to continue the

As regards maps, not the Commandant, but the state of the treasury was
to blame. "The want of maps (on military lines, normal scale) has been
greatly felt in Natal and has rendered combined action practically
impossible. The failure of the Langalibalele expedition was due to
the want of reliable maps."[63] Surveying was habitually confined to
areas set apart for European occupation, that is, the most accessible
portions, whilst the great Native locations, situate for the most part
in broken, bushy and untraversable regions, remained unsurveyed. Thus,
when, on hostilities occurring, the rebels selected as their _terrain_
the great Tugela valley (to a distance of 10 or 12 miles on either side
and some 60-80 miles along the river), the Nkandhla-Qudeni district,
and the Umvoti valley, their choice was, in each instance, ground the
Staff and the Surveyor General's department knew either very little,
or nothing at all, about. There were, indeed, the map by Altern--of
the Zululand side--and that by Middleton--of Nkandhla district,
but, insufficient as these excellent maps were, they did not become
available for the troops until long after the Rebellion had started,
and when most of the information therein had already been ascertained
by commanding officers by personal observation, inquiry of local
residents, or direct reconnaissance.[64]

In so far, however, as the various columns in the field were concerned,
they were singularly well-equipped with intelligence of every kind.
This arose from rapidly adapting themselves to circumstances--a
characteristic usually displayed by colonial volunteers of long
standing. They, fortunately, experienced but little difficulty in
securing capable European and Native agents in every direction.

_Transport._--The authority given by law to the Commandant to "prepare
a register of all animals and vehicles suitable for transport or
military purposes throughout the Colony or any part thereof" was taken
advantage of in good time, with the result that, when the Rebellion
broke out, full particulars as to where vehicles, drivers and animals
could be obtained, had been collected.

The same law empowered the Governor, in the event of war, invasion or
insurrection, to "authorise the issue of requisitions, requiring all
persons to furnish such animals, vehicles and other necessary things
as may be demanded from them for military use." On failure to supply,
the property could be taken possession of by, or on behalf of, the
Commandant. There was, however, a proviso to the effect that "not more
than fifty per cent. of the animals and vehicles suitable for transport
or military purposes belonging to any person" might be requisitioned.
Payment, fixed by the regulations, was, of course, made to persons from
whom animals, etc., were taken.

When the first mobilization at Pietermaritzburg and other centres took
place early in February, there was but one officer in the department,
Captain (now Major) C. Victor Hosken, with one sergeant. No plant of
any description belonged to that or any other Militia department.
But, so thoroughly had the preliminary preparations been made, that
Hosken was able to supply the force then called out with all necessary
vehicles, draught animals, drivers, leaders, etc., on the day appointed
for it to take the field. The mobilizations of 5th and 19th April, 3rd
May, etc., were all dealt with with similar promptitude and equally
satisfactory results. On none of these occasions was there any recourse
to commandeering (impressing) for the Transport department. Such action
was not resorted to until the troops moved from Zululand to Mapumulo
division (June 19), when, owing to the impossibility of obtaining
transport in any other way, seven or eight waggons were commandeered.
The otherwise invariable rule was to hire in the ordinary way. To be
able, however, to do this with rapidity and success, it was necessary
to ascertain beforehand exactly where, what kind and how many vehicles,
animals, etc., could be obtained.

On June 11th, when the largest number of troops was in the field,
the Transport staff had increased to 5 officers, 12 n.c.o.'s and 30
men. The largest number of waggons in the field at one time--11th
July--(including those for supply and regimental purposes), was 440,
together with 14 mule waggons, 18 ambulances and 10 water-carts, with
approximately 12,000 oxen and 364 mules. In addition to the foregoing,
the mounted contingent from the Transvaal (T.M.R.) had its own mule
transport, though the department supplied it with ox-waggons for
carrying supplies, ammunition, etc.

It fell, moreover, to the department to arrange for the movement
of men, horses, equipment, etc., from point to point by rail, such
arrangements, both on mobilization and demobilization--thanks to the
ever prompt and unfailing co-operation of all Natal Government Railways
officials, whose loyal endeavours contributed very materially to the
success of the campaign--were uniformly satisfactory, although they
had, as a rule, to be carried out on the shortest notice.

The Commandant, in his report for 1906, drew attention to pack
transport being indispensable when mobilizing mounted forces. The
mounted corps were possessed of such transport. "When, however, the
regiments have taken the field, the true first line of transport must
be provided, and this must consist of mule transport." The system of
transport, as a whole, was deficient in so far as what is here referred
to as the "true first line" was concerned.

_Medical._--The Natal Medical Corps was in a position to provide
officers and men to all the forces, including detachments, as soon as
they took the field. The ordinary medical equipment, similar to that in
use in the Imperial service, was adequate and up-to-date. Lieut.-Col.
J. Hyslop, D.S.O., Principal Medical Officer, points out that "there
was, however, a shortage of ambulance waggons, which had to be made
up by the most suitable vehicles we could find. These latter ... were
not nearly so useful as the 'Natal ambulance,' which is specially
constructed to meet the conditions of the country. Arrangements
had been made some time prior to the Rebellion whereby, in case of
necessity, civilian hospitals were to be available as base hospitals,
and several were so used." Among these was the Victoria Hospital at
Eshowe. Authority was given for the Principal Medical Officer to call
on District Surgeons "to attend troops stationed in their respective
districts, by way of relieving the Militia Medical staff," thereby
enabling them to devote more attention to field duties. With the
enrolment of irregular troops, it became necessary to increase the
personnel of the corps; later in the campaign, the stretcher-bearers,
supplied by the Natal Indian community, were a further welcome

General medical assistance was rendered, not only to Europeans, but to
various Native contingents and levies, and to a number of the rebels as

_Veterinary and Remounts._--The Veterinary Corps was insufficiently
organized, with the result that, generally speaking, officers were
called on to treat more animals than they were able to cope with.

The supply of remounts became a serious matter. "It is much easier,"
says the Commandant, "to get men than to get horses on which to mount
them. During the late operations, the horse supply of the Colony was
exhausted practically within the first month, and, within a few months,
it was a very difficult matter to purchase a fairly good horse, either
in the Transvaal, Orange River Colony, or Cape Colony, and we had
to import a shipment of horses from South America. Fortunately, the
campaign ended about the time these horses arrived, so that they were
not required for the field. But, had the campaign been prolonged, as it
easily might have been, shipment after shipment of horses would have
had to be imported, and these would necessarily have been unbroken
horses, as the contractor was unable to complete his contract to supply
the requisite number of broken horses for the first shipment."[65]

_Ordnance and Equipment._--The withdrawal of the Imperial troops
carried with it the closing down of the Imperial Ordnance stores in
Pietermaritzburg. This necessitated stocking by the local Ordnance
department of material considerably in excess of what it had been the
rule to keep. Instead of limiting the stock to peace requirements, it
had to be expanded to those of war.

When mobilization took place, the whole of the Militia forces were
duly equipped, whilst demands from the field were promptly and
satisfactorily met.

"In dealing with the equipping of irregular corps and Militia
Reserves," says the Ordnance Officer, Major F. Choles,[66] "for which
no provision was made, the success ... attained ... was due to the
foresight of this department in having placed to 'reserve stocks,' from
time to time, such stores as were necessary for contingencies, such
as the late Rebellion. These stores were a portion of stocks obtained
under the ordinary annual votes during the last few years." Owing to
recommendations in respect of reserve clothing not having been given
effect to, uniforms had to be obtained from such local sources as were
available, with the result that inferior materials at high prices were
the only goods to be had.

At various troop headquarters, armouries had been provided. These
proved most useful and time-saving, especially as the system
mobilization of the mounted forces was always "forward" to the scene of

In so far as arms, ammunition and equipment were concerned, the
Colony, on the outbreak of hostilities, was fully prepared to meet all
reasonable demands likely to be made. The rifles and ammunition were,
moreover, of the best and latest types. This satisfactory state of
affairs was owing chiefly to continued representation by the Commandant
to his Minister to the effect that, although the country was evidently
on the eve of a rising, there was an insufficiency of both arms and
ammunition, particularly the latter. There was, for instance, little
or no Mark V ammunition in stock. During November, 1905, authority
was given to indent for 1,000 stand of arms and 5,000,000 rounds of
ammunition. The first lot arrived in Durban late in January, and the
first outbreak of rebellion occurred on the 8th of the following month.

_Service Corps (Supplies)._--This department, when the first
mobilization occurred, had a staff of 2 officers and 24 men. This
strength was increased as necessity arose, until it stood at 2
officers, 38 clerks, 9 bakers, 7 butchers, 55 grocers and issuers;
total, 135. Some 30 Natives were also employed.

The officer in charge, Captain Ambrose Prior, found it necessary to
establish no less than twenty depôts in different parts of Natal and
Zululand, whilst, in addition, a supply detachment accompanied each of
five operating columns.

The want of properly-trained men at the outset was severely felt,
involving, as it did, considerable risk in handling large quantities
of supplies. It was fortunate that intelligent out-of-work men were
readily procurable. These were trained and distributed among the depôts
as soon as they became efficient.

Field bakeries were formed at Nkandhla, Thring's Post, and Mapumulo,
and proved very successful. At one time, those at Nkandhla and Thring's
Post turned out as much as 4,000-5,000 lbs. of bread daily. Owing
to lack of system in the management of loot stock, field butcheries
proved a failure, the Government, in consequence, being put to needless
expense in procuring meat.

Co-operation between this and the Transport department was everything
that could have been desired.

_Telegraph Corps._--This corps, under Captain F. Fraser, was most
efficient and well-equipped. It was, however, handicapped owing to its
small establishment, so much so that it was necessary to apply to the
Cape Colony for signallers. Some of the corps members had gone through
an army class of instruction at Pretoria. The good effects of that
training were very noticeable.

_Engineer Corps._--Owing to the peace establishment of the Active
Militia having been reduced to 2,500, the formation of an Engineer
Corps was impossible. As, however, searchlights are very desirable
accessories in Native warfare for defensive purposes, arrangements were
made, with the assistance of Captain Mills, of the Natal Government
Railways, to secure a couple of instruments and appurtenances, together
with the necessary trained men for working them. Another of these
instruments (under Major W.H. Pickburn) was lent by the Transvaal
Government and proved especially useful at Nkandhla.


Although forming no part of the Militia, the Natal Police, a smart,
well-equipped and efficient force, under the command of Lieut.-Col. G.
Mansel, C.M.G., took a prominent part throughout the operations. Its
personnel consisted of Europeans and Natives; the latter, however, were
not called out for service. The European section numbered 40 officers
and 1,126 of other ranks. Over two-thirds were mounted, but it was
found impracticable, owing to there being 143 police stations to look
after, to put more than 210 into the field.


There were no fewer than 117 of these Associations in 1906 in various
parts of the Colony, with an aggregate membership of about 7,000.

On the passing of the Militia Act, the Associations, which were
invaluable agencies for training men to shoot, ceased to form part of
the defence of the Colony, as practically all members were liable to
serve in the different classes of the Reserves.


These corps and their strengths were: Royston's Horse, 550; Natal
Rangers, 800; Zululand Police, 90; Natal Native Horse, 300; the first
two were European, the others Native (with European officers). There
were, in addition, various Native infantry contingents or levies, whose
aggregate strength amounted to about 6,000. The assistance given by the
Cape and Transvaal Colonies and Sir Abe Bailey is referred to further
on under "Offers of Assistance."

_Royston's Horse._--When, in the middle of April, matters became
serious and it appeared necessary to dispatch a large force to
Nkandhla, the Government decided to deal with the position as far
as possible from Natal resources. The required force might, indeed,
have been obtained from such Active Militia corps as had not up till
then taken the field, but, owing to the Militia Reserves not being
sufficiently organized, it was found necessary to retain portions of
the Active Militia in Natal to deal with any rising that might occur
during the absence of the troops in Zululand, hence the decision to
recruit this special contingent of mounted men. Recruiting took place
in Durban, Pietermaritzburg, and Johannesburg. The corps was placed
under the command of Lieut.-Col. J.R. Royston, C.M.G., D.S.O., and
formed part of the "Zululand Field Force" that left for Nkandhla at
the beginning of May. Towards the end of the campaign the corps was
enlarged, notably by men recruited in the Cape Colony.

_Natal Rangers._--This infantry regiment was raised because Ministers
considered it against the interests of the Colony to keep the Militia
Reserves in the field for any length of time. A considerable saving
was effected through raising the corps, owing to the pay of the men
being at lower rates. Recruiting took place chiefly in Johannesburg
and Durban. As regards that done in Johannesburg, the Colony was most
fortunate in securing the assistance of the Transvaal Commandant of

_Zululand Police_ (Natives).--This particularly useful and efficient
infantry corps, originally formed in 1883 by Lieut.-Col. G.
Mansel, C.M.G., was disbanded on Zululand being annexed to Natal
(December, 1897). Its strength then was about 200. When temporarily
re-established, on the outbreak of rebellion, under Inspector Fairlie
of the Natal Police, its numbers were between 80 and 90. For further
information see Appendix XI.

The _Natal Native Horse_, commanded by Major G. Moe, were enrolled at
Edendale, Nyanyadu, and other parts of the Colony in February, 1906.
Some difficulty was at first met with in providing horses, owing to
many having been sold by the Natives as remounts to agents of the
German Government in connection with the South-West Africa campaign.
Further particulars regarding this corps will be found in Appendix XI.

_Native levies._--These were called out as necessity arose, but only in
such areas as fell within the theatre of operations, and, except about
120 Basutos (Nqutu district), were unmounted; for the most part, they
were armed only with their large ox-hide shields and assegais.[67] As
the great majority were under "tribal" rule, the several contingents
were commanded by their own Chiefs, without regard either to age
or military fitness. Among the most capable Chiefs were Sibindi,
Sitshitshili, Mfungelwa, and Mveli.[68]


(_a_) _The Imperial Government._--When, consequent upon the assumption
by Natal of responsible government, the Imperial Government proceeded
gradually to withdraw the regular troops, it so happened that,
on the outbreak of rebellion, a mere handful of men remained at
Pietermaritzburg. The withdrawal, however unobtrusively it had
occurred, did not escape the notice of sundry nervous Europeans, or
the Natives. The latter, when their resentment had been aroused by
the poll tax (to be referred to later), were not slow in making one
another believe that the withdrawal had its origin in dissension that
had arisen between Natal and Great Britain. Disgusted with the manner
in which Natal was governing her Native population, England, it was
said, had turned her back on, and would no longer help, her Colony.
This absurd rumour succeeded in obtaining considerable credence, and
threatened to undermine the public sense of security, especially
of loyally disposed Natives. It was, therefore, with something of
avidity that the offer of the Imperial Government of 10th February
(the day following the proclamation of martial law), that a regiment
should proceed to Pietermaritzburg, was accepted by Natal. In
accepting, however, the Government said it did not anticipate that
the troops would be required for active service. The General Officer
Commanding-in-Chief in South Africa had wired that he held in readiness
a battalion at Pretoria, as well as the Standerton Mobile Column.
It was arranged that the former should proceed to Natal. The Queen's
Own Cameron Highlanders accordingly received orders without delay,
and reached Pietermaritzburg three days later (13th). The General, at
the same time, offered to increase the number to 4,300 if required.
The occasion to apply for the increase fortunately did not arise.
The presence of the troops (they were present until the conclusion
of hostilities) had a most reassuring and salutary effect, and gave
exactly that touch of moral support the situation required. It was as
successful in giving the lie to the false rumour referred to as if a
whole army corps had been mobilized for the purpose.

The hand of the Imperial Government was seen in yet another direction.
When, prior to the first outbreak (February 8th), the Governor
ascertained that H.M.S. _Terpsichore_ would arrive at Durban on the
21st February, in connection with the visit of the Duke and Duchess
of Connaught, he requested Admiral Durnford to expedite the ship's
movements, as the presence of a man-of-war at Durban at that time would
tend to allay the prevailing excitement. The request was promptly
acceded to, and the _Terpsichore_ steamed into Durban a week sooner
than had been previously arranged. Later, whilst proposing the vessel
should accompany the Duke on his departure from Durban, on the 27th
February, the Admiral offered to cancel his orders in the event of the
political situation being such that her continued presence would be
desirable. There being, by that time, no immediate cause for anxiety,
the arrangements which had already been made for departure were not
interfered with.

(_b_) _Other Offers._--A few days after the second and more serious
stage of the Rebellion had begun, the _Cape_ and _Transvaal
Governments_ wired intimating a readiness to assist in any way. This
was followed, a few days later, by an offer from the latter Government
of 500 Volunteers, armed, equipped, and maintained whilst in the field
at its own expense, whilst the Cape Government offered six maxims,
armed by Cape Mounted Riflemen, as well as a Signalling Corps. These
and two further generous offers--one by Mr. (now Sir) Abe Bailey of
Johannesburg, to raise, equip, and maintain at his own expense a
contingent of 150 men (25 being mounted) of the Lancaster and York
Association, and the other by the _Natal Indian Congress_, of a corps
of 25 stretcher-bearers,--were gratefully accepted.

The first three offers will be more fully dealt with in subsequent

A large number of other opportune and generous offers were received
from various sources in England, South Africa, etc., but as the
Government had decided that, unless a serious development of
hostilities took place, no efforts would be made to recruit outside
South Africa, and in South Africa only in case of absolute necessity,
they were not accepted. They were, however, gratefully acknowledged and
borne in mind.

Among the Colony's staunchest supporters was a small knot of Natalians
living in London, headed by Major Gen. Sir John Dartnell, K.C.B.,
the Right Hon. Sir Albert Hime, P.C., K.C.M.G., and Sir Walter
Peace, K.C.M.G. These lost no time in convening a meeting, cabling
an assurance of unqualified support of the Ministry, and thereafter
dispatching, at the earliest opportunity, 27 Rexer guns, a most
valuable arm, especially in Native warfare, that had only just come
into the market.[69]


The Cadet system, one of the principal institutions of the Colony, and
one that at once attracts the attention of a visitor, be he soldier or
civilian, has been in existence for many years. The first corps was
formed at a private school in Hermannsburg in the year 1869. Hilton
College and other schools were not long in following the example.
The principles governing the system in its later developments and in
vogue in 1906 will be found in the Militia Act, 1903. The Cadets
were under the general supervision of the Commandant of Militia and
the special control of an officer of the permanent Militia staff,
under the style of "Commandant of Cadets." For many years, the latter
officer was Lieut.-Col. W.H.A. Molyneux, V.D., owing to whose energy
and devotion, assisted to the utmost by the Superintendent of Education
(C.J. Mudie, Esq.), the efficiency of the various corps rose to a
standard previously unapproached. No opportunity was lost of promoting
the interests of his charges and rendering their course of training
so popular and successful as to become the envy of other states, not
excluding the Mother Country.

The Cadets began their training at the age of ten; they were not
enrolled for military service, although steps were taken to induce lads
of eighteen, in the senior corps, to join the Active Militia. They were
taught to march, go through the physical, manual, and firing exercises,
as well as simple parade and field movements, as laid down in the
manual of drill for the mounted forces.

Boys between ten and fourteen were drilled without arms and instructed
in musketry, for both of which an efficiency standard was laid down.

In 1896 the total number of Cadets on the muster roll was 1,931 (25
corps). In 1906 they had increased to about 3,500, with nearly 50
separate corps, 3 being those of senior Cadets. The senior corps, on
account of lads being required by their parents to enter business at
early ages, were much more difficult to control, and therefore did not
prove nearly as successful as the junior ones.

With the system so long in vogue, it followed that the majority of the
Natal troops (including Reserves) which took part in the Rebellion had,
at one time or another, been trained as Cadets in the rudiments of
soldiery. It was largely due to having had such experience that the men
were as generally efficient as they were.


[Footnote 47: It is, moreover, not unreasonable to suppose that the
Union Government found the example of Natal of considerable assistance
when passing its already well-known Defence Act of 1911.]

[Footnote 48: Commandant of Militia (Brig. Gen. Leader), _Annual
Report_. See note, p. 45, where it is shown that a much larger number
_volunteered_ for service.]

[Footnote 49: Regulations, No. 110.]

[Footnote 50: The Act did not, however, come into force until March,

[Footnote 51: Act No. 30, 1905, sec. 1 substituted "Colonel" for

[Footnote 52: The members of the Cabinet were: C.J. Smythe, _Prime
Minister and Colonial Secretary_; J.G. Maydon, _Railways and Harbours_;
T. Hyslop, _Treasurer_; T. Watt, _Justice_ (including _Defence_) _and
Education_; H.D. Winter, _Native Affairs and Public Works_; and W.F.
Clayton, _Agriculture_.]

[Footnote 53: Up to June, 1900, however, the approximate number of
officers and men raised in Natal (inclusive of local Volunteer corps)
was 9,500. Of those who did not belong to local corps, many, besides
Natalians, were men from England, Transvaal, Orange Free State, etc.,
temporarily resident within the Colony.]

[Footnote 54: Col. Bru-de-Wold first entered the Natal Volunteer forces
as a trooper in 1873. He served throughout the Zulu War of 1879 (medal
with clasp) and the Boer War, 1899-1902 (twice mentioned in dispatches,
Queen's and King's medals with three clasps). By the end of the latter
war he had risen to the rank of Major. He was awarded C.M.G. in 1900,
in recognition of special services rendered by him during the Boer War.]

[Footnote 55: Major T.H. Blew, Chief Staff Officer, Natal, May, 1912.]

[Footnote 56: He assumed in August, but acted until October, the holder
of the appointment being technically on leave.]

[Footnote 57: Commandant of Militia (Col. Bru-de-Wold), _Annual
Report_, 1906. With an establishment of 2,500, the figures at 31st
December, 1905, of the different arms were approximately: Naval corps,
100; Mounted Rifles, 1,330; Artillery, 350; Infantry, 580; Departmental
corps, 140. Total, 2,500.]

[Footnote 58: Commandant of Militia (Col. Bru-de-Wold), _Annual
Report_, 1906.]

[Footnote 59: Sec. 32, Militia Act, 1903.]

[Footnote 60: The same weakness appears to exist in the present South
African Defence scheme.]

[Footnote 61: Commandant of Militia (Col. Bru-de-Wold), _Annual
Report_, 1906.]

[Footnote 62: _Ibid._]

[Footnote 63: The Langalibalele Rebellion occurred between Estcourt and
the Drakensberg Mountains. The words quoted are from the Commandant's
_Annual Report_, 1906.]

[Footnote 64: Several sections of maps (Major Jackson's series), Field
Intelligence Department, Pretoria, were issued at the outset and proved
very useful.]

[Footnote 65: Commandant of Militia (Col. Bru-de-Wold), _Annual
Report_, 1906.]

[Footnote 66: _Departmental Report_ for 1905 and 1906.]

[Footnote 67: _i.e._ spears. Some of these are used for throwing--the
average distance thrown being 50-60 yards--whilst hold is retained of
the larger-bladed ones for stabbing on coming to close quarters.]

[Footnote 68: On the cessation of hostilities all the foregoing
irregular corps were gradually disbanded, the services of Royston's
Horse and the Natal Rangers being the last to be dispensed with.]

[Footnote 69: The guns were taken to Natal by Sir John Dartnell, and
arrived in time to be of the greatest assistance.]



(_With a Note on the Rebel Organization_, 1906.)

As a result of the precarious conditions of living anterior to Tshaka's
accession (about 1814), each of the then more or less independent
Chiefs of Zululand was obliged to establish a kind of militia force
for employment in defensive or aggressive operations as circumstances
demanded. Owing to this prevalence of all-round isolation, it was
impossible for any Chief to do otherwise than send into the field
heterogeneously formed groups of warriors--old and young fighting side
by side. The character of warfare of those days was, in consequence,
of a very mild description. When, however, Tshaka became Chief of
the Zulu tribe, and, by a policy of vigorous aggression, succeeded in
obtaining the allegiance of other tribes, it became possible for him
greatly to extend and perfect the system, learnt from his friend and
protector Dingiswayo, of recruiting regiments on an age basis.[71]
And, once he had acquired a force more efficient and powerful than
that of other tribes, only time was wanted to enable him to extend his
operations and add still further to the strength and efficiency of his

With the various tribes knit together into one nation, the
establishment and development of what is known as the Zulu Military
System, _i.e._ Tshaka's system, became for the first time possible.
Thus, this engine of war, as we now know it, was simply the outcome of
a successful application of principles superior in themselves to those
of surrounding tribes, and its pre-eminence and dominion were won by
intrinsic merit and genius rather than by accident or sheer force of
numbers. We proceed, then, to describe what came into being about one
hundred years ago and continued to exist until 1879.

       *       *       *       *       *

The whole manhood of the country was liable for service. In practice,
however, a few exceptions were allowed--among them diviners and those
physically or mentally unfit. The total strength averaged from 40,000
to 50,000, though, on special occasions, it rose to 60,000 or even

Each man was armed with a stabbing assegai and one or more throwing
ones, also an ox or cow-hide shield. About fifteen to twenty royal
kraals were established in various well-inhabited parts of the country.
Some of these were used as military barracks, and were known as
_amakanda_ (heads). Large numbers of warriors were, moreover, usually
stationed at the principal royal kraal. All these kraals, being
composed of wood and wattles, and the huts covered with grass, were
occasionally moved to fresh sites in their respective localities whilst
retaining their names.

Regiments were constantly being formed, more by automatic than
independent process. This is seen from the fact that every boy of about
sixteen was required to serve as a cadet at the _kanda_ within whose
jurisdiction his father's kraal happened to fall. Every two years or
so, when the lads were old enough to be formed into a regiment, they
were "collected" from the various _amakanda_, and marched off to the
King for inspection, when the latter gave them their new or regimental
title. The destination of the new regiment depended on circumstances.
It might, if numerous, be directed to go to some district and build
and live in a _kanda_ of its own, or it might be ordered, wholly or
in part, to serve at one or more of the already existing _amakanda_,
where, of course, they would profit by the older men's experience.
Thus, at these barracks one frequently found men of various ages,
notwithstanding that recruitment had invariably taken place on the
basis of age. It was from the fact of cadets being "collected" that the
word _ibuto_ (regiment) was probably derived.

The _amakanda_ were designed and built in accordance with a plan common
to all. For instance, the barracks of a regiment, according as they
were on the right or left side as one entered the principal gate below,
were technically described, so with various other sections of such
right or left side, down to the gate referred to or up to the King's
harem at the top. Thus, it was possible for any soldier to define
exactly where he belonged, even though the rows of huts were three or
more deep. In the case of the largest regiments, _e.g._ Tulwana, the
men, according to the portions occupied, would be given distinguishing
names. Thus, in Tulwana, one found the Zisongo, Mkingoma, etc.,
divisions on the right, whilst Amabunsumana, Ingoye, etc., were on
the left--each of them, by the way, nearly as large as an ordinary

The principal motive for keeping up this huge organization, once the
safety of the State was assured, was for attacking neighbouring tribes,
generally on the slightest pretext, and making them subject to the
State by looting as many of their cattle as possible. This, in fact,
was but another expression of the mercenary ideal which even civilized
nations of to-day seem to keep before them.

Until an age between thirty-five and forty had been reached, the
warriors were not permitted to marry or even to associate with girls.
Nor might girls marry men of any age until special authority had been
given. Girls, too, were "collected" into classes, though not required
to serve at any _kanda_.

It was on some such occasion as the great Feast of the First Fruits,
held annually about the first week in January, that the King himself
gave permission to a regiment or a class of girls to marry. This was
granted, not to individuals, but to a particular regiment or class
_en bloc_. Special directions were also given as to what regiment or
regiments any particular class of girls should marry into.

Before, however, receiving permission to marry, a regiment required
royal approval to conform to the ancient practice of assuming the
_isicoco_ or headring. As this ring, made of wax and strips of sedge
bound round with cord, was sewn into the hair by means of ox-sinew, it
sometimes happened that an aggressive military expedition was arranged
to take place beyond the borders of the State "for the purpose of
fetching the necessary sinew"--a metonymic expression, where "sinew"
stands for "cattle." The head was shaved on the crown and sides when
the ring was put on.

Owing to this wearing of the headring--once on never removed[72]--the
warriors became roughly divided into two great sections, (_a_) the
headringed, (_b_) those without the ring. The former were known as
the "white" Zulus, the latter as the "black"--the colour of the first
being probably derived from the glittering of the highly polished
ebony-like rings or the preponderatingly white colour of the shields
they carried, whilst that of the latter was from their heads all being
jet black from the uniform colour of their hair, or from the amount of
black in their shields.

In charge of each _kanda_ was an officer as well as others of
subordinate rank. Upon these devolved the responsibility of seeing
that all within the military district rendered a reasonable amount
of service in each year. Owing to a wonderfully efficient system of
control, evasions rarely occurred.

With the lapse of time, and on account of the perpetually recurring
warfare, it followed members of any given regiment became greatly
diminished. Thus, although the names of perhaps forty to forty-five
regiments could be furnished as having been enrolled since Tshaka
became King, all but eighteen to twenty would, at any given period,
have been of little real use. This is best appreciated by recalling the
fact that "collection" began at eighteen or nineteen, that a regiment
was, as a rule, formed after every two years, and that, after a man
reaches the age of fifty-five or sixty, he is unfit to undertake the
exertion of long and rapid marches on foot. The power to mobilize for
war lay with the King, though for some years it became customary for
him to seek permission of Mnkabayi (grand-aunt of Cetshwayo), who
lived in the north-west of Zululand. For all occurrences of a sudden
and local kind, _e.g._ raid, insurrection, or breach of the peace, the
resident officer or induna had authority to call out men under his
command. Indeed, it was his duty to do so, and one which he dared not

At the head of each regiment was an induna or commanding officer,
generally a good deal older than the men of his corps. There was also
a second in command, together with junior officers. The strength of
regiments varied greatly; the maximum of one might be 700, of another
4,000. There was also subdivision into companies, known as _amaviyo_,
with 50 to 60 or more men apiece. Each _viyo_ had two junior officers.
These companies originated at the _amakanda_ during the days of
cadetship. Members associated early with one another, grew up and
kept together. If, however, any such group was too small, batches of
others, from other _amakanda_, were "thrown into" them on arrival at
headquarters to make up a _viyo_. As cadets, there was no appointed
induna to a company. _Amaviyo_ diminished in size as time went
on,--from death, desertion (to Natal), or by being put to death by
the King. For instance, shortly before the Zulu War, Cetshwayo sent a
force on purpose to put so-called invalids (but really malingerers) to
death. Many, again, to evade military service, became diviners, who,
as has been remarked, obtained exemption as a matter of course. These
were, with notable and necessary exceptions, collected by Mpande into
a regiment of their own, and ordered to live in a single kraal. This
device had the effect of checking the prevailing craze.

When reduced, _amaviyo_ were often combined with others of their own
age, though younger men were often added. The reason for so keeping
up the strength of regiments was to cause the enemy to respect them
and not treat them with contempt. Certain corps, again, were made
abnormally large so that notwithstanding wastage through sickness,
etc., when on the march, their size, on reaching the enemy, would still
appear formidable.

From what has been said, it can be seen there was no such thing
as retirement from service. When Tshaka dispatched his army to
Sotshangana, a Chief living on the coast beyond Delagoa Bay, he
insisted on every available person going, even old men who no longer
left their homes.

During the period of cadetship, known as _uku-xeza_, from commonly
milking the royal cows they herded into their mouths, boys learnt the
use of the national weapon, the assegai or _umkonto_. The proficiency
then attained remained with them through life, hence there was
practically no special training necessary in after years. There were no
special exercises in throwing or stabbing, in guarding with their 5-ft.
oval shields, or in marching, running, manœuvring, etc. The fact that
the people were a pastoral race and spent the greater portion of their
lives in the open under exacting conditions stood them in good stead.

There was nothing in the shape of remuneration for service, either in
time of war or of peace. Nor was compensation given for any injuries
received in war. Offences were punished by the indunas, but punishment
never took the form of imprisonment for obvious reasons. In regard to
the younger warriors, it was invariably severe beating about the body
administered by the indunas.

Although no oath of allegiance was prescribed, not a soul ever dared
question the right of the King to call him out, or failed to render
instant and loyal service of the most arduous description.

The Zulu army took on the character more of a permanent militia than of
a standing army. Although required to serve at the various _amakanda_,
service was not obligatory for more than a reasonable period, say two
or three months per annum. And, as with Europeans, men of a given
regiment were under the orders of only their own officers.

Just as the whole nation was compelled to render military service, so,
in time of need, all aliens who owed or pretended to owe allegiance to
the King were called upon to assist. Tshaka, on more than one occasion,
insisted on Fynn, Isaacs and others taking part in his operations.

Zulus erected defences, but only to the extent of what is known as the
outer fence of the kraal. The cattle enclosure was frequently made much
higher and stronger than was necessary to keep the cattle from getting
out on their own accord. But the latter provision was a protection
more against wild beasts than human foes. Where it was necessary to
obtain protection against a too powerful enemy, the people fled, with
their property, to caves, precipices, forests or other places in their
immediate neighbourhood.

The uniforms, a most striking characteristic of the army, varied with
the different regiments. They were lavishly ornamental, and composed
almost entirely of feathers, cow-tails and hides. The birds chiefly
favoured were the ostrich, lorie, crane and sakabuli (jet-black finch,
with especially long and beautiful tail feathers); the animals were:
blue monkey, civet cat or genet, otter, leopard and the ordinary cow.
All wore the bushy portion of cow-tails (generally white) tied round
at the elbows, wrists, below the knees, and the neck (falling over
the chest). Some had kilts; the majority, loose coverings of various
hides. Many, again, wore ear-flaps of different hides and designs, also
bands tied round the head across the forehead, of otter or leopard
skin. The feathers were worn about the head singly, also in large
rounded or otherwise artistically-shaped tufts and plumes. Every man
carried one or more assegais and a large war-shield of ox or cow-hide
capable of completely covering him. It sometimes happened the principal
distinguishing feature of a regiment was the colour of its shield;
for instance, all might have black and white, or red and white, red
only, black only, white with small black patches, or a single regiment
might have two or more types of shields. The shield Tshaka himself
carried was a great snow-white one, with a small black patch slightly
to the left of the centre, and there stood planted erect in his hair a
solitary crane-feather fully two feet long.

No portion of the uniform, arms or equipment belonged to the King
or government. All was privately owned. It, however, often happened
that iron-smiths,--many of whom flourished in the neighbourhood of
Nkandhla forest and on the Imfolozi River--were required by the King to
manufacture assegais for the troops. Once presented--but only to men
known to be brave and daring--they became the property of the warriors.
The cutting of shields was the work of experts.

In all affairs of State, civil and military, the King was assisted by a
small privy council as well as a national non-elective assembly. There
was a recognized commander-general of the forces properly equipped with
an efficient staff.

One of the leading features, especially in Tshaka's day, was the system
of espionage. Skilled and intrepid observers were frequently sent out,
before the beginning of a campaign, to collect all the intelligence
they could of the enemy's strength, property (especially cattle),
strongholds, grain, etc. To find their way about, they were obliged to
resort to much ingenious cunning and daring.

Orders were transmitted from kraal to kraal, as also in the field,
by messengers, _i.e._ verbally. There was, indeed, no other form
of communication, except _tête-a-tête_. The messages were almost
invariably correctly delivered, due to constant training in childhood
when, of course, the same mode was observed.

The officers did not wear any badges of rank, though, as only men of
high status were permitted to wear such ornaments as leopard-skin and
lorie feathers, there was no difficulty in inferring their rank.[73]

Decorations were of several forms. A man who had killed another in war
wore about his shoulders and chest a long rope made of pieces of willow
about half an inch long and of equal thickness, the ends being charred
and stripped of bark; or a necklace of horns, with charred blocks of
willow intervening.

Although there was no remuneration for service, the King was liberal in
his rewards for valour in battle. A hero had doled out to him as many
as ten fine cattle at a time, but only one who had been the first to
rush into and among the enemy would be so treated.

Attached to every army were carriers, known as the _udibi_. These were
usually numerous and marched two or three miles off on the right or
left flank of the main body. This was the only means of transport, for
Zulus had no horses or vehicles. The sleeping-mats and karosses or
blankets of indunas and junior officers were borne by the carriers, as
also provisions and equipment belonging to different members of the
army. Another of their duties was to drive along a herd of cattle for
purposes of consumption whilst the troops were on the march.

The interior economy of every regiment was regulated by a few plain
unwritten rules, common to the whole army.

During peace-time, such soldiers as were serving either at headquarters
or at any of the country barracks, were kept occupied in such ways as
constructing or repairing kraals, cattle enclosures, fences or other
work of a public character, the necessary poles, wattles, branches,
reeds, fibrous plants, etc., being cut and carried by themselves; they
also hoed, sowed, weeded and harvested the royal crops. Small groups
and individuals were constantly engaged in smaller matters, such as
carrying grain to or from a distance, or conveying messages to or from
men of high position in all parts of the country, etc. Occasionally
great hunts were organized for killing such game as buffalo, gnu, wild
pigs, waterbuck, koodoo and other antelopes, or such wild animals as
lions, elephants, rhinoceros or leopards.

Among the amusements were: dancing in large numbers, the men being
arranged in semi-circular formation,--after one group had danced it was
succeeded by another, women and even cattle, also fantastically dressed
men, taking part in each pageant; dancing _pas seuls_ (_giya_) in the
presence of many assembled and applauding comrades; singing national
and regimental war-songs; chanting national anthems; and last, but not
least, shouting out some portion of the King's interminable praises,
including the equally lengthy ones of his ancestors, or listening to
one or other of the professional heralds doing so for hours at a time,
until he got so hoarse as to be barely audible.

In addition to all this, there were religious observances, as also
gatherings at which actual or supposed malefactors of all kinds were
"smelt out" by diviners, only to be subsequently either put to death or
heavily punished by order of the King. The execution of such orders,
like everything else, was left to one or other of the regiments, for
the whole nation lived perpetually under a state of martial law.
And such state (can it be surprised at?) bore fruits of physical
soundness, alertness and morality in the people, every man noble and
energetic, every woman modest and comely. Those were the days when, as
the lowing herds came home to be milked, one heard these fine fellows
proudly shouting in reply: _Kala, 'nkomo ya kwa Zulu, wen'o nga soze
waya ndawo_, _i.e._ Low on, oh cow of Zululand! whose hoof shall tread
no alien soil.

Mobilization took place in this way: The King sent an order to the
officers in charge at the various _amakanda_ requiring all men
to collect at their respective barracks. The order was instantly
re-transmitted by the officers to those in their respective commands,
the utmost pains being taken to mobilize with rapidity, for fear the
King might direct seizure of stock for dilatoriness. Those within
fifteen miles of the royal kraal assembled there within twenty-four
hours. There might be thirty to forty _amaviyo_ of them, a number of
different regiments being represented. The King then reviewed the force
and directed those present to separate themselves into regiments and
companies, in order that he could see what proportion of each corps
was present. He would then discuss with them his war affairs, and
afterwards issue instructions as to where they were to bivouac.[74]
Those whose barracks were near by might put up there, others had
to camp in neighbouring specified valleys. Cattle were given for
slaughter. Thus, the troops began at once to establish their camps,
so that warriors from more distant parts were able, as they came up,
to ascertain where the regiments they belonged to were, and fall in
without loss of time. In the meantime, further messengers had reached
each outlying post to enquire urgently when the men of that part
would be ready. A report of the position was sent back, and redoubled
efforts put forth to ensure the earliest possible attendance. In
two to five days, according to the circumstances, the whole of the
regiments were called to headquarters. They then, of course, went
forward in regimental order divided into companies. If the King found
an insufficiently strong force assembled, further messengers were
dispatched post-haste by the several officers, who had already been
threatened by the King with heavy punishment in the event of further
delay. And so, in half-a-dozen days, anything between 30,000-50,000
men mobilized and were actually at headquarters in regimental order,
every man in his proper place and ready to march. The manner in which
the army could come up under the Kings in time of emergency was nothing
short of a revelation.

After the troops had massed in sufficient numbers, various ceremonies
were held, notably the famous eating of _umbengo_. As this involved
certain preliminaries, one of which was the catching and killing of
a bull, usually a black one, it will be best to consider them in
proper sequence. A beginning was made by the King deputing one of the
regiments to catch and kill the bull. The selected regiment forthwith
devoted a day to collecting firewood for roasting the flesh. Cadets
were, at the same time, directed to gather green branches of the
_umtolo_ tree (a species of mimosa) to be used as a charm by being
burnt along with the roasting flesh.

The "eating of _umbengo_" ceremony took place the day following. Early
that morning, the regiment in question went to the spot appointed for
the troops to _hlanza_ at (vomit), and there, under the superintendence
of war-doctors, proceeded to do so. These war-doctors were specially
appointed by the King. A hole some 18 inches in diameter and 6 to 7
feet deep had already been dug, with its soil heaped alongside. It was
into this that every warrior, after swallowing a mouthful or two of
the decoctions placed ready in three or four great pots or baskets,
proceeded to vomit. Knowing what was coming, he had taken care to
abstain from food. Two, three or four might go to the hole at one time.
There was a desire on the part of everyone to finish quickly, but the
doctors, two of whom stood on either side to see that instructions
were conformed to, would not allow crowding. Here and there the stick
they each carried was used on those who had merely pretended to drink
the medicated water, and were therefore uninfluenced by its emetic
properties. This process was gone through so as to "bring together the
hearts of the people." The pots referred to stood, not on the ground,
but on special articles, not unlike diminutive life-belts, made of
straw bound round with plaited fibre--each doctor having one of his
own. It was on such things the King stood when he washed himself of a

As soon as the selected regiment had finished, it moved off to deal
with the bull. After it had departed, the emetic continued to be
used, none of the other regiments being permitted to leave off until
the last men had "come into line." After the process was over, say
by 3 or 4 p.m., the hole was carefully filled up by the doctors, to
prevent possible visitors from hostile tribes obtaining any part of the
substances that had been used. It was for this reason that the hole was
dug deep.

Upon getting back to the royal kraal, the deputed regiment found a
black bull had already been selected from among those of the King's
cattle kept at a distance from the principal kraal. The beast chosen
was large, full-grown and fierce. After being driven into the cattle
enclosure, say, about 600 yards in diameter, it was tackled by the
single, unassisted regiment, all the men being without shields or
assegais. It was well chased about, prevented from going this way or
that, and eventually, after being kept running about for two or three
hours to tire it, it was rushed at about mid-day, caught and brought to
earth by many taking hold of it simultaneously. The men then fastened
on to it by its legs, tail, head, horns, ears, etc., whilst others
proceeded as best they could to twist and eventually break its neck.
As soon as it was dead, the war-doctors came up and drove all the
warriors away for fear lest any disloyally inclined should cut off
portions and carry them off to the King's enemies, whereby ascendancy
might in some way be obtained over their own sovereign. The beast was
now skinned and its flesh cut into long strips. These strips (known as
_umbengo_, hence the name of the custom) were then roasted on a huge
fire that had already been made of the wood gathered on the preceding
day. After being roasted, the flesh was smeared with black powders, and
pungent, bitter drugs. The names and identity of some of these drugs
were kept carefully concealed from the troops. The very reputation of
the doctor depended on his being secretive. By this time, 3 or 4 p.m.,
the regiments had all come up and were waiting "to eat the _umbengo_."
They moved to near where the doctors were, and there built a great
_umkumbi_, that is, formed themselves into a huge half-moon, the men
at every part being many deep. The doctors came forward with the
charred, half-cooked and medicated flesh. They and their assistants
simultaneously started flinging the strips one after another into the
air towards but above the heads of different sections of the troops,
and in all directions. To do this satisfactorily, they passed through
the _umkumbi_ at conveniently-situated and specially-prepared openings.
The warriors all standing, each carrying weapons and shield in the left
hand, were ready to catch with the other the flesh as it descended.
There was a scramble to snatch every piece as it got within reach. The
man catching, immediately bit off a lump and pitched the remainder back
into the air to be again violently contended for, caught and similarly
dealt with, one after another. In the meantime, the pieces bitten or
torn off were chewed and spat on to the ground, the juice, however,
being swallowed. Owing to many being hungry, and even ravenous, the
flesh itself was often gulped down, although quite contrary to custom
to do so. If any of the strips fell to the ground when being tossed
about, it was not picked up, as supposed then to have lost its virtue.
It not unfrequently happened for these discarded portions to be
consumed by the half-famished during the excitement. Here and there one
saw a weak man fall forward in a faint, and his shield and assegais go
clattering to the ground as he did so. But for his friends, who rushed
forward to help, he must have been trampled to death for all the others
cared. The process of distribution continued until each had had his
bite; no one was allowed to retire until the last had conformed to the

One bull was sufficient for an entire army. Two were never killed. The
entrails were secretly buried in what was known as the King's cattle
enclosure (cut off from the main one), the grave being guarded all
night by watchmen.

Boy mat-bearers and cooks who had not reached the age of puberty
were then sought in all parts of the barracks and ordered to eat up
such remains as were consumable, but all who were commandeered were
obliged to sleep where the bull had been cut up and roasted, until
the following morning. A further special requirement was that all so
set apart had to refrain from passing water from the moment of coming
up until permission was given to depart. For this reason, it was with
considerable difficulty that boys could be found when wanted.

Every atom of the bull that remained over was afterwards burnt to
cinders, including bones, hide, etc., etc. The doctors thereupon
gathered together all the ashes and conveyed them to some large and
deep pool into which they were thrown. This was done to guard, as
before, against any portion being taken by strangers and used to obtain
ascendancy over the King and nation.

After this observance, everyone who had taken part therein had to
refrain from all intercourse with womenfolk. For this reason, as often
as girls or women arrived at headquarters with bundles of food for
fathers, brothers or husbands, they set them down and left for their
homes forthwith without escort of any kind. The word having gone forth
that all must arm was an absolute guarantee against interference of
every kind. All who armed, including the ones detailed to remain as the
King's bodyguard, were obliged to eat the _umbengo_, the general object
of which was, not only to knit the people together, but to hearten and
strengthen them.

Following upon these formalities was another, equally indispensable,
viz. the eating of beasts offered as a sacrifice to the spirits of the
King's departed ancestors. Such cattle were apportioned to the various
regiments. They were killed and eaten at night, famous national chants
being sung at the same time. The departed spirits were invoked by the
various highly-placed officers and aristocrats, of whom there were at
least a score, men of sufficient status to remonstrate with the King on
great and critical occasions. The ancient, undisturbed graves of former
Kings were also visited, the spirit being invoked at each.

By way of stimulating the troops to put forth their best efforts in
war, the King would call a couple of regiments into the great cattle
enclosure and there urge individuals of the one to challenge those of
the other, one at a time. "I have," he would say, "summoned you all
to hear how you mean to behave on coming in sight of the enemy." It
is of melancholy interest to know that this practice was observed by
the regiments Kandempemvu and Ngobamakosi, which proved so terribly
destructive at Isandhlwana. After the King had spoken, the challenging
proceeded in this way: Some man belonging to, say, the Ngobamakosi
jumped up and shouted: "I can do better than you, son of ... (giving
name); you won't stab a white man, before one has already fallen by
my hand. If you do, you can carry off the whole of our kraal and the
property attached (giving name of the kraal), or, you shall take my
sister ... (giving her name, and implying marriage)." Having said this,
he started to dance a _pas seul_, with a small shield and stick (on
such occasions assegais and war-shields were not carried). The other
man, stung by the words uttered in public, jumped up as smartly and,
dancing towards and after his challenger as the latter retired, called
out defiantly: "Well, if you can do better than I, you may take our
kraal ... and my sister too ... (giving names)." As each danced, they
were loudly applauded by their respective comrades. When a man, known
by the King to be a brave fellow, sprang up and danced, the King might
point and shake his hand at him approvingly. Others followed the same
process, though by no means in monotonous or regular fashion; and so it
went on until sunset. Occasionally the one addressed or "selected," as
it was called, refrained from taking up the challenge. Such a fellow
was called a coward, and, when the regiments had left the King, his
failure was freely commented on. He was then made to suffer the usual
indignities of cowards, viz. having his meat dipped in cold water, etc.

A day or two afterwards, two other regiments were pitted against one
another. Again the process of "selection" and challenging went on
excitedly until sunset.

After the fighting had taken place, the same challenging pairs of
regiments were called before the King to "discuss" the campaign.
(Such rule was, however, not followed during the Zulu War, for
obvious reasons). Some young man then jumped up and accosting the one
"selected" by him before hostilities occurred, shouted exultingly:
"What did you do, son of ...? I did this and did that (reciting various
deeds of valour or supposed valour). What have you to your credit?" The
other replied. The man generally allowed by those assembled to have
distinguished himself the more, was declared to have won the wager. The
property, as a matter of fact, did not change hands, though, at first,
it seemed as if it would do so. The stakes were merely figuratively
referred to for heightening public interest in the achievements.

Cattle rewards to acknowledged heroes were made by the King when "war
discussions" took place on the above lines.

When the circumstances were such that the troops had to march forthwith
against the enemy, the ceremony known as _ukucelwa_ (to be sprinkled)
was held. As with eating the _umbengo_, there were phases of the
custom. The essential features were: Cleansing internally by using
specially-prepared emetics and external cleansing by washing in the
stream; dipping one's fingers into an open dish placed on the fire,
containing hot liquid and drugs poured in by the war-doctor, and
thereafter sucking them and suddenly spitting out what has been so
sucked; uttering imprecations on the enemy when spirting the medicated
liquid from one's mouth; being smoked with drugs whilst standing in a
circle round the doctor; being sprinkled front and rear by the doctor
with yet other drugs of a caustic character.

There were various ways in which these essentials were observed. Such
variety was due to the fact that each medico to a certain extent kept
his own drugs, and observed a procedure peculiar to himself.

As an illustration, let us take what occurred in 1883, after Cetshwayo
had been attacked at Undi (Ulundi) by Zibebu. A couple of men who had
escaped, returned to their tribe near St. Lucia Bay with an assegai
that had been flung after them by Zibebu's men, but had failed to
strike. This was handed to a well-known war-doctor, who, being called
on to practise his arts on some forty _amaviyo_ then present, bent the
blade, and at the bend tied a small round vessel containing charms. The
assegai was stuck into the ground from 200 to 300 yards off by means of
its wooden end, sharpened for the purpose. He then required the troops
to approach, a _viyo_ at a time, when, whilst escorting the company, he
shouted out (in Zulu), "Here's a marvel! Here is the one who shuts out!
Here's the keeper of the door!" Each of these phrases, on being uttered
alternately, had to be repeated by the _viyo_ in chorus. The doctor
next directed each man, on filing past, to take hold of the vessel with
his fingers, slightly shake it and, at the same instant, exclaim: "I
have closed!" or "I shut!" The object of the performance was to cause
all Zibebu's assegais to miss their mark or become blunt, and all his
efforts against Dinuzulu and his allies to prove unavailing.

The same man, having later on caused the troops to form up in a
circle round him, by way of finally preparing them for battle, strode
hurriedly up and down and among the men holding something concealed in
his right hand. "What is this?" he swiftly asked one, only to pass on
similarly to another to put the same question. At the moment of asking,
he opened his hand for the fraction of a second, when a glittering
stone-like substance appeared, about two inches long, and as thick as
one's thumb. "It is earth!" exclaimed those able to catch a glimpse.
Upon which he said: "Did you see it?" "Yes, we did," was the reply. And
so, ever moving, he went about, clothed in weird garb, asking the same
questions in all directions, and always receiving the same answers:
"What is this?" "Earth." "Did you see it?" "Yes, we did." The scene
quickly became animated and exciting, due no doubt to the celerity
of movement and abrupt questioning of the great doctor, with evident
inability on the part of the warriors to know what the glittering
substance, of which they kept on obtaining but the briefest glimpses,
really was.

This was the man who was employed by Dinuzulu in 1888, shortly before
scoring a signal victory over Zibebu within 1,000 yards of Nongoma
magistracy in Zululand.

On leaving headquarters, after a stirring address by the King, the
army marched in one great column, in order of companies. Upon reaching
hostile territory it was split into two divisions of close formation,
when competent men were selected for reconnaissance and advanced guard
duty. This latter body, forming about ten companies, moved ahead of the
column to which it was attached, at a distance of ten to twelve miles.
The same was done in regard to the other division. The guard was made
considerable, to give the enemy the impression, especially when in
extended order, that it was the main body. It was held to be a serious
breach in tactics for the column to fail to divide as stated, for, on
being taken at a disadvantage, it was considered necessary for another
force to be on the flank for creating a diversion and so relieve the

The advanced guard purposely refrained from concealing itself. In
addition to the guard, spies were sent out in twos and threes to locate
the enemy, with a view to planning surprise or ambush. As soon as the
guard found it had been perceived and was being moved against by the
enemy, runners were at once dispatched to warn the main body.

The leading principle in attack was to endeavour to surround the
enemy. To effect this, the men, on an engagement becoming imminent,
were rapidly drawn up in semi-circular formation and instructed by the
officer in supreme command. These instructions resolved themselves
into specifying what regiments were to form the right "horn," as it
was called, what the left, and what were to compose the "chest" or
centre, as also the routes to be taken. The warriors, having been once
more sprinkled with drugs to ward off injury, exhorted through lively
recitation of praises of departed kings, and reminded of the challenges
and promises made by them in the presence of the sovereign, dashed
forward to realize the general plan or die in the attempt.

It was the rule to hold back a large force in reserve, for use in case
of necessity. The commanding officer and his staff took up a position
on high ground to watch the course of the battle, and issue any further
necessary directions.

Pass-words and countersigns were frequently made use of, especially as
much travelling about was necessary at night.

As it was only shortly before the Zulu War that firearms were acquired,
the use of these was not sufficiently general to interfere with the
national modes of warfare followed for over half a century.

The powers of endurance of the army when on the march were remarkable.
Although living on scanty supplies of food, the men could, on
emergency, travel forty miles in the course of a night and forthwith
engage in battle. The provision-bearers and herds could not, of course,
keep up with the column after the first day, with the result that each
warrior was obliged to carry his own food and equipment. Men frequently
rolled up their shields when marching, as they then became easier
to carry. Those whose feet became sore and swollen were laughed at,
including men who resorted to using sandals of ox-hide.

Let us conclude with a few customs formerly and still observed by
individuals in war-time.

No warrior ever goes off to war without visiting his home, in order
to "take the spirit" along with him, as it is called. The home is the
shrine at which he worships, and where the friendly aid and protection
of departed spirits are sought. When about to leave, two or three
enter the cattle enclosure and, at the upper end thereof, invoke their
ancestral spirits. In the meantime, an old woman has taken her stand
at, though outside, the gate awaiting the men's departure. She holds in
her hand an ordinary hand-broom of grass. With this she flicks the calf
of each warrior as he goes forth, thereby metaphorically warding off
the dangers towards which he is moving, but says nothing. The custom is
general, though not invariably practised.

After the men leave, various customs are observed by the women. The
huts just vacated by the men are carefully swept. A fire is forthwith
kindled in each, so as to make everything there bright and cheery. This
is done to encourage the return of the soldier and avert his remaining
eternally away. With the same object, his mat is carefully shaken and
rolled up, an ear of millet being put inside it. It is then stood
upright at the end of the hut (the usual position in normal times is
horizontal). And in such position it remains until the owner's return.
If he is injured, it is taken down.

Quarrelling of all kinds is studiously refrained from, as such is
supposed to draw the absent ones into danger. Not only women and
girls, but the whole establishment, including little children, observe
the most orderly and quiet behaviour, crying infants being hushed as
speedily as possible.

Wives and mothers mark their faces by rubbing with a specially-prepared
black paste of ashes, earth, etc. The marks are of various designs, the
most general being a semi-circle over each eye, the two meeting at the
top of the nose, or a 1-1/2 inch diameter circle on each cheek. The
tops of their leather skirts, too, are reversed, i.e. the nap thereon
is turned outwards.

Occasionally bitter-apple (_solanum_) berries are rolled slowly
along that side of the hut on which the warrior was in the habit of
sleeping, the berry being aimed to go out by the doorway and so carry
all possibilities of harm along with it.

The same berries, two or three of them, may be threaded on to a cord,
as also a rabbit tail, the whole being tied as a necklace round the
throat to ward off evil.

Other customs, not less quaint, are observed by mothers-in-law.

A sprig of wild asparagus is often stuck in the thatch over the doorway
of a hut to safeguard the home.

The black markings on the face and the wearing of the berries represent
formal suppression of ordinary personal feeling or the deliberate
assumption of an ugly, callous, and unsympathetic disposition.

When husbands or sons are killed, various other customs are conformed
to by women.

Turning to the soldiers themselves, we find that when any of the
enemy are killed in battle, those responsible for the deaths proceed
to rip open the deceased's stomach. This is done as it is feared the
deceased's unreleased spirit will invest the one who slew him and turn
him into a raving lunatic. He must also strip or, at least, partly
strip the corpse of its clothing and wear it himself until, having
cleansed himself in accordance with various formalities, he can resume
his own.

Those who have killed others, eat and live entirely apart from the main
body. This seclusion continues for many days. During this time, they
observe other formalities before being finally washed with drugs and
allowed to associate with their comrades. They are treated with great
respect, the best and fattest portions of meat are served out to them,
and they are entitled to wear the decorations previously referred to.

A coward, on the other hand, is subjected to the greatest indignities.
His meat is handed to him after having been dipped in cold water. This
causes girls to laugh at him. Not infrequently his fiancée will break
off the engagement, on the ground that he has so far unmanned himself
as to have become a woman. Being a woman, he naturally must not look
to another woman to become his wife! To such extent is this carried,
that one hears of cases where girls actually uncover themselves in his
presence by way of shaming him.

       *       *       *       *       *

And so one could go on describing the inner life of this remarkable
race, but sufficient has been said to enable the reader to understand
those with whom the Natal Government was, in 1906, called on to deal.
The character of their tactics and military habits and customs has
been roughly outlined in the foregoing sketch, which, as everyone who
lives in the country knows, is descriptive not of a system of life gone
by, but of one that was largely revived and practised by those who
took part in the fighting, rebels as well as loyalists. The present is
understood by studying the past, or, as a Zulu would say: _Inyati i
buzwa kwa ba pambili_ (news of the buffalo is sought of those who are
ahead). Thus the chapter which, at first, seemed to deal only with old
bones is found, on examination, to be a picture of the people as they
were at the beginning of the campaign.



 _State of affairs among the tribes._--On assuming the government
 of Natal, England found many disconnected tribes. This state of
 affairs has continued to exist to the present day, with the result
 that any attempts of Natives to organize among themselves have been
 confined chiefly to the limits of individual tribes. When Zululand was
 conquered, the principle of dissevering politically-connected tribes
 was followed, first by Sir Garnet Wolseley, later, and to greater
 extent, when the magistracies were established.

 Although the policy of _divide et impera_ has failed to destroy much
 of the natural affinity between tribes, there is no doubt it has also
 helped to drive others still further apart. The animosities between
 many of them are proverbial. The efforts of any Chief at organization
 have, moreover, been checked by a provision in the Code which
 prescribes penalties for "summoning an armed assembly of his tribe"
 or "classing or causing to be classed, the men of his tribe into
 companies or regiments," without the permission of the Supreme Chief.
 Notwithstanding this, various Chiefs have, for many years, divided
 their men into regiments and companies. In some cases, this has been
 done innocently by loyal men, in others by men not so loyal. No harm,
 however, arose out of the practice until the Insurrection took place,
 and even then the Government gained more, perhaps, from loyal Chiefs
 who happened to be semi-organized, _e.g._ Sibindi, Mveli, Sitshitshili
 and Mfungelwa, than it suffered from those who were openly disloyal,
 _e.g._ Bambata and Sigananda.

 The Poll Tax Act was, of course, a powerful agent in breaking down the
 long-standing differences referred to, whilst the order to kill off
 pigs and white fowls further influenced large numbers to unite and
 rebel. It was never possible to determine in any satisfactory way how
 many were prepared to join those actually in the field, even though
 approximate estimates of the latter could always be arrived at. It
 is enough, at this stage, to say that about 150 men struck the first
 decisive blow and that, although probably 1,000 adherents were gained
 at Nkandhla within the next two or three weeks, further accessions
 were determined rather by the successes met with than by a feeling
 that the methods adopted were the best available for securing the end
 in view. As these successes were insignificant, the rebels that joined
 did so in small lots at a time. Had the troops met with two or three
 reverses, especially at the beginning, it is probable thousands would
 have gone over, only to be followed by thousands of others if the
 efforts of these again had proved successful.

 _Leaders._--Suitable and experienced leaders were wanting; not that
 capable men could not be found, but the most capable were the ones who
 best realized the difficulties of the undertaking and the poor chances
 of success. There is no doubt that many Chiefs espoused the cause
 whilst pretending to be personally loyal, and this when many members
 of their tribes had deserted to join the rebels.

 _Arms and ammunition._--As there was no law forbidding the keeping of
 assegais and shields, it may be assumed nearly every Native in the
 Colony was fully armed, though many would not have been in possession
 of war shields.

 The law was strict in regard to firearms. Natives in general on the
 south-west side of the Tugela possessed no more than 200 registered
 guns, if so many. In Zululand, there were as many as 5,105 in
 1897;[75] by 1904, they had not increased beyond 5,126--all of them
 registered. Of the latter, about 90 per cent. were of the old Tower
 musket, smooth-bore, and other obsolete types.

 Apart from legally held guns, Dinuzulu was in possession of a number
 which he had failed to register, some of them obtained at the time
 of the Boer War. He also had large quantities of ammunition of
 various kinds, obtained at the same time and in other ways. How many
 other guns were owned by his late tribe or other tribes associated
 therewith, as well as other Zululand and Natal tribes, it is quite
 impossible to say.

 These facts are given to show what would have been available had the
 Insurrection become universal. How far the foregoing arms were used
 against the troops it is difficult to judge. The majority of those
 that were used were of the Martini-Henry, Snider, Lee-Metford and
 Mauser types.

 _Food supplies._--But for the premature outbreak at "Trewirgie," the
 Rebellion would probably not have begun until after all the crops had
 been reaped, _i.e._ about May. To have waited until all the grain
 was in would have been but to act in accordance with custom. The
 rebels, therefore, were somewhat at a disadvantage in regard to grain
 supplies. Although the cattle disease, known as East Coast Fever, had
 already invaded Zululand in the north, it had not up to that time made
 its way across the Umhlatuze, consequently, abundant meat supplies
 (cattle as well as goats) were always obtainable in the vicinity of
 Nkandhla. The ways in which supplies were procured whilst fighting was
 going on at Nkandhla, will be set forth later.


[Footnote 70: The main reason for outlining here a system suppressed
in 1879 is that it was at a partial revival thereof that the rebels
perpetually aimed. The character of their organization and warfare
was generally in accordance therewith. Nor, seeing many of them had
been obliged to conform thereto in earlier days, is this any cause for
surprise. A description of the old and famous order becomes, therefore,
the best and most illuminating introduction to their methods in 1906.

It will be remembered that when Tshaka set about conquering the various
tribes of Zululand and Natal, some of the more important broke away
and fled to far-off parts, _e.g._ Rhodesia, Lake Nyasa, Gasaland,
etc. Having regard to the enormous prestige acquired by the Zulus,
a prestige which outshone that of any other tribe in South Africa
south of the Equator, not only did tribes adjoining those which had
arrived find it in their interest to copy the habits and customs of the
dominant race and learn their tongue, but more particularly to adopt
the system by which the prestige had been won. Thus a description of
the system has the added interest of perhaps throwing light on what, in
point of fact, has become practically the basic idea or exemplar of all
Native military organizations in South Africa.

Had a tolerably comprehensive sketch of the system and its connected
customs been available, the present attempt would not have been made.]

[Footnote 71: Dingiswayo, Chief of the Mtetwa tribe (near St. Lucia
Bay, Zululand), is, curiously enough, believed to have had one or
more fundamental features of the system suggested to him, either from
observing the organization of British soldiers, as might have been
done in the Cape Colony at the beginning of the nineteenth century,
or, at least, by obtaining a detailed account thereof from some person
familiar therewith.]

[Footnote 72: At intervals, as the hair grew long, it would be removed,
but only to enable it to be sewn closer to the head.]

[Footnote 73: The badge known as _tshokobezi_, worn especially by
followers of Dinuzulu, is referred to later (p. 198, note).]

[Footnote 74: Separate bivouacs were appointed for fear of regiments
fighting one another.]

[Footnote 75: Nearly all these were obtained prior to the Imperial
Government's assumption of control in Zululand (May, 1887).]



About the year 1895 South Africa was invaded from the north by a plague
of locusts. A succession of several abnormally dry seasons, peculiarly
favourable for hatching the young, resulted in the swarms increasing
to alarming proportions. Immense clouds of them swept over the land
in all directions, sometimes so vast as to render dimmer the light of
the sun. Natal, euphemistically though not untruly styled the Garden
Colony, suffered, if anything, more than other parts, and this owing
to the very abundance of her crops and almost tropical vegetation.
Recurrent devastations of crops lasted until 1903 or 1904 when, through
determined and systematic co-operation among Europeans in the several
colonies, involving heavy outlays of public monies, the pest was
successfully counteracted and stamped out. The Natives of Natal and
Zululand, accustomed as they are to cultivating but small patches of
maize and corn, barely sufficient for their wants even in plenteous
seasons, suffered most. In connection with this "invasion" came a
year of scarcity among them (1896), necessitating distribution by the
Government, for their relief, of large supplies of grain at cost price
and under,--in some cases, free of charge.

In 1897 a new cattle disease, known as rinderpest, began to make its
appearance, and this, whilst the older and well-nigh endemic one,
called lung-sickness, was still afflicting the cattle of white and
black alike. It, too, had gradually come down from the north. More
virulent in form than lung-sickness, it soon spread to all parts of
Natal and Zululand, destroying large percentages of the herds wherever
permitted to enter. Again did the scourge press more heavily on Natives
than on Europeans, especially in Zululand, for the reason that, being
a pastoral people, they were peculiarly dependent in many ways on
cattle. It will, for instance, be recollected that cattle are used as
an essential constituent in every marriage contract. Milk, moreover,
is extensively used for feeding infants and children. The price of
stock advanced 500% and more; even where sufficient money was earned
by hard labour, the necessary _lobola_ cattle could not be purchased.
It, therefore, became difficult for the young men to obtain wives.
That a certain spirit of restlessness and discontent gradually grew up
in them cannot be wondered at. Indeed, it is generally admitted these
misfortunes, coming one on top of the other and closely affecting the
life of the people, were, on the whole, met by them with singular
fortitude and forbearance.

But more was to follow. About the end of the late War, through
importation at Beira, it has been supposed, of fresh blood in the shape
of cattle from Australia to re-stock Rhodesia, a fresh disease--even
more disastrous than rinderpest--also previously unknown in South
Africa, made its appearance among such stock as remained in that part,
and thereafter slowly but surely spread in different directions.
Rinderpest had, like a hurricane, swept through South Africa (leaving
patches here and there unaffected), and eventually spent itself at
the sea at Cape Town. The new disease, known as East Coast Fever, or
Tick Fever, by reason of infection being carried by a species of tick,
common almost to the whole of South Africa, was much more searching and
destructive in its effects. It crept steadily south-ward, affecting
European and Native cattle alike. After causing vast and widespread
losses, it is still unconquered at time of writing, though, especially
since the Union Government assumed control, the possibilities of its
spreading have been greatly reduced.

Entering the Colony on the eastern section of its northern boundary,
it moved from place to place, striking down herds wherever it appeared
with a suddenness that hardly seemed possible from the slowness of its
march. The Natives of Zululand were the first to feel the blow, but the
still more numerous black and white population of Natal, though having
greater time to organize resistance, did not suffer less. A fundamental
characteristic of human nature showed itself in the complacency with
which the disease was viewed whilst at a distance, and alarm and even
panic when it actually invaded the Colony. Every precaution which
science or quackery could suggest was adopted. Thousands of pounds were
spent on a device, only a few weeks later to be displaced by another,
even more expensive. Parliament passed one law after another, whose
aggregate effect scarcely abated the evil, whilst the inconvenience to
Natives through enforcement of regulations amounted, in some instances,
to actual provocation. That they were unable to see eye-to-eye with
the Veterinary Department or other controlling authority in the
restrictions imposed within infected or supposed infected areas was due
not to fictitious, but to genuine, belief. However, it was clear from
the outset that European cattle were no more immune than their own.
If their race suffered, so also did that of the white man. Irritating
though the precautions were, the fact remained that Natives' cattle
were being swept off wholesale, leaving the people in a greatly
impoverished condition.

But there was another matter, and one of long standing, regarded by
them as a still greater affliction. To this we must now turn.

Ever since farms were laid off in Natal for European occupation, rents
had been collected from the Native tenants. There were many reasons,
sentimental as well as arising out of actual necessity, to account for
the presence of Natives on such farms. First, there was the kraal, and
its family (with numerous old local associations) already _in situ_
when the farm was laid off; secondly, the farmer, who had no tenants,
had, by the offer of inducements, obtained them; thirdly, Natives
ejected for some reason from adjoining or other lands, who had come
to apply for permission "to squat." There was variety, again, when the
character of the tenancy is examined. One landlord had, as the basis of
his contract, service in lieu of rent; another required certain service
with a small rent; another, service for which he paid the market wage,
leaving the tenant free for six months of the year, but charged rent;
another wanted nothing but the rent. Without going too deeply into this
exceedingly complex question, it is sufficient to remark that "service
in lieu of rent" was generally demanded by the Dutch farmers, in many
ways fairer and more sympathetic to their tenants than other landlords,
whilst cash was generally required by British farmers. Where rents were
charged, they were felt by many Natives to be burdensome. With a number
of tenants on his farm, a landlord, of course, felt that where one man
could raise the rent, all must be required to do so, otherwise chaos
would result. Rents naturally varied in different parts, some places
being more productive than others. The lowest amount was about £1 per
hut, whilst the highest was as much as £12. The average, however, stood
between £2 and £3. As the sizes of Native establishments varied, or
facilities for cultivation or grazing and disposing of produce or stock
were unequal, so the difficulties of a tenant obtaining the amount of
his rent varied. None of the farmers, Boer or British, intended to
be oppressive. Many of them were remarkably patient and considerate.
The fact, however, remains, that for some time before the Rebellion,
some were oppressive, although unintentionally so. This mercenary
spirit, however, was exhibited not only by the farmers of Natal.
Anyone who takes the trouble to read the official publications will
find it prevailing in other parts of South Africa. It is, indeed, a
characteristic of Western Civilization. Even where Natives themselves
are in possession of farms, they, aping their masters, follow a policy
not less exacting in regard to men of their own colour.

For several years prior to the Rebellion, the high rate of rents was
generally felt as a burden. It was talked about, and talked about
loudly. Every report on Native Affairs showed that such was the
case. On the other hand, one heard not a word in regard to the hut
tax imposed by the Government.[76] The justice of it was approved and
its amount considered reasonable. As a matter of fact, the complaint
that made itself heard, was not against the European farmers, but
against the system which had initiated freehold, leasehold, or any
other tenure, as distinct from the purely communal. Because the Natal
Government did not abolish landlordism, or at least prohibit landlords
from charging tenants more than, say £1 per hut, and ejectment on
failure to pay, Natives considered they had just ground for complaint
against the Government. In their ignorance of the history of freehold,
they looked on the colonists as having initiated, and as being
responsible for, a system that flourished in Europe long before Vasco
da Gama sailed up the coast of South Africa to set eyes on and name the
country occupied by their artless ancestors.

Associated with this question were those of usury and cruelly
extortionate charges by certain members of the legal profession,
notably such as practised in the "country districts." In consequence
of many tenants being unable to meet their obligations, largely
through loss of cattle from disease, they were driven to borrowing
money. For many years past, it had been the practice for them to draw
on their cattle to overcome temporary embarrassment. In the absence
of a law regulating the interest chargeable on loans, a few of the
lenders demanded and received fabulous rates. It would, however, be
unfair to hold the administration responsible for not providing a law,
practically unknown in civilized communities, until necessity therefor
had actually revealed itself. However that may be, the position must
be looked at as it was. Here was a people compelled in the main to
meet their financial obligations, public and private, with no better
means than the earnings of their sons. These sons, aware that their
fathers were depending largely on them, instead of _vice versa_, began
to assume an unusually independent attitude in respect, not only of
their parents, but of everyone else. The parents complained to the
Government and pressed for the application of correctives. What one of
the correctives was will presently appear.[77]

This independence, indeed, was but a symptom characteristic of the
age. Its growth had, for many years, been observable, though, in
former days, not nearly so aggravated as it became in later ones. To
such an extent did it develop by 1906, that contempt for authority,
particularly Native authority, began to manifest itself in numerous
ways, quickened and accentuated by the evil influences of European

The principal means available to a kraal-head for obtaining money had,
for years, been the sending of his sons to work in European towns
and elsewhere. With the discovery of the Barberton and Johannesburg
gold-fields, considerable inducements were offered in the higher wages
there obtainable. It, therefore, followed that many accustomed up
till then to find employment in Natal, went off to the new centres of
industry. The more these centres developed, the greater became their
attractions. The result was that, before long, many thousands repaired
thither year after year. So large did the number of Natal and Zululand
labourers become, that it became necessary to establish a Government
Agent at Johannesburg, whose principal duty was to receive and remit to
their respective homes the earnings of the workers. Had there been no
such considerate provision, much of the money, urgently required as it
was by the parents, must have been squandered, stolen or lost.[78]

At these gold-mining centres, however, especially Johannesburg, youths
of Natal came into contact with thousands of Natives from all parts of
South Africa. They there became acquainted with that insidious American
Negro propaganda called Ethiopianism, as well as with unscrupulous,
low-class Europeans of various nationalities. In such environment,
it is not surprising that the already growing spirit of independence
was developed, as well as vice of the worst possible types. These
retrograde tendencies were not long in reacting on Natives in the
locations and farms of Natal. Indeed, in conjunction with the local
influences referred to above, they speedily became the most potent
agents for setting at naught that wonderful tribalism of some of whose
features an account has already been given. A deeply-rooted antagonism
towards the white man on the part of some began to manifest itself,
accompanied by a spirit of defiance that found expression in many ways.
Hardly less subversive and disintegrating were the effects of coming
into contact with thousands of British soldiers, and the ludicrously
familiar attitude of the latter towards Natives during the Boer War.

Alive to the necessity of assisting parents in a matter of this kind,
the Government--the Prime Minister then being the Hon. C.J. Smythe--had
its own predicament to consider. The wave of great financial
depression, brought on by the protracted War, had told severely on
the Colony. The Treasury was empty. The credit of the Colony was
falling. As much as 6% was being paid on temporary loans, instead of
the average rate of 3-1/2% for years paid on public loans. A necessity
for instituting new taxing measures was urgent. Already, whilst the
preceding Sutton Ministry was in power, had the need for taxation made
itself felt. Among the bills of that ministry was one that proposed the
imposition of a poll tax, but beyond publication in the _Gazette_, no
further steps had been taken in regard thereto.

When the Smythe Ministry came to look into the financial position,
it decided to adopt some of its predecessor's taxing measures and to
discard others. Among those discarded, was a Poll Tax Bill. Certain
other bills, among them one dealing with unoccupied lands, were passed
by the Legislative Assembly, only to be rejected by the Legislative
Council. With the end of the session in view and no provision made for
equalising revenue and expenditure, it became imperative to impose
some other form of taxation. There was, however, no time to prepare
a fresh bill. The most obvious forms of taxation had been attempted
but had failed. In these circumstances, it was resolved to fall back
on the Poll Tax Bill on account of its having already been gazetted
as required by law. The Treasurer (Mr., now Sir, Thomas Hyslop,
K.C.M.G.), having failed, owing to the adverse action of a nominated
upper chamber, to pass measures that appeared to him suitable, it was
decided the Prime Minister should take charge of the bill. It succeeded
in passing through both Houses with comparatively little discussion.
In August, 1905, it became law. It would not have become law but for
the rejection of the other taxing measures that had been passed by the
representatives of the people.

There are, it has been held, but two forms of direct taxation
applicable to all sections of the community without discriminating
between classes, namely a poll tax and a house tax. A house tax had
been attempted, but, owing to loud and universal protest by the
European community, it was not introduced.

Though difficult to justify a poll tax as an equitable mode of taxation
among civilized people, it is not inappropriate when applied to
Native races. If imposed on all sections of the community, it would,
if standing alone, be an unfair tax; accompanied, however, by an
income tax, which the Government proposed to bring forward during the
following session, the unfairness would have ceased to exist.

There was strong feeling among many in the Colony that Natives were not
bearing a fair share of taxation. The choice lay between increasing the
hut tax payable by kraal-owners, or leaving the tax on them as before
and imposing a fresh one on the younger men. It is a matter of opinion
which was the better course to pursue, but, in any case, the poll tax
of £1 per head on the unmarried man, and the hut tax of 14s. on the
married man, cannot be regarded as unduly burdensome, especially when
compared with the taxes imposed in the adjoining Colonies, Transvaal
and Orange Free State. In the former, £2 was payable yearly by every
adult male Native, and a further £2 by those having more than one wife
for each additional wife;[79] in the latter, a poll tax of £1 was
payable by all Natives. In neither of these cases, however, was there a
hut tax as in Natal.

The poll tax was imposed on all sections, Europeans, Asiatics and
Natives, but, in respect of the last, those already liable for hut
tax were specially excepted. It accordingly fell on the young men, so
many of whom, as we have seen, went to work at Johannesburg and were
becoming more and more independent of their parents. Thus a class was
taxed which had, to a large extent, escaped taxation, though generally
speaking, assisting their fathers in finding money for hut tax and
other purposes. Had the tax been imposed on the Natives alone, the
bill would have had to be reserved for the King's approval. That would
have meant delay; but the country could not afford to delay. Through
adopting the course above indicated, the royal assent was unnecessary.

Before considering the manner in which the new law was received by the
Natives, reference should be made to an incident, normal in civilized
communities, but quite abnormal in those of barbarians. The Government
resolved to take the census. Up to that time, no actual enumeration of
the Natives had ever been attempted. Estimates only had been prepared
from time to time, without any intimation of such fact being given to
the Natives. These had been based primarily on the hut tax returns. The
reason for not requiring coloured races to conform to the same law as
Europeans in this respect was because of their suspicious temperament.
There is nothing a Zulu will take umbrage at more quickly than when
he, his family and belongings, are being counted. It appears to him
tantamount to placing himself entirely in the hands of another, and
of being "surrounded." This instinctive dread is deeply rooted, and
its _raison d'être_ is seen in the mode of attack practised by him
in actual warfare, whereby a force moves forward, theoretically in
half-moon formation, with the object of _encircling_ the enemy.

It is, of course, absurd to think that the Natal Government, under
which the Natives had lived peacefully for half a century, could have
had any inimical motive in taking a census, but that the Natives felt
some such motive was latent, is borne out by what happened when the
regulations were explained by a Magistrate at a gathering of Chiefs
and their followers near Greytown. A Native present put the question:
"What guarantee have we that, in being enumerated in the fashion
proposed, it is not in the mind of the Government, making use of the
information gained, to do us an injury in the future?" The reply was:
"The Government has no evil intentions whatever, the sun will sooner
fall from the heavens than any evil come upon you, as a result of this
census-taking. Europeans, including myself, will be counted along with
you." This assurance which, from a European point of view, the official
was fully justified in giving, was, however, soon made to bear an
interpretation extremely difficult to reply to, and this in the very
district where the Insurrection proper afterwards began. The census
was taken in due course in 1904, meeting with murmuring here and there
among the Natives in parts of the Colony. In the year following, the
Poll Tax Act was passed and proclaimed. What was more natural than
that they should associate that time-honoured practice of Western
Civilization with the introduction of a form of taxation which, in
their view, did them injury by imposing an additional financial burden,
and, what was worse, accentuating and even legalizing the independence
of children towards their fathers, an independence the sons themselves
(free from control as many of them had become), veering round in their
resentment, also condemned as subversive of their whole system of life.
From the parents' point of view, it appeared as if their sons, already
too independent, were being rendered still more so. And yet, in passing
the Act, the Government was of the belief that one of the correctives
above referred to was being provided, and would operate in favour of
the parents. Had liability been laid on the father rather than on the
son, the protests raised would probably not have been as loud as they

Early in the summer of the same year a curious phenomenon was observed
in connection with the Kaffir corn or _mabele_ crops, particularly in
those portions of the Colony that abutted on Zululand. The ears of corn
were attacked by the aphis insect in such way as to give an impression
of having been oiled. Whole fields glittered in the sun. Although
the phenomenon was capable of complete explanation by scientists, it
appeared mysterious to European laymen and still more so to Natives,
who could recall nothing of the kind in previous years. As a result
of inability to explain, the idea got about that Dinuzulu was the
cause. The phenomenon was, therefore, taken as a sign that that Chief
had something in mind which called for co-operation on their part.
This impression became current also among a number of Natal tribes,
notwithstanding that two generations had elapsed since the severance
of their connection with the Zulu royal house. The crops in question
are universally regarded by Natives as the most important, for it is
of this grain that the national beverage and food _tshwala_ is made.
As the corn-fields were attacked over wide areas in a manner at once
mysterious and harmless, the characteristics accorded well with the
supposition that Dinuzulu was the cause, for it was believed he had
potent drugs of which he alone, assisted by various witch-doctors
from afar, understood the use. The disease, for such it was, was
widely talked of, and Dinuzulu was said to have brought it on for some
inscrutable purpose to be revealed or not in the near future as he
might choose.

Here again, we have an incident of no significance whatever among
Europeans and yet regarded by numberless Natives as a sign of something
important to come. The disease existed until after the Rebellion, when,
strange to say, it vanished as suddenly as it had appeared.

There was yet another phenomenon which attracted widespread attention,
and became invested by the Natives with special significance, namely, a
hailstorm of unusual severity on the 31st May, 1905. It swept violently
through the whole Colony, including large areas adjacent thereto. Not
for more than a generation had there been anything so furious and
destructive. At first the incident seemed to pass without any special
comment, but towards the end of the year, about September or October,
and just before the provisions of the Poll Tax Act were explained by
the Magistrates, certain strange rumours, directly connected with the
storm, began to make themselves heard. So curious were these, that one
could not help pricking up his ears to listen, only, however, to laugh
at their utter absurdity.

Owing to the fact that, ridiculous as they appeared to Europeans to be,
the rumours were believed, and what is more, began to be acted on, by
Natives in many parts, it is necessary to consider them seriously, and
in so doing, it is possible that some light may be thrown on the inner
workings of the black man's mind, and that some of the mystery which
still enshrouds the underlying causes of the Rebellion may be removed.

The rumours were in the form of a fiat or command, and associated with
a personality whose name was never revealed. Neither place nor time
was given. All that was known was that the command existed, purported
to have come from some one in supreme authority, and peremptorily
demanded obedience. The following is the message, given as nearly as
possible in the form in which it circulated among the Natives: "_All
pigs must be destroyed, as also all white fowls. Every European utensil
hitherto used for holding food or eating out of must be discarded and
thrown away. Anyone failing to comply will have his kraal struck by a
thunderbolt when, at some date in the near future, he sends a storm
more terrible than the last, which was brought on by the Basuto king in
his wrath against the white race for having carried a railway to the
immediate vicinity of his ancestral stronghold._"

In some places, it was believed white goats and white cattle were also
to be destroyed. Pigs, although kept by many Natives to sell or barter
to Europeans, were not eaten by them. They had been introduced by the
white race, and were regarded by Natives as creatures whose flesh
"smells." The same prejudice did not exist in regard to fowls, for
whose presence in the country Europeans, for all the Natives knew, were
not responsible. To discriminate, therefore, between white ones and
others, as well as between utensils of European manufacture and those
of their own, could carry but one meaning to any intelligent mind, and
that was that drastic aggressive measures of some kind against the
white race were intended. What these were to be every Native knew quite
well. He knew it was proposed to rise simultaneously and massacre the
whites, although the time the butchery was to take place had still to
be fixed. The word "thunderbolt," too, bore metonymic interpretation.
The acts or characteristics of a Zulu monarch were frequently, in
ordinary parlance, compared with the fury of the elements. On the other
hand, in accordance with naïve and deeply-rooted belief, the King, to
whom the sky was said to _belong_, was supposed to be able to cause
the heavens to pour down or withhold rain at his pleasure, though,
to do this, he might be obliged to invoke the assistance of Native
kings of other countries. It was, for instance, believed that gentle,
copious rains could be induced by the Swazi kings, whilst the kings
of Basutoland possessed drugs for bringing on violent thunderstorms,
accompanied by lightning, wind and hail. Whenever any of these natural
phenomena was specially required in Zululand,--ordinary rains, of
course, were greatly in demand in times of drought,--it devolved on
the King to furnish the oxen, as a rule about ten, necessary for
presentation at the foreign court, before the "lord of the elements"
would consent to exercise his skill. Hence, "thunderbolt," in such
context as the above, means either the King's own army (which never
went through a country but its devastations resembled those of a
hurricane), or a storm brought about through the King interceding with
such other king as _could_ bring it on.

It is, therefore, not to be wondered at that, on hearing the command
noised abroad, Natal Chiefs should have at once concluded it emanated
from Dinuzulu who, though not a King, was the recognised representative
of the Zulu royal house. Chiefs like Mveli near Pietermaritzburg,
Mtambo and Ndunge near Durban, Tilonko and Sikukuku near Mid Illovo,
and Mtele and Nondubela of Umsinga, and others, accordingly thought
it right to dispatch messengers direct to Dinuzulu to ascertain if
such order had or had not originated from him. Tilonko went further
and asked Dinuzulu if he was to pay the poll tax or not. Dinuzulu
promptly denied having issued any such "word." He added that if the
people wished to conform to the supposed order it was no affair of his;
they could please themselves. This denial, however, did not amount to
much, for admission, assuming him to have been the originator, would
have been tantamount to saying he was guilty of sedition. No assertion
is here made that it did emanate from him. The reader must be left to
draw his own inference. It is not a little remarkable that the Chiefs
named should have associated Dinuzulu with the order and gone to the
trouble of communicating with him at a distance of 200 miles without
reference to the Government. That they should have done so is, perhaps,
accounted for by Dinuzulu's having posed as agent-in-chief of the Zulu
people. In connection with the locust invasion, for instance, partly
civilized though he was, he is alleged to have sent ten oxen all the
way to the notorious witch Mabelemade in the Transvaal to implore her
to remove the plague. The plague afterwards vanished. If Dinuzulu did
act in this way, to whom are ignorant Natives likely to have ascribed
the relief they then got? And to whom would they look for deliverance
on subsequent occasions of general misfortune?

Under the Zulu regime, no king would have dreamt of issuing so vague
and mysterious an order. Had he wished anything to be done, he would
have communicated his instructions to his _indunas_, who would have
transmitted them by recognized messengers to the Chiefs, these to the
headmen who, in their turn, would have advised the heads of families
immediately under their respective supervision. Everything would have
taken place openly, speedily, definitely. The precise meaning of the
royal intentions would have become known from the outset to every soul.
In 1905, however, something had to be done against, and under the very
eyes and nose of, a power to whom Dinuzulu and all his former followers
were, and had for long been, subject. Hence the necessity for issue
of an anonymous type of order, and, as no Native of Natal or Zululand
had ever had experience of such message, it followed that communication
with Dinuzulu was necessary to ascertain if he had issued it, and, if
so, what his plans were.

In the district of Weenen, inhabited by two of the largest tribes in
Natal or Zululand, viz. those of Silwana and Ngqambuzana,[80] the
Magistrate was successful in tracing the rumours to a definite source.
They had been disseminated there by three Natives, who, under the rôle
of messengers from Dinuzulu, had also traversed Newcastle, Dundee and
Klip River divisions. They visited the kraals of Chiefs and others
along their route. "They led the Natives," says the Magistrate, "to
believe that war would shortly be declared by Dinuzulu, and those
who failed to carry out his instructions as to the killing of pigs
and destruction of utensils of European manufacture, and a reversion
in general to their primitive mode of living, would be swept away by
him. Reference was also made to a Basuto woman who had risen from
the dead and was in communication with Dinuzulu. They alleged that
500 emissaries of Dinuzulu were canvassing South Africa." One of the
'messengers' "alleged that he and nine others had been dispatched by
the Paramount Chief of [Basutoland] to Dinuzulu, from whom they now
bore instructions which were similar in effect to those circulated by
the other two men."[81] The Magistrate was unable to find that any of
the three 'messengers' had been in communication with Dinuzulu. After
trial and conviction, they were severely punished for spreading the
false rumours.

These rumours were circulated in Weenen division before the Natives
were officially notified of their obligation to pay the poll tax. In
view of the mystery that still attaches to this extraordinary incident,
it may be of interest, as showing the working of a Native's mind, to
compare it with a somewhat similar one in Kaffraria, Cape Colony, which
reached its climax in February, 1857. It will be remembered that many
thousands of cattle of those parts had recently been swept away by
disease; that a Native fanatic, Mhlakaza, thereafter came forward and
urged the people to destroy their cattle, desist from cultivation,
etc.; and that, after complying with the insane order, some 25,000
Natives are estimated to have perished from starvation, whilst 100,000
went out of the Colony in search of food. An official statement was
made in April, 1858, by a prophetess, niece of this man Mhlakaza (then
deceased). This is so cleverly descriptive of the stuff in which Native
superstition has its roots, and has such obvious affinity with the Zulu
propaganda of 1905, that it is inserted hereunder in some detail.[82]
An article dealing, _inter alia_, with superstitions connected with the
Matabele Rebellion, 1896, will be found in Appendix X.

It may be argued that the command to kill off pigs and fowls arose
in a way similar to that made public by Mhlakaza. But in that case
the origin was traced to strangers who communicated their messages
to a particular girl, who, in her turn, referred to Mhlakaza, a
well-known man. In the pig-and-white-fowl-killing affair, the order
seems to have originated with emissaries, careful not to sow the seed
in places from which its origin could be traced by the white race.
Only by employing secret agents, and making a thorough investigation
extending over six weeks, could those who toured Weenen division be
traced and apprehended. It is the easiest thing in the world for a
stranger, especially if a Native, to utter an alarming rumour to other
Natives,--who are an extremely credulous people,--and give out at,
say, each of half-a-dozen places that he had heard it in some manner
which, in fact, is entirely fictitious. For instance, in the year
1900, a rumour was started in the Lower Tugela division that all pigs
were to be killed. An official meeting of Chiefs was promptly called
to investigate, but whilst the originator's whereabouts could not be
traced, the fact that attention had been publicly directed to the
rumour at once put a stop to its further circulation.

There is no doubt but that the underlying intention of the order to
kill pigs and white fowls and discard European utensils was that the
Natives of Natal and Zululand should rise against the white man. Its
purpose was to warn, as well as to unite, by the use of a threat. In
the absence of positive evidence, which may yet be forthcoming, it
would be wrong to draw any precise inference as to its origination.
On the whole, it seems to us more likely to have sprung from the
imagination of some Native obsessed with the idea that the conditions
of life under European rule were intolerable, than from that of

By this time, the temper of the people had undergone a considerable
change. A sullen demeanour was assumed by them as soon as the poll tax
was proclaimed. To use a Zulu metaphor (without equivalent in English),
and one that exactly expresses the position, the new tax had caused
them to _qunga_.[83] This sullenness is, indeed, characteristic of the
people under abnormal conditions. Until satisfied that any action in
regard to them is oppressive or betrays neglect of their interests,
they are, however, slow to take offence. They prefer to wait and
observe the effect on others. If these, too, become morose, the tide of
sullenness rises to resentment, and then to anger and open defiance.
That the whole community was more or less charged with this ugly
spirit, will presently be seen from the contemptuous manner in which
Magistrates and other officials were treated in various parts of the

It is curious to note in this connection an almost total absence of
belief among the Europeans (including those with expert knowledge of
the Natives), that actual rebellion was imminent.

But although sullenness is characteristic of the people, it would be
a libel to describe them as otherwise than exceedingly patient and
long-suffering, equable and philosophic. Once conquered, they become
loyal and devoted subjects, even of a race radically different from
their own. They are profoundly conservative--the conservatism of
ages--content with a simple life, simple pursuits and pastimes. But
once such ideal has been destroyed or abandoned, they become restless,
unstable and unhappy.

From what has been said, it can be seen that the direct and indirect
association of Dinuzulu with the incidents immediately preceding the
Insurrection was of the deepest and most subtle character. The part
actually played by him during the rising, in some respects that of
a kind of Zulu Hamlet, will be gradually unfolded as the narrative
proceeds. A brief account of his antecedents has already been given.
It is proposed now to consider the kind of life led by him in Zululand
after returning from St. Helena, because an understanding thereof will
enable the reader to appreciate the position better than he might
otherwise do.

Attention should, in the first place, be drawn to the fact that
during his stay at St. Helena (1889-1897), Dinuzulu was subjected
to influences that contributed in no small degree to his subsequent
undoing. The Governor of the island, with no sense of the fitness of
things, treated him just as he might have done Napoleon. The result was
that when he returned to the land of his fathers, he was neither savage
nor civilized. He had been "spoilt."

With a "spoilt" young Zulu the Government of Natal had to get on as
well as it could. Without going into the terms of his repatriation,
which will be dealt with later, it may be pointed out that, after
spending a few weeks at Eshowe, he was allowed to return to his tribe
near Nongoma, where he erected his Usutu and other kraals.

As soon as he got away from the restraining influences of civilization,
he relapsed more or less into a state of barbarism. He became a
"freethinker." He married more wives than one, and kept more concubines
than a dozen. He cast aside the European clothes he had so long worn,
not, however, to don once more the picturesque garb of his youth, but
something which was neither one thing nor the other. His morals became
lax. He grew indolent. His life, being of an unsettled, invertebrate
and isolated type, caused many of his actions to appear ambiguous
and mysterious. This, in a man naturally cunning, was ascribed to
duplicity. He wallowed in such luxury as the £500 a year allowed by
the Government and what remained of his patrimony could command at his
semi-barbarous, semi-civilized kraal, and sated himself with inordinate
quantities of European spirits. He presently became so extraordinarily
obese, that it was with difficulty he could move about unassisted. The
affliction of "expansion," to which members of the Zulu royal house are
notoriously liable, came upon him at an age earlier than usual.

The sorry picture that has been drawn of a man, not without estimable
qualities, could not, we venture to think, have existed had better
judgment been exercised by the authorities and his friends in St.
Helena, and, to some extent, those in Zululand as well. And yet, in
St. Helena, counter influences had not been wanting. Ndabuko, for
instance, strenuously resisted all endeavours for his own so-called
"improvement"; if Tshingana was less obdurate, he had sufficient
judgment and sagacity to prevent his benevolent preceptors from
carrying him too far.

This aspect of Dinuzulu's private life, well known to many Europeans
and thousands of Natives in Natal and Zululand, has not been repeated
for the sake of blackening his character, but--by showing that his
European friends were primarily responsible for the _debâcle_--to serve
as a warning, for it was out of conditions such as these that the
crime, of which he was later on convicted, came to be hatched.

It was in these ways, as well as in attending to the affairs of his
tribe, and meddling in other matters that did not concern him, that
Dinuzulu passed his time at Usutu between 1898 and 1906.

In 1903-4 there were persistent rumours as to the possibility of
Manzolwandhle taking the field against him on the ground of his being
an usurper.[84] A remark commonly made by Zulus is: "The Zulu crown is
won by force." Instances of this are: Tshaka, who, though not the heir,
wrested it from Sigujana; Dingana--by assassinating Tshaka; Mpande--by
defeating Dingana in a pitched battle; and Cetshwayo--by defeating
Mpande's heir, Mbuyazi, in 1856. Had the crown been worth fighting for
in earlier days, it is not unlikely Manzolwandhle would have taken up
arms against his brother.

Actions of political significance in Dinuzulu's life, and more or less
connected with the Insurrection, will now be considered.

Towards the end of the Boer War, a most regrettable and at the
same time highly significant incident occurred near the town of
Vryheid. During the early stages of the War, there had been a tacit
understanding between the contestants that the Zululand-South African
Republic border should not be violated, seeing the Natives on both
sides, who formed the great bulk of the population in those regions,
were taking no part in the hostilities, the War being, as was explained
to them, a "white man's war." This spirit prevailed for a considerable
period, good order being maintained as in times of peace. Later, when
guerilla tactics were resorted to by the republican forces, orders
were issued (without reference, however, to the civil authorities of
Natal and Zululand), for the destruction or seizure of the enemy's
property by way of depriving him of all sources of supply. These
instructions drew to that part such commandoes as had been recruited
there, including General Botha himself, the men individually desiring
to protect their families as well as their homesteads and stock from
possible aggressive action by the Zulus. In these circumstances,
British troops not being sufficiently near to afford assistance,
authority was given Dinuzulu and the Natives of Zululand generally to
protect themselves and their stock by force of arms should they, at any
time, be attacked by the Boers.

Some twenty miles from Vryheid, but much further from Dinuzulu's kraal,
there lived a Zulu tribe, known as the Baqulusi, under the Chief
Sikobobo. The antecedents of the tribe are not without interest. It was
established many years previously by a woman, a notable member of the
royal house. It became the rule for no war to be waged by the nation,
except with this Chieftainess's approval.

So keenly did the Boers resent the manner in which, as they averred,
the Baqulusi were assisting the British, that they began to harass them
by burning their kraals. Sikobobo, having taken refuge with his tribe
at Vryheid, resolved to retaliate. He ascertained that a party of some
70 Boers, known as Potgieter's commando, were bivouacking on ground at
the base of a mountain called Holkrantz (Mtatshana), some 12 miles from
the town. He marched out one night with some 300 followers, surrounded
the party at dawn, and massacred all but about 16. The Boers, it must
be remarked, did not expect attack by Natives, who were regarded as
neutral in a war between white races. The Boer rifles were, of course,
taken. Some at any rate are said to have been carried off to Dinuzulu.

This affair naturally created a profound impression on the Native mind
(to say nothing of that of the Boers), particularly as, only in 1838
and 1879, had Zulus succeeded in defeating a considerable number of
Europeans. It remains to add that, although the Baqulusi were formerly
a Zulu tribe, they were no longer a tribe of Zululand at the time of
this affair (they were Boer subjects and living in Boer territory),
hence, Dinuzulu's alleged acceptance of the guns went to show he was
dealing in matters lying beyond the position and jurisdiction assigned

In the year 1904, Zibebu demanded of Dinuzulu the return of certain
cattle owed him by the latter's father. After Cetshwayo's defeat in
1879, that King's enormous estate, consisting of marriageable girls
and cattle, was not dealt with and disposed of. To a large portion of
this Zibebu, second cousin of Cetshwayo, claimed to be owner. Dinuzulu
opposed. The animosity formerly existing between them was revived,
accompanied by rumours of possible further bloodshed. About the same
time, Dinuzulu built a fort on top of a high hill a mile or so from his
kraal Usutu. The fact of his having done this was freely talked about,
as also his keeping regiments of young men at Usutu, notably one known
as his bodyguard and called "Nkomondala." These he required to undergo
military exercises. But what right had a Chief to erect fortifications
and train warriors without the authority of Government?

There were, moreover, rumours among the Natives that Dinuzulu had
dispatched messengers to the Swazi Queen to solicit help against
Zibebu. Others were that he contemplated fighting his brother
Manzolwandhle, and that messages had accordingly been sent by him to
Chiefs in the Northern Districts,[85] also to others in the Transvaal.
Further, he was reputed to be in communication with the Basutos of
Basutoland and the Natives of Rhodesia.

Some of these rumours and many others, circulating at that time and up
to the outbreak of rebellion, were either untrue or exaggerated; their
mere existence, however, shows the great importance that attached to
Dinuzulu in the estimation of Natives far and wide. Here is another
sample, taken from a despatch by the Governor to the Secretary of
State:[86] "For some little time past, rumours have been current of
unrest and disaffection amongst the Natives.... The name of Dinuzulu
has been freely mentioned as promoting the unrest, and as putting
himself at the head of a Native army to invade Natal proper from

To show the strangeness and absurdity of some of the rumours, the
following, which (except the last) can be vouched for as widely current
in 1906, may be cited: that Dinuzulu was in the habit of visiting Natal
_incognito_, notwithstanding that his physical condition incapacitated
him from travelling; that he once visited Pietermaritzburg and went to
the top of the Town Hall tower, when he was observed at one moment to
turn into a cow, at another into a dog; that, when in Pietermaritzburg,
he was presented with a beast by the Government. This was taken to the
market square, where some white man fired at it twice without effect,
owing to Dinuzulu having charmed it. On Dinuzulu firing, however, it
fell dead. Here we have one of the origins of the rumour, subsequently
to be referred to, that bullets fired at Natives by Europeans would
not 'enter'; that, on the conclusion of the Boer War, the Europeans
intended to compel Native girls to marry the soldiers then still in the
country, whilst unmarried Native youths would be compelled to serve in
the British Army. In consequence of the foregoing, many girls, though
still quite young, had their hair done up and were married off before
attaining the customary age.

The content of mere rumour is, of course, of no value as history,
but, in the history of a Native rising, that rumours of a disturbing
or unsettling character were constantly afloat, and nearly always
associated with a particular person, is a fact of considerable
significance, and, therefore, worthy of record. When any rumour arose
likely to agitate Europeans or Natives, it became the duty of the
Government to trace and contradict it in the best way it could. This,
indeed, was done as effectively as possible on several occasions.

Those who are not familiar with Native character cannot well appreciate
the difficulty of dealing with these rumours, especially such as
betoken hostility. There is almost always some foundation in fact, but
the fact is generally insignificant as compared with the inferences
drawn therefrom by the people at large. In many cases, Dinuzulu was
nothing more than the victim of circumstances, the mere fact of being
the eldest son of the king of a once famous Native state serving to
attach to the least of his acts an importance that did not and possibly
was not intended to belong to them. Much that was laid to his charge
was the outcome of perfervid imagination on the part of tribes in
various parts of South Africa ready to espouse his cause. It has also
to be borne in mind that the great majority of Natives are unable to
read or write; they, therefore, do not, like Europeans, depend on
newspapers for their news. It has, from time immemorial, been customary
for them to live in a state of chronic alertness, when even the most
absurd rumour of a warlike or disturbing character was spread within
twenty-four hours over an enormous area. The media whereby this news,
or rather _warning_ is spread, are the incessant travelling to and
fro of men and women, who again, living as they do under a system of
polygamy, have wide circles of relations and acquaintances. Thus a
warning brought, say, twenty miles and communicated at a kraal, is
swiftly transmitted by the receiver to those within his immediate
neighbourhood, only to be borne still further and further by others,
leaving the original messenger to pursue his journey, repeating the
intelligence as before wherever he goes. It can, therefore, be seen
that facts, before long, become greatly exaggerated, leading to
extravagant inferences being drawn therefrom.

Natives, as a rule, when employed as messengers, are careful in
conveying messages. Dinuzulu probably never employed anyone on an
important occasion who was not discreet and thoroughly trained in such
duty. Rumours, therefore, are not always a true version of what was
originally said, but of what those at a kraal, men or women, believed
was said.

It is, we say, right to set but small value on mere rumours, but
having regard to their exceedingly widespread circulation, they
are apt to be believed and acted upon, as was, for instance, the
pig-and-white-fowl-killing one. This characteristic of the great
majority of the people should be clearly grasped, and especially the
anomalous position in which, at such a time and in such circumstances,
a man like Dinuzulu would have found himself. Having regard, however,
to his remarkably subtle and far-reaching influence, it can easily be
seen how any actually seditious tendency on his part could have been
exerted with the minimum risk of detection. Indeed, it is within the
power of one like him to pull the strings so as to compass rebellion
without the Attorney-General being able at a later date to obtain
any tangible evidence which, in a court of law, would be regarded as
admissible or, if admissible, as satisfactorily establishing guilt.
Thus, though, on the one hand, Dinuzulu might have been the victim
of circumstances, on the other, assuming him to have been really at
fault, he could have so urged the circumstances in which he stood that
the court could not have done otherwise than presume his innocence,
although actually believing him to be guilty.

That he was responsible for some of the unrest associated with his name
before the Rebellion, will be gathered from the translations hereunder
of two somewhat remarkable songs sung at Usutu.[87]

When the "order" about killing off pigs, white fowls, white goats,
etc., became widely current and was being complied with by the Natives
in various parts, the Government found it necessary to issue the
following instructions to Magistrates: "It has come to the knowledge
of the Government that numerous disturbing reports concerning the
loyalty of the Natives of the Colony are being spread abroad by
irresponsible persons, both Europeans and Natives. These reports are
most mischievous, causing unnecessary alarm among all classes of the
community, and careful investigation has proved that no real ground
for them exists. You are, therefore, requested to reassure the people
of your district and to urge them to discountenance the spreading of
all such reports."[88] In the same month, the Commissioner in Zululand
assured the Government of Dinuzulu's unwavering loyalty, adding that
the Chief had declared an intention of doing all he could to ensure
payment of the poll tax.[89] Dinuzulu, indeed, was one of the first to
pay the tax, he paid before being actually obliged to do so.

In August the Minister for Native Affairs issued instructions to
Magistrates to convene meetings of Chiefs and the principal men
of their tribes, and to explain thereat such provisions of the
Poll Tax Act as applied to Natives. These meetings were nearly all
held in September and October. Whilst, at some, no more took place
than expressions of regret at its having been found necessary to
impose additional taxation, of which Natives had not been advised
beforehand,[90] at others there was loud remonstrance, accompanied
with disrespect to the Magistrates. The meetings at Durban and
Pietermaritzburg, owing to not having been authorized till late in
October, for the reason that there were practically no Chiefs there,
were not held until the 4th and 28th November respectively. By that
time, however, dissatisfaction in regard to the Act had been freely
expressed in different parts of the Colony.[91] The convening of these
further meetings, however, appeared necessary although no Chiefs could
be present, seeing the law provided that payment could be made at _any_
labour centre.[92]

It is easy to be wise after the event. Probably the better course would
have been to hold no meetings at all at Durban and Pietermaritzburg,
and to have taken other steps to inform Natives working in those towns
of the law's requirements.

On the 22nd November the Magistrates were instructed to inform the
Natives that the _collection_ of the poll tax would take place on
the 20th January, 1906, or as soon thereafter as possible. The date
and order in which the tribes were to attend were, however, left to
the Magistrates' discretion. A further circular (26th January), in
calling attention to a proviso in the law that "no Native shall be
deemed to have been guilty of a contravention of the Act until after
the 31st day of May in any year," went on to direct that there was "no
need for Natives who are not now prepared to pay the tax to visit the
magistracy, branch courts or centres; only those desirous of paying
the tax ... should be allowed to do so," also that where notices had
already been issued calling on Chiefs to bring up their men, such were
not to be countermanded, but "the Chiefs or representative headmen
alone should be interviewed by the Magistrate and the result of the
interview conveyed to the men by the Chiefs or such headmen."

Thus every precaution was taken by the Government to conform to the
requirements and spirit of the Act. But, in conveying to uneducated
savages the information that, although the tax became _due_ on 1st
January, and would begin to be collected after the 20th of that
month, there was no _compulsion_ to pay before 31st May, the greatest
difficulty was experienced by the Magistrates. So used are Natives,
under tribal rule, to regarding instructions from competent authority
as peremptory that anything in the shape of a concessive order is
extremely liable to be construed as requiring compliance on the day
first notified by the Magistrate as that on which he would be prepared
to receive the tax. This is evidently what happened in the case of a
Chief shortly to be dealt with, otherwise he would not have called on
his people to pay in the way he did.

On so important an occasion it would, perhaps, have been wiser to have
adopted a different procedure, such, for instance, as was followed by
Sir Theophilus Shepstone when the first tax of 7s. was imposed, and
when, many years later, it was raised. That officer, as head of the
Native Affairs Department, was, of course, familiar with the whole
position. The same could not be said of any of the Magistrates. As the
communication to be made was obviously one of delicacy and called for
thorough explanation, he resolved to make it himself, and considerably
in advance of any attempt at collection. In so acting he secured both
accuracy and uniformity, besides keeping a firm hold on the situation.
It is true that the Minister for Native Affairs, whose position was
very different to that of Sir Theophilus Shepstone, having arrived at
somewhat similar conclusions, toured most parts of Natal and Zululand
to hold meetings with the Native Chiefs, etc. These were effective and
pacifying; but, when the action was taken, most of the Magistrates
had already explained the law to the best of their ability, with the
results already indicated.

Anxious that those in his employ should conform to the new law, Henry
Smith, a farmer of Umlaas Road, personally conducted his Natives to the
magistracy, Camperdown, on the 17th January. This was but three days
before that on which Magistrates had been instructed to begin their
collections. The tax was paid. One of the boys thereafter obtained
permission to go to his kraal on the pretext that his child was ill.
The same evening, about 8 p.m., Smith was standing on his verandah
when he heard a shuffling noise by the wall. He thought it was a dog,
but saw a Native, who, putting his head round the corner, exclaimed:
"Nkosi!" (ordinary form of salute), and handed him an envelope.
Turning to read the address by the light of the window, Smith was
at once stabbed by the Native with an assegai and mortally wounded.
Circumstantial evidence led at the trial proved that the boy who got
permission to go home was the one who had committed the murder. He was
convicted. Apart from having been induced to pay the poll tax, no
other motive for the murder could be discovered. That Smith was a good
master was abundantly proved by the testimony of his other servants.

The following significant incident occurred at Mapumulo on the 22nd
January. The Magistrate (Mr. R.E. Dunn) proceeded to Allan's store,
some 9 miles from the magistracy, to collect the poll tax as previously
arranged. Shortly after his arrival, a Chief, Ngobizembe, came up
with about 100 men, each armed with several sticks and some carrying
shields. These sticks and shields they placed beside them as they
sat in the presence of the Magistrate.[93] On the latter saying that
he had come to collect the tax, all exclaimed: "We won't pay!" Some
200 other members of the same tribe, the largest in the district,
now approached Dunn from behind, chanting a song as they advanced.
They were dressed in their war dress, and fully armed with shields,
knobsticks and ordinary sticks. As they failed to accord the customary
salute, their Chief remarked, "Why don't you salute?" "Why should we?
We shan't!" they roared in reply. They then sat down, practically
encircling the Magistrate and the three European and six Native police
who were with him. Many of the Natives who wore hats did not remove
them. The Magistrate again stated why he had come, and was about to
make other remarks when all present, as with one voice, shouted him
down with "Shut up! we refuse to pay!" In spite of further efforts
to bring them to reason, the men became more and more uproarious and
unruly. Their shouting became 'terrific.' They got up, danced about
and gesticulated with their sticks in that defiant manner which only
Natives are capable of doing, a form of effrontery indicative of
trouble. They eventually came close up to the Magistrate and his staff
from the rear, as if contemplating assault. Only by the Chief and some
of the older men vigorously using their sticks, could they be made to
fall back. In these and other ways the Magistrate, notwithstanding his
being a perfect Zulu linguist, was treated with the grossest insolence,
contempt and defiance. Only by exercising the greatest care was an
outburst of violence averted.

Other similar instances of defiance were exhibited in the same
district, viz. at Butler's Store, Insuze, on the 29th and 30th January,
and, on the 1st February, at Gaillard's Store, Umvoti, by the members
of three other tribes.

Behaviour of this kind called, of course, for immediate action.
Ngobizembe was ordered to appear before the Minister for Native Affairs
at Pietermaritzburg on the 1st February, and a strong body of police
(under Inspector O. Dimmick) was dispatched on the 3rd to keep order at

The position in Zululand on the 26th January was that out of 83 Chiefs,
62 had been called on to pay; of these, 46 (including Dinuzulu) had
responded, with the result that over £1,400 had been collected, and
other payments were being made daily. The other 16 Chiefs appeared to
be offering a passive resistance. At Empandhleni (Nkandhla), however,
the people of one of these Chiefs behaved in a violent and insolent
manner to the Magistrate when called on to pay the tax. The Minister
for Native Affairs, who was at Nongoma on the date referred to,
expressed the view that such success as had been achieved was "in a
measure due to the good example set by Dinuzulu."

On the 7th February, the date fixed for collecting the poll tax from
the Chief Mveli and his tribe at Henley--a small railway station
on the Pietermaritzburg-Umzimkulu line--and about 11 miles from
Pietermaritzburg--the Magistrate of Umgeni division (Mr. T.R. Bennett)
went out to keep his appointment. Whilst at that place, the Chief
called attention to the fact that a section of his tribe had taken
up a position on a hill about two miles off and were armed with
assegais.[94] The Magistrate sent a European trooper (W.A. Mather) and
two of the Chief's relatives to ascertain what truth there was in the
statement. A party of twenty-seven armed Natives was come upon. When
an attempt was made to record their names they assumed a threatening
attitude, and presently rushed at the messengers with their assegais.
The latter, to avoid being killed, retired at a gallop. Depositions
were taken and warrants for arrest issued on the charge of "taking
part in an assembly of armed men without the authority of the Supreme
Chief." It transpired, on a later date, the party had intended, on
being called up to pay, to murder the Magistrate and his staff.[95]

Early on the day following the acting District Police Officer,
Sub-Inspector Sidney H.K. Hunt, armed with the warrants, left
Pietermaritzburg with eleven mounted police for Richmond, where he
was joined by four others, including two Native constables. Another
small patrol, under a non-commissioned officer, proceeded towards
Thornville Junction. Hunt's party, owing to delay on the railway,
could not move on before noon, when they proceeded viâ Byrnetown to
the farm "Trewirgie." Owing to the guides not knowing the way, their
difficulties being increased by a thick mist which came on early in
the afternoon, slow progress was made. The nearer the men got to their
destination, the more it was noticed that only women and old men were
in evidence at kraals along the route traversed.

It was not until 5.30 p.m. that the house of Mr. Henry Hosking, owner
of "Trewirgie," near where the accused were reported to be, was
reached. The Natives required lived but half a mile from, though out of
sight of, the homestead. Hunt resolved, contrary to the advice given
him by Hosking, to try and effect the arrests and afterwards put up for
the night at the farm house. At 6 p.m. he, with twelve Europeans and
two Natives, went to the kraal indicated as that at which the accused
would be found, that is to say, one within sight of which the police
had passed a few minutes before. A man and two women were found to be
the only occupants. Inquiries as to where the young men who were wanted
had got to met with no success. Hunt now directed the man to shout for
them. This he did. Two Natives were presently caught in the vicinity
and, happening to be among those wanted, were handcuffed. A third and
older man was found near by. This turned out to be Mjongo, one of the
ringleaders. He, too, was handcuffed. At this moment, Trooper George
Armstrong was sent to investigate a suspicious object some way up a
steep incline in the immediate rear of the kraal, and about 80 to 100
yards off. No sooner had he gone up than he shouted to his comrades:
"Come on, there's an armed party here." Leaving a couple of troopers
with the prisoners, Hunt proceeded up the hill with the rest of the
men, where he found some 40 or 50 fully armed Natives.

The ground there was very steep and covered with rocks. Hunt went in
amongst the Natives and asked what they meant by being armed. They
were most excited and kept rushing up to the troopers, flourishing
assegais, knobsticks and small shields, exclaiming, "You have come for
our money; you can shoot us; we refuse to pay." Hunt's interpreter was
at first unable to make himself heard, because of the hubbub. After
it had subsided, Hunt again tried to persuade them to lay down their
arms and move to the kraal, where he would speak to them. Several then
shouted: "If we put down our assegais, you'll make us prisoners, and
we'll have to work in gaol," "You put away your revolvers and we'll
put down our assegais," and so forth. All this time they kept backing
up the slope towards a dense bush, yelling, "Come on, you're afraid."
It must then have been past 7 o'clock. Hunt was advised to desist.
He, however, released Mjongo, but, as soon as the latter attempted to
address the infuriated savages, they rushed at, caught, and dragged
him in amongst themselves. The police now retired towards the kraal.
The Natives followed, jeering at and taunting the former in the most
insolent manner. On reaching the kraal, Hunt ordered his two remaining
prisoners to be brought along. These were put between two mounted
men at the head of the party, which had not gone ten yards before a
sudden rush was heard in the rear. The two prisoners were thereupon
dragged away by the Natives. Hunt and two or three others, rushing
at their assailants, attempted recapture. The others resisted. A
disturbance arose, but, owing to mist and darkness, it was impossible
to see exactly what took place. One of the rebels was seen holding
on to Hunt's bridle. Hunt hesitated a few seconds, then, raising his
revolver, fired. The conflict became at once sharper and fiercer, use
being made of revolvers on the one side and assegais on the other. Hunt
and Armstrong were stabbed to death on the spot. Sergeant F.W. Stephens
was wounded. Of the remainder, most galloped off on their horses being
startled. To engage the rebels further at that time of night was out of
the question. All that remained was to report what had occurred. This
Stephens did in the speediest manner.


 _W.B. Sherwood, Pietermaritzburg._


Magistrate, Mahlabatini.

of the Public Works Department.


Natal Police.


Natal Police.


This unfortunate incident would possibly not have occurred had the
police, instead of going to Trewirgie viâ Richmond and Byrne, proceeded
direct from Thornville Junction, thereby saving at least 20 miles.
Instead of arriving at Byrne at 11 a.m., unknown to the accused, as
they might have done, they did not do so until late in the afternoon.

Had Hunt been better acquainted with the Native character and language,
he would not have done what he did. This lack of knowledge may be
excused; the same, however, cannot be said of his attempting to arrest
people at the time he did.

Hearing from one of the troopers of what had taken place, the Hoskings
left their house forthwith for Pietermaritzburg, though, as it turned
out, there was no intention on the part of the rebels (who included
one of Hosking's own servants) to interfere with him, his family or
property in any way.[96]

As soon as the news of the murder was received by the Government, a
force of about 50 police, under Inspector W.F. Lyttle, was sent to
Trewirgie to recover the bodies of Hunt and Armstrong. These were found
on the 9th at the scene of outbreak, each with 12 to 15 wounds, but not
otherwise mutilated. In the meantime, the rebels left the small bush
where the police had been murdered and took refuge near by in the Enon

The police remained at Trewirgie, patrolling and searching for the


[Footnote 76: This tax of 14s. per hut had, of course, to be paid in
respect of huts on private lands, regardless of the rent charged by the
farmer or landlord.]

[Footnote 77: An important Act, regulating claims against Natives for
interest, was passed by the Natal Legislature in 1908. It has proved
very beneficial to the Natives.]

[Footnote 78: As the contracts were never for less than six months, and
labourers had not acquired the habit of banking their earnings, it can
be seen that losses from theft or otherwise at a mining centre must
have been considerable.]

[Footnote 79: Ordinance 20, 1902, sec. 2 (Transvaal).]

[Footnote 80: Silwana's tribe consisted of about 30,000, that of
Ngqambuzana of about 28,000, souls.]

[Footnote 81: Cd. 2905, p. 11.]

[Footnote 82: The niece, Nongqause by name, stated: "This talking of
the new people commenced after my having reported to Mhlakaza that I
had seen about ten strange Kafirs in the gardens. [The first meeting is
said to have occurred about 2-1/2 years before the date of giving the
information.] ... I told him I was afraid to go there. The people I saw
were Kafirs--young men. I was afraid of them, because I did not know
them. Mhlakaza told me not to be afraid of them, as they would do me no
harm. He told me to speak to them, and ask them what they were doing
there. I did so. They replied: 'We are people who have come to order
you to kill your cattle, to consume your corn, and not to cultivate any
more.' Mhlakaza asked them through me: 'What are we to eat when we kill
our cattle, etc.' They answered: '_We_ will find you something to eat.'
The people then said that was enough for that day--they would return
some other day. We asked who sent them; they answered: 'We have come of
our own accord, as we wish everything in the country to be made new.'
They said they had come from _a place of refuge_. I asked them where
this place of refuge was. They said: 'You will not know if we even told
you.' I always pressed them to tell me where this place of refuge was,
but they gave me the same answer. The next day Mhlakaza killed one
head of cattle. He then called a meeting of the people and told them
that strangers had come to tell them to kill their cattle--to destroy
their corn, and that great plenty would be provided for them hereafter.
The people dispersed, and from that day they commenced killing their
cattle, etc.; and Mhlakaza continued killing his cattle, one a day. The
people killed more cattle than they could use...."

The same, as well as other, strange men--commonly believed by the
Natives to be spirits of the departed--came on other occasions and
conversed with Nongqause and Mhlakaza on the foregoing lines. Their
object was "to change the country" by "driving the English out" and
"making them run into the sea." Such intention was to be communicated
to the Paramount Chief Kreli (Sarili) and other Chiefs. On Mhlakaza
reporting to Xito (Kreli's uncle), the latter directed him to spread
the news throughout the country. This was done. Kreli and others had
confidential meetings with Mhlakaza, the latter eventually leaving
his kraal to live on roots and shell-fish. Mhlakaza often blamed the
Paramount Chief as the sole cause of the widespread cattle-killing that
then went on. Nongqause, too, declared that Kreli had said "the English
were in his way," and that he looked to the strangers to assist him in
fighting and driving them out of the country. "I have been at a loss,"
he added, "to know what to do with the English, as they have been
stronger than the Kafirs."]

[Footnote 83: That is, to become filled with an angry, vengeful spirit.
The countenance of a person or animal that has _qunga_'d is abnormally
dark and forbidding. Clouds are said to have _qunga_'d when,--charged
with thunder, lightning and rain,--a violent storm is imminent.]

[Footnote 84: And this rumour arose notwithstanding that both were
subjects of the British Government.]

[Footnote 85: This is the name given to five or six magisterial
districts taken from the Transvaal and annexed to Natal subsequently to
the Boer War.]

[Footnote 86: 5th January, 1906. Cd. 2905, p. 1.]

[Footnote 87:


 Who is going to die among the Whites?
   Stand firm, O King!
 Heed not their mutterings,
   They are but finding fault.

(_Note._--The meaning probably is that Dinuzulu is the last person that
will die among Europeans, as his own people are determined to prevent
his being taken.)


 Great must be this people,
 Who carry loads of goods around,
 To barter salempore for cattle here and there.
 About It a song, methinks, I'll sing.
 It will o'erspread th' entire land.
 A long thin frame It has, bending to and fro.
 Starting from earth, It makes towards the sky,
 Like that huge snake which ate the white men's sheep;
 They set a trap for it and caught it,
 Pulled at it two, and three, days long;
 Cut it through with knives, when lo! a flame
 Leapt from out its pool and scorched them.
 Clouds of dust straightway broke forth,
 And streamed throughout the land,
 Which thereupon was set ablaze!
 And here at Mbilane, too,
 From whence (as every pool, 'twas said, was full thereof)
 They thought it must spring forth.

(_Note._--Like the foregoing, this song is in the form of an enigma.
The word "It" evidently refers to an _impi_, which, when on the march,
very much resembles a snake. The object of the song was, no doubt, to
promote a spirit of defiance against Europeans. It is possible the word
"snake" in line 8 is used metaphorically. Mbilane refers to a pool near
Nodwengu, Mpande's principal kraal on the White Umfolozi. Mpande was
Dinuzulu's grandfather. That such a song should have been sung at Usutu
is clear evidence of the atmosphere of disloyalty that prevailed there.)

The Zulu version of the above translations appears in Appendix IX.]

[Footnote 88: Principal Under-Secretary to Magistrates, 28th Dec. 1905.
Cd. 2905, p. 2.]

[Footnote 89: Cd. 2905, p. 2.]

[Footnote 90: On the occasion of the hut tax being raised from 7s. to
14s., Sir Theophilus Shepstone officially informed the people of the
Government's intentions, and discussed with them the necessity for
taking the step.]

[Footnote 91: The following is a case that occurred at Durban in
September, 1905, though unknown to the Chief Magistrate when convening
his meeting of 4th November: "Mditshwa and other Natives held
meetings" at which the poll tax and other matters were discussed, and
inflammatory and seditious speeches were uttered.... The result of the
deliberations was a resolution to write to their Chiefs on the subject.
A letter was produced in Court [Native High Court], written by Mditshwa
to his Chief.... The following are extracts therefrom. "They refuse
to submit to this money on any account, and they say that you should
advise one another throughout the whole country. To-day you are given
manliness, and it will be proved which man is persevering.... Day after
day we find fault with your fathers, and say that they submit to every
law. To-day the matter is upon yourselves. We, in Durban, say let the
white people do what they will. I have two ideas: an irresistible army
or hooligans, it is they who trod on a white man on the day we were
gathered together to be told this law," (referring evidently to one of
the other already held magisterial meetings). _Decisions, Native High
Court_, Natal, March, 1906--January, 1907, p. 34.]

[Footnote 92: The hut tax, on the other hand, was payable only to the
Magistrate of the district in which it became due.]

[Footnote 93: A gross breach of etiquette and a matter that would at
once excite suspicion.]

[Footnote 94: The Native Code prohibits, on pain of severe penalty, the
carrying of lethal weapons by persons other than constables on duty.]

[Footnote 95: When going about a district collecting taxes, a
Magistrate's staff hardly ever exceeded three or four Europeans and
half-a-dozen Native police and messengers.]

[Footnote 96: According to the late Mjongo, a curious phenomenon
occurred almost simultaneously with the commission of this murder. "The
matter I am now going to tell you (the writer) about," he said, "is
of a strange or miraculous description. I am a _Kolwa_ (Christian),
and would not tell anyone, but in the most confidential manner.... The
instant the firing started, I saw a ball of fire fall from the sky to
earth, near where the fighting was going on. It was so brilliant that
a darkness arose after it, continuing some little while.... In size,
this ball was about 9 or 10 in. in diameter. I was not deceived in any
way. It was in no way connected with revolver or rifle fire. Moreover,
I was not the only one who observed it. Those present, including the
Europeans, must have noticed it. Whilst in gaol in Richmond, I heard
Native warders referring to the matter.... The ball fell to earth and
disappeared immediately.... When this occurred, it was misty, but still
quite light."

We believe Mjongo regarded this as a supernatural intervention,
ordained to mark a most unusual incident. It is probable that the other
Natives who are said to have seen it hold similar views.]



The news that the Police had been attacked and two of them murdered,
came to everyone in the Colony as a bolt from the blue. Nothing of
the kind had been experienced since the affair in Polela district in
1892.[97] But, strange though occurrences among Natives sometimes
appear to be, they are almost invariably capable of explanation.
In this particular instance (1906), so far as we have been able to
ascertain, the explanation seems to be briefly as follows:

In 1895 a dispute arose between Chief Mveli's father, Hemuhemu, and
several of the tribe, of both sexes (connected with the group that
attacked the police at Trewirgie). They had recently become converts
to Christianity. The Chief, having taken exception to disrespect shown
by one of them, as well as to immoral behaviour by women and girls
through remaining out after dark on the pretext of attending Christian
services, imposed a penalty under his ordinary tribal authority.
Against this decision they appealed; first to the Native High Court,
then the Supreme Court. The latter decided, _inter alia_, that, as the
appellants were Christians, the Chief had no right to treat them as he
did the rest of the tribe. He was reminded that, as a deputy of the
Supreme Chief (Governor), he was bound to conform to the instruction
the Governor had received from the Queen to the effect that religion
was to be fostered to the utmost of his power amongst the Natives,
and that such steps were to be taken by the Governor as appeared to
him necessary for converting the people to the Christian faith. The
appellants were, therefore, declared to be independent of the Chief's
control, in certain important respects, though allowed to continue to
live within his ward.[98]

This case, and the highly unsatisfactory influence it began forthwith
to exert on those concerned as well as on others, had, by 1906,
passed almost out of the recollection of Europeans; not so with the
Natives. The Christians referred to and their children, having been
accorded certain liberties by the highest legal authority, were not
slow in assuming a more complete independence than the said authority
had supposed they would do. In short, they became what are commonly
known as Ethiopians, that is, a class whose church organization, like
their social life, is wholly free from European control.[99] Their
denomination was the African Congregational Church. They then became
a set of "free-lances," socially, politically and religiously. Is it
surprising, then, that a group of barbarians with the merest veneer
of Christianity, cut off from all effective controlling influences,
should, in course of time, have developed rebellious tendencies?
The rigid application of the principles of European civilization to
ordinary heathen life, without regard to after-effects, is one of the
most subtle dangers to which Natal, in common with all other countries
in which there are lower races subject to Christian government, has
constantly been exposed.

Among the Ethiopians referred to, but especially in connection with
the Trewirgie outbreak,[100] two names--Makanda and Mjongo--stand out
prominently. These men were the ringleaders of the attack in question.
The former, otherwise known as David, had, years before, been turned
out of the tribe by the Chief on account of seditious practice, but,
during the last Boer War, he associated with Mjongo, a member of the
same tribe, and returned to his old haunts near Byrnetown, under the
guise of a sawyer. As such, he worked in the Enon forest along with
Mjongo, but, in addition, claimed to be a 'teacher of religion.' So
zealous was he in this respect that he was soon recognized as the
local leader of the Ethiopians,--a position he held, in conjunction
with another Native, until 1906. As sawyer, he resorted to dishonest
practices; as preacher, his influence was subversive of law and order.

Mjongo, at this time, was a man of about 58 years of age. For more
than thirty years he had been employed, off and on, as a sawyer. "By
skill and assiduity," says Mr. Frank Gordon of Enon, one of his oldest
masters, "he was early taken note of by bush-owners, and must, during
all these years, have broken in some hundreds of sawyers. Many of these
set up on their own account no doubt; many formed a sort of gang who
followed Mjongo, and who, in a measure, relied on him to support them
with suitable work.... This gave him a certain ascendancy over this
class of industry throughout the district." Although an intelligent and
competent workman, and in receipt of high wages, he was never free from

       *       *       *       *       *

The gravity of the assault on the police at once impressed itself on
the Government, already alive to the necessity of detecting and dealing
promptly with any tendencies towards actual hostility.

Ministers communicated with the Governor, who, at the time, was
temporarily residing in Durban. Sir Henry McCallum returned to
headquarters and discussed the situation with the ministry, when it was
decided immediately to call out a portion of the Active Militia to deal
with the outbreak, and to proclaim martial law over the whole Colony.
The Militia were accordingly mobilized on the 9th February, and martial
law proclaimed on the 10th.

This calling out of troops and application of martial law have been
frequently discussed, different opinions being expressed. Some good
people, especially those living beyond the borders of the Colony,
although knowing very little of the facts, came to the conclusion
that there was no spontaneous rising at all, but that such hostility
as had occurred was due to the Government having goaded the Natives
by a reckless display of force into arming, more in self-defence than
for any other purpose. As this point is of importance, amounting
almost to an accusation of tyrannous practice or, at least, of being
panic-stricken, an attempt will be made to set forth some of the
principal reasons that induced Ministers to advise a resorting to such

The Natives at several of the magistracies, _e.g._ Mapumulo, Durban,
Pietermaritzburg and Empandhleni (Nkandhla), had already behaved with
insolence and defiance, particularly at Mapumulo, where the Government
had been openly defied by Natives in large numbers when attempting
to collect the poll tax. And yet, not only had the tax been imposed
on all Europeans and Asiatics, but a very liberal concession had been
made exclusively to Natives, viz. that those already liable for the hut
tax would be exempt altogether from paying poll tax. This, in itself,
was evidence of a desire to be fair and reasonable. Notwithstanding
this the Natives, as shown by numerous records, generally assumed
an attitude of disrespect and defiance. In so doing, they acted
hastily and recklessly, owing largely, no doubt, to the difficulty
of understanding the exact effect of the law. It was enough that it
was extra taxation, and appeared to put a premium on the already
increasing independence of youths. No allowance whatever was made
for the _bona-fide_ straits the Government was in for the want of
revenue, nor yet for the fact that the additional burden would not,
after all, exceed one shilling per head per annum on the total Native
population.[101] Chiefs, aided and abetted by their adherents, made
attempts to combine against the Government. At Mid-Illovo, European
farmers felt obliged to go into lager, whilst others prepared to do
the same at such places as Highflats, Ixopo and Richmond. It will, no
doubt, be conceded that defiance in any community calls for firm and
prompt action by those in authority; not less necessary is it when
savages, known to be warlike and impulsive, have to be dealt with.

Then the anonymous order, purporting to have come from some Native of
high position, requiring the killing of pigs, white fowls, etc., and
the discarding of utensils of European manufacture, could have had
no other significance than that the Natives in general should unite
against the white man's government. Such interpretation is patent to
anyone. There was, moreover, abundant evidence that this propaganda had
been widely spread. Messengers are known to have proceeded to different
parts of the Transvaal and even to the neighbourhood of Salisbury,
Rhodesia, preaching sedition wherever they went. In Natal the order had
already been complied with by many people. Numerous instances occurred
in the thickly populated belt of country between Krantzkop, Mapumulo
and Stanger, especially on the Tugela side of that line. Others were
not wanting in other parts of the Colony, such as Ixopo, Mid-Illovo,
Weenen, etc. Not only had animals been either killed or sold at
absurdly low figures,[102] but European utensils, _e.g._ pots, had
been destroyed or thrown away. If some Natives had already manifested
disaffection, only time and want of effective control by the Government
were needed for others to do the same.

Thus the atmosphere, by the time of the outbreak, had become so
charged with an unmistakably rebellious spirit, and with reports that
the tribes generally were out of the control of their Chiefs, that
it required but a successful outbreak or two, in places not readily
accessible to European troops, to set the whole affair ablaze. And, in
any such event, not only the peace of Natal, but of other portions of
South Africa, would have been endangered. There is no getting away from
this conclusion, because it follows directly from the widely prevalent
facts above referred to. Clearly, the position was abnormal, and, being
abnormal, it called for extraordinary action.

It was whilst these evidences of unrest and loudly and disrespectfully
expressed dissatisfaction existed that the Magistrate of Umgeni
division proceeded to carry out the new law. For any Magistrate to have
refrained, from fear of outbreak, from collecting the poll tax, after
giving proper notice, would have been the height of weakness, of which
Natives, in such mood as they then were in, would not have been slow
to take advantage. And yet when the Magistrate[103] proceeded in a
normal manner to collect the tax, another section of the same tribe,
on its own initiative, marched under arms and in open defiance of the
law to await at a convenient spot an opportunity of throwing themselves
on to and murdering the Magistrate. Being discovered, they returned to
their kraals, well-knowing that, as they had broken the law, warrants
would be issued for their arrest. Although unprovoked in any way,
they continued to carry their weapons in defiance of law and order.
Instead of surrendering or running away, as other offenders would have
done, they banded themselves together[104] when the police appeared
on the scene, and went into hiding. And when the police proceeded to
make arrests, they resisted and murdered them. Why? Not because of any
grievance against the Government peculiar to themselves, but one which
they supposed had, by then, become common to the whole Black House.[105]

There were, however, other considerations. The Natal Police Field
Force, about 100 strong, had some weeks before been divided into two.
One detachment was sent on important duty to Zululand and the other to
Mapumulo--an isolated district carrying a particularly large Native
population, where, it will be remembered, the Magistrate had been
openly defied. Owing to this fact, no ordinary police were available to
deal with the Trewirgie affair. To have engaged for this duty special
constables, many of whom would probably have been unable either to ride
or to shoot, would have been almost as great folly as to have sent them
out on foot armed with batons. But legal machinery to enrol even such
auxiliaries was wanting. If, then, firearms were necessary, it was
surely better to employ a disciplined force than put them into the
hands of men who did not know how to use them.

The necessity for immediate concentration of a force at Trewirgie
was obvious. To have delayed, say for 36 hours, would have been to
court appalling disaster. Zulus are known to be precipitate in action
when once the war-cry has been sounded from the hill-tops and the
beacon-fires lit. Every battle of the Zulu War testified to their
energy, rapidity and true martial instincts. The fact that the first
blow had been struck in a cause common to a million others, already
impatient to emulate the heroic deeds of their fellows, still further
lessened any chances of delay on their part. Here is the language of
one of them, uttered on the 13th February to friends within a couple
of miles of Richmond: "You are cowards, sitting still when there's
fighting on. I have a following of my own. Let us combine and kill
the whites round about here."[106] Had the rebels got away with the
renown of having attacked and defeated the police with loss, without
overwhelming action being swiftly taken, the Rebellion must have spread
in an alarming manner. That, at any rate, is the opinion of all persons
on the spot best entitled to express it, men with life-long experience
of those parts, including the Natives themselves.

The alternative, that of calling out the Militia in support of the
police, assuming these to have been available, would certainly have
been proper in the case of any ordinary riot, disturbance of the peace,
or other emergency, but this was no ordinary outbreak, nor was it at
all likely to confine itself to the locality in which it had occurred.
Outbreaks of a more serious character, such as the one in question,
were intended by the legislature to be dealt with by a Permanent
Militia Force, provision for establishing which was included in the
law. Such force, it was enacted, might be ordered out to any part of
the Colony, "to act therein, either in aid of, or as the police force
... and when so acting every member of the Permanent Militia Force
shall have the same authority as constables and otherwise."[107] This
force, owing to the want of the necessary financial provision, had
never been created. If, however, regular police had been employed,
there would have been no one available to relieve them at their various
posts. In this connection, it must be stated that, as the disaffection
was general, it was obviously impossible to withdraw the police from
the various out-stations.

Under all these circumstances, the Governor had no difficulty in
deciding (_a_) "that men were in armed resistance to the authority
of the Crown"; (_b_) "that such armed resistance could not be dealt
with by the Military, acting merely in aid of the civil power in the
ordinary manner"; (_c_) "that such armed resistance could not be
promptly and effectively suppressed otherwise than by subjecting the
inhabitants of the disturbed district to direct military control, and
by inflicting summary punishment upon offenders against the peace."[108]

But, although of opinion that martial law was necessary, care was at
the same time taken by the Government to provide for all criminal and
civil cases pending in the various courts being proceeded with and
determined in the ordinary way; where failure or inability to exercise
jurisdiction occurred, the proceedings were to be suspended until
withdrawal or amendment of the proclamation.[109]

The extension of martial law over the whole Colony instead of only
the district in which the revolt had occurred,--to which, indeed, the
Governor had at first wished to limit it,--arose solely out of the
unrest and disaffection being so widespread. Alarming rumours were
constantly being received from all quarters, showing that the entire
Native population was more or less disaffected and that outbreaks
of rebellion were possible anywhere and at any moment. As for the
Ministers being panic-stricken, there was not only no sign of this
at any time, but they, throughout the whole course of the Rebellion,
enjoyed the fullest confidence of the public as well as of the
Governor. The latter, on more than one occasion, called the attention
of the Secretary of State for the Colonies to the cool and collected
way in which they were grappling with the situation.

The truth is that, with such a personnel at the head of affairs,
together with Sir Henry McCallum, the Colony was extremely fortunate.
There is no question that it was owing largely to their able and firm
administration that an insurrection, which, at one time, threatened to
become universal, was suppressed as speedily and effectually as it was.

As soon as the employment of the Militia had become legally possible,
orders to mobilize were issued to the Right Wing of the Natal
Carbineers and to one Battery of the Natal Field Artillery; the
Commandant of Militia was, at the same time, authorized to issue
requisitions on all persons "to furnish such animals, vehicles and
other necessary things as may be demanded from them for military use."
When, however, reports of threatened risings, with demands for military
assistance, were, about the same time, constantly received from
Magistrates and others in various parts of the Colony, the Government
resolved to mobilize a stronger force than at first intended, and this
notwithstanding that later intelligence went to show that the rest of
the tribe to which the Trewirgie rebels belonged was loyal. The force,
therefore, that mobilized and proceeded from different points on the
10th to concentrate at Thornville Junction, Elandskop and Richmond,
consisted of Right and Left Wings, Natal Carbineers (under Major A.C.
Townsend and Lieut.-Col. D.W. Mackay, respectively) 675; two sections,
C Battery, Natal Field Artillery (Capt. W.S. Bigby); one company, Natal
Royal Regiment (Lieut.-Col. A.W. Matterson); two squadrons, Border
Mounted Rifles (Lieut.-Col. W. Arnott);[110] one squadron, Natal Police
Field Force (Lieut.-Col. G. Mansel, C.M.G.); and detachments, Natal
Medical, Natal Telegraph, and Natal Service, Corps.

Colonel, now Brigadier-General, Sir Duncan McKenzie, C.B., K.C.M.G.,
J.P., V.D., of the Natal Carbineers, was placed in command.[111]
General authority to administer martial law was, moreover, delegated to
him by the Commandant.[112]

The rapidity with which mobilization and concentration were carried
out could not have been surpassed. That fact alone testifies to the
excellence and splendid efficiency of the Militia organization. In the
case of the B.M.R., orders to mobilize were received at 11 a.m. on the
10th. By 8 p.m. on Sunday the 11th, although having had to march over
thirty miles in heavy rain, the regiment, "mobilizing forward," had
reached Elandskop, the destination assigned.

The disposition of the forces on the 11th was:

_Thornville Junction._ Staff; Right Wing, Natal Carbineers; Natal
Police. _Elandskop._ Left Wing, Natal Carbineers; Border Mounted
Rifles (Troops D-H). _Richmond._ One squadron (D), Natal Carbineers; C
Battery, Natal Field Artillery; Natal Royal Regiment.

The object of this disposition was to enable a converging movement
to take place, from the three points named, on the farm Trewirgie. A
simultaneous advance, with exception of the Artillery and Infantry
(which remained at Richmond), was accordingly made on the 12th, the
intervening country being searched as much as possible _en route_. On
the afternoon of the same day, the troops having completed the drive,
combined on the farm Trewirgie, in the immediate vicinity of the scene
of outbreak. The brigade then formed was nearly 1,000 strong.

Chief Mveli had, in the meantime, been instructed to co-operate.
McKenzie placed on his shoulders the responsibility of finding the
rebels, then evidently hiding in the neighbouring forests. The result
was that, on the 13th and succeeding days, Mveli, with some 300 of his
men, rendered very valuable assistance. The Enon forest, some 1,200
acres in extent, was driven, whilst the kraal and crops belonging to
Mjongo were destroyed.

Owing especially to the prompt and energetic assistance of a local
farmer (Mr. Gibson), the hiding-places of two of the rebels were
ascertained, when both were captured. They were tried on the 13th by
a drumhead court-martial and, on its being clearly proved they had
participated in the murder of the police, were sentenced to be shot.
The sentence was carried out forthwith on a peak overlooking Enon
forest, and in the presence of Mveli and his men.

The shooting of these men created a deep impression. News of the
incident, which was regarded as just and proper by every loyal Native,
spread at once far and wide. Rebelliously disposed Natives realized
that the troops had come into the field to adopt stern measures, and
put a check on their behaviour accordingly.

As, by this time, everything appeared to be quiet in the district, the
column moved on to Richmond on the 14th.

The troops would not have withdrawn from the neighbourhood of Byrnetown
had it not been clear that the best method to adopt with the remaining
rebels was to continue to hold Mveli responsible for their capture.
As a matter of fact, Mveli and the majority of his tribe were loyal.
Apart from this, they had a motive of their own and, therefore, needed
no urging. This motive was, of course, to avenge themselves in some
way on the Ethiopians, with whom they had the deep-seated, ten-years'
difference dealt with at the beginning of the chapter. A further reason
for imposing the onus was that the rebels were concealed in a part
of the country with which the whole of Mveli's tribe were intimately
acquainted. That McKenzie was right in the action he took will be seen
further on.

An Inspector of Native Locations (Thomas Fayle) was, about this
time, killed at his house, some three miles from Henley, probably by
lightning. The death was regarded by some as a murder, connected in
some way with the outbreak, seeing it occurred but a few days after the
attack on the police, and only a short distance from Trewirgie.

Other intelligence that was received went to show that people living
in Richmond division, under a headman, Mamba, but belonging to Chief
Miskofeli, under the belief that an attempt was to be made to arrest
their Chief, responded to some extent to a call to arms circulated on
the night of the 12th. On the following day, certain headmen passed
Thedden, the residence of Mr. W. Nicholson, but, finding him absent,
used some expressions regarding him which were interpreted at the trial
later on to signify an intention to have killed him had he been at home.

Owing to the disrespect that had recently been shown by Natives to the
Magistrate of Richmond when explaining the poll tax at Mid-Illovo,
the Minister for Native Affairs (The Hon. H.D. Winter) caused another
meeting to be convened at the same place to afford himself an
opportunity of addressing the Chiefs on the same subject. It was fixed
for the 13th. On the day previous, it transpired that some of Tilonko's
people had taken up arms either to offer resistance or act in some more
daring and even aggressive manner. The probabilities are that they felt
their Chief was about to be arrested and intended resisting, if any
such attempt were made. Needless to say, the idea had never entered
the mind of the Government. Notwithstanding this intelligence, having
made the appointment, Mr. Winter proceeded to keep it, and this in
spite of warning as to the risks he was apparently running. On arrival
at Mid-Illovo, accompanied by Mr. S.O. Samuelson, Under Secretary for
Native Affairs, he found that three Chiefs and a large gathering of
Natives had already assembled. The European inhabitants of that part
were in a lager, which consisted of wire entanglements erected round a
church. The Chiefs, with six men each, were directed to enter a larger
wire-fence enclosure, within which the church and lager stood, leaving
the rest of their followers seated along the road a short distance off.
After Mr. Winter had taken them to account, one by one, for unruly
behaviour to the Magistrate, and one of them for having resorted to
certain practices of a treasonable character, and had further fully
explained the poll tax, they asked for a day to be named on which the
tax could be paid by those liable therefor. The matter was thereupon
referred to the Magistrate, who met with no further difficulty. It
was in respect of this and other occurrences incidental to the tours
made by Mr. Winter to different parts of Natal and Zululand at this
critical time that the Governor referred to him as having "behaved with
conspicuous calmness and courage," an opinion shared by others as well.

In view of the fact that, as daily arriving information showed,
disaffection was not confined to Trewirgie or Mid-Illovo, it became
necessary for McKenzie's force to demonstrate in other directions,
especially on the south of the Umkomanzi and towards Ixopo. At the same
time, the Government was most anxious that the troops should be kept
well in hand, and not to put the people to more inconvenience than
was absolutely necessary. To this end, on the 17th, the Commandant of
Militia instructed McKenzie in the following terms: "On Monday next,
the 19th instant, you will march with all your mounted men and one
or two sections of artillery from Richmond to Springvale, crossing
Umkomanzi by the Josephine bridge, thence to Highflats, and thence
to Ixopo. From Ixopo you will proceed to Mabedhlana, thence to Bulwer
and Elandskop.... You will send two men with a message to Miskofeli
and other Chiefs on your route before your forces approach their
neighbourhood, assuring them that they need fear nothing from the
column.... You will take care that nothing is done by your force to
provoke an outbreak on the part of the Natives. If Miskofeli does not
come and pay his respects to you ... you will take this as a sign of
fear, or as indicating that he is not as loyal to the Government as he
professes to be; you will, however, take no action until you have gone
on and given some of the smaller Chiefs an opportunity of coming to see

These instructions were carried out to the letter, except that, instead
of proceeding from Ixopo to Bulwer and Elandskop, it became necessary
for the column to demonstrate in the direction of the south coast.

Leaving the Natal Royal Regiment to garrison Richmond,[113] with
Lieut.-Col. J. Weighton as officer in command of the post, McKenzie
moved off at 9 a.m. on the 19th with the rest of the force. He crossed
the Umkomanzi river and camped in the neighbourhood of the farm
Waterfall. The next day the march was continued through the heart of
Miskofeli's ward to Springvale. Owing to the country being hilly, and
the roads difficult, the guns and waggons stuck fast several times.

At Springvale, Miskofeli, who was a man of about 25 years of age and
head of a powerful tribe, came with a small following to pay his
respects.[114] This satisfactory result was brought about through the
efforts of a well-known local resident, Mr. Garland, whose services the
Officer Commanding was fortunately able to secure.[115]

From Springvale, the column went to Highflats, where intelligence
was received that Miskofeli and three other Chiefs of that part had
originally arranged, and to some extent prepared, to break out in
rebellion on the 18th, but, on hearing that troops had arrived in
Richmond and were ready to advance, their plans were upset.

On the 22nd, the force pushed on to Stuartstown.[116] At this village
it remained until the 13th March. The route traversed between the 19th
and 22nd had, on purpose, been through, or close to, areas largely
occupied by Natives.[117]

During such time as the troops were at Stuartstown, a number of
courts-martial were held (beginning on the 3rd and ending on the 12th).
As many as three sat at one time. These included the trial of the
induna Mamba, whose people had recently taken up arms. On Miskofeli,
a fine of 100 head of cattle was imposed by McKenzie, on account of
the offence committed by himself and his tribe. Armed parties of the
tribe had been reported as roaming about the country, whilst Miskofeli
himself had prepared for trouble by causing his wives and property to
be concealed in precipices and other inaccessible country.

In view of the fact that this man's tribe was intimately connected
with another in East Griqualand, the Governor requested the Government
of the Cape Colony, in the event of force having to be used, to prevent
Natives of the Cape Colony from entering Natal viâ Union Bridge
(Umzimkulu) to assist their relatives. The Cape Ministers took steps at
once in the direction indicated.

The Government, as already seen in Colonel Bru-de-Wold's instructions,
had intended that a demonstration should also be made in the direction
of Bulwer, but as order had been quickly restored there, as well as at
Elandskop, the Commandant decided to keep McKenzie at Stuartstown, with
a view to the column being employed along the coast between Isipingo
and Port Shepstone, particularly at Dumisa and Umtwalume. The Natives
there had recently got out of control of their respective Chiefs, or
else the Chiefs themselves were pretending to comply with orders,
whilst inciting their men to act with defiance.

In Alexandra division, on the coast, Charlie Fynn, a half-caste and
Chief of a large tribe, had, on the 20th February, come with 1,000 men
ostensibly with the intention of paying the poll tax to the Magistrate
at Nelson's Hotel, Umtwalume. The men were, however, armed with long
sharpened sticks (the ends charred so as to harden them) and small
shields. They came up, "shouting, gesticulating and prancing," and
"striking blows at an imaginary enemy." Many, as afterwards transpired,
had hidden assegais at a stream close by. The Magistrate (Mr. J.L.
Knight) refused to speak until they had laid down their arms. They
moved back to do this, but only to adopt a most unusual procedure.
Instead of being laid down, the sticks were stuck into the ground,
not simultaneously, but one by one. Then they sat down. After being
addressed and having the law explained, they shouted defiantly in one
decided voice: "We shall not pay!" Nor did they do so, at any rate,
not on that occasion. Violent behaviour was exhibited by several as
apart from the mass. One of the leading indunas, Batimane, amidst a
general din, "pushed forward" and "raved like a madman." He spat and
"foamed at the mouth" as he ranted, "picked up rubbish from the ground,
threw it down in front of, and swore at, the Magistrate"--signs of the
grossest contempt and insubordination. In the course of his harangue,
he threatened to stab European women and mutilate them in an especially
revolting manner. The fact that none of those present reproved him,
showed they were either afraid or generally concurred in his conduct.
The whole body then rose, marched off triumphantly, and presently
breaking into a war-song, moved on to their homes. But for the cool and
tactful behaviour of the Magistrate, a serious disturbance must have

In the other division (Lower Umzimkulu), other Chiefs had neglected to
comply with orders to attend at the magistracy.

Leaving Stuartstown at 10 a.m. on the 13th March, McKenzie moved
towards Umtwalume, the scene of the threatening behaviour of Fynn's
tribe. Marching viâ Highflats and Dumisa, the village of Umzinto and
seat of magistracy was reached at 3 p.m. on the 15th. Here, acting
upon the advice of the Magistrate, a Chief Jeke came to the officer
commanding to pay his respects. On the day following, the force moved
to Ifafa; on the 17th, it camped in the neighbourhood of Chief Charlie
Fynn's kraal. The Natal Police Field Force had been detached from the
column at Stuartstown and sent back to headquarters. On the column
reaching Alexandra County, it was reinforced by the Umzinto and Port
Shepstone troops, B.M.R.

In obedience to the directions of Government, Fynn, on the 20th March,
went to report himself to McKenzie, accompanied by about a thousand
of his adherents. His indunas and sub-indunas were then placed under
arrest, on account of the seditious and threatening attitude they had
assumed towards the Magistrate, whilst on the tribe itself, a fine of
1,500 head of cattle was imposed. The men were, moreover, ordered to
bring in all their lethal weapons "The above _indaba_,"[119] says
McKenzie, "was carried out with as much ceremony as possible [in order
to impress the Natives].... Two sides of a triangle were formed, with
guns at either flank, and maxims distributed along the lines. I was
received with a salute, trumpets sounding and the Union Jack being
broken from a flag-staff."

On the 21st, 300 cattle were brought in by Fynn's tribe, also some old
assegais and guns. The Natives were warned that severe measures would
be taken if the required cattle were not handed over.

Not wishing to subject Natives more than necessary to the inconvenience
of troops being in their midst, the Government now instructed the
Commandant to arrange for demobilization as speedily as possible.
Colonel Bru-de-Wold visited Umtwalume on the 26th, when demobilization
was ordered to take place on the 30th.

After infliction of the cattle-fine, it transpired that, with the
object of evading payment thereof, numbers of Natives were secretly
removing their cattle into country on the south of the Umzimkulu river,
and there placing them in the custody of various Chiefs and people.
Four squadrons of mounted troops were accordingly sent to scour the
country and collect and bring in all such cattle as could be found. Of
this force, one squadron N.C. was sent across the Umzumbe river, whilst
another (B.M.R.) proceeded to the top of Mgayi hill. Some 200 cattle
and a number of goats were seized. The full amount of the fine was
subsequently handed over by the tribe.

The troops demobilized on the day arranged, and returned by train to
their respective homes.

The demonstrations, extending as they had done from 10th February to
30th March, had not, of course, been arranged on the supposition that
all Natives whose locations were visited were disloyal or disaffected,
but seeing that the people in general had, for some time, been showing
symptoms of unrest, notably the tribes of Miskofeli, Faku, Munyu and
Mnyamana in Ixopo division, with Charlie Fynn, Jeke and others on
the coast, it was necessary, after the outbreak at Trewirgie had
been dealt with, to restore public confidence and to prove that the
Government was determined and able to enforce its requirements. For
declining to hand over members of his tribe (charged with sedition),
as well as their assegais, in addition to gross impertinence to the
Officer Commanding at Richmond, Mnyamana was deprived of a section of
his tribe. This was thereupon placed under the independent control of
his head induna.

That the action taken by McKenzie's column during February and March
was necessary, was shown by the altered demeanour of the tribes
concerned, and the absence of all disorder among them during the later
and more critical stages of the Rebellion. The existence of martial law
and the military demonstrations and operations that took place may,
indeed, have caused hardship in some cases. Although it was necessary
to punish disaffected tribes as a body, every precaution was taken to
prevent punishment falling on individuals, unless their conduct had
made it desirable to deal with them apart from the rest of the tribe.

In a report from Stuartstown, dated 25th February, McKenzie says:
"Great unrest has existed ... caused by what the Natives consider
to be excessive taxation. There is no doubt that Chiefs have been
communicating with each other with a view to combination.... The
mobilization of this column, consequent on the attack by Mjongo's party
on the police (which appears to have been premature, from the general
plan of operations by the disaffected Natives), has undoubtedly upset
the scheme which was hatching."

After McKenzie left Trewirgie for Richmond, Mveli continued, as
directed, to search the Enon and other forests for the murderers of
Hunt and Armstrong. Some of the rebels were traced to a thick bush some
five miles from Nel's Rust. Here, strange to say, they, though greatly
outnumbered, made a sortie on Mveli's force, when one of their number,
Mjongo, used a rifle with expanding bullets. Five of Mveli's force were
wounded. The rebels were driven back into the bush, where three were
subsequently killed and eight taken prisoners. Among the latter was
Mjongo himself. He had been severely wounded. Before the sortie was
made, Mveli applied to be reinforced by European troops. Thirty-five
European police were accordingly dispatched from Pietermaritzburg, with
a company of N.R.R. from Richmond. The troops, however, arrived too
late for the fight, though they helped to surround the bush. Another
party of rebels, located at New Leeds, close to Thornville Junction,
was also captured.

In recognition of the good services performed by Mveli, he and twenty
of his principal followers were presented to the Duke of Connaught, His
Royal Highness having arrived at Durban in H.M.S. "Terpsichore" on a
visit to South Africa, on the 21st of the same month.

By the 2nd March the result was that, with the exception of three
men (one of whom was wounded), the whole of the original party that
attacked the police had been accounted for.

       *       *       *       *       *

Reference has already been made to the defiance of the Magistrate,
Mapumulo (Mr. R.E. Dunn), by Ngobizembe and three other Chiefs and
their followers. These incidents occurred before that of Trewirgie,
though they were not of so pressing a character. But, being
nevertheless serious, the Government was determined they should not
be overlooked, particularly as these Chiefs and their tribes were
evidently on the verge of rebellion. When McKenzie, therefore, had
operated at Trewirgie, and subsequently marched without untoward
incident as far as Ixopo, it was decided to mobilize a second column
to deal with the Chiefs and people referred to. The additional forces,
which were mobilized on the 24th February, consisted of U.M.R., 250
(Colonel G. Leuchars, C.M.G.); N.M.R., 280 (Lieut.-Col. H. Sparks);
N.N.C., 100 (Commander F. Hoare); A Battery, N.F.A. (Major C. Wilson);
and two companies, D.L.I. (Lieut.-Col. J. Dick). The column was placed
under the command of Colonel Leuchars.[120] The immediate object in
view was to support the Magistrate whilst dealing, under the ordinary
law, with those who had threatened him. In the event of the offenders
not being speedily brought in by their Chief, they were to be arrested
and brought to the Magistrate for trial.

It was further arranged that Mr. (now Sir) C.R. Saunders, K.C.M.G.,
Commissioner for Native Affairs in Zululand, should organize and send
across the Tugela to Mapumulo a strong contingent of Zulus under the
command of European officers. Such assistance appeared necessary,
because of the difficult country in which the Natives in question were
living. This action was determined on in consequence of Mr. Saunders'
contention that the unrest was practically confined to the Natal
Natives. "So certain are Ministers," observes Sir Henry McCallum,
"that Zulus are to be trusted at this juncture, that they have made
arrangements with Mr. Saunders for him to raise at once an _impi_ of
2,000 Zulus under European command to assist, if necessary, the field
force (Mapumulo)...."[121]

Another portion of Leuchars' column was to consist of about 300
Christian Native Scouts, recruited from Edendale and other parts of the

The _impi_ referred to above was to be raised from Eshowe district,
which is largely adjacent to that of Mapumulo. The Commissioner issued
the order for those concerned to get ready, but, on the Commandant
requesting and subsequently urging that the _impi_ be sent, he was
informed that, as the men objected to taking part against Natal tribes,
they would have to be forced to comply, if particularly required. As
resort to compulsion at such a time might easily have complicated an
already difficult situation, the Commandant decided to do without the
men, and advised Leuchars accordingly.

Leuchars' column converged simultaneously on Mapumulo magistracy from
Greytown and Stanger. Ngobizembe was ordered by Leuchars, acting on
behalf of the Supreme Chief, to appear before him, accompanied by those
members of his tribe who had treated the Magistrate with defiance.
Delay ensued. On the 2nd March, an ultimatum was sent intimating that,
if the offenders were not delivered by 10 a.m. on the 5th, summary
punishment would be inflicted on the tribe. The warning was practically
ignored. Instead of 300, only 20 of the offenders were delivered.
Leuchars thereupon moved out, shortly before 11 a.m., with a portion of
his force, leaving Dick within the grounds of the Residency. To begin
with, he caused the Chief's kraal to be destroyed, which was done by
shell-fire at a range of about two thousand yards,--after the women and
children had been removed to a place of safety. The mere sound of the
guns in a part of the country never visited by artillery before, as
well as the act of setting the straw huts ablaze at such a distance,
greatly impressed the aborigines, as, indeed, it did the Europeans.
Ngobizembe shortly afterwards surrendered, together with a large number
of the tribe. After being tried, he was deposed and sent to live in
Zululand, over 100 miles from his former ward. A fine of 1,200 head of
cattle and 3,500 sheep and goats was, moreover, imposed on him and his
tribe for the offence committed, as well as for failing to hand over
the offenders.[122] It became necessary for the troops to levy the
amount of the fine. As a result of the firm action taken by Leuchars,
a number of other offenders required of the Chiefs Meseni and Swaimana
were brought in.

On the 16th, the column was demobilized, except a few men required for
guarding the magistracy, until the 100 Zululand Native Police, then
being re-enlisted, could relieve them.

Prisoners that had been arrested by McKenzie's and Leuchars' columns
were tried by courts-martial appointed by the respective commanding
officers. It was not in every case that the Commandant, with whom the
necessary authority lay, felt able to confirm the sentences. At such
a time, perhaps, it was not unnatural that the military officers,
swayed by local and not unbiassed feeling, should have been led away
by evidence which, though incriminating, would in any ordinary court
of law have been regarded as insufficient to secure conviction and,
even if sufficient, it still remained to weigh carefully the degree
of punishment to be awarded. A case of this kind arose at Ixopo, the
sentences in which, on review, the Commandant found himself unable to
confirm as they stood. His decision, as a matter of fact justifiable
from every point of view, excited surprise and even resentment in the
troops who, for a moment, had overlooked the fact that they were in the
field to carry out orders, not to question the adequacy or otherwise of
action taken by their superiors. Responsibility for the peace of the
country rested, not on their shoulders, but on those of the Government.

       *       *       *       *       *

Subsequent to the arrest of the Christian Natives who had murdered
Hunt and Armstrong, and to whom belongs the unenviable distinction of
having started the Rebellion, and started it prematurely, a general
court-martial was appointed to try them. The officers selected were:
Lieut.-Col. J. Weighton, N.C., President; Lieut.-Col. A. Hair, N.C.;
Major W. Knott, Militia Reserves; Captain H.A. Capstick, N.R.R.; and
Captain H.L. Pybus, N.F.A. The venue was Richmond. The trial began
on the 12th, and ended on the 19th, March. Twenty-four rebels[123]
were arraigned by the prosecutor, Captain J. Fraser, N.R.R., on
three charges, viz.: (i) public violence; (ii) murder and assault
with intent to murder; and (iii) being in arms against the Government
and actively resisting constituted authority, and aiding and abetting
rebels against the Government. As the accused were undefended, a local
attorney and efficient Zulu linguist, Mr. J.F. Jackson, was appointed
by the Government to protect their interests. After a long and patient
hearing, in which the strongest evidence was adduced, 17 of the 23 were
found guilty of the first charge, 12 of the second, and 16 of the last.
The 12 found guilty of the second charge were found guilty of the other
two as well. In respect of the murder, sentence of death was passed;
as to the others, the sentences were of imprisonment, lashes, and
confiscation of property.

It is somewhat surprising that none of the four daily newspapers in
the Colony arranged for publication of digests of the evidence in this
important trial. No doubt it was partly owing to this omission that
misunderstanding arose as to the justice of the sentence.

The proceedings were submitted for approval. By this time, however,
the Governor had withdrawn the delegation to the Commandant of Militia
of authority to confirm or revise sentences imposed by courts-martial.
This withdrawal had occurred, not because of any dissatisfaction with
the manner in which the Commandant had discharged the duty, but because
there then appeared to be no pressing necessity for the duty to be
exercised otherwise than in the ordinary way.[124]

The evidence and proceedings were carefully reviewed by the
Governor-in-Council. As they appeared to be in order, and as there was
no indication of injustice having been committed, the Governor accepted
the advice of his Ministers that the sentences should be carried into
effect. A cable on these lines was sent to the Secretary of State for
the Colonies on the 27th. Lord Elgin replied in the following terms:
"Continued executions[125] under martial law certain to excite strong
criticism here, and as His Majesty's Government are retaining troops
in Colony and will be asked to assent to Act of Indemnity, necessary
to regularize the action taken, trial of these murder cases by civil
courts greatly to be preferred. I must impress upon you necessity of
utmost caution in this matter, and you should suspend executions until
I have had opportunity of considering your further observations." In a
lengthy cable to the Secretary of State explaining the position, Sir
Henry McCallum said, _inter alia_: "On receipt of your telegram ... I
requested Prime Minister ... to order suspension of executions which
had been fixed for to-morrow pending further instructions from your
Lordship. He replied that he regretted that he could not authorise
suspension of executions which had been confirmed after full and
deliberate consideration. I ... explained that this decision would
oblige me ... to exercise prerogative of the Crown ... and to cancel
death warrant which I had signed. He quite recognised this, but said
that, as a most important constitutional question was involved, he
would feel obliged if I would give him written instructions. This I
did, upon which he wrote me following minute: 'As your Excellency has
thought it necessary to give instructions to suspend executions which
were confirmed by the Executive Council and appointed to be carried
out on Friday next, I feel that it is impossible for me to continue
in office as Prime Minister, and I beg to tender my resignation. My
colleagues are unanimous in supporting me in what, under the present
circumstances, appears to be most important constitutional question.'"
As, however, Lord Elgin's direction was that suspension should
operate only until he had had an opportunity of considering Sir Henry
McCallum's further observations, the latter requested the Ministry to
retain office during his further communication with the Secretary of
State. This Mr. Smythe and his colleagues agreed to do.

The action of the Imperial Minister instantly caused a commotion
throughout the length and breadth of Natal. The press was loud in
its denunciation of what was looked on as unnecessary interference
in the internal affairs of a self-governing Colony, and as
seriously undermining local authority in the eyes of the Natives.
Nor was surprise confined only to the people in the Colony. The
Governor-General of Australia cabled, in the name of his Ministers,
to Lord Elgin on the 31st: "Since an intervention of His Majesty's
Ministers ... with the administration of the self-governing Colony
Natal would tend to establish, even in regard to prerogative of
pardon, a dangerous precedent affecting all states within the Empire,
Your Excellency's advisers desire most respectfully to appeal to His
Majesty's Ministers for reconsideration of the resolution at which
they are reported to have arrived on this subject." The Governor of
New Zealand, too, was requested to "ascertain precise position in
respect to action ... in instructing Governor of Natal to postpone
the execution...."[126] Lord Elgin had, however, already cabled (on
30th) to Sir Henry McCallum that "His Majesty's Government have at no
time had the intention to interfere with action of the responsible
government of Natal, or to control Governor in exercise of prerogative.
But your Ministers will, I feel sure, recognize that, in all the
circumstances now existing, and, in view of the presence of British
troops in the Colony, His Majesty's Government are entitled, and were
in duty bound to obtain full and precise information in reference
to these martial law cases, in regard to which an Act of Indemnity
has ultimately to be assented to by the Crown. In the light of the
information now furnished, His Majesty's Government recognize that the
decision of this grave matter rests in the hands of your Ministers and
yourself." The Secretary of State went on to express regret that Sir
Henry McCallum did not keep him informed by telegraph of the steps he
was taking, pointing out that it was the lack of such information that
had necessitated the telegram directing suspension. The Governor took
the rebuke in a dignified manner, although it was generally believed in
the Colony that he had been assiduous in the discharge of his duties
and had kept Lord Elgin fully informed.

The murderers of Hunt and Armstrong, twelve in number, after a trial
that was in every way fair and impartial, were shot at Richmond in the
presence of a large number of Natives, including Chiefs, at mid-day
on the 2nd April, the firing-party consisting of comrades of the
deceased. There is no doubt that the public execution of these men, who
met their death with fortitude, created a profound impression on the
Native population, and had no small share in checking the spread of the
Rebellion, not only in that district, but in other parts of the Colony.
Nor is it too much to say that the resolute action of the Government
on that occasion will serve as a lesson for many years to rebelliously
inclined Ethiopians throughout South Africa.

Swayed by certain Members in the House of Commons, Lord Elgin cabled
on the 6th April to the Governor to know if the warrant held by the
police on the 8th February, as well as other documents connected with
the executions, could be produced. The cabled reply of Ministers,
whilst intimating ability and readiness to furnish any information
that might properly be called for, and appreciating the position in
which the Secretary of State was placed, contained a request that they
might be protected "from harassing interference on the part of Members
of the House of Commons in regard to matters for which Ministers are
themselves solely responsible."

And no further application seems to have been made.


[Footnote 97: What happened at Polela was briefly this: In consequence
of the local police being unable to arrest two Natives at one
Luplankwe's kraal, on a charge of contempt of court, a stronger body,
including half-a-dozen European farmers and members of the accused's
tribe, proceeded, on the following morning, to execute the warrant. In
spite of many attempts to induce the accused to surrender, they refused
to do so. They, and eight others, armed themselves with shields and
assegais. An altercation arose and assegais were thrown, one of the
police party being killed and another wounded. Orders were then given
to fire. The accused and four others were killed, and three wounded.
The affair was apparently confined to the one kraal. It created a
considerable sensation, and formed the subject of special inquiry by
direction of the Governor.]

[Footnote 98: _Natal Law Reports_, 1895, vol. xvi. 239.]

[Footnote 99: The Ethiopian or Separatist movement is a movement among
the Natives of South Africa towards ecclesiastical independence,
apparently with the object of obtaining greater political power.
Although attempts have, since 1886, been made by Native congregations
to break away from European control, the movement did not assume
importance until 1892, when one M.M. Makone, subsequently joined by
J.M. Dwane, seceded with large followings from the Wesleyan Methodist
Church, and set up "The Ethiopian Church" at Pretoria. In consequence
of action taken by these Ethiopians, they became affiliated with
the African Methodist Episcopal Church of America in 1897, and such
connection has since then been strengthened in various ways.

Apart from the foregoing, there have been a number of other secessions.
Such churches--also wholly independent of European control--as: Church
of the Tembus; Presbyterian Church of Africa; Ethiopian Catholic Church
of Zion, have been set up in various parts, whilst, in Natal, there
are: Uhlanga Church; African Congregational Church; Zulu Congregational
Church; Ibandhla li ka Mosi, etc. It may be added, however, that,
in 1900, the South African Episcopal Synod established the "Order
of Ethiopia" which, whilst under the jurisdiction of the Bishop, is
independent of that of the parochial clergy.]

[Footnote 100: Sometimes referred to as having occurred at Byrnetown.
This, however, was not the case.]

[Footnote 101: The poll tax actually collected from Natives in the
years 1906-1909 was as follows:

             1906        1907        1908      1909
 Natal    £68,500 1   £49,637 10   £45,150   £41,498
 Zululand   7,990 6     4,267  0     3,940     3,520
          ---------   ----------   -------   -------
 Total    £76,490 7   £53,904 10   £49,090   £45,018

That it was greater in 1906 than in later years, was due to failure
by Natives to apply for exemption or to their assuming liability in
different ways for the hut tax.]

[Footnote 102: Pigs were disposed of in Weenen division at 1s. to 4s.

[Footnote 103: The Magistrate, Umgeni division, was one of the first
to attempt collection. On 25th January, however, the Magistrate, Upper
Umkomanzi division (Mr. J.Y. Gibson), had made an unsuccessful attempt
at Mid-Illovo. The same officer tried again, before the outbreak, to
collect, this time at Richmond, but the Chief requested him to defer
collecting until some more powerful tribe had paid.]

[Footnote 104: One of them belonged to a different and adjoining tribe.]

[Footnote 105: Natives, in speaking of themselves collectively,
frequently use this phrase.]

[Footnote 106: This man belonged not to Mveli's, but another, tribe. He
was subsequently tried and convicted by the Magistrate on the evidence
of three witnesses.]

[Footnote 107: Act No. 36, 1903, secs. 69, 71. It will be observed the
force was to be distinct from the Active Militia or Reserves, but only
by reason of being a standing body.]

[Footnote 108: "Rules on the subject of Martial Law." Colonial
Regulations, _vide_ Colonial Office Circular, 26th May, 1867.]

[Footnote 109: The latter contingency did not arise. The presence of
troops, however, had the effect of interrupting public business during
April and May at Nkandhla, May, at Umsinga, and July, at Mapumulo,

[Footnote 110: A, B and C troops were left to guard the Pondo border.]

[Footnote 111: This officer's services were:--Mashonaland, 1897
(medal and clasp). South African War, 1899-1902. Engaged in--Relief
of Ladysmith, including action at Colenso; operations of 17th to
24th January, 1900, and action at Spion Kop; operations of 5th to
7th February, 1900, and action at Vaal Krantz; operations on Tugela
Heights, and action at Pieters Hill; operations in Natal, March
to June, 1900, including action at Laing's Nek; operations in the
Transvaal, east of Pretoria, July to October, 1900.

In command 2nd Imperial Light Horse, November, 1900, to May, 1902.
Engaged in--Operations in the Transvaal and Orange River Colony, 30th
November, 1900, to 31st May, 1902; operations on the Zululand Frontier
of Natal, September and October, 1901.

Despatches, _London Gazette_, 8th February and 16th April, 1901, and
29th July, 1902. Queen's medal with five clasps. King's medal with two
clasps. Awarded C.B.; C.M.G.

The _Official Army List_, 1911. War Office. Wyman & Sons, Ltd., Fetter
Lane, London E.C.]

[Footnote 112: _Vide_, p. 149 note.]

[Footnote 113: The N.R.R. were withdrawn from Richmond in the middle of
March and demobilized.]

[Footnote 114: Miskofeli's mother is a daughter of the late Chief
Langalibalele of whom mention was made in Chapter I. This woman's
influence during 1906 was directed to inducing her son's tribe to pay
the poll tax.]

[Footnote 115: It should, however, be pointed out that the Magistrate,
Richmond, had previously been directed to proceed to the Ixopo division
to inquire of Miskofeli if it was true his tribe had armed and, if
so, for what reason. Mr. Gibson had an interview with the Chief near
Waterfall on the 14th February, when Miskofeli denied having armed or
that he intended attacking anyone; he added that he had duly proclaimed
the Act about the poll tax. The visit, carried out with much tact and
discretion, probably contributed in no small degree to the result
referred to in the text.]

[Footnote 116: Also called Ixopo.]

[Footnote 117: A remarkable stampede of about 1,100 horses took place
one night whilst the troops were at the village. Owing to its being
cold and rainy, the animals were driven, with some mules, into a
paddock near camp. The mules later on caused the horses to stampede,
when the whole started galloping wildly, _en masse_, round and round
in a great circle, part of whose circumference lay within a few yards
of the camp. The thunder of the rush as each time they swept madly by
was positively deafening, much to the dismay of the reclining warriors.
Once or twice they dashed through the picket lines, compelling the
sentries to take refuge helter-skelter in camp for fear of being
trampled to death. Not until dawn did the galloping cease, probably
owing to sheer exhaustion. It was found that many of the animals had
severely, and some even permanently, injured themselves by running into
barbed-wire fences in the dark.]

[Footnote 118: The foregoing took place although all the efforts of the
Chief himself were on the side of law and order.]

[Footnote 119: A Zulu word, meaning here 'affair.']

[Footnote 120: This officer's services were as follows:

South African War, 1899-1902--In command Umvoti Mounted Rifles.
Operations in Natal, 1899; Relief of Ladysmith, including operations
on Tugela Heights; operations in Natal, March to June, 1900, including
action at Laing's Nek; operations in the Transvaal, east of Pretoria,
July to October, 1900; operations on the Zululand Frontier of Natal,
September and October, 1901.

Despatches, _London Gazette_, 16th April, 1901. Queen's medal with four
clasps. King's medal with two clasps. C.M.G.

The _Official Army List_, 1911. War Office. Wyman & Sons, Ltd., Fetter
Lane, London, E.C.]

[Footnote 121: Cd. 2905, p. 20.]

[Footnote 122: General authority to administer martial law had, as
in the case of McKenzie, been specially delegated to Leuchars by the
Commandant. The latter had, in his turn, been deputed by the Governor
to administer it. At a later date, the Governor decided to reserve to
himself exercise of the authority granted to the Commandant.]

[Footnote 123: One of these was Mjongo, but he was unable to attend,
not having sufficiently recovered from his wounds. He was, however,
subsequently tried by the Supreme Court, convicted and sentenced to
death by hanging; the sentence was carried out in September.]

[Footnote 124: Revocation took place on the 16th March.]

[Footnote 125: There had been only two, viz. the two rebels captured by
McKenzie's column on the 13th February.]

[Footnote 126: Cd. 2905, pp. 32, 34.]



Whilst McKenzie was demonstrating in the south-west, and Leuchars
was similarly occupied at Mapumulo, a state of affairs was rapidly
developing in the Mpanza valley,[127] not more than sixteen miles from
Greytown, destined soon to alter the whole character of the situation.

Owing to the fact that neither McKenzie nor Leuchars had met with
any opposition whatever when dealing, as has been seen, promptly and
effectively with all cases of disaffection that came to their notice,
it was, by the end of March, generally supposed that all further
trouble was at an end, at any rate, for the time being. This conviction
was strengthened by the execution of the murderers of Hunt and
Armstrong. This execution, however, proved to be not the end, but only
the end of the first phase of the Insurrection.

How far the Trewirgie affair can be associated with what was taking
place in Mpanza valley is for the reader to judge, after consideration
of the facts that will be laid before him. To understand it, it is
necessary to examine the character and antecedents of the man who,
on the 4th of April, became the initiator of the second and far more
vigorous phase of the Rebellion. This is all the more necessary, not
only because the Natives generally refer to it as _his_ Rebellion,[128]
but because he was the Chief of a comparatively small, low-class tribe
and almost unknown, either by Europeans or Natives, beyond the division
in which he lived. The rôle he took on was one which a far more
imposing man like Mehlokazulu (of Zulu War fame), or even Zibebu (had
he been living),[129] might have been proud to assume, had opportunity
favourable for so hazardous an enterprise presented itself. Indeed,
the general belief of the Natives of Natal and Zululand in regard to
the poll tax was that, if there was to be any overt action at all,
Dinuzulu himself would take it as head of the Zulu House. But for his
imprisonment and banishment to St. Helena, it is quite possible he
would have taken it. As he failed, or at any rate preferred to remain
in the background, it fell, of all Chiefs in this portion of South
Africa, on one Bambata to step forward as protagonist on this unique
and dramatic occasion.

As a section of the Native public appeared desirous of a change in the
way in which they were being governed, it devolved, of course, on some
one to take the lead. Who should this be? A Chief? Of course, for, in a
matter such as this, it would be altogether foreign to Native sentiment
for a mere commoner to do so. Look how Makanda and Mjongo had failed.
What Chief, then, so far forgetful of his own interests, as well as
of those of his tribe, would dare to translate into action the spirit
of resistance innate in the people? Who, in short, would have the
temerity to start an insurrection against a Government which, however
much it might be regarded as oppressive, had yet, as Bambata well
knew, delivered his ancestors, and those of a million other Natives,
from the wrongs, cruelties and inhumanity of Tshaka and Dingana, and
enabled every man, woman and child to sleep peacefully in their homes
for upwards of two generations, undisturbed by death-dealing, predatory

The question, therefore, arises as to how it came about that one so
petty and obscure as Bambata should stand forth, practically alone, as
the redresser of the nation's alleged wrongs. Who and what was he?

Bambata was born about the year 1865 in the neighbourhood of Mpanza
valley. His father was Mancinza, _alias_ Sobuza, member of the Zondi
tribe,[130] and his mother the daughter of Pakade, a well-known Chief
of the Cunu tribe, now for the most part living in Weenen division.
This woman was Mancinza's principal wife. In regard to the principal
wife, a tribe is, by custom, called on to contribute towards her
_lobolo_; an attempt was made to do this in the present instance. The
tribe, however, objected to the Chief taking a girl of the Cunu tribe,
and refused to assist in _lobola_-ing her.[131] Determined to marry the
girl, Mancinza delivered the necessary forty or more cattle out of his
own herd. A few months after the wedding, the bride became so averse to
living with her husband's three other wives that, after accusing them
of wishing to kill her, she deserted and took up her abode at the kraal
of another man of the same tribe. It was at this establishment that
Bambata was born. His mother then insisted on a kraal being specially
erected for her. This was done, the result of the unusual action being
that the former place was well-nigh wrecked, for the other wives
complained of their husband devoting too much attention to Bambata's

As a boy, Bambata was headstrong and fond of fighting. He frequently
neglected the cattle he had to herd. When chastised, he took the
beating well, never crying out or shouting as boys sometimes do. He
became expert in the use of the assegai, and was an exceptionally fine
runner. Owing to the latter qualification, he earned the sobriquet
of "Magadu" (short for _Magaduzela, o wa bonel 'empunzini_),[132]
which stuck to him all his life. His father had a double-barrelled,
muzzle-loading shot gun. This the youth soon accustomed himself to, and
became a good shot. When he was about 25 years of age, his father died.
His uncle, Magwababa, to whom there will be further reference later,
was appointed to act as Chief. After a few years, he was formally
superseded by Bambata himself. A year or two after becoming Chief,
Bambata committed a daring theft of three head of cattle belonging to
a Boer. He was tried and severely punished, though not imprisoned. On
the amount of the fine being raised by members of the tribe, he was

As Chief, he was harsh, extravagant and reckless, selfish and
domineering. On one occasion he fined a man, but, as the latter
would not pay, he attacked him with an armed body of men and forced
him to comply. He rapidly squandered the property his father had
left and, like his father, ran counter to the wishes of the tribe
in selecting his principal wife. The elders were in favour of his
promoting a particular woman, and opposed to his own choice, on the
ground that the woman was a twin. He ignored their wishes and, after
one of his wives (there were four in all), had committed adultery and
been expelled, whilst another had deserted, he erected a solitary
hut for the principal one--calling it Emkontweni (_the place of the
assegai_)--thereby following once more the irregular example set by his

In the meantime, the relations he stood in towards his European
neighbours were even less satisfactory. The total strength of his
tribe at the end of 1905 was 910 huts in Umvoti, 120 in New Hanover,
21 in Umgeni, and 91 in Lion's River, divisions, or 1,142 in all;
representing a total approximate population of 5,000 men, women,
and children, or about 500 capable of bearing arms. The system of
recruiting regiments was followed in this as in some other tribes of
Natal and Zululand. Owing, however, to limited numbers, there were
incorporated into each regiment men of widely differing ages. During
the twenty-four years Bambata was nominally Chief, he recruited only
two regiments.

Most of the kraals of the tribe, as well as his own, especially
in the Umvoti division, were distributed over a number of private
farms. The landlord of the farm on which he personally lived, viz.
Aangelegen,[133] demanded a rental of £3 per hut, this, of course
being apart from Government taxation. Such rent was undoubtedly high,
although on other farms in the same district a similar, and even
heavier, charge was not uncommon. Notwithstanding these obligations,
he continued in his career of extravagance. He illicitly purchased
European liquor and drank freely thereof, as well as of Native beer,
though not so as to become a confirmed drunkard. In order to make good
what he had squandered in drink and in other ways, he borrowed from
lawyers who, not being less importunate or exacting than other people,
usually got back their own with interest through the local Magistrate's
court. Bambata was constantly being sued, either on account of loans
or for outstanding rent, and to such indebtedness there seemed to be
no end. Instead of bracing himself up and endeavouring to meet his
obligations, he persisted in his reckless conduct, until he became a
nuisance to Europeans, on the one hand, and the members of his tribe,
on the other. A more perturbed spirit than he was at the close of 1905
it is scarcely possible to conceive. He, hereditary Chief of a tribe,
which, though of humble origin as compared with many of the adjoining
ones in Zululand and Natal, was of no mean size, seemed to be daily
losing his grip over the people and coming within measurable distance
of utter ruin. This prospect he was smart enough to realize, and it
was because he knew such end to be sooner or later inevitable that his
despondency grew to despair.

In common with all other Chiefs throughout the Colony, including
Zululand, he was required, in April, 1904, on coming with his people
to pay the hut and dog taxes, to give information in connection with
the census. He was the man who, as has been stated, protested to the
Magistrate against furnishing a few matter-of-fact details, concluding
with the remark: "If there be anything behind all this, we shall be
angry." The threat was uttered at Marshall's hotel, exactly two years
and a day before his starting the Insurrection not a mile from the
same hotel. Mr. J.W. Cross, the Magistrate, by way of pacifying and
convincing him that the Government had no sinister motive, said: "You
may as well expect the sun to fall from the heavens as imagine that
harm will come to you." "That was just what we wanted to hear," he
exclaimed in reply.

In August, 1905, a faction fight occurred in the ward. Owing to having
taken part in it himself, Bambata was charged before the Magistrate,
but the case was not disposed of till early in 1906, as one of those
assaulted was too unwell to appear. He was convicted and sentenced to
pay a fine of £20, with an alternative of three months' imprisonment.
The Government was advised to depose him, as being unfit for the
position of Chief, and because he was always being sued. About this
time he visited his lawyer in Pietermaritzburg, from whom, it seems, he
learned that his deposition was in contemplation.

When, in September, 1905, the Poll Tax Act was proclaimed in Umvoti
division, no opposition was raised by the Zondi or other local tribes;
the headmen, however, complained that the law would result in complete
loss of the small control kraal-owners still retained over their
sons. Bambata took the opportunity of reminding the Magistrate of the
statement the latter had made when the census was being taken, asking
that official to reconcile the assurance then given with the demand for
the poll tax that was being made. The Magistrate was unable to do this
to Bambata's satisfaction.

As a matter of fact, there was considerable and general objection to
the tax, though not given expression to in the presence of officials as
at other magistracies. Among those who objected in the Zondi tribe was
the headman, Nhlonhlo. He assumed a determined and defiant attitude.
But for the part he took, Bambata might not have broken into rebellion.
Nhlonhlo called together the people about him, proceeded with them to
Bambata and declared they would not pay. Bambata apparently did what he
could to persuade, but without success. The only reason why Nhlonhlo
made the stand he did was because he had five taxable sons, and did not
see why all of these should be liable. Like Bambata, he had got into
difficulties with his own landlord, and when, some years previously,
the latter had sought to eject him, he borrowed money of Bambata, more
than half of which is said to be still owing.

       *       *       *       *       *

Towards the end of 1905, confidential information was received by the
Magistrate to the effect that Bambata was in league with the Zulus, and
that he had agreed to bell the cat by putting to death the Magistrate
and his staff on their visiting Mpanza to collect poll tax. As a result
of this, the collections were begun in another part of the division
instead of, as was usual, in Bambata's ward. So far, then, from being
the first, Bambata was the last Chief to be called on to pay. More than
this, he and his people were ordered to attend for the purpose at the
Magistrate's office in Greytown. The date fixed was the 22nd February.
After receiving the instructions, he requested the Magistrate to come
as usual to collect in Mpanza valley. Mr. Cross, however, said he was
unable to countermand the order.

On the day appointed, the people appeared at the Magistrate's office.
They arrived about 11 instead of 9 a.m. The Chief was not with them,
as he should have been. An induna appeared in his stead, apologizing
for the Chief's absence on the ground of ill-health. (He was said to
be suffering from a stomach-ache.) The Magistrate naturally concluded
Bambata was at his kraal some thirteen or fourteen miles away, whereas,
as was afterwards reported, he and a number of young men had concealed
themselves in a wattle-tree plantation, overlooking, and about two and
a half miles from, Greytown. Those who came up to pay were chiefly
elderly men. They at first appeared very surly. In reply to a question
as to where the young men, i.e. those liable for the tax, were, the old
men said they had gone out courting.

About 8.30 p.m. the same day, information was received from Native
sources that Greytown was to be attacked during the night "after the
white people had gone to bed," for Bambata had gathered together an
_impi_ and was with it in the trees overlooking Greytown, meaning Mr.
Layman's and Dr. Wright's plantations. It was explained that payment
of the tax that day was simply a ruse 'to hoodwink the Europeans,' and
that Bambata intended to recover the money paid in. A similar rumour
came from another quarter. Steps were thereupon taken to warn and
protect the inhabitants. There happened that night to be a dance on in
the town hall. The electric light was purposely kept burning all night
in the building as well as in the streets. The hall, in the meantime,
was quickly transformed into a lager. Arms were issued and pickets
posted in various directions.

This 'scare,' for such it was, was based on incorrect or insufficient
information. Careful inquiry of those actually with Bambata on the day
in question has resulted in the following explanation:--As directed,
the Chief called on his people to proceed to Greytown to pay the tax.
He instructed them all to assemble on the ridge just before coming
within sight of the town. Such procedure was not irregular, as Chiefs,
when calling on their people to pay hut tax, often direct them to
assemble at a given spot to afford an opportunity for preliminary
inspection. Quite contrary to Bambata's orders, it would seem, a number
of young men came up from Mpanza valley led by Nhlonhlo, all being
armed with shields and assegais. They proceeded to the vicinity of a
kraal beside the road, a couple of miles further away from Greytown
than where Bambata had directed them to assemble. On learning this,
Bambata, then some little way off, sent a messenger to order the young
men to put down their arms and go to Greytown with the others and pay.
They refused point-blank. "If," they said, "we are to throw away our
assegais and go empty-handed, we certainly shall not comply." Bambata
now borrowed a horse and moved to inspect the other section of his
people who were in front. As he went off, Nhlonhlo's party were heard
to shout to the lender of the horse, "If, after your supplying him
with a horse, Bambata should be arrested by the white people, we shall
stab you." When the Chief reached the rendezvous, he found his uncle,
Magwababa, had already been driven into Greytown by Mr. Botha, whilst
a number of others had followed him. Of those present, some were not
properly dressed[134] and, moreover, had not the necessary money. He
ordered them home, telling them to sell their goats and so find the
amount of the tax. Others were sent into Greytown with a message to the
man in charge to say that Bambata was absent owing to a headache.

Already apprehensive as to what might happen, especially as he had,
contrary to custom, been summoned to Greytown without knowing why such
course had been adopted, and, again, finding that a few hot-bloods, who
had by then heard all about the Trewirgie affair, had taken up arms
for the purpose of protecting him, and, if need be, resisting by force
any attempt to arrest him, can anyone be surprised that Bambata showed
some hesitation about going forward? He was in a dilemma. The course
he took was, questionable as it seems, on the side of law and order,
at any rate for the time being. His people were obviously inclined
to get out of hand, and it required his personal presence to check
any rash or hostile demonstration. Had he gone into Greytown and been
apprehended, it is quite possible an effort at rescue would have been
made. As it was, nothing occurred. Nor would anything have occurred,
because his arrest was not contemplated. It was, of course, bad enough
that a body of young men should have assembled where they did, armed
with assegais, in much the same way that those of Mveli's had done when
Mr. Bennett went to collect at Henley, but, at that time Bambata had
apparently no intention of attacking Greytown. Where he made a fatal
mistake was in not reporting the incident at once, as Mveli had done,
thus placing on the Government the onus of preserving peace. Rather
than sacrifice the lawlessly inclined he, by inaction at a critical
moment, caused himself to be identified with them in every respect. "If
we fail to denounce the crime, we become participators in it."[135]
From the moment he excused himself from appearing on the lying pretext
that he had a headache, it became more and more difficult for him to
do otherwise than rebel. At that moment he unfitted himself for the
position of Chief. This the Government, some days later, recognized,
whereupon Magwababa was appointed to act as Chief as _from that date_.

On the day after the scare, a message was received from the Secretary
for Native Affairs summoning Bambata to attend at his office in
Pietermaritzburg. Two Native police were sent to say he was to take an
early train to Pietermaritzburg on the following morning (Saturday).
The messengers returned to say he had promised to comply on the Monday.
After the police had gone, Nhlonhlo intervened and would not allow
the Chief to keep the promise, for the reason that, having by that
time slept in the veld for three days with men under arms, he would
be looked on as already in revolt, and, therefore, as a criminal to
be put under arrest. Nhlonhlo and his _impi_ thereupon carried him
off to another kraal. On Tuesday, a further message was sent. After
some trouble, the messengers found him and delivered their message.
He told them to inform the Magistrate he was afraid of going to
Pietermaritzburg, as he had heard the European people had taken up arms
against him.

At this stage, Mr. C. Tatham, an attorney of Greytown, who had one
of Bambata's relations working for him, Bambata himself, moreover,
being his client, sent to the Chief to say that, if afraid of obeying
the summons, he was to send a particular man to him, when Tatham
himself would go and see Bambata and, after explaining the position,
conduct him to the authorities. Bambata was besought by his wiser
followers to seize the opportunity, which he said he would do. The man
referred to arrived, but found Tatham unwell. The latter then sent
word to say Bambata was to come by himself, and, if afraid, he was
to proceed direct to Tatham's residence, when he would be conducted
to the Magistrate's office. On hearing this, Nhlonhlo exclaimed: "He
won't go." In reply to a remark about the probability of Bambata
being released on payment of a fine, Nhlonhlo remarked: "I prefer he
should die in our own hands, rather than be shot by Europeans out of
our sight." Others tried to persuade the Chief, but, influenced by
Nhlonhlo, Bambata remarked: "I won't go. Some of you want me to be
killed by myself. When they kill me, it will not be until some of you
have been laid out." References to the action of the British Government
in regard to Cetshwayo and Langalibalele were unavailing, for Bambata
replied: "When each of these was captured, it was not until after some
of their people had been killed, therefore I too mean to resist."
"If you are tired of him" (_i.e._ Bambata), said Nhlonhlo to the
peace-makers, "give him over to us." After the wiser men had queried
whether Nhlonhlo had a fortress where Bambata could be hidden with
any good prospect of success, the people dispersed. Bambata was then
conducted to the forest-clad hill above the principal induna Mgombana's
kraal, and there concealed.

On the 3rd March, a final message was dispatched to the effect that,
if Bambata continued any longer to disobey the Supreme Chief's order,
he would have to take the consequences, whatever they might be. The
bearers, however, failed to see him, as the people refused to disclose
his whereabouts. The message was delivered to the Chief's brother

Major W.J. Clarke, with a force of 170 Natal Police and a troop,
U.M.R. (Helpmakaar), made a surprise visit to Mpanza on the 9th, with
the object of arresting Bambata, but failed, as the man hid himself in
the dense bush about those parts as soon as he saw the force advancing.
Clarke, thereupon, returned to Pietermaritzburg.[136] In the meantime,
Bambata, feeling that Natal could not afford him protection, crossed
into Zululand on Sunday, the 11th March, boasting to his followers as
he left, that when they next set eyes on him he would be at the head of
an army. Nothing more was heard of him officially from the 11th until
the morning of the 3rd April.

During his absence, Magwababa and Funizwe (Bambata's full brother),
together with the more important men of the tribe, including the
firebrand, Nhlonhlo, were summoned to Pietermaritzburg, the object
being to appoint a successor to Bambata, who had been deposed as from
the 23rd February. It was decided Funizwe should succeed, but that, for
a year, Magwababa was to act as Chief.

But where was Bambata at this time? Subsequent inquiries show that,
when he left for Zululand, travelling on foot, he was accompanied by
his chief wife, three children, and a mat-bearer, also a young man,
Ngqengqengqe by name. Among other places, he slept at a relative's in
Nkandhla district; he then proceeded on to Dinuzulu's Usutu kraal by
easy stages, leaving his wife and children at a place some seven miles
away from there. He reached Usutu on Sunday, the 25th March.

Only long after the Insurrection was any account procurable of
these doings, particularly from the woman and children in question.
According to their evidence, this young man, Ngqengqengqe, had been
sent from Usutu kraal by Dinuzulu's minor induna to summon Bambata,
as Dinuzulu desired to see him. Bambata had several interviews with
Dinuzulu, being treated by the latter in a markedly hospitable manner.
Accommodation in a special establishment a few yards from the kraal
and Dinuzulu's own apartments, was provided. His wife and children
were brought the next day to Usutu and there concealed. Dinuzulu, says
Bambata's wife, through his principal induna, Mankulumana, gave Bambata
instructions to go back to Natal, commit an act of rebellion and then
flee to Nkandhla forests, where Dinuzulu's men would join him. Bambata
was, at the same time, given a Mauser rifle and some ammunition. After
spending four days at Usutu, he started on his return journey, leaving
his wife and children at Dinuzulu's kraal. And there they continued to
be concealed for fourteen months.[137] Two young men were sent back
with Bambata to Natal, one being Cakijana (son of Gezindaka), who soon
began to play an important part. Bambata, accompanied by these two,
called at a kraal of Chief Matshana (son of Mondise) on Friday, the
30th March, but was refused admission. He left the same afternoon for
Ngubevu drift (on the Tugela), having first assured himself that it was
not being watched by police.

About 7 a.m. on Tuesday, 3rd April, it was reported to the Magistrate
that Bambata was back in Mpanza valley (as a matter of fact he had got
back on the 31st March), and that he and an _impi_ he had raised had
captured the acting Chief Magwababa on the preceding evening; that they
had surprised Magwababa in his hut, treated him with violence, and,
tying him with a reim,[138] had marched him off towards that portion
of the tribe that lies furthest from Greytown, and in the vicinity
of Marshall's hotel. The foregoing tale had been brought to a farmer
(Mr. Botha) at 3 a.m. by Magwababa's own wife who, from what she saw,
supposed her husband must by then be dead.

Afterwards it was discovered that the assailants had, on seizing
Magwababa, jeered at him in these terms: "Where are your white friends
now? We acknowledge, not a Natal king, but a black one."

In addition to arresting Magwababa, attempting to secure Funizwe
(who escaped through having slept in the field because afraid of
his brother), Bambata, assisted by his principal induna, Mgombana,
and other men, went about commandeering the young men, threatening
immediate death on failure to comply. The commandeering was carried on
throughout the whole of Monday night (2nd). That such "club law" had to
be adopted, shows that Bambata felt it difficult to get members of the
tribe to join, although some were only too eager to do so. His tribe,
for the most part, was against rebelling, and could be forced into
doing so only by the adoption of violent methods. But for the presence
of Cakijana, the reputed emissary from Dinuzulu, and who in the name of
Dinuzulu urged all to rise,[139] Bambata must have failed to dragoon as
many as he did.

The result of the report was that the Magistrate deemed it necessary
to proceed to Mpanza to investigate. He was accompanied by a clerk, a
civilian, Inspector J.E. Rose and two troopers of the Natal Police,
and a Native guide. They went along the main road as far as Mpanza
(Marshall's) hotel when, unaware that their movements were being
watched, they proceeded up Mpanza valley in the direction of Varty's
house in search of Magwababa's captors. Whilst looking for a drift
to cross the Mpanza, which passes the hotel about three-quarters of
a mile lower down, they were suddenly surprised by a body of men,
under the command of Bambata himself, fully armed with assegais and
some guns. Bambata's party immediately opened fire at short range at
the Inspector, who, with a couple of men, was leading. A few shots
were returned, when one of the enemy was wounded. The _impi_ had
behaved in a deliberate and cold-blooded manner, well-knowing the
party was composed of Government officials. One would have thought the
smallness of the party was enough to have guaranteed its safety. It
would probably have made a considerable difference had it been even
smaller and unarmed. Evidently the temper of the people had greatly
changed. When the men were sent with Clarke to arrest Bambata, he fled
to Zululand. Now, when another, though smaller party, appears on the
scene, he, without warning, opens fire upon them. Clearly something had
occurred during the visit to Zululand to embolden him to break out into
open rebellion. The Magistrate's party, on going into Mpanza valley,
did so in no aggressive spirit, not even to attempt arrest, but solely
to find out what had become of the acting Chief, as it was their duty
to do. They could not, under the circumstances, do otherwise than make
their way back to the hotel (on the main road) as best they could,
through the thick thorn bush that lay between. The three ladies in the
hotel, Mesdames Hunter, Marshall and Borham (and son), warned of their
danger, proceeded to effect an escape as speedily as they could. This
was done with the assistance of the police.

As a matter of fact, though unknown to the party at the time, the
rebels did not pursue, otherwise one or more must have been overtaken.
They made their way as rapidly as possible to the Police Station,
Keate's drift (on the Mooi River), reaching the post the same afternoon.

Some time after the party had gone off, a number of the insurgents
proceeded to the hotel and, breaking into the canteen and cellar,
helped themselves freely to the large supply of liquor they found there.

After representing the state of affairs to the Commandant, Colonel
Leuchars, whose Mapumulo command had, of course, by this time
demobilized, proceeded on his own responsibility, in the absence of
the Magistrate, to arrange for the defence of Greytown. The necessary
organization was effected the same evening with the assistance of the
Town Commandant (Major Menne). All available men of the U.M.R. were
mobilized; patrols were sent out in different directions, and the
local First Reserves put on to guard the approaches to the town. The
action taken was at once confirmed by the Commandant.

Such Natal Police as were available, including the four officers, 100
non-commissioned officers and men who had the day previous been to
Richmond to carry out the executions referred to, were immediately
ordered to Greytown, not, however, receiving instructions until late
in the afternoon. On arrival at Greytown by train at about 8 a.m., the
force was joined by a detachment, raising the strength to six officers,
166 non-commissioned officers and men, under the command of Lieut.-Col.
G. Mansel, C.M.G., Chief Commissioner. The force marched from Greytown
about 10.30 a.m. and camped on Botha's farm (adjoining Burrup's), six
or seven miles from and above Mpanza valley. The idea was there to
await developments. Leuchars was, the same day, appointed to command
all troops in the district; this, of course, brought Mansel's force
under his orders.

Intelligence was received by Mansel the same afternoon by wire from
Keate's drift, to the effect that the European men and women, who had
taken refuge there, were unable to proceed through Mpanza valley to
Greytown, owing to insufficiency of escort. On account of the hostile
attitude assumed by Bambata, whose fastnesses were not more than seven
or eight miles from Keate's drift, the position of the ladies was
considered to be unsafe. Mansel accordingly decided, without, however,
submitting the matter for instructions, to bring in the fugitives.
Shortly before 3 p.m. a column, consisting of five officers and 146
non-commissioned officers and men, left for the purpose. A few men,
together with some Nongqai (Zululand Native Police), were left in
charge of the camp.

The force, with Mansel in command, not having seen anything of the
enemy, although it had passed through Mpanza valley, arrived at the
drift at 4.30 p.m. It left again at 6.15, escorting the ladies and
child. The latter travelled in an open carriage drawn by two horses.
The police detachment at Keate's drift continued to hold the post
under Sub-Inspector Ottley. Mpanza hotel was reached just after sunset.
A short halt was made, when the column continued its march along the
road. There was an advanced guard of twenty-six men. The carriage
occupied a position in the centre of the main body. Every precaution
was taken. Connecting files were posted between the guard and main
body (about 150 yards apart), but, in Mpanza valley and for some miles
further on, the nature of the country was such that flankers could not
be thrown out, not even five yards on either side of the road. The
density of the bush about that part is remarkable. The trees, though
not more than twenty feet high, are so closely intermingled, some of
thorn, others of cactus variety, as to make it difficult for a man
to make his way through, even on foot. Add to this, a three-strand
wire fence running five yards from the road on either side--the road
itself not being more than thirty feet wide--and the predicament the
column would be in, in the event of attack at night, can better be
imagined than described. The worst is what actually did happen. After
the force had marched barely a mile from the hotel, and just as the
advanced guard, under Major O. Dimmick, 100 to 150 yards ahead of the
main body, was passing through the worst section of the forest along
the route, and one of the nastiest spots to be found either in Natal
or Zululand--the time being about 8 p.m.--a sudden and determined
rush was made by the savages at the right rear of the guard. As they
rushed, they simultaneously shouted, at the top of their voices, their
newly-adopted war-cry "Usutu!"[140] Almost instantly the rest of the
right flank of the guard was attacked. Every horse took fright, and,
although each man was marching with his rifle drawn, it was impossible
to use it. The attack had come from the higher side of the road, where
the whole of the enemy, about 150 in number, were in hiding, the spot
being beside a huge solitary rock at the foot of a steep, bush-covered
hill, known by the Natives as Hlenyane. The enemy's object was
evidently to cut the advanced guard off the main body.

Owing to the narrowness of the road, the way it was hemmed in by the
bush on either side, and the darkness--there being but half-moon, with
clouds about--the guard succeeded, only with great difficulty and after
considerable delay, in making their way back to the main body. As it
was, the leading section was completely cut off, and, with three horses
wounded, made its way on to the camp as best it could.

The tactics of the enemy were evidently to deal first with the horse,
then with the man, after bringing the latter on to a level with
himself. Sergt. E.T.N. Brown, Lce.-Sergt. J.C.G.Harrison, and Tprs.
A.H. Aston and J.P. Greenwood were killed outright, whilst four were
wounded (one of them dangerously). Three horses were killed, and nine
wounded. All these had been stabbed, except two--shot through the
neck. When the attack started, the main body moved up, dismounted,
and volleyed into the bush on either side. Except for those who came
on to the road, it was quite impossible to see the enemy, although
at the outset they could not have been more than five to ten yards
off the road. They were in possession of several firearms, but, owing
to the heavy fire of the police, were obliged to retire in different
directions. It was afterwards ascertained they withdrew by dragging
themselves along their stomachs through the undergrowth, done to avoid
being hit.

During the action there were several acts of bravery. Among those who
behaved with conspicuous gallantry were Dimmick and Trooper O. Folker.
Trumpeter C. Milton, who was severely wounded, must have been killed
but for their carrying him out of danger, with much difficulty and at
great risk to themselves.

[Illustration: MPANZA

Sketch Plan

_Showing attack on Magistrate's party (3{rd}) and ambuscade (4{th}

The following account by Dimmick will be read with interest:

"When the rebels started their attack, they volleyed into us; as
they did so, the majority, with assegais, sprang on to the road to
stab, or throw where that was impossible. The attack was directed more
at the rear of the guard than at its front and, for a moment or two,
more at the horse than the man. The practically simultaneous wounding
of many horses caused them, as well as the others, to plunge about.
During the resulting confusion, the guard, as the attack was being
delivered, was pressed forward. I suddenly heard Trumpeter Milton on
my left cry out. He had been struck in the back by, I believe, a flung
assegai. He bumped up against me and lay across his wallet. I held on
to him in the best way I could with my left hand, calling out to the
men to steady down. I went forward with him a distance of about 100
yards, shouting to my men as I did so, when, by the faint light of the
moon, I saw Hodge and Emanuel on foot in the road, the latter having
been knocked off his horse by a knobstick striking him on the forehead.
A few yards further on I saw Folker, Guest and others coming back
mounted. Folker made for me at once and took Milton up on to the front
of his saddle, whilst Guest considerably assisted Emanuel. I told the
men, about eight or ten of them, to bunch together, when we began to
work our way back. The enemy at this time was in the bush on both sides
of the road, being briskly fired at by the main body."

After the rebels, who were commanded by Bambata in person, assisted by
his chief induna and Cakijana, had been beaten off, the action having
lasted five to ten minutes, the wounded were placed in the carriage
(promptly given up by the ladies), and the column moved on.

An advanced guard was dispensed with. The men were all dismounted and
made to march in single file with fixed bayonets on each side of the
road, horses and vehicle inside. Three of the dead were, at short
intervals, picked up in the road and put into the carriage.

For a mile or two there was occasional firing into the bush to keep
off the enemy, who, it was supposed, might be following. They shouted
obscene epithets at the police from a distance. The camp was not
reached till about midnight. As a matter of fact, the rebels, afraid of
being hit, did not follow, notwithstanding that one man was heard to
shout out from a hill "_Bapakati!_" (They are hemmed in!)

As far as could be seen, in addition to assegais, shields and
knobsticks, the enemy had about a dozen guns.

The ladies, after giving up the carriage, walked most of the way back
to camp, a distance of about six miles.

Reviewing the two foregoing incidents, it is, in the first place,
difficult to understand why the first expedition took place in the way
it did. In view of Bambata's attitude, firstly, on the 22nd February,
in connection with the poll tax; secondly, his refusal to attend at
headquarters when summoned, and quitting Natal for Zululand; and,
thirdly, his arresting Magwababa, who had just been formally appointed
as his acting successor, it seems as if the occasion was one which
required far stronger action than that which was taken. In arresting
Magwababa, Bambata did not do so out of personal spite, although the
relations between the two had for long been strained, but because,
supported by Dinuzulu, he was determined, if possible, to bring about a
general rebellion.

When the Chief Commissioner arrived on the scene, he knew Bambata
and his men were under arms; he knew that, after the attack on the
Magistrate's party, Bambata did not pursue, otherwise one or more of
the fugitives must have been killed. Moreover, there was no good ground
for suspecting an attack on the Keate's drift station. As it was, the
European residents referred to in the wire on which Mansel acted were
perfectly safe where they were, especially as Bambata had, at the most,
no more than 150 to 200 men, while the station was protected by about
twenty rifles.[141]

There thus being no immediate necessity for removing the "European
residents," it would seem the column should not have been marched
off merely to relieve an unthreatened post at the imminent risk of
being attacked on a road it was impossible to defend in the dark. The
situation certainly called for immediate action, not, it would seem,
in the direction of relieving Keate's drift, but of getting within
striking distance of the enemy and, after ascertaining his probable
strength and position, attacking him. It is, however, easy to be wise
after the event.

In going to Keate's drift, the mistakes were made of returning the same
day after an apparently unavoidably late start, and of returning by
the way that was used on the forward journey. It is a maxim in Native
warfare not to come back by the way one goes out. In this case, just
because it was impossible to do otherwise than return to camp by the
road (except by making a long detour), it would, no doubt, have been
wiser to have adopted the precaution of doing so in the day-time. As
there was an advanced guard when the column proceeded to the drift, the
enemy, of course, knew the kind of formation to look out for.

The body of Sergeant Brown was not recovered until some days
later,[142] when it was seen lying on its back at right angles across,
and in the middle of, the road where the fight had been. It had been
purposely put there by the rebels, and had about it no fewer than
twenty-seven assegai wounds. The whole of the moustache and upper lip
had been cut off and carried away, as also the left forearm. A deep
incision, in the form of a cross, had also been made for some purpose
at the side of the left biceps. Deceased's helmet, too, had been taken,
as also his boots, tunic and breeches, whilst the way in which the
stomach and intestines had been ripped open, showed those present that
they were at war with savages indeed.

The horrible mutilation of this poor fellow's body was, however, not
done from sheer wantonness, but for a particular object, viz. to obtain
pieces of the flesh for medicinal purposes. This practice, so revolting
from a civilized person's point of view, is one usually followed
by Zulus and other South African races. Indeed, according to their
superstitions, to act thus is an indispensable accompaniment of warfare.

On an inspection being made at the scene of the ambuscade, it was
noticed the bottom strands of the wire fence had been lifted to the top
one, and there tied. This had been done in several places, evidently
to enable the enemy to pass through quickly, whilst, at the same time,
sufficient to check horses.

An incident of the attack was that not only Aston but his dog was
killed, both almost on the same spot. Another feature was that not one
of the enemy was killed, though, as was afterwards ascertained, ten or
twelve were wounded. Such a result, as it happened, carried with it
mysterious significance in so far as the Natives were concerned. To
this attention must now be drawn.

Attached to Bambata's force, were three persons of importance, viz.:
Cakijana, Moses, and Malaza. The first was commonly understood to be an
emissary from Dinuzulu. He it was who had come specially to foment the
Rebellion;[143] the second had, for some years, carried on Christian
mission work within the tribe--during the Rebellion he acted as a
kind of "chaplain to the forces"; Malaza was the war-doctor, quite
indispensable, according to Native ideas, on such occasions.

By one or other of these, the belief was started that Bambata had
secured drugs from Dinuzulu, whose effect would be to prevent European
bullets from entering the body. This curious belief was destined to
play a remarkable part during the rising. It seems to have originated
from the Basutos.

The belief that the bodies of the "rightly disposed" would be
impervious to bullets, would appear to have existed, not only before
the attack on the police at Mpanza, but also before the one at the
kraal of Mjongo.

If there was anything that went to confirm the belief in "bullets not
entering," it must have been the comparative absence of casualties
among the rebels: (_a_) at Mjongo's kraal; (_b_) when the Magistrate's
party was attacked; and (_c_) when the police were ambuscaded at
Mpanza. It may, however, be mentioned that Malaza was wounded at
Mpanza, though not to such an extent as to oblige him to retire.

Immediately after their attack, the rebels cut the telegraph line
between Greytown and Keate's drift.


[Footnote 127: This name, in full, is uMpanza, not iMpanza or Impanza,
as sometimes written.]

[Footnote 128: Cf. Wat Tyler's, Jack Cade's, and Monmouth's Rebellions
in England.]

[Footnote 129: Zibebu's loyalty was never doubted for a moment. His
name is mentioned here only because of his exceptionally fine qualities
as a military commander.]

[Footnote 130: One often hears Bambata's people spoken of _a ba
seNgome_ = the Ngome people. The reason is this. At the base of Ngome,
a prominent little hill, three miles east of Mpanza valley, Mancinza
and previous Chiefs of this section of the tribe lived for two or more

[Footnote 131: To _lobola_ is to deliver to a girl's father the cattle
or other property required by custom to be so handed over as part of
the marriage settlement, viz. _lobolo_. These cattle are not purchase
price or barter, but merely consideration or compensation for loss of
the girl's services, as well as a visible guarantee of intention on the
part of the bridegroom to treat his wife at all times fairly and justly
under the Zulu system of life.]

[Footnote 132: "The runner that took the duiker for his model." The
duiker is a small antelope.]

[Footnote 133: This farm, in 1881, belonged to the Swiss Mission
Society. It was bonded to the Standard Bank, when a rent of £1 per hut
was charged by the trustees. Later on, it was sold to Messrs. Theunis
Nel and Gabriel Botha.]

[Footnote 134: There is a standing rule that no Native may appear in a
European town unless clothed from neck to knee.]

[Footnote 135: Dilke.]

[Footnote 136: A week before, Clarke had been sent with a strong
force to make the arrest. On his reaching Greytown, arrangements were
made for a night raid on Bambata's kraal, but, owing to Chief Sibindi
informing the Secretary for Native Affairs that Bambata would probably
cause trouble if raided, Clarke was directed to refrain from executing
the warrant, although he had gone to the trouble of ascertaining that
the Chief was at his kraal and could have been secured with comparative

[Footnote 137: The sending of Ngqengqengqe to summon Bambata and the
inciting of Bambata to rebel were emphatically denied by Dinuzulu.
Dinuzulu's connection with the Rebellion will be dealt with later.

One of Bambata's children died at Usutu during their stay there.]

[Footnote 138: Thong of cow or ox-hide.]

[Footnote 139: It was generally known Cakijana was one of Dinuzulu's
personal attendants.]

[Footnote 140: It is the custom for Zulus to shout their war-cry on
charging. "Usutu" was the one belonging to Dinuzulu's followers, he
having inherited it from his father Cetshwayo. Dinuzulu's principal
kraal, it will be remembered, bore the same name. Bambata's men had not
used this cry before the occasion in question.]

[Footnote 141: It is, however, fair to add that Mansel had had no time
to ascertain the enemy's strength, which, seeing the size of the tribe,
might have been anything between 150 and 600.]

[Footnote 142: It was not known until after the column got to camp that
this man was missing.]

[Footnote 143: He was known also by the names Sukabekuluma (_he who
goes off whilst they are still talking_); Dakwaukwesuta (_he who
becomes drunk on getting a full meal_); and Gwazakanjani (_how do you
stab?_). One of his praises was: _uSigilamikuba, ku vel'izindaba_ = The
one whose pranks give rise to matters for consideration.]



On the day following the ambuscade in the valley, Mansel moved his
camp from Botha's to Warwick's farm (Burrup's), _i.e._ on to high,
open ground, slightly nearer Greytown, and awaited reinforcements.
Bambata remained in Mpanza valley. He dispatched messengers forthwith
to each of the Chiefs Silwana, Sibindi and Gayede, calling on them
to render assistance; at the same time, he informed them he had been
to Dinuzulu, who had promised to co-operate as soon as the ball had
been set rolling. He warned them that, in case of refusal, they would
incur "the Prince's" displeasure, and draw an attack by the army the
latter was about to bring into the field. The two that went to Silwana
were promptly arrested by that Chief and conveyed to the Magistrate at
Weenen; Sibindi did likewise with the man sent to him.

Although Bambata was, through his mother, nearly related to Silwana, it
was the height of absurdity to think that the latter, the most powerful
Chief of Natal, whose grandfather had, in years gone by, formed a not
unworthy opponent of Tshaka himself, would risk his position and the
well-being of his tribe, by responding, at a moment's notice, to a
summons from a Chief like Bambata, even though accompanied by a threat
from the representative of the House that slew his father Gabangaye at
Isandhlwana in 1879.[144]

Finding he was not likely to obtain support locally, although general
sympathy in his cause was not wanting, Bambata decided, most probably
in accordance with a preconcerted plan, to move across the Tugela to
the famous Nkandhla forests, commonly known by the Natives as falling
within Chief Sigananda's ward. He declared he had been directed to do
this by Dinuzulu.

The rebel ringleader lost no time, owing to the following
developments: No sooner was the news of the Mpanza affair flashed to
Pietermaritzburg, than the Commandant re-mobilized the U.M.R., N.F.A.
(B Battery, four 15 pdrs.), a company of the D.L.I., with signallers,
and Greytown Reserves (120)--brigading these arms with the Natal Police
Field Force. Colonel Leuchars was placed in command and ordered to deal
with the situation. The artillery and D.L.I. referred to left Durban
at 7.30 a.m. on the 5th, and arrived at Greytown by 6.30 p.m. the same
day. The other corps mobilized with similar alacrity.

Leuchars moved out the following morning at 9 and, after joining the
N.P. and Nongqai at mid-day, remained in camp the rest of the day.
Bambata would naturally have received early information of the arrival
of these reinforcements.

After considering the position by the light of the intelligence
available, Leuchars decided to surround Mpanza valley at dawn on the
7th. His dispositions were as follows: N.P. and Z.N.P. to occupy a long
hill to the south-east and overlooking Marshall's hotel, the remainder
of the force to proceed to high ground to the west of Bambata's
position in Mpanza valley.

At 8 p.m., Leuchars moved out with the latter portion of the column. It
was, however, not until 2.30 a.m., after a nine-mile march, that the
position overlooking the valley on the west could be reached. Early
the same morning, Mansel proceeded with the police along the main road
towards Marshall's hotel, whilst Clarke, with a detachment, advanced
to a position on hills (on the south) overlooking Mpanza valley, and
midway between Leuchars and Mansel.

At 9 a.m. two guns opened fire on kraals in the valley at a range of
3,000 yards, the other two did likewise at 10.30 a.m. from a high
position on the north side of the valley. Clarke, in the meantime,
opened with a Maxim at other kraals about 1,200 to 1,500 yards off. Not
a Native, however, was to be seen.

The Reserves, under Chief Leader John Nel, who did not join Leuchars
till 9 a.m. that morning,[145] held ground on a spur to the north-west
of the valley, where a Native, evidently a spy, was shot as he tried to
escape over the wooded hills towards Mooi River.

The loyal Chief Sibindi, who had been ordered on the 4th to guard the
border as well as the Tugela drifts, co-operated generally on the east
with his levy of about 1,000 men. His orders were to advance as far as
the Biggarsberg main road, about a mile from Bambata's hiding-place, as
soon as the guns opened fire.

A report came in about noon that Bambata had vacated his ward,
proceeded south-east on to the high veld, and then turned into Gayede's
ward. There being no confirmation of this, Leuchars continued the
operations. He subsequently withdrew to bivouack for the night at
Warwick's farm.[146]

On the following day (Sunday), Sibindi was sent back into the thorns,
supported by a squadron U.M.R. (100), under Major S. Carter, with
instructions to complete the bush driving. The Reserves occupied a
ridge north-west of Mpanza valley. Owing to Sibindi's men being too
tired, on reaching Marshall's hotel at 4 p.m., to go further that day,
Carter camped with him on an old mealie garden immediately behind
Marshall's. By 9 a.m. on the 9th, all the troops being in position,
Bambata's stronghold, about three miles north-west of Marshall's,
was surrounded. It was found vacated, with evidences about it of
quite recent occupation by a considerable force. The rough and very
thickly-wooded country in the neighbourhood of Mpanza was thoroughly
scoured in different directions on the 9th, 10th and other days; the
kraals of rebels were burnt and their stock seized. Many, who had,
in various ways, managed to hold aloof from the insurgents, were met
with. In consequence of being at their kraals within the area of
operations, notwithstanding warning to be outside, several narrowly
escaped being shot. The crops, not having quite matured, had not been
reaped. Those belonging to, and abandoned by, the rebels, were given to
the loyalists. The Reserves were demobilized on the 10th, whilst the
artillery and infantry withdrew to Greytown on the same day, followed
by the U.M.R. on the 11th.

The intelligence that Bambata had fled to Zululand had been fully
confirmed by the 10th. The advisability of pursuing the fugitives was
thereupon considered by Leuchars. Quick pursuit is undoubtedly in
accordance with Native tactics on such occasions, but Leuchars believed
it was part of the rebels' plans to decoy his force to Nkandhla and
thereby afford the remainder and larger portion of Bambata's tribe,
say, in combination with Silwana's people, an opportunity of attacking
Greytown and the many outlying European homesteads. Proof of the
possibility of such attack lay in the fact of Bambata's force having
concealed itself a few weeks previously in Layman's trees, on the day
other members of the tribe went to pay the poll tax in Greytown.

Leuchars, however, had other and broader grounds for advising against
troops being sent from Natal at this critical moment. To have withdrawn
a large portion of the Active Militia would have been to place all
civilized portions of the Colony in jeopardy, especially as no Imperial
troops were available. The Matabeles, it will be remembered, rose in
rebellion in 1896 when the greater portion of the Chartered Company's
forces were absent in connection with the Jameson Raid (December,

The ways and means of dealing with the situation at Nkandhla were fully
considered by the Commandant and the Government, when it was decided to
employ irregular troops in Zululand, and so obviate as much as possible
the necessity of withdrawing the local Militia. Hence the Commandant's
instructions to Leuchars were to remain where he was.

Journeying due east, concealed by the dense bush and rugged hills
everywhere to be met with, Bambata, after emerging from the valleys,
passed through a farm gate, and, travelling a short distance along a
road, branched off to the left, making down through Chief Gayede's
location and along the lower part of the Dimane stream, a tributary of
the Tugela. He had about 150 men with him, including Magwababa (then a
prisoner), Mgombana, Cakijana and Moses. It was when he had well-nigh
reached the Tugela river that the guns above referred to were heard
by the party booming in the distance. Magwababa, on account of having
a bad knee, had, by that time, fallen into the rear. In addition to
tying him, the rebels had, with a stone, struck and bruised the inner
side of his knee, to prevent his running away. About noon on Saturday,
he succeeded in eluding his guards; he made his way direct to the
Krantzkop magistracy, and was shortly afterwards conveyed from there
to Greytown by post-cart. Although a list of the rebels with Bambata
had already been partially obtained, Magwababa helped to complete it,
besides giving other useful information.

Near the Tugela Rand, and about ten miles from Krantzkop, the
fugitives, about noon, came to a store in charge of one John Jenner.
Their behaviour was orderly. After the main body had passed the store,
which it did forthwith, one who appeared to be an induna, purchased
a pair of long stockings, a white handkerchief, also two bottles of
lemonade. A few, who were in rear, stayed about fifteen minutes, when
they moved on after the others in the direction of the Tugela. It was
noticed that the men, who were not known by the storekeeper to be from
Mpanza, had eight or ten guns of various kinds, whilst others carried
shields and assegais. Two only were mounted. A number had white ostrich
feathers stuck in their hair. They had pushed on quickly, because
afraid of being overtaken.

Proceeding down the Dimane by footpaths, they crossed the Tugela into
Chief Mpumela's ward by the Mtambo drift, probably less frequented by
Europeans than any between the junction of the Tugela with the Buffalo
and Middle Drift. It is about equidistant from the only two drifts
possible for wheeled transport in that section of the river, being
not less than fifteen miles from each, and in a mountainous, rocky,
unsurveyed and unknown region. The party crossed whilst Leuchars'
artillery was still engaged firing at various targets in Mpanza valley.
Thus Leuchars did not get the report of Bambata's alleged escape until
after the latter had entered Zululand!

Bambata went at once to Ntshelela's kraal,[148] where he demanded a
beast, threatening to drive the whole herd home and help himself unless
the owner complied. The latter selected a young animal; but Bambata,
dissatisfied with what he considered the man's niggardly disposition,
immediately chose one of the largest; this he then shot on the spot.
The flesh was partaken of by the fugitives who, late the same afternoon
(7th), passed on to the kraal of Mangati, another son of Godide.
Mangati gave them a goat.

After passing the night at Mangati's, the party pushed on, early on
Sunday morning, viâ certain kraals, to that of Simoyi in the mouth of
Mome gorge, on the edge of the Nkandhla forests, and within a mile of
the ancient and redoubtable stronghold.[149] The journey from Mpanza to
the Mome, forty to fifty miles, for the most part over extremely rugged
country, had been performed within about thirty-six hours, including
rests. And so the torch that had been lit in Natal, with surprisingly
small loss to the insurgents, was swiftly carried with audacity and
success into a district whose people had no cause whatever of grievance
against the Government peculiar to themselves.

Sigananda's people had, indeed, as recently as the preceding January,
expostulated with the Magistrate in a violent and disrespectful
manner because required to pay the poll tax. They were brought to
trial, but discharged with a caution.[150] Difficulty had also been
experienced in procuring (as had previously been done from time to
time) a few labourers for the Public Works department. The Magistrate
had been obliged to inflict a small fine on the Chief's principal son,
Ndabaningi, for neglecting to obey a summons. As regards Sigananda
himself, it was found that, on account of his great age, he was no
longer capable of satisfactorily managing the tribe. The Commissioner
for Native Affairs (Mr., now Sir, Charles Saunders, K.C.M.G.),
accordingly visited Empandhleni on the 2nd April and discussed the
position with Ndabaningi, who represented the Chief, and the indunas,
when the meeting concurred with the Commissioner in thinking that
Ndabaningi should be authorized to act on behalf of his father. "I told
the indunas," says Mr. Saunders, "that there was no objection on my
part to recommending Ndabaningi's appointment, but before submitting
such a recommendation for the consideration of Government, it was
necessary that the question be considered by Sigananda and the heads
of the tribe who, if they were of the same opinion, should make a
formal representation in this respect to me at Eshowe on my return from
the Usutu kraal, whence I was then proceeding."[151]

When F.E. van Rooyen, Chief Leader of the Krantzkop Reserves, heard on
the 6th that Leuchars proposed operating at Mpanza on the following
day, he arranged with about twenty of his men, not then mobilized
and but few of them armed, to go and watch the operations. They left
an hour before dawn. Just after sunrise, they ascertained that a
body of Natives had been seen the same morning making towards the
Dimane stream. On further investigation, it transpired that the party
consisted of Bambata's people. The Magistrate, on being advised, wired
the information to headquarters. Van Rooyen volunteered, if reinforced,
to follow up and contain the rebels. The offer was accepted, and
support promised. He was accordingly instructed to mobilize. At 9.30
a.m. on the 8th, the fifty-four men that had come in, left and,
crossing the Tugela at Watton's drift, were not long in finding
unmistakable traces of the fugitives. It seemed at first as if they had
made for the Qudeni forests.[152] Van Rooyen went on to Ntingwe store,
actually crossing, without knowing it, the route that had been taken
the day before by Bambata. He at once communicated his intelligence to
the Magistrate, Empandhleni, and, leaving Ntingwe at 2 a.m. on the 9th,
reached Empandhleni with his men at 6 a.m. Shortly after his arrival,
word came that Bambata was encamped at the Mome gorge. By this time,
about thirty of the Z.M.R. had mobilized and were at Empandhleni. Van
Rooyen proposed that the rebels should be at once attacked. To this
course, the commanding officer (Major W.A. Vanderplank), who arrived
in the evening, would not agree, on the ground that the local Chiefs
had not been ordered to arm. Van Rooyen made other efforts in the
direction of aggressive action by European troops, but, meeting with no
success, left with his men on the morning of the 10th to protect the
European families at Krantzkop against a possible rising in that part
of the country.

After serving under Leuchars from the 5th to 7th, Mansel decided to
detach himself and to follow Bambata. His strength then was 175 N.P.
and 77 Nongqai. He advised Leuchars of what he was doing, but asked
approval of action which, as a matter of fact, had already been taken
before the commanding officer had sanctioned it. But, although getting
away from Leuchars as quickly as Van Rooyen did from Krantzkop, Mansel
did not reach Empandhleni until at least three and a half days after
the former, although the distances travelled were about the same. One
of the reasons for this delay was that he had waggons with him. These,
on getting near Fort Yolland, branched off and made for Empandhleni
viâ Eshowe and Melmoth, leaving Mansel, with the main portion of the
force, to go on direct to Empandhleni. As, at this time, there was
no reason whatever for anticipating attack along the route selected
for the waggons, it is difficult to understand why the entire column
should have been kept back as escort to the waggons, instead of pushing
forward to contain the enemy.

By midnight on the 7th, instructions had been sent from Eshowe to the
Magistrates concerned to warn all Chiefs of Nkandhla, Eshowe and Nqutu
districts to arrest the fugitives should they enter any of their wards.

Immediately the Nkandhla Magistrate (Mr. B. Colenbrander) heard, as he
did on Sunday, the 8th, that the rebels had entered his district--at
first he supposed they were making for Qudeni forests--he sent word by
Native runners to the Chiefs likely to be concerned, notably Mpumela,
Ndube and Mbuzo, directing them to arm and arrest the law-breakers,
then correctly said to be at or near a mountain called Kotongweni. Each
complied the same day, but, before they had learnt what Bambata's real
destination was, the latter had left Kotongweni, passed from kraal
to kraal in the manner described, entered the ward of another Chief,
Sigananda, and taken refuge in his notorious stronghold. The Magistrate
was instructed by the Commissioner the same afternoon "to arm all the
Natives in his district to assist in capturing Bambata," and to direct
the tribes nearest the magistracy to protect that place during the
night. The latter order was complied with.

It may be of interest to indicate what was spontaneously done by
Natives through whose kraals or lands the strange body of men passed on
their way to the Mome.

Ntshelela at once reported the fact to the Magistrate. Mangati, and
two other kraal-owners, although all men of rank, took no such action,
but, associating themselves with others, merely sent a report to the
Chief (Sigananda). They, moreover, at once adopted a friendly attitude
towards the rebels, notwithstanding that the latter bore indications of
their recent conflict with the police--they carried a number of guns,
two or three of which had manifestly belonged to Europeans, and even
wore the helmet of a European trooper. They had also the moustache of
the unfortunate man whose body had not at once been recovered, cut off
and carried to induce others to take up arms against the white man.

Whilst Bambata was halting at a kraal near Mome, a few Natives came up,
among them one named Muntumuni. On glancing about, Muntumuni espied
Bambata. He immediately exclaimed in a loud tone: "Who is it dares
to allow a reprobate to set foot here? Bambata is very well known to
me. When serving as a policeman at Greytown, I found him constantly
being arrested for thieving European cattle!" This was said in the
rebel's hearing. Bambata turned and looked at the speaker, but said
nothing. Those of Zululand who were present silenced the ex-constable
and, after an interval, sent him and another to advise Sigananda, then
at his Enhlweni kraal,[153] near the Mome waterfall, of Bambata's
arrival, and of the circumstances under which he had come. Muntumuni
went and, after delivering the message, said to the Chief that it
would be criminal if he failed to notify Bambata's arrival to the
Magistrate. Sigananda asked how it was that, after being sent to report
the arrival, Bambata being a protégé of Dinuzulu, the messenger should
advise conflicting action to be taken? "Go and report to the Magistrate
yourself," said the Chief. The messenger went. At the magistracy he
was presented with a coat and assegais. He returned with instructions
that Sigananda was to arrest and bring Bambata to the court-house.
Sigananda now blamed himself for having sent the report. He said to
Muntumuni, "I personally know nothing whatever of Bambata, I have
never set eyes on him. It was you who suggested reporting. It is all
your affair. It, therefore, devolves on you to produce and hand the
man over to the European authorities, for _you_ declared you had seen
him." The messenger found himself in a dilemma. The majority of the
tribe condemned him. They kept on asking what business it was of his
to make the communication. Although declaring the Chief had sent him,
the latter repudiated having done so. On being asked, later on, by the
Magistrate to indicate where Bambata was, Muntumuni said Sigananda did
not know. "But you came here to say he had been seen, didn't you?"
"Yes." "Did you not see him?" "Yes, I did." "When Sigananda sent you,
was not Bambata with Sigananda?" "No." "Where was he then?" "I saw him
when he arrived, he was then on his way to the Mome. It was at that
stage I was sent to report to my Chief." When the messenger returned
to his kraal, he was ostracized. Unable to submit to the treatment,
he presently threw in his lot with the very man he had declared was a
criminal and an outlaw.[154]


 BAMBATA (on the right)
 with Attendant.

 One of Dinuzulu's Attendants.

 Chief; age 96 years.



The position at Nkandhla, between the 9th and the 16th, developed, from
the Government's point of view, with extraordinary rapidity. Owing to
its great importance and complexity, it will be well to consider it
somewhat closely.

The Commissioner arrived at Empandhleni from Usutu at mid-day on the
9th, finding about thirty Z.M.R. and fifty-four Krantzkop Reserves
already there. The same morning, reliable information came in from
Sigananda that Bambata was in the Mome gorge. There was then no
particular reason for supposing Sigananda was in collusion with
Bambata. The Commissioner accordingly directed the former to try and
induce Bambata to come out of the forests and then to effect his
capture; failing that, to attempt to starve him. At the time, there was
a general impression that when Bambata saw himself being surrounded, he
would fly to other parts. The various Chiefs of Nkandhla district were,
therefore, informed they would be held responsible should he escape
through any of their wards. Under these circumstances, Mr. Saunders
did not think it advisable for more Militia to be sent to Empandhleni.
Having heard that Mansel was coming viâ Middle Drift, he advised that
the force should remain in the neighbourhood of that drift in case
Bambata should attempt escaping that way. It, moreover, appeared to
him necessary for the Reserves and Z.M.R. to remain at the magistracy,
as it was just possible Bambata might make a dash at that post, if
undefended, to obtain arms and food. The strength of the Z.M.R. rose to
105 by the arrival, on the same day, of the headquarters squadron from

At mid-day on the 10th, reports as to Bambata's whereabouts were
contradictory. Mr. Saunders was then not at all satisfied with
Sigananda's behaviour, feeling that Bambata could by then have been
captured had the tribe acted in a _bona-fide_ manner. He had strong
suspicions the Chief and the tribe were playing a double game.

On the Krantzkop Reserves leaving the same morning, the Commissioner
recommended that the police at Middle Drift should move to Empandhleni
as soon as possible.

Later reports on the 10th went to show that Sigananda and his people
were professing to do their best to capture the rebel ringleader, but
the Commissioner considered a day or two necessary to prove whether
the people were really in earnest. By this time, all the other tribes
in the district were under arms and watching their respective wards as

The same evening Leuchars, having decided to abandon operations at
Mpanza, suggested to the Commandant the mobilization of another
force for the purpose of following Bambata. On being consulted, the
Commissioner expressed the view, on the 11th, that "nothing can be
gained at present by bringing a large white force here," nor would
mounted men or artillery be "of much use," owing to the nature of
the country. "With the Z.M.R. and Police Force in the district, I do
not think further white troops are required at the present time." In
consequence of this advice, Leuchars was instructed by the Commandant
to remain in Greytown until the operations, then being carried on by
him in the thorns in the neighbourhood of Mpanza, had been completed,
after which he was to demobilize, viz. on the 13th or 14th.

On the afternoon of the 12th, the Commissioner reported that the forest
was being driven by Sigananda's people. He was of the opinion that,
although a strong force might be necessary, the sending thereof should
be resorted to only after diplomatic measures had failed. It was on
this day that Mansel and his men arrived at Empandhleni.

On the 15th, Mr. Saunders pointed out that, unless Sigananda accounted
satisfactorily for Bambata and his followers by the following night,
there would be no doubt that the tribe was in collusion with Bambata,
and that it would be necessary to take strong measures forthwith to
punish it. He agreed with Mansel and Vanderplank that, if operations
were to be conducted against Bambata, a very much larger force than the
one already there would be required. He added that he was in constant
touch with Dinuzulu and had no reason for suspecting that Chief's
loyalty, or that he was assisting or encouraging Bambata.

The Commissioner reported on the 16th that he had had no message from
Sigananda for some days. The messengers he had sent on the preceding
day had returned to say the Chief had nothing to report. It was at
this moment Mr. Saunders arrived at the conviction that Sigananda was
acting in concert with Bambata, and had been deliberately harbouring
him all along. He, thereupon, dropped all further communication with
the Chief, and recommended strong measures being taken as soon as
possible to severely punish him and his tribe. This, however, it was
added, could only be done by considerably strengthening the European
force and obtaining the assistance of loyal Natives. He reiterated
his belief that Dinuzulu was not implicated in any way. At 6.15 p.m.,
information came in from different sources that Bambata, with the
assistance of Sigananda, intended to attack the magistracy the same
night. Sigananda had, by then, been joined by portions of Ndube's,
Mpumela's and Gayede's tribes, the last-named a Natal Chief. At 7.30
p.m. the situation was reported as still more serious, especially as
members of different tribes, including that of Siteku (Dinuzulu's
uncle) had joined Sigananda. It was felt a large force should be sent
up as speedily as possible to reinforce the loyal levies and restore
public confidence. The rebel force estimated then to be at Nkandhla was
500 to 1,000.

As the supplies at Empandhleni appeared to be running short,[155]
arrangements were promptly made by the Commandant for the dispatch of
a convoy of forty waggons of provisions from Dundee, accompanied by an
escort of 400 Natal Carbineers,[156] and one section B Battery, Natal
Field Artillery (Lieut. F.H. Acutt), under Lieut.-Col. D.W. Mackay.
Such force could not, however, leave before the 20th.

       *       *       *       *       *

The policy of calling on Sigananda, unaided by European troops, to
arrest a well-armed body of desperadoes,[157] who had succeeded in
taking possession of the great local stronghold, is not an easy one
to defend, especially when it is borne in mind that Natives in all
parts of Natal and Zululand had, for three or four months past, loudly
complained of the poll tax, many in Zululand having still to pay. Only
a fraction of what was due by Sigananda's people had been collected.
It was known the majority considered it a tax that could not be borne
in addition to other obligations. Moreover, the news of the Byrnetown
outbreak in February; of the hostile demonstrations at such places as
Mapumulo, Umzinto, Mid-Illovo, Durban, Pietermaritzburg, and at their
own magistracy; of the movements of the Militia in the western and
eastern portions of Natal; as well as of the successful assaults on the
Magistrate's party on the 3rd, and on the large body of Police on the
4th, was all calculated to greatly unsettle the Native mind.

It was well known that, according to Zulu law, anyone harbouring a
criminal was liable to the severest punishment, especially if the
offender were a rebel. The principle of communal responsibility was
applied, as a matter of course, by which the arrival of a stranger,
reputed to be a criminal, had to be reported to the next senior
officer. In this case, Bambata had gone, not to live at any particular
kraal, but taken possession of the stronghold universally acknowledged
to be that of Sigananda and his ancestors, and which fell well within
the district assigned by Government for the occupation of that tribe.
It, therefore, devolved on that Chief to inform his Magistrate. How he
did this has already been seen. The attitude assumed by the Magistrate,
and soon affirmed and adopted by the Commissioner, was that, as Bambata
had taken refuge in the forests, Sigananda himself became personally
responsible for his apprehension, notwithstanding that the outlaw had
arrived with about 150 men, who, on the whole, were probably better
armed, and known from the outset to be better armed, than any local
levies could have been.

The order issued to Ndube, Mpumela and other Chiefs to "assist" in
arresting the ringleader would also appear to have been wrong in
principle, in the absence of arrangements for a European officer or
force to be present to take charge of and support the levies.[158]
After all, Bambata had struck his blow, not at the black man, but at
the white. It was, therefore, the duty of the white man to at least
assist the levies, and especially Sigananda.

There was, indeed, no evidence of previous collusion between Bambata
and Sigananda. "At that time," wrote the Commissioner, "there was no
ground for suspecting that Sigananda and his people would not loyally
co-operate in effecting Bambata's capture."[159] Later on, allegations
were made of Sigananda being in league with Dinuzulu, and of Bambata
having been directed by Dinuzulu to start the Rebellion, but it must
be remembered no one believed more implicitly in, and more staunchly
and consistently defended, Dinuzulu's loyalty than did Mr. Saunders.
When, on the 6th April, at Usutu kraal, he informed Dinuzulu and his
indunas of the attack on the Police in Mpanza valley, he says "their
frank demeanour left no doubt in my mind that these expressions were
perfectly genuine, and that Dinuzulu and his people were not in any
way associated with Bambata and his doings."[160] Even under these
circumstances, assuming Dinuzulu to have been loyal, it is somewhat
surprising to those who know anything of Native character and the
facts, to find Sigananda and other Chiefs repeatedly pressed between
the 9th and 16th to arrest a man who, from a purely Native point of
view, had done no more than offer a vigorous protest to paying a tax
which every Native, throughout the length and breadth of the country,
also strongly resented.

By 6.45 p.m. on the 9th, practically the whole of the Zululand Mounted
Rifles (105) had arrived at Empandhleni--mobilized under the authority
given by law in such emergencies. This force was, on the 12th,
increased to about 350 by the arrival of the Natal Police and Nongqai
under Mansel.[161] The latter assumed command on arrival, and decided
to remain in lager. All these men had assembled for a purpose. What
was that purpose if not to arrest Bambata? If Mansel's object was to
'contain' the enemy, can it be said that there was any 'containing'
between the 12th and 28th April (the day he moved to Fort Yolland)
with the enemy comfortably ensconced in a forest and the Police as
comfortably behind entanglements eleven miles off at Empandhleni?

Had Mansel, Vanderplank and van Rooyen been made to converge
simultaneously on Cetshwayo's grave from Middle Drift, Fort Yolland and
Empandhleni respectively, which could have been effected before mid-day
on the 10th,[162] supplies being at the same time pushed forward from
Eshowe, and Sigananda's men ordered to assemble smartly at the same
spot, together with those of adjoining Chiefs--McKenzie acted on these
lines in Mveli's ward--or had aggressive action been taken in some
other form, as advised at the time by van Rooyen, control would have
been taken of the situation _ab initio_, instead of, by merely marking
time, practically encouraged members of surrounding tribes to rebel for
fear of losing their stock through not conforming to Dinuzulu's alleged
plan. Had a force established itself then at the grave, Bambata's men
would have had no chance against it in the open country of that part.
It was, subsequently, at the grave that a not much larger body than
the one referred to for over a month defied a force at least three or
four times its own strength, and concluded by, almost single-handed,
entrapping and crushing it. Precautions could, at the same time, have
been taken to prevent Bambata gaining any small advantage, which,
exaggerated by the rebels, would have added considerably to his

Assuming it to have been desirable for van Rooyen, Vanderplank and
Mansel to converge at the grave on the 10th or 11th, the order for such
movement could not have been issued by the Commandant without fuller
information than he then possessed, especially as the Commissioner
was of the view that no European troops other than those already in
Zululand were necessary at Nkandhla.

Had the troops converged as suggested, they might conceivably have
succeeded in suppressing the Rebellion and saved the Colony over half
a million of money, but to have done this would have meant practically
ignoring a spirit of rebelliousness latent in many of the people, which
might only have broken out in some other form in the near future.

       *       *       *       *       *

Among the rebels, the position developed as follows: After Muntumuni
had gone to report Bambata's arrival, the latter, as has been stated,
marched to the mouth of Mome gorge and halted at the very kraal on and
about whose site, but two months later, he found his Thermopylæ. The
force, having regaled itself, passed up the gorge to the right side of
the Mome stream near the waterfall, where, entering a dense forest, it
concealed itself and proceeded to erect temporary shelters, known as

It so happened that a European scout passed the same day along the
top of Nomangci and Dhlabe, with a view to locating Bambata. He fell
in with a resident Native, who said that, when rounding up his stock
in the vicinity of the waterfall, he had come upon Bambata's party.
Later on, it became known that this man had communicated information
treated by Sigananda as secret; ten head of his cattle and one horse
were thereupon seized by the Chief. Two were slaughtered and the horse
appropriated; the rest of the stock was restored on his joining the
rebels. One of Sigananda's own sons, too, who had reported to the
Commissioner Bambata's being in the gorge, was fined and for some time
detained as a prisoner.

Sigananda, at this time, was still at Enhlweni kraal, not a mile and
a half from Bambata's camp. On the 9th, fully aware that Bambata had
taken refuge in the stronghold, he sent messengers to summon the more
important men of the tribe. About sixty assembled; none of them were
armed. Sigananda called aside eight or nine of the leading ones and
informed them of Bambata's being in the stronghold, adding that a
messenger from Mangati (present at time of speaking), had reported
that Mangati had just been visited by Dinuzulu's messenger Cakijana,
who declared he had been directed to accompany Bambata from Usutu and
start a rebellion in Mpanza valley. Cakijana had afterwards passed on
to a neighbouring Chief to try and persuade him to support Bambata.
Sigananda's sons asked what right anyone had to authorize an outlaw
they had received no official communication about to take refuge among
them. They asked why, if Dinuzulu had ordered Bambata to rebel, the
latter did not go to the man who had instigated him to do so. It
appeared to them, moreover, that secret messages had passed between
their father and Dinuzulu of which he had advised no one, otherwise
Bambata and party would not have made direct for their district as
they had done. One of those present, however, observed, "Are you going
to take it on yourselves to refuse to have anything to do with a
'girl' who has come to engage herself to your father?" It soon became
clear that Sigananda, notwithstanding his report to the Magistrate,
was siding with Bambata, and was supported in that course by his
confidant and adviser Lunyana, the keeper of Cetshwayo's grave. On
someone declaring that the outlaw would bring ruin upon their district,
Sigananda observed, "Yes, then some of you will have to die and leave
your wives behind you."

No time was now lost by Sigananda in dispatching messengers to all
parts of his ward, calling on the people to arm and bring their
blankets with them. Notwithstanding further remonstrance on the
following day (10th), Sigananda persisted in the course he had entered
upon. He reproached those of his tribe, who, in 1888, when called on by
the Government to attack Dinuzulu, had complied, whilst the majority
remained loyal to the Zulu House.

On Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, Bambata lay concealed in the forest, but
on Tuesday night, he emerged and openly joined those of Sigananda's
tribe who had armed and assembled at Enhlweni in obedience to their
Chief's orders, including a few from Mpumela's and Ndube's tribes. At
this moment, however, a number of Sigananda's and Ndube's men broke
away with their families and stock, disapproving of what was being
done. It thus became noised abroad, far and wide, before dawn that
Sigananda had openly thrown in his lot with the rebels.

Identification of his fortunes with those of Bambata had, however,
still to be announced in a public manner. Bambata moved during the
night, with his own two companies and such other rebels as remained,
to the top of the ridge behind Enhlweni. Many others arrived at this
spot on the following morning from various parts until, about noon,
the force was about 500 to 600. Nothing of special note seems to have
occurred before noon, except that Sigananda sat openly alongside of,
and conversed with, Bambata and the other ringleader Mangati. Bambata,
a man of about 40 years of age, of dark complexion, with a rather tall
athletic frame, wore a dark coat and trousers, boots, and a Natal
Police (European) helmet, no doubt belonging to one of the men killed
on the preceding Wednesday. A large ammunition belt was buckled round
his waist, with a bandolier containing cartridges over the right
shoulder. He also carried a modern rifle.

His men, of comparatively small build, dark and thickset, had for
the most part, white ostrich feathers in their hair, plucked from a
European-owned bird wilfully done to death by them in their ward just
before their flight. They wore the ordinary Native attire, including
_tshokobezi_ badges,[163] and each carried assegais, together with a
large ox-hide shield. In their possession were eight guns, viz.: three
magazine rifles, one Martini-Henry rifle, one double-barrelled gun, and
three old muskets.

A black and white cow was soon observed being driven forward. This was
presented to Bambata. The significance of the gift was that the Chief,
acting on behalf of the tribe, regarded Bambata as a friend and desired
to extend hospitality to him in the manner most approved by Native
custom. It was now arranged that one of Bambata's men should shoot it.
Two shots were fired, but the animal remained unharmed. Indeed, it
had been intimated beforehand to those near by that, although fired
at, the beast, because of having been charmed by Bambata, would not
fall until Bambata himself had fired. True enough, on his taking the
rifle and firing, it dropped dead, and rolled down the incline on which
it had been standing. "A marvel! a mystery!" remarked the surprised
on-lookers. "Clearly Bambata must be in possession of some wonderful
charm!"[164] The animal was now skinned and consumed by the men from

Two messengers, who had been sent by Sigananda to the Commissioner,
now arrived on the scene. They were taken aside by the Chief with a
few others, when one of them reported that Mr. Saunders, on hearing of
Sigananda's inability to find Bambata, had said he would not keep on
sending messages, as it was absurd to suppose the outlaw's whereabouts
could not be ascertained; he was known to have come into the midst of
kraals, whose occupants, having feet, could detect with ease a track
made by a couple of men, how much more that by a hundred, as well as a
couple of horses![165] The Commissioner had also alluded to an upstart,
Sitimela; to this man reference will be made further on.

All were now directed to move towards where Sigananda and his party
were sitting, and there "to march together through one gate." This,
however, was merely a metaphorical expression, there being no actual
gate at the place. The expression had reference, as everyone at once
guessed, to certain two Basuto doctors engaged, not many yards off, in
preparing decoctions of various drugs called _izintelezi_.[166] The
meaning was that the men were all to walk past the doctors for the
purpose of being treated in accordance with custom, in anticipation
of coming warfare. There was a small fire close by, from which a
large amount of smoke was ascending. The smoke was caused by green
branches and leaves being burnt with a fatty substance thrown in by
the medicos. The order was that Bambata's men should move off first in
twos, followed by Ndube's and Sigananda's men in like formation. When
the first two came to the fire, they trod lightly in it, the man on the
left with his right foot, and the one on the right with his left. In
so doing, they passed through the smoke. Without halting, they passed
slowly by the doctors, when they were simultaneously sprinkled by one
of these by means of two black small brushes, apparently gnu-tails (one
in each hand), previously dipped in a huge earthen-ware pot containing
some caustic decoction. The men were told that they should not, after
the sprinkling, rub their bodies with fat, as usual with Zulus, nor
should they wash. Moving on, the leading couple came to the second
doctor, who lifted to the mouth of each a ladle containing a different
liquid, drawn from a pot on the ground at his side. Each warrior was
instructed to take a mouthful, not to swallow, but to keep in his mouth
until further directed. Similar procedure was followed in regard to
every couple, until the whole _impi_ had been dealt with.

After marching past, the men formed up in one large irregularly-shaped
body, some hundred or so yards further on. What is known as an
_umkumbi_ or circle was now ordered to be formed,[167] when Sigananda,
accompanied by Mangati and one or two of his leading councillors,
entered the ring. Bambata stood apart in front of, but close to, his
own men, who also formed part of the enclosure. Everyone remained
standing, including the ninety-six-year-old Chief. The last-mentioned
addressed the gathering in these terms: "The drugs which have just been
used on and about you all have the power of preventing bullets fired by
Europeans from entering your bodies or doing injury of any kind. But
there will be immunity only on certain conditions, which are that you
abstain from womenfolk, and that you lie down to sleep, not on mats,
but on the bare ground. Anyone who ignores these directions will render
himself liable to injury or to be killed. From to-day, I have resolved
to take up arms against the white man! The pass-word and countersign to
be used when you happen to meet and interrogate others, especially at
night, is '_Wen' u tini?_' (= You, what do you say?); the one addressed
must then reply, '_Insumansumane!_'" (= It's all tomfoolery!) After
Sigananda had spoken, a Christian teacher named Paula endorsed what
the Chief had said, laying stress on the efficacy of the drugs. "I
have left my wife behind," he added, "also a waggon and oxen in Mpanza
valley. Why did I come away? Because I had made up my mind to fight.
The Government is casting aside its right of sovereignty and giving the
same over to us. Here (pointing at them) are my tribesmen! These men
will never turn back now, but will go resolutely forward. Once angered,
they are implacable and continue long in their wrath."

A man, Mmangwana, one of those who had just come from the Commissioner,
next mumbled, with the liquid he had sipped still in his mouth: "I
cannot accept the assertion that anyone, on being struck by a bullet,
will not be hurt or that a bullet will not enter. I never heard of
such a thing. Is, then, a man's flesh made of iron? Did not a certain
outlaw[168] not long ago find his way into the Umtetwa tribe and there
bring about the ruin of a whole country-side? Did he not declare that,
if the Europeans came to attack him, they would be stung by bees and
wasps, and be bitten by snakes? And when they (Europeans) did come,
were not many innocent people destroyed by the white people, whilst
this fellow escaped scot free?"

The keeper of Cetshwayo's grave here remarked, also speaking with great
difficulty, his mouth half-full of the talismanic draught, "How comes
it, in these days, that when the King[169] sees fit to direct anything
to be done, a lot of people come forward with all sorts of observations
and criticisms? Who ever heard of presumption of this sort in former

On the ring now breaking up, the whole party was led by Mangati to the
top of the nearest mountain-top (Ndundumeni). Here they were told
to cinsa, i.e. vigorously and defiantly spirt the charmed water from
their mouths towards the objects of their wrath, shouting as they did
so, _Íwa Kingi!_ _Íwa Mgungundhlovu!_ _Íwa Mashiqela!_ (May the King
fall![170] Fall, Pietermaritzburg! Fall, Saunders!) Everyone having
uttered these imprecations, came down the hill and, the mist coming on,
the gathering dispersed, with orders to meet on the following morning
in the neighbourhood of the grave.[171]

When the rebels met as arranged, accompanied by Bambata, they erected
other _amadhlangala_ or temporary shelters of wattles and branches.
Later the same day, probably the 16th, a body now between 700 and 1,000
strong, with Bambata and Mangati in command, marched up the ridge at
the rear of Enhlweni towards Nomangci, with the intention of attacking
the magistracy, or any of the small patrols that were then being sent
out daily. Sigananda, hearing of this, ordered Bambata to desist until
the messengers sent by him to Dinuzulu a couple of days before (to
obtain confirmation of Cakijana's communication to Mangati regarding
Dinuzulu's alleged wishes) had been received. Bambata returned to the
grave, where he continued to camp undisturbed for at least a fortnight.

The decision of Sigananda to rebel is surprising when one considers
that his district is one of the healthiest and most fertile in
Zululand. In many respects it is an ideal place to live in, especially
for Natives. Far from the larger European centres, it has an abundance
of firewood, wattles, etc., and is, moreover, peculiarly favourable for
raising stock. All these advantages became of no account as soon as
the blighting word arrived from the royal house that Bambata was to be
befriended. Dinuzulu's pleasure first, everything else nowhere. That
was the sole cause of this remarkable defection. It can be explained in
no other way. Where is the witchery that can be compared with this?

Between the 15th and 23rd, Sigananda sent messages to many neighbouring
loyally-disposed Chiefs, urging them to rebel. Although a number of
malcontents threw in their lot with the rebels, including members of
the tribe of Siteku (Dinuzulu's uncle) and Chief Gayede (of Natal),
the majority of the people remained loyal or neutral. Several, as far
off as Mahlabatini, went further and offered their services to the
Government against Bambata and Sigananda.

Two or three stores, close to the forests, were looted during this
period (that at Sibudeni, as early as the 16th), besides cattle
belonging to loyalists.

The two messengers that had been sent to Dinuzulu got back on the
evening of the 23rd. Unfortunately, there was a difference between
them as to the purport of 'the Prince's' message. One man, the senior,
said Dinuzulu had denied all knowledge of Bambata's doings, and had
remarked: "they have already begun fighting; let them do just what
they want, it is no affair of mine. I do not want to be mixed up in
the business." The other man, agreeing whilst in Sigananda's presence,
afterwards went among the rebels and encouraged them by declaring that
Dinuzulu's _real_ wish was that they should fight the white man. The
construction put on the communication by the latter messenger was that
which, readily finding favour, was accepted. These men, moreover, had
heard of the Government having arranged with Dinuzulu on the 17th to
allow Mankulumana to go and act as "peace-maker," a matter that will be
noticed later. The second messenger interpreted Mankulumana's mission
into his having been "bought by the Europeans"; his coming, therefore,
was simply to try and hoodwink Bambata.

Mankulumana arrived at Empandhleni on the 23rd, and after interviewing
the Commissioner for Native Affairs, proceeded, on the following
morning, to see Sigananda.


[Footnote 144: Gabangaye, with a large following, formed a portion of
the Native contingents that assisted the Imperial troops.]

[Footnote 145: These men had received orders to mobilize only the
morning before.]

[Footnote 146: The Reserves, with part of the U.M.R., one Maxim
detachment, and one field gun, passed the night at Wintershoek; the
Police, with one troop U.M.R. and Maxim detachment, camped at Botha's

[Footnote 147: See "The Causes, Superstitions and other Characteristics
of the Matabele Rebellion, 1896." Appendix X.]

[Footnote 148: Ntshelela is one of the many younger sons of Godide, son
of Ndhlela, one of Dingana's two principal indunas. Ndhlela was one of
the two indunas in power when Piet Retief and his party were massacred
at Mgungundhlovu in 1838.]

[Footnote 149: By this time, Cakijana had temporarily detached himself
from the force.]

[Footnote 150: The Magistrate specially appointed to try the case, took
a surprisingly lenient view of the matter. What had occurred was this:
The Chiefs of the district were directed to bring their people to pay
the poll tax. All, to begin with, were nervous and averse to paying
until Sitshitshili came forward in the presence of the others and made
his tribe pay, remarking, as he did so, that, having always obeyed the
Government, he was not going to be afraid of doing so on that occasion.
Other Chiefs then followed the example. Sigananda's people, of whom
about 200 were present, declared they had no money and could not pay.
When told that, as such was the case, they might go home, they "rushed
up to the court-house fence brandishing their sticks, shouted out
their tribal war-cry _Yayize!_" and began to dance in a defiant manner
(_giya_) within the precincts of the court-house, action which at once
terrified all the Native police, as bloodshed appeared to them to be
imminent. No physical violence, however, occurred.]

[Footnote 151: Cd. 3027, p. 31.]

[Footnote 152: These forests are very extensive and difficult of access
when approached from Natal. They are mainly on the eastern slopes
of Qudeni mountain, and about twenty miles from those of Nkandhla.
Bambata, however, does not appear at any time to have had them in view.]

[Footnote 153: Enhlweni, from inhlwa, _a poor or indigent person_,
may be rendered _the pauper's retreat_, no doubt in allusion to the
'destitute' condition Cetshwayo found himself in on his return from
exile,--'destitute,' that is, as compared with his former affluence and

[Footnote 154: This man Muntumuni was later on shot in the Mome valley
whilst climbing one of the steepest parts of the gorge. He was fired at
many times, being in an exposed position. On being hit, he rolled to
the foot of the mountain from a height of over 1,200 feet.]

[Footnote 155: Besides 182 N.P., 92 Z.N.P., 106 Z.M.R. and 20
civilians, there were 30 women and children at Empandhleni.]

[Footnote 156: This regiment got orders to mobilize on the 17th April.
The orders applied to the Left Wing and 150 men of the headquarters
squadrons (Right Wing). The latter section (under Captain E.W. Barter),
joined the Left Wing at Dundee, the whole force being taken command
of by Lt.-Col. D.W. Mackay. The remainder of the Right Wing, with the
exception of D squadron, mobilized on the 1st May and proceeded to
Helpmakaar under Lt.-Col. J. Weighton, who then took command of the
regiment. D squadron was mobilized in June, and, as will be seen later,
accompanied B.M.R. first to Dundee, then to Mapumulo where, until the
arrival of Mackay's column early in July, they formed part of that
of Leuchars. The total strength of the regiment was 918 (all ranks),
including special service men, _i.e._ the largest volunteer corps Natal
had ever placed in the field.]

[Footnote 157: Well armed, especially from Sigananda's point of view.]

[Footnote 158: The position, at the time, seems to have been this:
As soon as Bambata, fleeing from Mpanza, was known to have entered
Zululand, the local authorities applied the principle of communal
responsibility, under which every Chief and his adherents became bound
to co-operate with Government officials (if any) and one another in
apprehending the fugitive. No Government officials being available on
the spot at the outset, Chiefs were expected to assist one another.
When, however, instead of running from district to district, Bambata
made for the Nkandhla forests and there concealed and established
himself, it devolved, under Native law, on Sigananda to make the
arrest if he could. Mr. Saunders regarded this Chief as able to at
least drive the rebels out of the forests by a process of starvation.
Hence, qualification of the first order, by Chiefs in general being no
longer required to assist Sigananda, but being held responsible merely
for arresting Bambata should he escape to or through their respective

[Footnote 159: Commissioner for Native Affairs to Prime Minister, 28th
April, 1906. Cd. 3027, p. 32.]

[Footnote 160: Commissioner for Native Affairs to Prime Minister, 28th
April, 1906. Col. 3027, p. 31.]

[Footnote 161: Had van Rooyen's Reserves been retained, the aggregate
would have been over 400.]

[Footnote 162: Van Rooyen and Vanderplank reached Empandhleni at 6 a.m.
and 6.45 p.m. respectively on the 9th, whilst Mansel got to Middle
Drift at 4.30 p.m. on the same day.]

[Footnote 163: These were simply the bushy part of ox- or cow-tails of
white hair or white and red mixed, with the skin cut so as to enable
them to be bound round the head. They were arranged so as to stand
erect, lie on the head (front to back), or fall from the back part of
the head on to the neck. They were also tied round the neck so as to
hang down the back. No one was required to wear more than one. As the
wearers ran, the 'tails' continually bobbed up and down,--done possibly
with the object of inspiring the enemy with fear.]

[Footnote 164: The explanation is that blank cartridges were used for
the first two shots.]

[Footnote 165: Bambata and at least one of his men rode horses.]

[Footnote 166: Charms for warding off evil. Different ones are used
according to the character of the evil to be averted.]

[Footnote 167: That is, the men drew up in this formation.]

[Footnote 168: The speaker referred to Sitimela, a notorious upstart,
whose example had been quoted by Mr. Saunders, and of which fact
Mmangwana had just told Sigananda privately as above related.]

[Footnote 169: A hyperbole. The reference is to Dinuzulu.]

[Footnote 170: That is, the King of Great Britain and Ireland.]

[Footnote 171: Cetshwayo's grave.]



Some account is now necessary of the locality within which the rebel
bands took refuge, shortly to become the focus of more than a month's
operations by some 2,000 European troops and a like number of Native

The name Nkandhla is probably derived from the verb _kandhla_, meaning
"to tire, exhaust, or prostrate," and is applied collectively to the
various great and more or less connected forests that clothe the
mountains, spurs and valleys of that part. The area in question, as
will be seen from the map, is about eleven miles long by five broad.
Separate names are given to about ten of the forests, among them:
Dukuza (_wander about_), Elendhlovu (_the elephant one_), Elibomvana
(_the little red one_), and Kwa Vuza (_the dripping one_). The slopes
of the mountains are remarkable for their steepness, especially when
approached from the low ground in the vicinity of Cetshwayo's grave.
The altitude of the slopes, of course, varies, but the steepness is
practically uniform, whether the height be 2,000, 3,000, or 3,500
feet. The bed of the Insuze River, from the Tate to the Halambu, would
average about 1,100 feet--where the Mome enters the Insuze, it is
1,122. In many parts, the peaks and ridges rise to a height of 1,500 to
2,000 feet from the nearest stream bed, and within a distance of less
than a mile, measured from the foot of the perpendicular.

Three streams flow through the forests into the Insuze, viz.: Mome,
Nkunzana, and Halambu, and, of these, the Nkunzana traverses the heart
or densest part of the forests.

The principal forest, as well as the deepest and darkest, is Dukuza,
no doubt deriving its name from the fact that one is liable to lose
his way therein and go wandering about unless acquainted with the
secret that, to find his way, he must climb the nearest ridge to see
in what direction to make.[172] The trees are not, as a rule, higher
than sixty feet, though, near the bottom of some of the gorges, they
rise to seventy and eighty. Generally speaking, there is but little
undergrowth, and the trees stand rather wide apart. Here and there a
precipice or _donga_ is met with.

Notwithstanding the sharp ascent so characteristic of Nkandhla ridges
and spurs, comparatively few stones or boulders are to be found. The
ground is covered with damp, decaying substances, such as leaves and
branches; here and there, especially along the beds of streams, are
to be seen moss-covered, slippery rocks, ferns and monkey-ropes, all
tending to give an impression of the immense antiquity and majesty of
the forest. Beautiful glades, varying in size and shape, are suddenly
come upon in parts, with all the freshness and evenness of some lowland
meadow. A look-out must be kept for snakes, such as rocky cobras,
_mambas_ and puff-adders. Leopards are also to be found. Of birds,
lories, red-necked partridges and eagles will frequently be seen. And
superstitious people will be interested to know that ghosts have, for
generations, haunted and are said still to haunt the dense, precipitous
forest Eziwojeni, immediately below Sigananda's kraal "Enhlweni."

Above and at the rear of the Mome waterfall (which has a drop of fifty
feet) is a natural stronghold, the one used by Cetshwayo in 1883.
Owing, however, to a feeling of insecurity, especially on account
of the presence of artillery, the rebels did not use it in 1906,
they preferred to take refuge in the Mome gorge and the adjoining
forest-covered valleys. A favourite, though unhealthy hiding-place, is
in the vicinity of Manzipambana (a tributary of the Nkunzana), which
never issues into open daylight. The peculiar vagaries of its course,
which, in parts, seems to proceed one way and then in exactly opposite
direction, are ascribed to perverse and occult powers emanating from
the still and sombre forest depths.

The Mome gorge, to be often referred to later, takes its name from a
stream that flows through it. It is about one and a half miles long,
with great mountain walls on either side. At the head of the valley is
the waterfall already referred to. Near the fall, the ground rises on
either side to an altitude of over 3,000 feet, but at the mouth of the
valley drops away with remarkable suddenness. Within a radius of 200 to
300 yards of the fall, the earth is covered with a dense forest which,
extending outwards on either side, connects with the various other
forests referred to above, especially on the east. A couple of isolated
forests are to be seen within the valley, particularly the Dobo or
'pear-shaped' one on the west near the mouth. So steep are the sides of
the gorge, like the letter V, that the sun in the morning and afternoon
is shut out to such an extent that the day appears to be considerably
shorter than it is.

Altogether the Nkandhla, with the Mome gorge as practically the key
of the position, could hardly be surpassed as a place of refuge. Nor
could the beauty and attractiveness of the district as a whole be
easily excelled. There is a cleanness and definition as well as natural
grandeur about Nature's handiwork hereabout that immediately appeal to
the imagination. The purity and coolness of the air are exhilarating,
so much so that one becomes oblivious to the cares of life as he
wanders about the woodlands, toils up the sharp ascents, or bends over
one of the many brooks to regale himself with some of the clearest
crystal water to be found on the face of the globe. The Nkandhla should
never become a field of war, and anyone who visits it will realize
the pettiness of man's strife which, for a moment, disturbs its
awe-inspiring stillness, and gentle, peaceful slumber.

       *       *       *       *       *

The history of the tribe that lived about these forests, and especially
its relationship to the royal house of Zululand, are naturally matters
of greater interest. Called by some amaCube, by others amaNcube, the
tribe is a Lala one,[173] closely related to that of Butelezi, to
which Mnyamana, son of Ngqengelele, belonged. Mnyamana was Cetshwayo's
prime minister, whilst Ngqengelele was the great Tshaka's guardian,
adviser and friend. Mnyamana, subsequently to the Zulu War, became
unequivocably loyal to the British Government, and, on more than one
occasion, publicly dissociated himself from the acts of Cetshwayo,
as well as of his successor Dinuzulu. This detachment was maintained
during the Rebellion by his son Tshanibezwe, a fact which had no small
influence in restraining and even checkmating Dinuzulu. The history
of these sister tribes during the last thirty years is remarkable in
that, whilst the Butelezi was unquestionably loyal to the Imperial
Government, the amaCube was persistently sullen and disloyal. In other
words, Butelezi threw in its lot once and for all with its acknowledged
conquerors, in opposition to the rebellious tactics followed by
Cetshwayo and Dinuzulu, whilst the amaCube declared as resolutely
in favour of the royal house, though embarked on a mad career after
palpably impossible goals.

The year in which Sigananda's ancestors first came to settle in the
neighbourhood of the forests is wrapped in obscurity. Natives have no
good means of fixing time, especially in regard to events more than a
century old. One of the best methods, indeed about the only one, is
to ascertain the Chief's genealogical tree, the whereabouts of former
Chief's graves, etc., and, from these and related facts, draw such
inferences as appear reasonable. In the case of Sigananda, the known
positions at Nkandhla of the graves of six of his ancestors, enable us
to conclude with tolerable certainty that the first Chief died about
250 years ago.

Tradition seems to carry the arrival of the people still further back.
It is safe to say it is one of the oldest tribes in Zululand and was
already long _in situ_ when the migration of the great Xosa family to
Cape Colony took place in the seventeenth century.

Although Tshaka attacked and defeated many tribes, he was unable to
conquer that over which Mvakela, grandfather of Sigananda, presided.
Later, however, he succeeded in putting Mvakela to death. This man
took refuge in the Manzipambana section of the forests. It proved so
detrimental to his health that he was obliged to leave and expose
himself, thus affording the enemy an opportunity of which advantage was
swiftly taken.

It so happened that Mvakela had married a sister of Nandi, Tshaka's
mother. Mvakela's son, Zokufa (father of Sigananda), was thus Tshaka's
first cousin. This connection with the royal house of Zululand plays a
most important part in regard to the Rebellion. It shows the character
of the blood relationship between Dinuzulu and Sigananda.

Zokufa was allowed to become Chief. The tribe continued, as in former
ages, to practice the art of iron-smelting, and the manufacture of
hoes, axes, knives and assegais of every shape and size. Owing to
special aptitude in these respects, the people were largely patronized
by the King who, from time to time, called for supplies of the articles
manufactured. The national army depended to no small extent on the
assegais made by the tribe, which came to fill much the same kind
of place in the body politic that Woolwich arsenal does in England.
Large quantities of the domestic articles referred to were, moreover,
bartered to the general public far and near. When the white man arrived
in 1824, and, in the years that followed, introduced hoes, axes and
knives, the demand for more serviceable wares soon caused this once
famous handicraft to die out. But, although the Zulus were content
to use European hoes (which were lighter and cheaper), and axes and
knives (which were harder and sharper), they never lost faith in their
own smiths for the making of assegais and other implements of war. To
this day the assegai forged in Birmingham has been unable to supersede
that of the ordinary Native blacksmith who, in these days, is not
above using European pig-iron, instead of smelting his own with those
quaint old bellows of his from the ironstone so frequently to be met
with. Sigananda himself was an excellent smith, his reputation for
barbed, large stabbing, as well as throwing, assegais being by no means
confined to members of his own tribe.

In Cetshwayo's day, we find Zokufa holding the position of induna at
that Prince's Mlambongwenya kraal. It was there that the famous Usutu
party was first created by Cetshwayo. The Usutu became his personal
adherents in opposition to the Izigqoza of the rival claimant to the
throne, Mbuyazi. The party was made up of men from many tribes, and not
recruited merely from the Zulu one, of which its leader was a member.
Zokufa, and after him Sigananda, together with the amaCube tribe,
belonged to the Usutu faction. Sigananda accordingly fought on the
Usutu side during the great Ndondakusuka (Tugela) battle on the 2nd
December, 1856.

Shortly after, owing to disturbances in the tribe, Sigananda fled to
Natal. He took refuge in the tribe of Mancinza, father of Bambata.
He became a policeman at the Magistrate's office, Greytown, but,
about 1871, was invited by Cetshwayo to live in Zululand, when, after
fourteen or fifteen years' absence, he became Chief over the tribe.

During the Zulu War, Sigananda naturally fought for his King.
Cetshwayo's restoration to Zululand occurred in January, 1883, and,
as has been seen, was the signal for violent conflict between his and
Zibebu's forces. Cetshwayo was obliged to find a place of refuge. He
fled to the Nkandhla forests, where he was harboured in one of the
amaCube kraals immediately overlooking the Mome waterfall. A small
kraal, known by the name of Enhlweni, was constructed for the ex-King's
use on the eastern side of the waterfall, and only three hundred yards
from it, whilst a covered path was specially made through the forest
that stood between the two kraals. The Government succeeded, through
the influence of Mr. Henry F. Fynn (son of the earliest pioneer of
Natal), in inducing Cetshwayo to leave his place of hiding and reside
at Eshowe, and there he died in 1884.

Owing to the unsettled state of the country, it was decided by the
heads of the nation that Cetshwayo should not be buried on the banks
of the White Umfolozi, where it had for generations been the practice
to inter the kings. The district in the occupation of the amaCube was
the one selected, whereupon he was conveyed there in an ox-waggon and
'planted,'[174] near the Nkunzana stream, on a small exposed ridge
about three miles to the east of Mome gorge. A relative of Sigananda
was appointed keeper of the grave, a post of much responsibility and
honour. One of his kraals was erected on a knoll some 500 yards from
his charge.[175]

In the battle of Kotongweni in 1884 between the Usutus, on the one
side, and the Government forces, Basutos and other Natives loyal to
the Government, on the other, Sigananda threw in his lot with the
former. Finally, in 1888, when Dinuzulu once more waged war against
Zibebu, Sigananda was called on by the Government to furnish a levy. He
refused, subsequently reviling a few more loyally disposed members of
his tribe for breaking away and assisting the authorities.

Such, in brief, was the history of the man and tribe with which the
Colony had now to deal. In 1905, the tribe was wholly within the
Nkandhla magisterial district; it consisted of 462 kraals, with an
approximate total population of 4,300, or about 700 men capable of
bearing arms.

Another factor in the situation was the Chief's great age. There has
been some uncertainty in regard to the point, some maintaining he was
as much as 105, but, when it is borne in mind that he was a member of
the Imkulu-tshane regiment, the cadets of which were recruited about
1830, and that these were about seventeen or eighteen years old when
recruited, his age could not have been more than ninety-five at the
time of the Rebellion, if quite so much.

       *       *       *       *       *

It has already been shown that the Magistrate and the Commissioner
at Empandhleni placed themselves in immediate communication with
Sigananda, who, however, hypnotized by the prospect of co-operating
with his old King's son, deliberately ignored all the orders received
by him.

When the Commissioner became convinced (as he did on 16th April) that
Sigananda had thrown in his lot with Bambata and was in open rebellion,
in conjunction with sections of adjoining tribes, he represented the
situation as very serious, and urged the immediate concentration within
Natal of a large Imperial force, partly to compensate for the imminent
withdrawal of local troops to cope with the Rebellion in Zululand, and
partly to counteract a rumour that was circulating to the effect that
the Imperial Government, disapproving of what had taken place, would
not assist the colonial forces. Mansel advised the taking of similar
action. The Ministry, however, deemed it expedient to deal with the
situation as far as possible from Natal resources alone and, if it
proved beyond the Colony's capabilities, to appeal for assistance to
other portions of South Africa. "Fears having been expressed," says the
Governor, "that if the Active Militia as a whole left for Zululand,
the Natal tribes, who were still in a state of unrest, might possibly
rise, and that the Reserve Militia were insufficiently organized to
deal with them, it was determined to raise immediately a Special
Service Contingent of mounted men under the command of Lieut.-Col.
J.R. Royston, C.M.G., D.S.O.[176] ... Detachments of Infantry were
sent to garrison Gingindhlovu and Eshowe, in order to keep open lines
of communication viâ Fort Yolland."[177] At the same time, a reward of
£500 was offered for the capture, dead or alive, of Bambata, and £20 in
respect of each of his followers. This reward, intended to stimulate
Natives whose loyalty was not assured, was, however, withdrawn before
the end of April, on account of the considerable number of Europeans
then being put in the field.

In raising the Special Service Contingent, known as "Royston's Horse,"
Royston was debarred from recruiting members of the Active Militia
force. After advertizing in the local press, numerous applications were
received from all parts of Natal and the rest of South Africa, with
the result that the corps reached its full complement (550) within ten
days, hundreds of applications having had to be refused. The great
majority of the men came from Johannesburg, Durban and parts of the
Cape Colony. Much difficulty was experienced in selecting officers,
as also in obtaining clothing, boots, saddles, etc., as the Militia
Department had very little in stock, except arms and ammunition. The
corps being a mounted one, it became necessary for Royston to use the
powers given him under martial law to commandeer horses where the
owners refused to sell.

Dinuzulu's attitude, ever since the outbreak at Byrnetown, and, indeed,
for months before, had, as has already been related, been regarded by
many with suspicion. Such, however, was not the view of Mr., now Sir
Charles, Saunders, who emphasized in one despatch after another his
implicit belief in the Chief's loyalty and complete detachment from
the rebellious proceedings at Nkandhla. The opinion of such an officer
naturally carried great weight throughout Natal and Zululand, as it
was commonly known he was not only an exceptionally competent Zulu
linguist, with a life-long acquaintance with the Natives, their habits
and customs, but had held important official positions in Zululand
ever since the beginning of 1888, and these, especially during the
preceding ten years, had brought him into frequent personal contact
with Dinuzulu. Many were swayed by this testimony, fortified as it
was by the fact that Mr. Saunders had just been on a visit of a day
and two nights to Usutu kraal, having left there on 7th April, after
communicating to Dinuzulu and his indunas the news of the disaster at

The Government, on the 17th, decided on the course reflected in the
following telegram to the Commissioner: "Absolutely necessary that
Dinuzulu should take some action to show his loyalty, of which you say
you are assured. All information goes to show that Natives believe
he is concerned in movement, and he must be made to show his hand."
Dinuzulu was communicated with accordingly. The same afternoon, the
Government asked if the Commissioner thought it advisable to order
Dinuzulu and Mciteki[178] to come to Pietermaritzburg to assist in
advising as to affairs in Zululand, and whether some other powerful
Chief might be told to come as well. The Commissioner replied it
would be fatal at that juncture to order Dinuzulu or the others to
Pietermaritzburg. "Situation is most delicate and critical at present
and requires the presence of any loyal Chiefs we can depend on amongst
their own people."

Almost simultaneously with the announcement of Sigananda having joined
Bambata, the following message was sent to Mr. Saunders by Dinuzulu
on the 18th, in reply to that from the Government of the preceding
day: "I am not surprised that the Natal Government should have doubt
as to my loyalty in face of repeated and constant accusations to the
contrary effect which have been levelled against me throughout South
Africa. I can only say I am perfectly loyal and am most anxious to
give proof of this in any way the Government may wish. I have assured
you of my loyalty by words and actions repeatedly, but apparently this
is doubted, and I now ask that Government suggest means by which my
loyalty can be proved absolutely, and finally dispel the slurs which
have been cast upon me, and which I keenly resent. I am perfectly
ready to turn out the whole of my people, and send them to Nkandhla at
once to operate in any manner you may think fit, either in entering
the forest and capturing this dog Bambata, who has been allowed to
enter Zululand and disturb the peace which we enjoyed long after Natal
Natives had openly shown disloyalty. As you know, I am physically
incapable of leading my people in person, being unable to move with
freedom from my bed, but the _impi_ would go down in charge of my chief
induna, Mankulumana, and I myself am prepared to be conveyed to Nongoma
and remain there alone with the Magistrate, whilst my people are
operating in any way they may be required as a proof of my good faith
in this matter. If Government say they wish me to go to Nkandhla, I
will find means to reach there, notwithstanding the state of my health.
If this assurance is not sufficient, I am sure that Government will
indicate what is necessary for further proof of loyalty to our King."

When this message was received it was communicated to the press
and, being naturally given great prominence, had a reassuring effect
far and wide; so much so, that the end of the Rebellion appeared to
many to be in sight. Little did anyone suppose at the time that this
communication, to all appearance brimming over with the deepest loyalty
and affection, had issued from one who was actually committing high
treason at the moment he sent it.

The Government, most fortunately dissuaded by Mr. Saunders, decided
not to accept the offer of a levy. Such, by the way, could not have
exceeded 500 or 600 men. To have accepted, however, as was pointed out
at the time, would not only have attracted to it thousands of Zulus
from every part of the country, as well as from beyond its borders,
but the very movements of such concourse as would have assembled would
have caused a recrudescence of the alarming rumours and unrest of which
the Colony had already had a surfeit, the net result of which would
have been to greatly augment Bambata's forces, if Dinuzulu and 'his
army' did not themselves join _en bloc_. The Commissioner was opposed
to Dinuzulu being so called on, not because he doubted the Chief's
loyalty, but, as he wired on the 19th, because "the country is in such
a nervous state that if his people once commence to arm, people would
flock to join him from all parts. This would not only cause a general
panic, but would be made the greatest capital of by Bambata as absolute
proof that Dinuzulu was arming to join him." At this time, moreover,
Dinuzulu was in a somewhat poor state of health, "being enormously
stout and suffering apparently from some dropsical and cutaneous
disorder, which completely incapacitated him for any physical exertion."

That the Government was not satisfied with Dinuzulu's passive and
neutral attitude is seen from the fact that, on the 16th prox., the
Commissioner was asked if he was still of opinion it was inadvisable
to employ that Chief's men. In reply, Mr. Saunders adhered to the view
already expressed.

Instead of requiring Dinuzulu to go to the magistracy as suggested by
himself, it was arranged Mankulumana should proceed to Sigananda to
ascertain what was his attitude towards the Government, as well as to
inquire pointedly by whose authority the rebels were being massed at
Nkandhla. He was, moreover, to deny that Dinuzulu was in any way an
instigator of what had occurred at Mpanza. Mankulumana, as has been
seen, reached Empandhleni on the 23rd, and, after ascertaining from
Mr. Saunders what message he was to deliver, moved on to see Sigananda
at Nkandhla forests. He returned on the 26th to report he had been
received by the rebels in a hostile spirit, being precluded by their
leaders from meeting the Chief, and that he had made it as generally
known as possible that Dinuzulu was not associated with Bambata.

The Magistrate of Eshowe proceeded on the 20th to the neighbourhood of
Fort Yolland, where he met three important Chiefs of that part with
their followers. These begged the Government to send a force to protect
them against raids that were being made by Bambata and Sigananda's
_impis_. The Chiefs were told a force was coming and directed, in the
meantime, to arm and defend themselves.

On the night of the 23rd, intelligence was received that Bambata was in
the vicinity of Ntingwe; Mansel thereupon made a night march with the
Police and Z.M.R. over the worst imaginable country, so steep as to be
dangerous for man and beast. The sortie, however, proved unsuccessful.

The convoy of waggons, escorted by the Natal Carbineers, under Mackay,
consisting of the Left Wing, three squadrons of the Right Wing, and a
section of B Battery, N.F.A.--400 all told, arrived at Empandhleni at
mid-day on the 25th, having left Dundee on the 20th. They had travelled
viâ Vant's Drift, Nqutu, Nondweni and Babanango.[179]

By this time, the Government had resolved to adopt measures for driving
the Nkandhla district from various directions, hence Mackay, on
temporarily occupying Empandhleni, received instructions to desist from
doing any more than seize stock and burn kraals belonging to rebels
within the immediate vicinity of the magistracy; he was warned not to
attempt to draw the enemy prior to the general converging movement
shortly to take place. Attention was accordingly confined by him to the
district lying within a radius of six or seven miles of the magistracy.
This ground was completely cleared of rebels, stock, etc.

Mansel, on being relieved by Mackay, was to have left with the Police
and Zululand Native Police for Fort Yolland on the 26th, but owing to
dense mists, was unable to do so until 10 a.m. on the 28th; he reached
his destination by a somewhat circuitous route at 11 a.m. on the
following morning. He had passed along the northern and north eastern
edges of the forest, where numbers of rebels were seen; these, however,
refrained from coming to close quarters.

Vanderplank, too, left for Ntingwe--an important strategical position,
six miles north of Macala--at 11 a.m. on the 28th, reaching camping
ground near there on the following day.

On the 28th, Mackay moved out in the direction of Nomangci, with a
couple of squadrons. He came in touch with about twenty-eight of the
enemy, when a few shots were exchanged.

On the morning of the 1st May, a small patrol, including Native scouts,
from Ntingwe, was fired on near Mfongozi. The fire was returned, when
the enemy decamped, leaving four horses and two foals, which were
captured. During the night, E. Titlestad's store at Ntingwe was looted
by the rebels.

Four squadrons of Mackay's force demonstrated again, on the 2nd May,
in the direction of Nomangci, when about a dozen kraals were burnt,
including one of Sigananda's, known as oPindweni. About 100 cattle,
also goats, sheep and a few horses, were seized. The burning of the
kraals was necessary, as it was ascertained the rebels slept and
obtained food at them of a night. Shortly after noon the same day, a
squadron under Capt. Park Gray went to reconnoitre on Ndindindi ridge,
overlooking Insuze valley. No sooner did he reach the summit than he,
and the few men with him at the moment, were suddenly charged by a
company of rebels, up till then concealed behind rocks. Knobsticks
and assegais were flung amidst wild war-cries. The Carbineers met the
charge and killed two or three before being obliged to fall back on the
rest of the squadron. As they fell back, the two 15-pounders N.F.A.
opened fire at about 1,500 yards and succeeded in dropping a shell in
the enemy's midst. Sigananda afterwards had the insolence to say his
men were out looking for Bambata in obedience to the Commissioner's
orders, and to contend that the Government was the first to begin
hostilities in so far as he and his tribe were concerned. As a matter
of fact, Gray had seen nothing whatever of the Natives before going
on to the ridge, nor, when he got there, did they afford him an
opportunity of explaining how they came to be under arms four or five
miles from where it was commonly known Bambata then was.[180]

On the 3rd, four squadrons made a reconnaissance in the direction of
a deep gorge near the Insuze. Some fifty cattle were being driven
into it as the troops approached, but it was decided not to attempt
seizure. Kraals in the neighbourhood, reputed to belong to rebels, were
destroyed and some sixty cattle, with goats and sheep, captured.

On the same day, strips of white calico, two and a half inches wide,
and similar pieces of Turkey red, were issued to Native loyalists, who
had come in to assist as directed, to enable them to be immediately
distinguished in the field from rebels. These bandages were bound
round the left arm above the elbow, each colour showing plainly. The
device was later on copied by every force employing Native levies.
Subsequently this useful badge was worn also round the head, it being
feared that, especially when driving a bush or forest, it could not be
readily enough seen when bound round the arm.

The Northern District Mounted Rifles (Major J. Abraham) joined the
Z.M.R. near Ntingwe during the day.

Further reconnaissances in force were made by Mackay on the 4th and 5th
May, with the object of ascertaining the enemy's strength, without,
however, engaging him. On the latter date, as the column was returning
to Empandhleni from Nomangci, a few rebels fired on the rear-guard
from a distance of about 900 yards. As it was getting late, they were
not engaged, particularly as it was impossible to see them as they
were behind stones. On one exposing himself full-length, however, and
challenging the troops to "come on," he was fired at, when he promptly
decamped. It was ascertained during the reconnaissance that a stone
wall, about three feet high, had been erected that day across the main
road to the forest, with the object, as afterwards transpired, of
impeding any advance to, or retreat from, Mansel at Fort Yolland.

Intelligence was received on the 3rd of the death of Mr. Herbert Munro
Stainbank, Magistrate of Mahlabatini district,[181] who had been foully
murdered the same evening in Chief Ngobozana's ward, on the right
bank of the White Umfolozi river, and beside the public road. He had
left the magistracy on the 2nd with his wife and child (in arms), a
lady companion and two European police, in a mule trolley to collect
taxes from Ngobozana's tribe. His party also included nine Native men
and two Native servant girls. "The camp was pitched on the south bank
of the White Umfolozi, about 200 yards from the drift to the east of
the main road leading to Melmoth."[182] Mr. Stainbank had selected
the site so as to be near the telephone, and so in touch with the
Commissioner at Empandhleni. "On the 3rd instant, Ngobozana's tribe
assembled and paid hut and dog tax, but it does not appear to have
been a successful collection from a financial point of view, as only
£184 18s. was collected in hut tax, whereas the tribe are responsible
for about £270. The collection ended at about 2 p.m. and the Natives
dispersed. Ngobozana is said to have presented Mr. Stainbank with
two sheep for slaughter, but he declined to accept them, saying that
Ngobozana could afford more than that.... Ngobozana took back the sheep
and said he would bring a beast next day.... About 7 p.m. that evening,
Mr. Stainbank spoke on the telephone, then returned to his evening
meal, and, at about 7.50 p.m., he went to the telephone, accompanied
by Tprs. Sells and Martin.... He had a lantern and, after connecting
his telephone instrument, he got into a squatting position, Tpr. Sells
seating himself about two yards away leaning against the telephone
pole, and Tpr. Martin squatting close by Mr. Stainbank's left side;
about 7.55 p.m. Mr. Stainbank rang the telephone bell, and was waiting
for a reply, with the receiver to his ear, when suddenly a shot was
fired, and Mr. Stainbank exclaimed, 'My God, I am shot!' and fell over
on his left side, then a second shot was fired, striking Tpr. Sells,
and shortly after a third shot was fired, also striking Sells."[183]
Sells and Martin, as well as the rest of the party, escaped, but
Stainbank died on the journey back from hæmorrhage and shock. The camp
was left standing, including the safe, also two guns and ammunition. On
returning the following day, the money and camp were found intact.

Chief Nqodi, living in the vicinity, was directed to turn his men out
and protect the magistracy.

Mr. J.Y. Gibson, one of the senior Magistrates of the Colony, with
a considerable experience of Zululand affairs, was now appointed at
Mahlabatini. He assumed duty on the 13th. Much trouble was taken by him
to discover the murderers.

After being informed by the Commissioner of what had happened, Dinuzulu
expressed the greatest indignation and grief. He begged to be allowed
to assist in bringing the criminals to justice, and asked permission to
send Mankulumana at once to Mahlabatini with twenty or thirty picked
men to do all he could. The offer was accepted. Several arrests were
subsequently made, and the prisoners, after lengthy examination, were
brought to trial, but acquitted. The occurrence was for long enveloped
in mystery. We shall return to the subject when dealing with similar
murders that occurred chiefly after the conclusion of the Rebellion.

Barely a week after the foregoing murder, a Native Mnqandi, of the
tribe of Matshana ka Mondise, when on a visit to Usutu kraal, was
found with his throat cut, though still alive, near the boundary of
Dinuzulu's ward. He is generally believed to have been assaulted in
this murderous manner whilst within the said ward.


[Footnote 172: It was probably after this forest that Tshaka named his
great kraal Dukuza, whose site was exactly where the town of Stanger
now stands.]

[Footnote 173: The Natives of Zululand and Natal may be divided into
three great ethnic groups: _amaLala_, _abeNguni_ and _amaNtungwa_. Of
these, the _amaLala_ or _Lalas_ were probably the earliest settlers,
followed by the _abeNguni_, and then the _amaNtungwa_. The last two
have been in the country for at least 350 years. The _amaLala_ are now
to be found chiefly in Natal proper.]

[Footnote 174: A Zulu idiom signifying burial.]

[Footnote 175: Undisturbed in any way, as required by custom, the
grave was found by the troops in 1906, to be overgrown with grass
and weeds. There was around it a grove, some 200 yards in length
and oval in shape. Immediately round the grove was a rough fence of
Kaffir-boom trees. None of the trees in the plantation were more than
25 feet high. Owing to the grass not having been burnt or cut, it was
naturally infested with snakes, among which, it was believed, was
that (_i.e._ spirit) of the departed monarch. As, year by year, the
grass in the vicinity was burnt, it devolved on the care-taker to make
a 10-foot fire-break round the grove by digging away the grass. The
grave consisted of a mound, 12 feet long by 10 feet broad and 15 inches
high. On top of it lay one or two broken _kambas_ (clay pots without
handles), and parts of the original ox-waggon.]

[Footnote 176: This officer (Brev. Lieut.-Col. B.M.R.) had served as
follows: South African War, 1878-9--Zulu Campaign. Medal with clasp.
South African War, 1899-1902--Operations in Natal, 1899, including
actions at Rietfontein and Lombard's Kop. Defence of Ladysmith,
including sortie of 7th December, 1899, and action of 6th January,
1900; operations in Natal, March to June, 1900, including action at
Laing's Nek; operations in the Transvaal, east of Pretoria, July to
October, 1900.

In command, West Australian Mounted Infantry--Operations in the
Transvaal and Orange River Colony, 30th November, 1900, to 31st May,
1902; operations on the Zululand Frontier of Natal in September and
October, 1901.

Despatches, _London Gazette_, 17th and 25th April, 1902, and 4th
December, 1903. Queen's medal with four clasps. C.M.G.; D.S.O. _The
Official Army List_, Wyman & Sons, London, 1911.]

[Footnote 177: Cd. 3027, 1906, p. 12.]

[Footnote 178: Son of the late loyal Chief Zibebu.]

[Footnote 179: The convoy found the Buffalo River full and experienced
trouble in fording the waggons. Every precaution was taken when
travelling in Zululand. A lager was formed each night with the waggons,
and a light barbed-wire fence erected 50 yards therefrom. The force
stood to arms at 4 a.m. every day.]

[Footnote 180: The rebels occupied a position from which every movement
by Mackay's force, ever since it left the magistracy, could be plainly
seen. They, moreover, had two other outlooks which were visible from
the magistracy.]

[Footnote 181: This is the district whose Chiefs had, but a few days
before, offered their services against Bambata and Sigananda.]

[Footnote 182: Cd. 3027, p. 67.]

[Footnote 183: Cd. 3027, p. 67.]



The news that Sigananda had, with practically the whole of his tribe,
together with sections of two other adjoining tribes, espoused
Bambata's cause, commonly said at the time to have Dinuzulu's full
support, had hardly been made public before offers of substantial
assistance were received from the Cape Colony and the Transvaal. The
Prime Minister of the former telegraphed on the 17th April: "Extremely
sorry to hear of your further Native trouble; can we be of assistance,
you may depend on our ready help in anything that it is possible for us
to undertake." The reply was: "Many thanks for your telegram. Should
assistance be necessary, we shall not hesitate to ask your help."

On the 23rd April, the following message was received from the
Lieutenant-Governor of the Transvaal (Sir Richard Solomon, G.C.M.G.,
K.C.B.)[184]: "Please inform your Ministers that, with the High
Commissioner's warmest approval, Transvaal Government offers to send
to assistance of Government of Natal, whenever required, 500 Transvaal
Volunteers fully armed and equipped, and offers to maintain them while
in the field." To this the following reply was sent: "Ministers beg to
express their very grateful thanks for the most generous offer made
by the Transvaal Government, which they gladly accept. They beg me to
assure your Government that they highly appreciate the spirit which
has prompted this offer." On the 25th it was added: "The regiment we
have offered will be a mounted one, and will be kept up to its full

The Prime Minister, Cape Colony, wired again: "I have thought that
possibly a battery of six Maxim guns, fully equipped and manned by Cape
Mounted Riflemen, might be of service to you in the present campaign.
Government, Cape Colony, willing therefore to place these at your
disposal, fully manned, equipped and with pack saddles and mules, of
course free of all cost to your Government. Should you be short of
signallers, we can also supply them fully equipped. I merely make
these special suggestions as a part of my original offer of general
assistance." To this it was replied: "We are deeply grateful for the
repetition of your generous offer of assistance, but are advised that
at present we have sufficient forces in the field to deal with the
Rebellion in Zululand. We shall certainly avail ourselves of your offer
should the insurrection spread to other parts of the Colony."

On the 8th June, the Government, referring to the foregoing, asked
the Cape Government for a battery of six Maxim guns. Within a week,
the guns, fully manned and equipped, under the command of Captain M.
Humphery, C.M.R., together with twenty signallers, under Lieutenant R.
Stopford, C.M.R., were in Natal and proceeded at once to take the field.

The offer of the Transvaal having been accepted, it became necessary
for that Colony to issue a proclamation, in which, _inter alia_, it was
made known that, as it was "desirable in the interests of this Colony,
that a Volunteer Corps, formed under the Volunteer Corps Ordinance,
1904, should be called out for service in this Colony, and in the said
Colony of Natal," and as the Lieutenant-Governor of the Transvaal
had "accepted the service of certain persons desiring to be formed
into a Volunteer Corps," and such Corps had been lawfully formed and
designated the First Transvaal Mounted Rifles, therefore the said Corps
"shall be and is hereby required to serve within this Colony or in the
said Colony of Natal."

The formation of the corps, 500 strong, took effect as from 26th
April. It was placed under the command of Lieut.-Col. William Frank
Barker,[185] with Captain Walter Jardine as Adjutant.

Great care was taken in the selection of the other officers,
non-commissioned officers and men. It was decided to accept volunteers
from several existing mounted volunteer corps, in order that each such
unit should participate in the campaign. The corps was accordingly
constituted as follows:

                                                     W.O.'s, N.C.O.'s
                                           Officers.    and Men
 A Squadron, Imperial Light Horse              7           99
 B    "      South African Light Horse         5           87
 C    "      Johannesburg Mounted Rifles
               and Scottish Horse              8          122
 D    "      Northern, Eastern, and Western,
               Mounted Rifles                  5           82
 Maxim gun, Searchlight, Transport and
   Medical Detachments                         4           15
 Regimental Staff                              4            5
                                              --           --
                                              33          410

Hon. Capt. J. Peet, J.M.R., was appointed Quarter-master, and Lieut. W.
Bruce, Western Mounted Rifles, Signalling Officer.

The unit was mobilized on the 25th April, 1906. Notwithstanding
the fact that many difficulties had to be contended with,[186] the
T.M.R. left Johannesburg for Dundee, complete in every detail, on
the 26th. The mobilization had been carried out in a most effective
manner and with such speed by Colonel C.J. Briggs, Commandant of the
Transvaal Volunteers, Major M.C. Rowland, Controller and Paymaster,
also officers, n.c.o.'s and men connected with the supply of arms and
equipment, clothing, transport, pay, etc., as well as Major J.W.F.
Lamont, R.F.A., Chief Staff Officer, Transvaal Volunteers, that the
corps was obliged for several days to await orders at Dundee.

In addition to all the expenses being defrayed by the Transvaal
Government, the corps drew all supplies, except rations in the field,
from the Transvaal Volunteer Headquarters, Johannesburg.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Natal Ministers received throughout the Rebellion the fullest
support, as well as sound practical advice, from the Governor (who
happened to be a Colonel in the Imperial army). Finding that the
situation at Nkandhla had assumed a much graver aspect by reason of
Sigananda's unexpected defection, they resolved to grapple with the
problem on lines commensurate with its scope and magnitude. The plan of
at once driving through the districts contiguous or adjacent to that
of Nkandhla was adopted. In carrying it out, the Northern District
Mounted Rifles were to advance from _Babanango_; Royston's Horse and
the Transvaal Mounted Rifles from _Empandhleni Magistracy_; and the
Natal Police Field Force, with a strong detachment of the Durban Light
Infantry, from _Fort Yolland_. The drifts over the Tugela were to be
guarded by the Umvoti Mounted Rifles, whilst a strong force of the
Natal Carbineers was to be stationed at Helpmakaar to keep a powerful
Chief Kula in check on the drive taking place.

The Active Militia were, at the same time, mobilized throughout Natal;
many of the units, however, remained at their respective headquarters
to keep the Natives in check during the proposed movements. The First
Reserves in various towns and districts were also mobilized, as it was
not impossible that the Natives, seeing so large a body of troops had
crossed into Zululand, might rise and attempt to massacre women and
children. Much of the intelligence received at this time was believed
to indicate that a _coup_ of that kind was being contemplated.

The moment had arrived when the possibility of a universal rising in
Zululand, as well as in Natal, had to be faced and provided against.
If one Chief, without specific grievance of his own, was ready to
associate himself with those who had taken up arms against the
Government, it was probable others would do the same on a fitting
opportunity arising. As for the rest of the Native population, it
seemed certain that an isolated Chief here and there would remain loyal
with his people, though the great bulk would watch events and go with
the tide whichever way it happened to flow. The Chief's personality,
however, was not the material factor, for, owing to various reasons
which need not be set forth here, his influence, in many cases, had
been so undermined, that members of his tribe remained loyal or not
to him as it happened to suit their individual fancy. The result was,
that although the majority, or even the whole tribe, decided to rebel,
the Chief would personally attach himself to the Government. Thus, the
mere fact of his professing to be loyal was no guarantee whatever that
the tribe would follow his example. Generally speaking, his influence
proved too weak to prevent a few and sometimes many of his best
fighting men from joining the rebels. This was the state of affairs in
many directions, especially in Zululand and the eastern parts of Natal,
and defections would have gone on to a greater extent than they did,
until every tribal unit had been 'hollowed out,' had not the Government
at this critical moment acted as vigorously and comprehensively as it

Colonel (now Brigadier-General Sir Duncan) McKenzie, who had been in
command of the column that operated in the south-western portions of
Natal, was placed in command of the combined forces, including the
Transvaal Mounted Volunteers and the section of the Natal Police called
out for active service in Zululand. His appointment took effect on the



The composition and strength of the command, designated the "Zululand
Field Force," will be found in Appendices III. and IV. The troops under
Leuchars, who remained in Natal, appear in the same Appendices.

The position of Chief Staff Officer was conferred on Colonel Sir
A. Woolls-Sampson, K.C.B., of the Transvaal.[187] The other Staff
appointments were made by McKenzie from the force under his command.

The Commissioner for Native Affairs was appointed Political Agent, with
authority to represent and act for the Governor and Supreme Chief under
martial law in all political matters that might have to be dealt with
summarily in Zululand. He was empowered to enquire into the conduct of
Chiefs, tribes or Natives who had received and harboured Bambata, or
otherwise assisted him, or committed crimes requiring to be summarily
disposed of, with the object of suppressing the Rebellion, and to award
such punishment as was fitting, provided that all cases, in which
sentence in excess of two years' imprisonment was passed, were referred
to the Governor for confirmation.

McKenzie proceeded to Dundee on the 30th, and assumed command of his
force on the following morning.[188]

The column at Dundee left that place on the morning of the 3rd May,
with a convoy of 150 ox-waggons loaded with provisions. The route
followed was Laffnie's Drift, Nqutu, Fort Louis and Itala. As the roads
and drifts were poor, progress was slow. Wherever a halt was made
for the night a square lager was formed by means of the waggons. The
country traversed was found almost deserted. Newly-made assegais were
discovered at a few kraals in Zululand. The magistracy at Empandhleni
was reached on the 8th.

       *       *       *       *       *

Whilst this column was on the march, developments of an important
nature were occurring on the south-eastern side of the Nkandhla
forests, resulting in the first serious encounter with the enemy's
forces, then, as has been seen, made up of men of Bambata, Sigananda,
Ndube, and Mpumela's tribes. By this time, a number of men of other
tribes had also joined.

When Mansel reached Fort Yolland on the 29th April (11 a.m.), he found
Capt. W. Alexander, D.L.I., had already come in from Eshowe with a
convoy of waggons escorted by a company of D.L.I. and a troop of N.M.R.
The convoy had narrowly escaped an ambuscade, no doubt devised by the
raiders from Nkandhla to be referred to later.

It so happened that Chief Ndube, after having turned his men out to
capture Bambata as directed by the Magistrate, and after subsequently
receiving an order from Mr. Saunders prohibiting entry of Sigananda's
ward until Mansel had arrived to take charge of the operations, lost
many members of his tribe by their becoming rebels, primarily, it would
seem, to ensure their stock from being looted by Bambata. Bambata and
his allies were, at the time, held in check by nothing whatsoever.
They were able to raid and range about over wide expanses of country
occupied by people as loyal as could be expected. These raids had
already taken place in Ndube's ward, followed by others in those of
Makubalo and Mfungelwa. Ndube's men, therefore, were obliged to face
the alternative, either of being killed outright and losing their
stock whilst remaining loyal to a Government which had, up till then,
been unable to give them support, or to join the rebels and, at any
rate for the time being, save everything. It is not surprising the
latter alternative was seized by many. Terrorization of this kind is
one of the principal, though not sufficiently considered reasons, why
Bambata was able so speedily to mass together the formidable force he
did. With his men melting away hourly, Ndube perceived he could no
longer remain loyal without serious risk to his own life and property.
He reported what had happened to Leuchars at Krantzkop, and asked for
advice. Leuchars told him to move off with his cattle and the loyal
portion of the tribe if he felt in danger. He accordingly fled to
Eshowe with a number of followers on the night of the 22nd, whilst
some of the women took refuge in Natal, near the Tugela. Many of his
people drove their stock into Mfungelwa's ward, which adjoins that of
Ndube on the east. These cattle and others belonging to Mfungelwa's
people were what Sigananda and Bambata's men raided on the night of the
28th and following morning. A number of the owners, who happened to be
dissociated from the Ndube-ites, followed the raiders back to Nkandhla
and pleaded for the restoration of their stock. In many cases, the
applications were granted, the cattle being returned after a forfeit of
one large beast per herd had been levied, "owing to its having set foot
on ground in the hallowed vicinity of the grave." The decision to raid
at that moment was probably precipitated by knowledge of the fact that
Mansel was moving to Fort Yolland.

An amusing incident occurred about this time. Mfungelwa had been
directed that, should Bambata be seen attempting a further raid, all it
was necessary to do was to raise a white flag on a hill near his kraal,
a couple of miles from, and within view of, the camp. This would be
taken as an alarm, when assistance would be rendered. On the following
Wednesday, the flag was observed hoisted early in the morning. The
whole force, numbering 350, stood to arms and moved out at a smart pace
to engage the enemy. Upon coming up to the flag and clamouring for
particulars as to the whereabouts of the raiders, Mfungelwa quietly
replied that there was no enemy--in setting up the flag, he had done so
merely as an experiment, it appearing desirable to rehearse the part he
had to play in case of actual necessity!

The rebel scouts exposed themselves daily on Komo hill, some five miles
to the north-west; from this point, the movements of the troops at Fort
Yolland were easily perceivable. A reconnaissance was accordingly made
to Mfanefile's store at Maqonga, some three miles south of Komo, when
general information as to the rebels and the country they were in was

By way of checking the enemy's encroachments, Mansel decided to make
another reconnaissance, this time in force and towards Komo.

He moved out at 6 a.m. on the 5th, each man taking two days' rations
and 150 rounds of ammunition. Komo was reached at 9 a.m. After an
hour's halt, Mansel decided to descend, viâ Sibudeni peak, into the
valley lying to the immediate south of the Nkandhla forests. This
valley, or rather series of valleys, was known to be in the occupation
of the enemy; such area (including the grave) being, indeed, their

As the intention was simply to make a reconnaissance, it was deemed
unnecessary for it to be governed by any definite, pre-conceived plan.
Hence the commanding officer, when he started from Komo, did not issue
instructions as to what his objective was. Thus the men were marched
through parts of the forest at Sibudeni and into the valley to a point
within three or four miles of the rebel headquarters, without any
clear conception as to what was to be done on getting within striking
distance. The movement, as will presently be seen, proved an extremely
hazardous one.

The strength of the force and its order of march, on leaving Komo, was:
30 Mounted Infantry, D.L.I., with 20 N.M.R. (Major S.G. Campbell); 86
Nongqai (Z.N.P.) (Major C. Fairlie); 200 Natal Police; 80 Natal Naval
Corps (Commander F. Hoare); 80 D.L.I. (Capt. R.L. Goulding), and a levy
of about 400 men, armed with shields and assegais (Chief Mfungelwa).
Total: 410 Europeans, 86 Zululand Native Police, 400 Native Contingent.
Of the Europeans, 250 were mounted, 160 unmounted; the Native forces
were almost entirely unmounted.

Passing Sibudeni store (looted, it will be remembered, some days
previously by the rebels), the road entered a small portion of the
forests. Here fresh meat was discovered, with signs of a fire near
by. Three or four assegais, too, with small rags attached containing
medicine of some sort, were seen, stuck in the ground by the rebels in
accordance with their superstitious ideas.

Progress now became slow, owing to occasional sniping by rebels
concealed in the bush. Those who were riding dismounted and proceeded
in half-sections, each man leading his horse. The Nongqai extended a
few yards into the forest on either side. The infantry, after fixing
bayonets, marched in single file on either edge of the track, officers
in the centre. By the time the open country that forms the summit
of a ridge called Bobe was reached, the infantry, owing to the heat
and absence of water, were beginning to show signs of fatigue. After
a halt, to give the rear time to close up, the force descended by a
footpath into the valley referred to, moving in single file.

The head of the column, keeping the footpath, passed on through neck
marked _C_ on the plan to knolls _D_ and _E_. Another halt of about
half an hour was made on the western slope of _E_.

During the interval, thirty mounted men were sent to burn a kraal
(Mlibo's) a few yards off on the left. Lieut. A.H.G. Blamey, with a
few N.M.R., then advanced to knoll _F_ to reconnoitre. The time was
about 3 p.m. Moving up the eastern incline, and when about 350 yards
from the base of _E_, the scouts came upon about 300 rebels lying perdu
among the weeds and grass of an old garden, a hundred yards to the
right of the path. They were not seen until they simultaneously rose
to charge. As they got up, they shouted "Usutu! Usutu!" at the top of
their voices, and dashed at the scouts who, after quickly dismounting
and firing a few shots, fell back to the rest of the guard and Nongqai
at _E_ as best they could. At the first shot, the Nongqai immediately
lined themselves in regular order on the right, along a contour of
_E_ about half-way down the hill, and, with the N.M.R. and mounted
infantry--the latter having galloped up from the kraal they were
burning on hearing the fire and ranged themselves on the left--opened
a heavy fusillade on the enemy as he came rushing through a hail of
bullets, the bullets which up till that moment he believed would not
'enter.' Each ran stoopingly with shield before his face, as if trying
to ward off the bullets, whilst a _tshokobezi_ badge tossed wildly
about his head. They came on with great dash, directing their attack
mainly at the left front of the position. It was at that point that
most of them fell. In one or two instances, the Nongqai, who behaved
with conspicuous coolness and pluck, were obliged to resort to their

Finding themselves beaten at the first rush, they broke, large numbers
making down the steep and slightly wooded watercourses on either side
of the kraal marked "Manyunda." Another section disappeared down the
northern slopes that converge at _F_, where they concealed themselves,
in the vicinity of Nkunzana river. A number were shot as they ran,
especially on the south-western slopes.

The Natal Police, when the action began, were quickly pushed up to
support at _D_, about 300 yards from _E_, from where a heavy and
effective fire proceeded for the few moments the enemy was visible. The
Navals and the D.L.I. came forward on hearing the fire. The former, at
the time, were on the Bobe side of the neck leading to _D_, _i.e._ at
_B_, some few yards up the incline. From such position, a Maxim they
had with them opened at long range, proving effective. The D.L.I.,
still further up Bobe at _A_, being rear-guard, did not come into
action at this stage.



 Scale of yards

 0 100 200 400 600 800


 A, B, C, &c., see text

 _Footpath_ _Native kraal_
 _Route taken by troops_

 _Nkandla forests lie on immediate
 right and right front of the map_]

After the rebels had dispersed, the column moved forward and began to
close up about 300 yards west of _F_. Suddenly another body of rebels,
about 400 strong, was seen moving up the Nkunzana, as if making
for the rear of the rear-guard, and therefore attempting a belated
encircling movement. Possibly Mansel's extraordinarily long column and
its abnormally slow progress, was the reason why the enemy's attack on
the rear-guard failed as it did. The front _impi_ had come into action
before the rear one (owing to the very high ground Mansel's rear-guard
was still descending) could attempt the usual enveloping tactics. As
this body reached a kraal on the north side of Bobe, it was joined
by a company that had been scouting for some days on Nomangci and
which, hearing the fire, had come unsolicited to help. The _impi_ then
advanced towards the rear-guard (D.L.I.). Not many minutes before, the
officer in charge of the guard had had occasion to send Mfungelwa and
his force to capture stock and burn kraals on the left, consequently he
was under the impression the Natives he saw were the Native contingent,
until, examining with field-glasses, he noticed that none wore the
usual Turkey-red and calico badge. The enemy was thereupon fired into
by the guard and N.N.C.; without charging, although firing a few shots,
he broke and disappeared down the slopes up which he had just come.

The column again moved on, only to turn sharp left to cross the Halambu
still further below. The enemy followed. The rear-guard was now
supported by mounted men, who, firing on the _impi_ in the direction
of _F_, were themselves fired on from the Nkunzana by eighteen rebels
stationed at that point. After pretending to move on to join the column
at Halambu, the mounted men suddenly returned and, finding the rebels
in force in the open at short range, shot down a number. Still another
section showed themselves near Nkolotshane hill, about two miles off to
the south-west. They opened ineffectively at long range.

It was now late in the afternoon. Owing to the exhausted condition of
the men, the desirability of camping on the left side of Halambu was
considered, but, because of the long, dry tambookie grass thereabout,
which could easily have been set alight, and to most of the ammunition
being spent, Mansel decided to make for Fort Yolland.

Needless to say, the return march, with the infantry in so exhausted
a condition, was extremely difficult. Nor was this to be wondered at.
They had already walked twenty miles over rough country, in heavy order.

The enemy dogged the troops for miles, constantly sniping at them in
the moonlight: nor did he desist until the main road near Mfanefile's
store had been fairly reached. Some of the infantry did not get to camp
until midnight.

The reconnaissance was carried out in an apparently loose and irregular
manner. Absence of plan has already been noticed. This omission, with
the enemy known to be massed in the vicinity of Cetshwayo's grave,
was evidently an error of judgment. Conducted as the reconnaissance
presumably was with the object of acquiring information, it actually
obtained none that was not already known. Although two days' rations
were carried, no decision was come to as to where the column should
camp for the night. This involved taking heavily-laden infantry over
abnormally long and difficult tracts of country, so much so that it
was owing only to their sterling qualities and perseverance that
they were able to march as they did. When the first attack had been
repulsed, there was an oversight in not pursuing and severely punishing
the rebels. Had this been done, it might have had something of the
demoralizing effect that the Mome had later on.

All units and ranks behaved with much gallantry, repelling attacks that
might easily have proved calamitous.

The principal meed of praise must be awarded to the N.M.R., M. Inf.,
D.L.I., and last, though not least, the Nongqai, owing to whose
coolness and steadiness, the first and principal success was mainly due.

When Blamey and his troop were obliged to fall back, a number of the
horses would not let the men mount, consequently with the enemy in hot
pursuit 100 yards away, they had to make off on foot. "My horse," says
Blamey, "would not let me put my foot in the stirrup, so I vaulted into
the saddle. On turning the horse round, two rebels threw their assegais
at me. I shot one and then galloped off." He had not gone far, however,
before he came across Corpl. Acutt on foot, whose rifle had jammed. The
man managed to fire and then took to his heels, the leading rebel five
to ten yards in rear. Whilst on the gallop, Blamey, catching Acutt up,
offered him his stirrup-leather to hold on to; instead of seizing it,
the man put up his arm, asking for help. On this, Blamey, dropping his
revolver, grabbed the arm and, dragging the man over the saddle with
much difficulty, rejoined the troop at _E_.

The casualties were: Among the rebels, sixty to seventy killed, with
many wounded; among the troops, none killed; one N.M.R. slightly
wounded; one Z.N.P. severely wounded and another wounded. Seven horses
were also wounded.

Mfungelwa's men took no part in the fighting, though they captured 300
cattle and many goats, besides destroying several rebel kraals.

The _impi_ that first attacked at _F_ was made up of Mavalana,
Hayelwengwenya, Felapakati, and Mbokodwebomvu regiments, the
first-named being the youngest and of an average age of 20 to 23.
It was Mavalana that led and threatened most at _E_. The body that
advanced up the Nkunzana and threatened the rear-guard, was under the
personal command of Bambata. The eighteen who had guns were commanded
by Ndabaningi, Sigananda's principal son, who, though considerately
wearing a white shirt, escaped being hit. All the enemy's shooting was
bad. Those seen near the hill Nkolotshana late in the afternoon, were
merely elderly men who had congregated from various kraals. Altogether
about 1,000 of the enemy were seen during the day.

Inconclusive and unsatisfactory as the foregoing proceedings were from
a military point of view, the engagement proved remarkably decisive
from that of the rebels. The reason for this is not hard to guess, viz.
the clear demonstration that had been given of the utter inefficacy
of Bambata's and his doctors' drugs! _The bullets had entered_, and
entered wherever and whatever they had hit. The main success of the
Bobe fight accordingly lay in dispelling, possibly for ever, in so far
as Natal and Zululand Natives are concerned, the extraordinary delusion
already described.

In consequence of the numerous casualties, many Native women came
the following morning to where the rebel forces had collected near
Cetshwayo's grave to demand, of those who had declared European bullets
would do no injury, restoration of their missing sons, husbands, and
sweethearts. If anything ever made Bambata wince, these women's simple
and unanswerable application did. At the same meeting, one of the older
men asked pointedly why Bambata and his men had not engaged in the
fight. Why had he stood by when a section of the forces attacked? The
speaker went on, in heated manner, to propose that the notorious leader
should be arrested and handed over to the Europeans forthwith; if that
were inexpedient, then let him be given over to the rebels themselves
to put to death. "He has deceived us by declaring bullets would not
hurt us."

Finding himself thus suddenly unpopular, with his prestige gone, and
even in danger of losing his life, Bambata rode off, an hour or two
later, with Cakijana to Macala, saying not a word to anyone, not even
to his own followers.

       *       *       *       *       *

On the same day, Vanderplank came in touch with the enemy in Manyane
valley, a few miles south-west of Ntingwe, when two were killed, thirty
cattle seized and a number of kraals destroyed.

Between the 6th and 16th May, Mansel's column remained at Fort Yolland,
erecting entanglements or otherwise fortifying the lager.


[Footnote 184: Now High Commissioner for South Africa in London.]

[Footnote 185: Lieut.-Col. Barker, then in command of the South African
Light Horse, had previously served in the 1st Battalion 60th Regiment
(King's Royal Rifles) and 2nd Battalion Royal Sussex. At the beginning
of the Anglo-Boer War, he enlisted in the South African Light Horse
and took part in the Relief of Ladysmith. He was afterwards engaged in
operations in the northern districts of Natal and east of Pretoria. He
rose from the rank of Trooper to that of Major in the one campaign, and
was mentioned by his commanding officer no less than thirteen times for
conspicuous gallantry and capable handling of troops. He was awarded
the D.S.O., also Queen's medal with six clasps, and the King's with

[Footnote 186: _E.g._ as service was voluntary, many who wished to
enlist were unable to obtain leave from their employers; others, again,
who had volunteered were obliged to withdraw on their anticipated leave
being refused.]

[Footnote 187: Sir Aubrey Woolls-Sampson (Honorary Colonel in the
Army) served throughout the South African War, 1899-1902; was engaged
in operations in Natal, 1899, including action at Elandslaagte, where
he was severely wounded. Mentioned in despatches, _London Gazette_,
8th February and 15th November, 1901, and 17th January and 25th March,
1902. Granted honorary rank of Colonel in the Army. Queen's medal with
four clasps. King's medal with two clasps. Knighted (K.C.B.).

The _Official Army List_, 1911, Wyman & Sons, Ltd., Fetter Lane,
London, E.C.]

[Footnote 188: It was, at the date in question, disposed as
follows:--At _Dundee_--Transvaal Mounted Rifles, 500 (Lieut.-Col. W.F.
Barker); Royston's Horse, 550 (Lieut.-Col. J.R. Royston); section,
Natal Field Artillery (two pompoms), 25; half a company of Durban
Light Infantry, 55; detachments of Medical, Veterinary, Signalling and
Service Corps. At _Ntingwe_--Zululand Mounted Rifles, 90 (Major W.A.
Vanderplank); Northern District Mounted Rifles, 150 (Major J. Abraham).
At _Komo Hill_ (Fort Yolland)--Natal Naval Corps, 106 (Commander F.
Hoare); section, Natal Field Artillery, 35 (two 15-pounders); Natal
Police, 200 (Lieut.-Col. G. Mansel); Zululand Native Police, 90 (Major
C. Fairlie). At _Eshowe_--Two companies, Durban Light Infantry, 210 (25
mounted) (Major J. Nicol). At _Gingindhlovu_--Half a company, Durban
Light Infantry, 55.]



The force that arrived at Empandhleni with McKenzie on the 8th
May rested on the 9th. Intelligence, at this time, went to show
that Bambata, with his own adherents and a few others, had gone to
Macala.[189] After enquiring into the position, McKenzie realized the
impossibility of starving the rebels out "by sitting quietly on the
hills and allowing them to collect provisions everywhere at night." He
considered it necessary to operate at once, and to begin by destroying
all their kraals and supplies.

At 4 a.m. on the 10th, the T.M.R., under Barker, left for Ntingwe, to
strengthen that important strategical post. The country to be traversed
was exceptionally rough, especially at Mdunduzeli ridge. The result
was that the waggons, much too heavily laden, could not reach their
destination the same day. With even the lightest loads, a journey of
thirty-five to forty miles with ox transport over country such as this
was obviously impossible. Two squadrons were detached the same day
and pushed forward to reinforce Vanderplank, who anticipated attack
at Ntingwe. It required the whole of the 11th for the transport to
ascend the ridge referred to, some five miles long. At 12.30 a.m.,
12th, messengers arrived at Ntingwe from Capt. C.E. Ligertwood, who
had bivouacked with the transport on top of Mdunduzeli, to say the
enemy was concealed in force in a forest close by, evidently with the
intention of attacking at daylight. The two squadrons referred to
immediately saddled up and returned, reaching Ligertwood about 3.30
a.m. Everything was quiet and in order. Half-a-dozen waggons had,
however, capsized. That day the waggons got on to Kombe forest. Shortly
after daybreak on the 13th, Tpr. H.C. Maw, I.L.H. squadron, went in
search of his horse. When near the edge of a bush, he was sniped
from within it and mortally wounded. The troops immediately lined
a ridge running parallel and volleyed three or four times into the
forest; nothing, however, could be seen of the enemy. The whole force,
including the transport, reached Ntingwe about mid-day on the same day.
Maw died the following morning at Ntingwe, where he was buried.

McKenzie, with the remainder of the troops, including Mackay's, made a
reconnaissance in force at 4.30 a.m. on the 10th to the top of Nomangci
ridge, overlooking Mome gorge. Some thirty mounted Native scouts were
sent ahead under a European officer. A few of these, on reaching the
summit, were fired at by rebels from a stone shelter at the top of a
kopje on the left. After the troops (N.C.) had come up and a couple of
volleys had been fired at the shelter, the enemy vacated it and fled
into a forest close by. An examination was now made of the country
round about Green Hill, whereupon the force moved along Nomangci ridge
and the northern edges of the forest to the vicinity of Sisusa peak.
Here the scouts, among whom was Chief Sitshitshili, a splendid specimen
of a brave and loyal Zulu,[190] proceeded to lower ground on the south
where some rebel kraals were burnt and stock captured. On withdrawing
in the early afternoon, McKenzie left three squadrons of Carbineers
concealed close to the kopje referred to, in the hope of surprising the
enemy. The ruse, however, proved unsuccessful.

On the following day, Mackay, with about 420 men (chiefly N.C.), left
for Helpmakaar with a convoy of 138 empty ox-waggons. The Carbineers
were ordered back as it was possible an outbreak might any day occur
in the northern portions of Natal. Nevertheless, having already done
useful work at Nkandhla, they were very disappointed at having to leave
that part, especially as fighting appeared to be imminent.

On the 12th, McKenzie made a reconnaissance to Insuze valley on the
south-west of the magistracy.[191] In the course of the day, a large
number of women and children were met with, but no information could be
obtained from them as to the rebels' movements. After being questioned,
they were allowed to return to their relations.

Another reconnaissance was made to Dhlabe on the western side of Mome
on the 14th. The rebels indulged in a good deal of ineffective sniping
from the forest. A few 15-pounder and pompom shells were fired into
the Mome valley. The force camped for the night at the site of the old

On the same day, three of Barker's squadrons reconnoitred along the
base of Macala, with the object of trying to draw the enemy, who had
been observed in force at that mountain. Bambata himself was reported
to be there. This intelligence was proved later to have been correct.
The rest of the force at Ntingwe co-operated with McKenzie's in
destroying rebel kraals in the intervening district and capturing stock.

The destruction of these and other kraals, which, as explained in a
previous chapter, are invariably of wattles, grass and poles, and
therefore easily constructed, was imperative as, being numerous, they
afforded shelter and food to the enemy. But for the adoption of such
tactics, and the seizure of stock, especially in the vicinity of the
great forests at Nkandhla and Qudeni, and other considerable ones at
Kombe, Ensingabantu, Macala, etc., the campaign must have been unduly
prolonged and resulted in far greater suffering to Natives at large
than actually occurred.

The most humane method in dealing with savages is one which has for
its object cessation of hostilities at the earliest possible date.
To achieve this end, much must necessarily take place which appears
offensive to civilized people at a distance, but which not less
civilized persons on the spot know to be imperative. Difference of
opinion on these matters is very marked and very regrettable, but it
is useless endeavouring to justify tactics to those ignorant, often
absurdly ignorant, of the elementary conditions under which any given
war with savages has to be fought. That is not war which studiously
avoids incommoding the enemy in any way. If there be obloquy, it must,
therefore, be suffered to remain on the side of common-sense.

Next morning (15th) Barker, leaving sufficient men to guard the camp,
moved to a position near Dhlolwana, about six miles to the south-west
of Ntingwe and three from Macala. Whilst engaged burning kraals, he
had a brush with about 500 rebels, who followed up on his returning
to camp, four of them being killed. It would seem Barker lost an
opportunity here of inflicting a heavy blow on the enemy. At the same
time, it must be remembered he was playing a waiting game which, had
he planned a countermove--as he certainly might have done on this
occasion--might have been spoilt.

On the 16th, a few men were sent to decoy the enemy; he, however,
refused to be drawn. McKenzie then heliographed Barker to take part
early on the 17th with himself and Mansel in a large converging
movement towards the enemy's headquarters at Cetshwayo's grave.
Leuchars, then at Middle Drift, was invited to co-operate on the south.

During the night, Sub-Overseer Walters, in charge of a road party, was
murdered in a tent at his camp by Natives at Mbiza stream, about eight
miles north of Empandhleni. The murderers were arrested within a couple
of days.

McKenzie had decided on the general movement referred to because of
the main body of the enemy being camped at the grave and having with
them large herds of cattle. The route to this spot was more difficult
for the troops on Nomangci than for those at Fort Yolland or Ntingwe.
The one selected was viâ Gcongco, Gcongco being an abnormally steep
spur abutting on the Insuze, barely a mile from the Mome stream.[192]
Owing to lack of intelligence as to the precise nature of the spur,
there was, at starting, some doubt as to whether the troops, especially
mounted men, would be able to descend it with safety. Barker was
directed to proceed down the Msukane neck and along the Insuze valley.
Mansel, who was to bring transport, was to bivouack at Mfanefile's
store at Maqonga hill on the 16th, and move forward on 17th viâ Mkalazi
and Insuze valleys. The time fixed for the columns to arrive at the
grave was 11 a.m.

The descent of Gcongco was accomplished without accident, whereupon
McKenzie,[193] seeing Barker coming down the valley, and noticing that
his own force would strike the road before Barker could get up, did not
trouble about his rear-guard, beyond sending back a D.L.I. Maxim as
support, when the enemy was slightly engaged and Pte. Williams wounded.
The main body thereupon made straight for the grave. A large number of
cattle and goats were captured by London's levies near Tate gorge.

Barker, who had left Ntingwe at 3 a.m., proceeded through the neck
referred to and along a bridle path in single file. The enemy, as day
broke, was seen descending Macala heights, streaming on to high ground
on Barker's right flank. Recognizing the disadvantages the column must
be under if attacked, an effort was made as speedily as possible to
reach more open country. Shortly after the advanced guard and main body
had come on to open ground, the rear-guard, consisting of the N.D.M.R.,
was attacked from Macala. The guard, in command of Abraham, assisted
by a squadron sent back from the main body, succeeded in driving off
the enemy, who made no further attempt to follow. About six rebels were
killed. One of the officers, Lieut. H. Wilkins, N.D.M.R., was wounded
in the arm with an assegai whilst crossing a drift. Barker reached the
grave about 11.30 a.m.

Had intimation of the intended combined movement reached him earlier,
Leuchars might, in conjunction with Barker, have made an effective raid
through the Macala hills and got in touch with the other columns. As
it was, he crossed at Hot Springs at 10 a.m. and moved in a northerly
direction on to a high ridge running eastwards from Macala, where a
column near the grave (McKenzie's), and another near Komo (Mansel's),
were sighted. Owing to a mishap, Leuchars' signallers had not reached
him, so it was impossible to reply to the heliograph flashing from the
first-mentioned column. A few rebels were observed making along the
ridges towards Macala; these were chased in a dashing manner by the
Reserves. From 150 to 200 rebels were then observed congregated on a
knoll (Simakade) towards which the Reserves, who had become scattered,
were making; the U.M.R. were thereupon pushed forward at a hand gallop,
when the enemy fled to the bush at Macala, eight being killed and
others wounded.

One of those wounded by the Reserves was no other than the notorious
emissary from Dinuzulu, Cakijana, the man who, as alleged, had been
sent from Usutu to Mpanza to help Bambata start the Rebellion. Cakijana
had formed one of the party that emerged from Macala bush the same
morning and attacked Barker's rear-guard all the way from Umzilingwana
stream to that of Lugada, near the Tate gorge. Repulsed by Barker,
they made towards Nomtulwa hill with the view of joining those who had
remained behind with Mangati; but on getting to the hill they came upon
Leuchars' Reserves, who at once made for them, as above described. They
succeeded in joining Mangati, who, seeing the Reserves scattered and
unsupported, contemplated attack. The plan was, however, frustrated by
the main body of the U.M.R. moving smartly up, upon which Mangati and
his men disappeared over the slopes to the west. Cakijana, dressed in
khaki tunic and breeches, with leather gaiters and helmet, ran in the
direction of Masolosolo stream. He was quite tired out, having shortly
before given over his rifle to another, when he was fired at and struck
in the calf of the left leg--a flesh wound.

Mansel's column was late in coming up, owing to difficulties with the
transport. Neither McKenzie nor Barker had brought any transport.
Had Mansel deployed at Bobe, it would have considerably assisted the
enveloping movement, and prevented a number of the enemy from escaping
into the forests. By 4 p.m. all the columns had joined hands. They
bivouacked for the night near the grave, not far from the junction of
the Nkunzana and Insuze rivers.

The result of the day's operations was somewhat disappointing. The
enemy's losses, however, must have been heavier than the twelve
actually seen dead, especially in the engagement with Barker's

About 800 head of cattle and 1,500 goats were captured, besides the 150
cattle driven off by Leuchars' column. Many kraals belonging to the
insurgents were burnt, including a large number of temporary war-huts
near the grave. "A gale of wind," says McKenzie, "was blowing at the
time, and the grass on the fringe of Cetshwayo's grave caught alight,
but no damage was done to the trees of the plantation surrounding
the grave. It was an unavoidable incident. Most stringent orders,
which I am pleased to say were strictly carried out, were issued to
all columns to prevent the desecration in any way of the grave. The
matter was at once reported to Mr. Saunders, so that the true facts
could be conveyed to Dinuzulu."[194] The Commissioner advised Dinuzulu

McKenzie's column, with those of Barker and Mansel, formed a combined
camp a few hundred yards south of the grave and on the site of what
had, for a month, been the enemy's recognized headquarters. The
strength of the camp was about 1,700 (mostly mounted men), exclusive of
about 2,000 Natives (levies).

Leuchars' force moved back down a steep ridge that led towards the
Tugela at Ndundumeni, and immediately below Macala, where it bivouacked
(Zululand side). At 7.30 p.m., however, the column crossed and
bivouacked in Natal. Leuchars gave strict orders for all camp fires to
be left burning, whilst no lights were to be struck when on the march.
The crossing of an unknown drift on a pitch dark night was carried out
without mishap.

A force made up of N.P. (200), T.M.R. (3 squadrons) and R.H. (2
squadrons) was sent by McKenzie on the 18th to operate on the east side
of the grave near Bobe, there being reason for supposing a section
of the enemy was concealed in that neighbourhood. The information,
however, proved incorrect. The supposed enemy turned out to be women
and children who, owing to the difficulties of obtaining food in the
forest, were making for the kraals of relatives and others near the
Tugela who had not up to that time taken up arms.

Native women were a source of much inconvenience throughout the
campaign. They not only urged their menfolk to rebel and kept them
supplied with food as well as they could, but, taking advantage of the
protection afforded their sex, frequently conveyed intelligence to the
enemy as to the movements of the troops.

On the same day twenty-one rebels, members of Sigananda's and Tulwana's
tribes, surrendered at the magistracy.

With the intention of attacking the redoubtable Mome stronghold, the
whole force, excepting the men in charge of the camp, marched for the
purpose, on the 19th, but had hardly moved out when a spy, previously
sent out, brought intelligence to the effect that, whilst desirous of
surrendering, the rebels refrained from doing so through a sense of
fear. The spy, with a white flag, was thereupon directed to inform
the enemy that the O.C. Troops was prepared to meet their emissaries
half-way up an indicated hill should they really wish to surrender.
Upon the spy returning to the hill in question, McKenzie, accompanied
by three of his staff, proceeded to the proposed rendezvous. After
waiting there a considerable time, the spy, who had again been sent
back, returned with two indunas from Sigananda's heir Ndabaningi, who
said the people generally were desirous of surrendering. The men were
told that surrender was to be unconditional. They then asked for time
to find, and deliver McKenzie's message to, Ndabaningi. The receiving
of the surrender was fixed for 9 a.m. on the following morning. After
this, the troops returned to camp.

It was not until 11 a.m. on the 20th that the spy came back with
information that Ndabaningi was engaged gathering together the various
members of the tribe to discuss the situation. Extension of time until
sunset of the same day was then granted to enable the discussion to
take place, notwithstanding that the _bona fides_ of those negotiating
was already being regarded by McKenzie with suspicion. The same
evening, two indunas from Ndabaningi were escorted to the camp, only,
however, to apply for further time within which to make the necessary
arrangements. The request was once more acceded to, it being again
impressed on the emissaries that surrender was to be unconditional.
They were further advised that, whilst all operations would be
suspended as regards themselves, the Officer Commanding could not
permit the negotiations to stand in the way of contemplated operations
in other districts, or against Bambata, who, at that moment, was
alleged to be in occupation of Macala.

On Monday, 21st May, taking with him all the mounted troops,[195]
McKenzie made a reconnaissance to Macala, it having been reported
Bambata was there with 500 followers. Soon after starting, word was
brought by scouts to the effect that the enemy had vacated that
mountain and made off in the direction of Qudeni, some fifteen miles
further west, where there are many large and dense forests, similar,
in some respects, to those at Nkandhla. The reconnaissance was carried
out nevertheless; it proved long and unsuccessful. None of the enemy
were seen, though fresh traces of their occupation were come upon. A
few cattle and goats were captured, and kraals as well as war-huts
destroyed. The troops did not reach camp until late at night in
irregular, straggling order. The day had been a trying one. Owing to
the broken nature of the country, the men had been obliged to march
in single file. Although the sortie was unsuccessful from one point
of view, from that of acquiring accurate knowledge of the topography
of one of the enemy's principal rallying-points, it was valuable, and
proved of much service at a later date. The same remarks apply to the
Mome valley and surroundings, whose many features and peculiarities
could be and were carefully noted during such time as the combined
forces were camped near the grave.[196]

On the following day (22nd), six men arrived from Sigananda to signify
his wish to surrender, but as, being so old, it was more convenient for
him to do this at the magistracy, he asked permission to adopt that
course. McKenzie agreed, and thereupon decided to move to Nkandhla,
not, however, before dividing the troops into two columns so as to
better equalize them.[197]

The camping of so large a force at the grave for several days had the
effect of greatly diminishing the supplies on which the rebels were
depending. At most, if not all, of the kraals, pits were found, in
which, as customary with the people, large quantities of mealies and
corn were stored.[198] Much of the grain was taken to be consumed
either by the levies or the horses. The large herds of cattle,
moreover, which had just been captured soon destroyed such crops in the
neighbourhood as had not by that time been reaped.

Mansel remained at the grave with instructions to operate in that
locality, to continue to use up the enemy's supplies as much as
possible, and to see that he (the enemy) did not emerge at night from
the forest to draw on such supplies as might still be available. At
this particular juncture, the enemy's scouts were observable on all the
prominent heights. Reliable information, moreover, was received that
Bambata had gone to the Qudeni forests with some 300 to 400 followers.

McKenzie moved to Nomangci on the 23rd, part of the column marching viâ
Gcongco, and part viâ Sangofe and London's Kop. The steepness of the
ascent at Gcongco may be roughly estimated from the fact that, during
the climb, no less than four horses fell at different times; they
rolled down the incline, and were quite dead on reaching the bottom.
Fourteen other horses had also to be abandoned. McKenzie himself went
the same evening with a small escort to the magistracy, with the object
of accepting Sigananda's surrender there as agreed.

A troop of Royston's Horse, in command of Lieut. Percy Male, which had
been sent from the grave to Fort Yolland on the 22nd to escort an
ambulance waggon, returned on the 23rd, several hours after McKenzie's
column had left, and just as Mansel's was moving off in the direction
of Fort Yolland. After off-saddling close to the grave, the troop
proceeded on its journey to overtake McKenzie. "The party had not
gone more than a mile," says Male, "when about sixty Natives came out
of a small bush and attacked us in the rear without the slightest
provocation on our part. The time then was about 12.30 p.m. They did
not come any closer than 200 yards. I asked Capt. Sharpe to take our
seven spare horses on to Denga spur, about three miles from where we
were attacked and about a mile from the mouth of the Mome valley. I
remained behind with Sergt. Hepworth and three men to protect the rear.
We fought a small rear-guard action, which lasted until we got on to
the hill where the horses were waiting for us. When starting to go up
the hill, the enemy closed in on our rear, right and left flanks. There
were about 100 to 150 of them, but I could not see well. They kept up
a desultory fire from the cover of the bush on both sides of the ridge
I was going up. This firing continued until we had gained the top,
about 4.30 p.m. On reaching the top, the men and horses being very
'blown,' we found the Natives trying to cut us off from the column. I
posted two men on a kopje (one of them Tpr. T. Malone, subsequently
killed at Tate). These kept up a pretty hot fire until we had mounted
and advanced. After this, it was a case of galloping to get free. They
hung on to our rear for about three or four miles, _i.e._ until we had
sighted the rear-guard of the column (Z.M.R.)."

"A few shots," says McKenzie,[199] "were fired by the Z.M.R. at the
enemy when the top of the hill was reached. It has been, I understand,
suggested that the fact of the Z.M.R., having fired these few shots,
upset the enemy's idea of surrender, but this is manifestly incorrect,
having in view the fact that the troop of Royston's Horse was fired
at from almost the time when they passed the site of my old camp at
Cetshwayo's grave, which was some considerable time before the shots
were fired by the Z.M.R. Personally, I was satisfied that the incident
did not in any way affect the non-surrender.[200] At the time, large
bodies of rebels could be seen moving about on the hills singing what
was reported to be their war-songs. This view was confirmed later on
by Ndabaningi, who, when he eventually surrendered, was asked by me
why they had not surrendered on the first occasion. He stated the
tribe had agreed that they had not had enough fighting, and did not
consider themselves beaten ... they therefore resolved to continue the

Although McKenzie had withdrawn to Nomangci, there were no indications
of Sigananda surrendering. The negotiations, which had been going on
since the 19th, thereupon fell through.

       *       *       *       *       *

To enable the troops to grapple more satisfactorily with the situation
at Nkandhla, the Government decided, on the 10th May, to form an
irregular infantry corps, 800 strong, subsequently known as the "Natal
Rangers." On application being made to recruit half the battalion in
the Transvaal, with the assistance of the permanent Volunteer staff
of that Colony, the Transvaal Government, in acceding to the request,
generously offered four companies of volunteers with Maxim, Signalling
and Medical detachments under their own officers, fully armed and
equipped, provided that Natal took over the arms and equipment, and
paid and rationed the men. The offer was gratefully accepted. The
Right Half of the battalion was accordingly formed in Johannesburg,
and the Left in Durban. Lieut.-Col. J. Dick, D.L.I., was placed in
command.[201] The Right and Left Halves, having received orders to
proceed at once to Nkandhla, united at Nqutu on the 30th May, and
reached Nomangci on the 4th June.

On the 24th May, Major Murray-Smith arrived at Empandhleni (1.30 p.m.)
with his column, escorting a convoy of fifty-one waggons. This column,
which had left Dundee on the 19th and travelled viâ Vant's drift, Nqutu
and Nondweni, was made up as follows: N.M.R., 160; N.C., 100; N.R.R.,
100, and details. At Nqutu, it was ascertained that Mehlokazulu had
armed and joined Bambata. The intelligence was confirmed at Nondweni.
Murray-Smith was ordered to return with all speed with the empty
waggons to Dundee, and from thence, viâ Tugela Ferry, to join the
Umvoti Field Force at Greytown. Squadron A, N.C., under Capt. G.R.
Richards, was detached; it became bodyguard to the O.C. Troops.

Murray-Smith left Empandhleni on the 26th, travelling by the route
taken on the forward journey. On arrival at 8 p.m. on the 28th at Nqutu
magistracy, it was reported that Mehlokazulu intended to attack the
village and convoy the same night. It is difficult to understand how
such scare arose, for the Chief was known to have proceeded to Qudeni,
whilst a strong column under Mackay was by then at Isandhlwana, within
striking distance of his ward. The convoy reached Dundee on the 30th.

Leaving the N.R.R. at Dundee, and details at Helpmakaar, the N.M.R.,
instead of joining Leuchars viâ Tugela Ferry, proceeded by rail to
Greytown, reaching that place on the 2nd June, and the Umvoti Field
Force on the 3rd at Spitzkop.

To return to Nkandhla. When he received intelligence to the effect
that a number of rebels were in hiding in a small, though dense,
forest at Ensingabantu, near Qudeni, at which place there was a small
store, McKenzie planned a night march, on the 24th, with the object of
surrounding the forest before daylight the following morning. Guided by
Sergt. E. Titlestad, Z.M.R., the force[202] left at dusk. It proceeded
by a narrow footpath along the extraordinarily steep sides of the
Devil's Gorge, where a false step might easily have resulted in man
or animal being precipitated forthwith into the Insuze, 1,000 feet
below. A pack-horse, indeed, carrying ammunition did miss its footing,
when it instantly rolled headlong into the vast, yawning gulf below.
Merely to cross the drift at the bottom took three hours on that cold,
dark and memorable night. Ntingwe was reached at 2 a.m. "Although
a misty morning," says McKenzie, "the movement of surrounding the
position was most accurately carried out, and when day broke, and the
mist had lifted, the bush in which the rebels had been reported to be
located was completely surrounded by a cordon of troops. Unfortunately,
however, the enemy were not there, and although the bush and adjacent
country were thoroughly searched, none of them could be found, although
there was every trace of recent occupation of the ground."[203]

The same day, Inspector Dimmick, with 105 N.P., made a reconnaissance
in the direction of Komo and Fort Yolland.

Returning to Nomangci on the 27th by the waggon road viâ Calverley's
store, McKenzie, as a preliminary to attacking the rebels known to be
concealed in the Nkandhla forests, moved the following day a few miles
to the high and comparatively flat country at Dhlabe.

Although the campaign was being conducted without the direct assistance
of the Imperial Government, the mother-country did not permit the
proceedings to go on without taking a special interest therein.
Major-General T.E. Stephenson, C.B., Commanding the Transvaal District,
was deputed to witness some, at any rate, of the operations. He arrived
at Nomangci, with his staff officer and aide-de-camp, on the 27th,
when, as Colonel McKenzie's guest, several opportunities occurred,
during the three weeks he was in the district, of observing what took

Early on the 29th May, there being ground for supposing a body of
rebels lay concealed in the Tate valley, McKenzie took his force
out to drive such valley. Some idea has already been given of the
Nkandhla forests which, it was shown, are more or less connected and
distributed over extremely rough and precipitous country. Although
there are two forests in the Tate valley, they are generally regarded
as not covered by the name Nkandhla, even though barely two miles from
the nearest ones at the Mome. The gorge is even more remarkable in
some respects than the Mome; it is narrower, and its sides, especially
the eastern, are steeper; they are, moreover, studded with enormous
boulders, and where the forests do not extend, they are covered with
dense shrubs and undergrowth. The fastness does not continue beyond one
and a quarter miles from where the Tate stream enters the Insuze, but
throughout that distance, when artillery is wanting, can be defended
with the greatest ease. On the day in question, notwithstanding that
the natural difficulties appeared insurmountable, it was found that
stockades had been erected, whilst the caves, too, had been blocked and
loop-holed by the rebels in a surprisingly cunning and effective manner.

The Z.M.R., under Vanderplank, with Native levies, under London, moved
down the western side of the valley; the rest of the column, _i.e._
a portion of R.H., with the squadron N.C., lined and drove down the
eastern slopes to the stream at the bottom of the gorge. Two guns and
pompoms were placed on Gun Hill to cover transport and the D.L.I.,
who formed the rear-guard. Mansel had been directed to co-operate by
moving to block the mouth of the valley. These orders, however, were
misunderstood; for he went to the Mome two miles away and proceeded to
drive up that gorge for the rest of the day.

Colonel McKenzie, in order to conduct the operations better, took up a
position on a large rock overhanging the eastern side of the gorge. It
was from this place that he and Colonel Royston soon shot two rebels
who, appearing below, were about to throw their assegais at them.

After the troops had begun to descend, about 600 cattle were seen
being driven on the left slopes of the valley as if to escape. London,
Hopkins, Walsh and Sergt. Waugh, all of Royston's Horse, who were with
the levies, leaving the Z.M.R. on higher ground, pushed on to do work
at the bottom that had been intended for Mansel. Lieut. H.T. James
moved with eight Z.M.R. to a spot about three-quarters of the way down.

On London and the others getting to the river, a ringed Native, who
had hurled an assegai at one of the levies, was immediately shot. Some
fifty temporary war-huts were found in an open glade, also five rebels.
The huts were burnt, though later on. After the party had worked about
ten yards up the river with some sixty levies, eight rebels sprang
from behind a large boulder and ran off. It had evidently been their
intention to way-lay the invaders, but, realizing that discretion was
the better part of valour, made off up the stream, when three were
shot. On the boulder referred to being reached, a number of rebels
charged the party, shouting "Usutu! Usutu!" Just at that point the Tate
makes a peculiar bend, the right bank being precipitous. Round this
the enemy, about seventy, rushed forward, and threw their assegais.
These were badly aimed, no doubt owing to the demoralizing effect
caused by London's firing "loopers" from a shot-gun at a distance of
fifteen to twenty yards. The attack did not last more than a minute,
after which the rebels disappeared behind the bend. A few feeble
attempts at attack were next made by fifteen to twenty at a time. It
was noticed "Usutu! Usutu!" was shouted a few seconds before actually
charging, thereby giving the impression that the enemy wanted to stir
up courage, forgetting that shouting gave warning of their intention.
In the meantime, Lieuts. Shepstone and Richardson, also with levies,
were engaged in the rear. Rebels who had evaded the foremost party were
prevented by them from escaping towards the Insuze.

Intelligence was at this stage received of the presence of a large
_impi_ further up the ravine. London, feeling he was not strong enough,
sent to Vanderplank for reinforcements and awaited a reply. Word came
back at 2 p.m. to the effect that those engaged below were to withdraw
and return to camp. An unsuccessful appeal for help was also made to
nine or ten Z.M.R. who happened to be within reach. Efforts to make the
main body of R.H. hear were futile, owing to these men being too high
up, consequently the party had the mortification of having to withdraw
with the enemy in its immediate front.

Tpr. T. Malone, R.H., was shot about 2 p.m. through the neck by a rebel
who was below him. The rebel was killed and the Martini-Henry rifle he
had was recovered.

During the day, over forty of the enemy were killed, and over 400
cattle, besides many goats, seized. Had Mansel's column combined
in the operations, they must have proved much more successful. The
moral effect of these operations was, nevertheless, very great, for,
as subsequently remarked by the enemy, they realized they had no
stronghold or retreat that could be regarded as secure when attacked by
McKenzie's men.

The troops camped that night close to and east of London's Kop. During
the evening, news was brought that the waggon of a Mr. Davis, who
had been authorized to keep a dry canteen, had been looted by rebels
in the main Nkandhla forest. It seems the vehicle had been unable to
keep up with the transport belonging to the column. It followed as
best it could, but being late, and the column out of sight, the owner
decided to leave it to its fate. The waggon, in charge of its Native
driver, continued along the road through a portion of the forest. It
was captured shortly after and driven into the forest, the driver and
voorlooper being taken prisoners. The Z.M.R. investigated the matter on
the following morning. Responsibility for the loss fell wholly on the
owner, who had been duly warned of the risks he was running.

Early on the 30th, accompanied by the guns and pompoms, McKenzie made
a further reconnaissance of the Mome valley from the heights on the
immediate west. At noon, the whole of the Tate valley was thoroughly
driven. R.H. and D.L.I. (under Lieut.-Col. Royston) took part in the
drive, the former being, of course, dismounted. The N.C. proceeded to
the west side of the gorge to prevent rebels escaping in that direction
towards Macala. The Native levies (under London) also took part. They
drove up the valley from its mouth as far as the other troops, which
had entered higher up and worked down the stream. Twenty-one rebels
were killed; the operations, which were of a very arduous nature, much
of the climbing having to be done up and down exceedingly steep and
rocky places, lasted the whole day. Notwithstanding the difficulties,
as great as any that could have been encountered in the Mome valley,
every man performed the work required of him in an eminently
satisfactory manner.

The bodies of eighteen of those killed the day before were found in one
cave, and twelve in another, dragged thither by their relatives. Two
instruments of strange workmanship and evidently regarded as 'firearms'
were also found. They were made of wood and cartridge cases, the latter
telescoped slightly into one another, with bands of metal ingeniously
bound round where the joins occurred. One of these curios--they were
nothing more--had two barrels, the other one.

       *       *       *       *       *

By this time, the Government, having realized the necessity of
appointing an officer in supreme command of all the forces in Zululand
and Natal, with the object of ensuring effective combination over the
large areas occupied and traversed by the enemy, decided to appoint
McKenzie to the position. The appointment took effect on the 30th May.
Nor was it too soon that the step was taken. Although Leuchars had done
his best to co-operate, notably on the day of the general converging
movement on the grave (17th), his efforts, through his not having
received earlier notice, were not as effective as they might have been.
There were instances of lack of combination in other directions. As
regards Mackay, the Commandant of Militia had intended he should remain
at Helpmakaar, to keep in check the large tribes of that part known
to be disaffected. Owing to misunderstanding, however, arising out of
communicating through the telephone over a long distance, Mackay had
moved to operate down the left bank of the Buffalo in Zululand,[204]
that being the side on which, from his recent experience, he considered
his efforts would prove most useful--not so much to engage the enemy,
as to force him to concentrate at Nkandhla. Whether this view was
right or not, the fact of Mackay's leaving the position assigned him,
revealed weakness in the arrangements, which, it was considered, would
be best remedied by investing an officer in the field with power to
immediately control the actions of every column.

Having already begun to deal with the problem at Nkandhla, McKenzie
decided to remain where he was and personally direct the operations at
that place. Leuchars, who had hitherto so ably conducted them in Natal,
was accordingly requested to continue as he had been doing, until
McKenzie, having accomplished what was necessary at Nkandhla, was free
to undertake immediate supervision elsewhere.


[Footnote 189: This mountain, which has a forest on its western,
steep and rocky face, was soon to become one of the rebels' principal

[Footnote 190: Foully murdered later, as will be seen, because of his

[Footnote 191: His force included a levy of about 450 loyal Natives,
called out by the C.N.A.]

[Footnote 192: This particular spur is famous in Zulu history as being
that down which Tshaka led his army about 1823, when pursued by his
most formidable rival Zwide. In going down Gcongco, however, Tshaka was
merely _pretending_ to flee, and, the spur being abnormally steep, made
it appear all the more probable that his retirement was genuine flight,
instead of a stroke of genius by a master in tactics. After continuing
to fly for some distance, he suddenly rounded on his pursuers, and,
taking them at a great disadvantage, practically annihilated them.]

[Footnote 193: His force on this occasion was: Five squadrons, R.H.
(Lieut.-Col. J.R. Royston); 60 D.L.I. (Major G.J. Molyneux), and some
600 Natives (Lieut. W.H. London). Each man carried three days' rations.
The artillery was sent to Empandhleni with regimental transport,
escorted by D.L.I. Mr. B. Colenbrander, the local Magistrate, with an
excellent knowledge of the affairs of his district, also accompanied
the column.]

[Footnote 194: Report. Colonel D. McKenzie. September, 1906. The state
of the grave in 1906 is described on p. 210.]

[Footnote 195: 200 N.D.M.R., 100 Z.M.R., 128 N.P., 540 T.M.R., 300
R.H., 30 M.I., D.L.I. = 1,298, also 100 Nongqai and 1,500 Natives

[Footnote 196: On the occasion of the reconnaissance to Macala, the
O.C. Troops, noticing a small kopje at the mouth of Mome gorge, on
which guns could be placed to shell the gorge, caused a sketch to be
prepared and subsequently handed to Barker.]

[Footnote 197: The columns as re-formed were as follows: _Under
McKenzie's direct command_--Northern District Mounted Rifles, Zululand
Mounted Rifles, Royston's Horse, Natal Field Artillery (two 15-pounders
and two pompoms), Durban Light Infantry (two companies). _Under
Mansel's command_--Natal Naval Corps, Transvaal Mounted Rifles, Natal
Police (Field Force), Natal Field Artillery (two 15-pounders), Nongqai
(Zululand Native Police).]

[Footnote 198: Particularly was this the case at Ezigqileni, the
principal kraal of the care-taker of Cetshwayo's grave. This small
kraal (close to the Nkunzana river), a few hundred yards from the
grave, contained no fewer than nineteen large grain pits, that is,
about five times as many as the average for a kraal of that size.]

[Footnote 199: Report. September, 1906.]

[Footnote 200: It will presently be seen that Sigananda did not come
in, at any rate, not on the day he had said he would do so.]

[Footnote 201: Among the other officers were: Major A.B. Boyd-Wilson,
second in command; Lieut.-Col. J.J. Furze, T.L.I. (temporarily assuming
the rank of Major), commanding Right Half; and Captain O. Schuller,
T.L.I., Adjutant.]

[Footnote 202: Consisting of 100 N.C. (this squadron--under Capt. G.R.
Richards--is the one that arrived with Murray-Smith on the 24th), 100
Z.M.R., 300 R.H., 120 N.D.M.R., 20 T.M.R., 25 M.I., D.L.I., and 300

[Footnote 203: Report. September, 1906.]

[Footnote 204: His column then consisted of the whole of N.C., Right
and Left Wings (excepting D squadron); a section, N.F.A.; and the
Estcourt, Ladysmith, Dundee, and Newcastle Reserves.

Mackay, of course, knew that Helpmakaar was an important strategical
post, but, with the recent removal of Kula, the still more recent
smashing up of Mtele's and Nondubela's factions by Murray-Smith,
and his own operations round about Mahlaba (see p. 267), he decided
to recommend his moving to Nqutu district in order to drive on to
McKenzie the local and other rebels known to be there. Believing the
recommendation had been approved by the Commandant, which, however, was
certainly not the case, he took with him the troops referred to. This
meant that Helpmakaar became practically evacuated, for the N.M.R.,
until recently posted at Helpmakaar, got orders from the Commandant on
the 25th, when at Nkandhla, to join the U.F.F. at Greytown as speedily
as possible. Had Mackay known that his action involved the almost total
evacuation of Helpmakaar, he probably would not have taken with him as
many troops as he did.]



Before proceeding to describe McKenzie's further operations at
Nkandhla, it is necessary to turn to the Natal side of the Tugela, and
see what account was being given of itself by the Umvoti Field Force.
Except for his co-operating with McKenzie, Barker, and Mansel on the
17th May, in the converging movement on Cetshwayo's grave, the last we
saw of Leuchars was when his force, having failed to get in touch with
Bambata at Mpanza, withdrew to Greytown on April the 11th.

Although Bambata had escaped, there was still work to be done in the
ex-Chief's ward. A composite squadron (100), under Major S. Carter,
accordingly proceeded thither on Thursday the 12th to destroy rebels'
kraals and capture stock, as well as escort members of the Natal
Telegraph Corps on their way to repair the line recently cut in a
couple of places. This force remained in the thorns until Saturday
night, when all the stock that had been captured was brought back,
including four prisoners. The troops had been accompanied by Funizwe,
Bambata's own younger brother. This man pointed out the kraals of
rebels and generally assisted the troops in other ways.

A squadron (62) under Capt. W.J. Gallwey, was sent on Sunday the 15th
to Krantzkop (Hopetown), where there was much unrest. The Reserves
of that part had, in consequence, mobilized and gone with the other
European residents into lager.[205] Those of the ordinary Native
Police employed at the magistracy, who were members of more or less
disaffected tribes in the immediate vicinity, and therefore suspected
of being disloyal, were replaced by others from Estcourt division.

By this time, Magwababa, who, it will be recollected, had been carried
off some distance by Bambata, had returned from Pietermaritzburg. He,
Funizwe and others were interviewed by Leuchars at Greytown in regard
to the future management of the tribe. A few loyalists, whose kraals
had been burnt and their stock seized by mistake, were told that
compensation, assessed by a Board, would be paid by the Government.

Between the 13th and 19th, the country round about Greytown was
thoroughly patrolled. On the latter day, a sale of loot stock, captured
in Bambata's ward, was held, realizing nearly £2,000.

Capt. J. Stuart, N.F.A., was, on the 21st, sent with Funizwe and four
other Natives to Empandhleni. These Natives were required by the
Commissioner in Zululand for identifying rebels of Bambata's tribe
whenever necessary. The party, travelling by Ngubevu drift and Qudeni,
reached their destination on the 23rd.

Much disquieting information was received about this time at Krantzkop,
chiefly from members of tribes adjacent to Nkandhla district. One of
the Chiefs, Hlangabeza, assembled his tribe although his application to
do so had been refused by the Magistrate. The Intelligence Officer at
this important post was Capt. M. Landsberg, U.M.R., whose information
from the date of his assumption of duty to the conclusion of the
Rebellion was remarkably full and accurate.

Leuchars visited Krantzkop on the 22nd, finding the defences highly

A company of the Natal Royal Rifles was dispatched on the 26th April to
Krantzkop to take up the garrison duties being performed by the U.M.R.
squadron. Capt. J. Fraser and forty men, N.R.R., came to Greytown to
replace those sent to Krantzkop. At this time, it was ascertained that
many loyalists were crossing from Zululand into Natal.[206] The Chiefs
were accordingly warned to report all refugees and cattle entering
their wards.

Lieut. J.H.C. Nuss, with thirty men, was directed by Leuchars to
proceed to Keate's Drift, Mooi River, to relieve the N.P. stationed
there; the latter travelled by rail to Gingindhlovu and joined Mansel's
column at Fort Yolland on the 2nd May, three days before the action at

The attitude of the Chiefs Gayede and Hlangabeza continued for some
time to cause much apprehension, especially owing to their being so
close to the disaffected areas in Zululand, and from the fact that many
inter-marriages were known to have taken place between their tribes
and those in the Nkandhla district. As a result of this intimacy, many
refugees fled into their wards. On one occasion, Mbuzana, of Mpumela's
tribe, crossed into Gayede's ward for protection with the inmates of
twenty-eight kraals. Strict orders were given that invasion of their
wards by rebels was to be resisted by force. It was discovered that
they were not properly guarding the drifts, and, in fact, acting as
spies on behalf of the enemy. To so great an extent did they sympathize
with the rebels that, had our arms suffered a reverse, they would
probably have rebelled. As it was, a portion of Tshutshutshu's tribe
was reported to be arming and eleven kraals of Gayede's tribe as
having joined Sigananda,[207] whilst small batches of Ngobizembe's (in
Mapumulo division) proceeded to Nkandhla, some of them already doctored
for war.

News arrived on the 30th that rebels were busy removing grain from
their kraals to the forests at Nkandhla. A patrol of fifty men from the
U.F.F. visited Middle Drift.

On the 1st May, the U.F.F. marched to a position near the Inadi, where
it was joined by the squadron that had been posted at Krantzkop, as
well as by about eighty of the First Umvoti Reserves, under Chief
Leader J.A. Nel.[208]

A patrol by a squadron was made through Sibindi's ward, the tribe much
appreciating the action. Owing to this Chief's activity on behalf of
the Government, he had become intensely disliked by the many who were
in sympathy with the rebels, with the result that his people were in
danger of attack at any moment by Gayede's tribe, or other neighbouring

A squadron U.M.R., under Capt. E. Simkins, with forty Reserves from
Krantzkop, proceeded on the 5th to Watton's store, in consequence
of information to the effect that an _impi_ had been seen in
that locality, and that the store had been looted and burnt; the
intelligence was subsequently found to be correct. The party crossed
into Nkandhla district, destroyed several kraals there and seized about
sixty cattle.

These cattle were subsequently claimed by loyalists of Mpumela's tribe,
who had taken refuge in Natal. The stock had been driven by them to
graze across the river in Zululand, _i.e._ in the district from which
they had recently fled. After inquiry of the Commissioner in Zululand,
the stock was restored to the claimants.

At this time, many women and children belonging to Bambata's tribe
were wandering about without sufficient food, and hiding in bushes in
the wards of Bambata, Sibindi and Silwana. Sibindi asked permission
to collect those in his ward and take them to Greytown. On permission
being granted, all who came in were fed and well looked after. A
suggestion by Leuchars that a concentration camp should be erected
for them at Pietermaritzburg was not acted upon. All the women had,
therefore, to be placed temporarily in charge of their relations,
_i.e._ members of adjoining tribes that had hitherto remained loyal.

Requiring in the field a larger force of mounted men than was already
at his disposal, Leuchars, on the authority of the Commandant, caused
the First Greytown Reserves to be re-mobilized and to proceed to
Greytown to relieve the Umvoti District Reserves, who thereupon joined
him at the farm "Solitude," some six miles from Krantzkop magistracy
and nearer the Tugela.

Persistent rumours were afloat to the effect that Gayede and
Hlangabeza's tribes would join the rebels should the latter invade
Natal. It was also reported on reliable authority that large numbers of
Kula's tribe were in arms under that Chief's uncle Mtele in the Umsinga
division. It further transpired that Gobeyana, a son of Gayede, had
actually asked his father's permission to arm the tribe and aid the
enemy, after Bambata, flying from Mpanza, had gone through his ward.
Permission was, however, refused.

On the other hand, an offer of help was received from Chief Ngqambuzana
of Weenen division in the event of its being required by the Government.

In consequence of the Zululand Field Force being sent to
Nkandhla--arriving there, as has been seen, on the 8th May--it now
became necessary for Leuchars to co-operate as much as possible
in connection therewith, without, however, actually crossing into
Zululand, except for a few hours at a time. This policy, which was
quite in harmony with the Commandant's general plan of campaign and,
indeed, formed an essential part thereof, was adhered to so long as
Nkandhla continued to be the principal rallying-ground of the rebels.
The U.F.F. accordingly confined its attentions primarily to the rugged
regions immediately south of the Tugela and lying between Middle Drift
and Ngubevu. Thus, whilst keeping such powerful Chiefs as Silwana,
Hlangabeza and Gayede in check, by constantly demonstrating in or
near their tribes, the column was, at the same time, in the position
of being able to assist materially in Zululand in any extensive,
quickly-executed operations the O.C. at Nkandhla might wish to

Moving to "Solitude" on the 10th, Leuchars, on the 11th, having heard
that the rebels were in strength at Macala, marched at 2 a.m. with
150 U.M.R. and 60 Umvoti Reserves for Watton's Drift. He reached it
at sunrise and, crossing at once, occupied ridges facing the drift.
None of the enemy were to be seen. He then proceeded for about eight
miles down the river, clearing a belt of country on the left bank to
a width of five or six miles. Returning to a spot opposite the drift,
the column, after a halt, moved up the Manyane valley to a point
immediately below and about 1,500 yards from the Macala bush. Numbers
of the enemy could be seen scouting on the hill-tops, but they would
not allow the troops to come within range. The Tugela drift was reached
at 5, and the camp at "Solitude" at 8 p.m. The eighteen hours' march,
with but two halts, through exceedingly rough country, was well borne
by man and beast.

Owing to difficulties as regards water, the U.F.F. was obliged to move
to the farm "Spekfontein" and nearer to Krantzkop magistracy. Further
intelligence was there received from different sources betraying a
strong disposition on the part of Chiefs Kula in Umsinga, Gayede in
Krantzkop, and Meseni, Mtamo, Ndhlovu, Swaimana and Ngobizembe in
Mapumulo, divisions, to rebel as soon as others like Mehlokazulu had
actually begun to fight in Zululand. Swaimana personally was loyal,
though practically the whole of his tribe was the reverse. The various
tribes in Mapumulo division were, moreover, observed to be openly
carrying arms. Their demeanour was insolent. The people of Ngobizembe's
tribe were being doctored for war. The kraals of loyalists, too, near
Hot Springs[209] were being burnt by rebels. Chief Mpumela applied for
permission to come into Natal, as he was being harassed by the enemy.
This Leuchars refused to grant, instructing him to place himself under
the protection of the nearest column in Zululand.

Under the foregoing circumstances, Leuchars resolved to make a dash
into Zululand through Middle Drift. After moving to Krantzkop on the
14th, he marched to the drift, reaching it at 5 a.m.[210] Here the
N.R.R. were left, also a squadron of U.M.R.; the remainder of the force
moved to Hot Springs. The 15-pounders, with a troop U.M.R., were placed
on a position commanding the opposite country. The rest of the force
operated in Zululand in a north-easterly direction. Many kraals were
destroyed and 400 cattle captured, also goats. Small parties of the
enemy were seen and fired on, ten being killed; as a rule, however,
they were careful to keep on the hill-tops and beyond rifle range. "An
unfortunate accident," says Leuchars, "occurred during the operations,
which resulted in the wounding of a woman and a child. Two men were
observed running across a mealie-field and were fired upon at about
1,000 yards. They escaped, but the woman and child, who were hiding in
a mealie hut past which the men ran, were wounded. The medical officer
attended to them and they were placed in charge of an elderly male
prisoner who was released to take care of them."

The column returned to Hot Springs at 3 p.m. Here it was found the
goats would not face the water, so had to be left. While crossing the
remainder of the stock, a few shots were fired at those engaged in the
work. Sibindi's men were left in charge of the goats, whilst Leuchars
went on to Middle Drift. Presently, word came that the former had been
again sniped at. A troop was immediately sent back, when a couple of
rebels were observed crossing from an island to the Zululand side. One
of them was captured. The goats were got across with great difficulty
on the 16th.

It was at this stage that Leuchars received the invitation to
co-operate in the general converging movement on Cetshwayo's grave. His
operations on that occasion have already been described on pp. 242-244.

The troops re-crossed the river at 7 a.m. on the 18th, reached Hot
Springs camp at mid-day, and moved up to Krantzkop the following
morning. The N.F.A. horses performed the heavy work required of them
on this occasion without a hitch, although a section of the road up a
steep cutting was greatly out of repair.

The country between Middle and Watton's Drifts having been fairly well
cleared, Leuchars resolved to take his force viâ Inadi to Ngubevu, "so
as to be in a position to co-operate with any column which might work
towards the Mfongozi from the Zululand side." Nuss, at Keate's Drift,
relieved by twenty-five N.R.R., and the detachment of the 1st Umvoti
District Reserves, at Greytown, joined Leuchars at Ngubevu on the 21st.
The 2nd U.D.R. were sent back to Greytown for demobilization. Leuchars'
force now consisted of U.M.R.; 1st U.D.R.; and twenty Krantzkop

Intelligence was received to the effect that a rebel _impi_ under Mtele
was camped where the Mazabeko stream joins the Buffalo, whilst Kula's
brother Manuka, induna over that portion of the tribe which occupied
the Mngeni valley, was in league with Mtele.[211]

Leuchars pitched his camp beside the Mfongozi road drift. A strong bush
fence was erected round the camp. Here a message was received from
Sibindi to say he was mobilizing and would join the U.F.F. forthwith.
He was, however, directed to stand fast for the night. He came over
on the 22nd, to say that if the column was crossing into Zululand, he
would like to accompany it with his levy. Leuchars replied that he
had no intention of doing this and instructed him to cross into the
Umsinga portion of his ward, and, after taking up a suitable position
on his boundary, to watch the actions of Manuka's people whose ward was
conterminous with his own. "This action of Sibindi in mobilizing his
_impi_," says Leuchars, "was entirely voluntary, as I had not sent word
to him of my intention to pass through his location."

A troop went into Zululand on the 23rd to reconnoitre. On the 24th,
it was reported that Gunderson's store on the Qudeni had been looted,
and that an _impi_ of about 150 was in Hlatikulu forest (Qudeni).
Further intelligence went to show that Manuka's section of Kula's tribe
had risen and joined the rebels under Mtele and Mehlokazulu. It also
appeared that the Kombe forest and Qudeni mountain generally were now
the principal resorts of the enemy.

Being of the view that co-operation between the different columns was
essential to success, Leuchars wired in this sense to the Commandant
of Militia as well as to McKenzie and Mackay. The latter, on this
day, was engaged operating in difficult country about Mahlaba, barely
seven miles, as it happened, from Mpukunyoni hill (in Zululand),
soon to become the scene of a notable action by Leuchars. Leuchars
rode to Tugela Ferry, on the Pomeroy-Greytown road, on the 25th, to
confer by telephone with the Commandant. At 9 p.m. he received a
wire from McKenzie saying a column was being sent to the bush close
to Ensingabantu store, and that it was timed to arrive there at dawn
(26th). A messenger was thereupon sent by Leuchars to Major W.J.S.
Newmarch, instructing him to proceed with three squadrons to the neck
overlooking Mfongozi valley and there keep a sharp look-out for rebels
who might fly from McKenzie. Leuchars joined Newmarch at 2.30 p.m.
Small parties of the enemy were seen about Hlatikulu, but out of reach.
Nothing was seen or heard of McKenzie's column. On Leuchars' retiring,
a hundred or so of the enemy came out of Hlatikulu to watch his
departure; owing, however, to the lateness of the hour and to difficult
intervening country, no attempt was made to engage or trap them.


Mackay left Empandhleni for Helpmakaar viâ Nondweni and Nqutu on the
11th May, returning by the same route he had taken on the forward
journey. Nothing of importance occurred on the march. Nondweni was
reached on the 13th.[212]

When at Empandhleni, he had received unsatisfactory accounts of
Mehlokazulu's behaviour towards the Magistrate. Notwithstanding two
or three orders to appear at the magistracy (Nqutu) he had failed to
do so on the plea of ill-health. On reaching Nqutu, Mackay sent his
Intelligence Officer, Capt. J. Stuart, accompanied by Sergt. Roberts,
N.P., early on the 16th, to Mehlokazulu's kraal to instruct that
Chief to meet him the same afternoon at Rorke's Drift. Stuart visited
three kraals, but could not find Mehlokazulu; the latter purposely
avoided a meeting. He vacated his third and furthest kraal Pumulefile
(_with death comes rest_) at dawn, no doubt because suspicious of
being in some way deceived. This kraal was at the foot of a precipice
and reached only with difficulty by horsemen. Every effort was made
to find him, but, in the absence of his induna, his mother and
wives either did not know or would reveal nothing. In consequence
of this well-intentioned mission--carried out in the belief that a
man, for years notorious as one of the actual starters of the Zulu
War of 1879, would probably wish not to be associated a second time
with such nefarious practices--Mehlokazulu, realizing he had lost
an opportunity of coming to the troops and explaining his conduct,
forthwith quitted his kraal and ward and entered upon a mad career
of open rebellion. He collected as many malcontents as he could from
his own tribe--luckily, however, the majority of the tribe remained
loyal to the Government--and combined with those on the opposite
side of the Buffalo in Natal under Nondubela (Mavukutu) and Mtele,
who had just clashed with the N.M.R. at Elands Kraal (12th May).[213]
The amalgamated force, constantly threatened by Mackay's strong and
active column, decided to move towards the storm-centre at Nkandhla,
picking up recruits in Faku's and other Chiefs' wards on the way
down. The largest number of accessions was obtained from the ancient
Ntombela tribe under Faku (the last of Sir Garnet Wolseley's famous
"thirteen kinglets"), whilst a few came from Matshana ka Mondise's and
other tribes. The tribes of Mpiyake, Matshana ka Sitshakuza, Gadaleni,
Nonga-mulana (a near relation of Bambata) and the Basutos, under
Mayime, remained entirely loyal throughout the Rebellion.

The posting of a column near Helpmakaar, where Mackay arrived on the
14th May,[214] was a wise and far-sighted step on the part of the
Commandant, for it had the effect of holding both Kula in Natal and
Mehlokazulu in check. As it happened, the rebels fled before Mackay's
column wherever it went, no doubt because of its being extra strong
and because it traversed ground that did not afford much cover, though
often difficult to operate in, especially near and on both sides of the

At 6 a.m. on the 23rd, all available men were promptly sent to defend
Helpmakaar on receipt of a report that Mehlokazulu's _impi_, said to
have just entered Natal, was about to attack the village. The news,
however, turned out to be false.

Mackay operated on the 24th and 25th May in the exceedingly rough
country about Mahlaba and Mahlabana (in Natal), barely seven miles as
the crow flies from Mpukunyoni. This, together with his further moves
in the direction of Rorke's Drift on the 26th, and Isandhlwana on the
27th, undoubtedly had the effect of driving the rebels from those parts
of Natal and Zululand, further into Zululand, and, as it happened,
right on to Leuchars, who, as will presently be seen, stepped across
at Ngubevu to Mpukunyoni on the 27th and almost immediately came into
conflict with a large force of the enemy.

As already explained, it was owing to a misunderstanding that Mackay,
on the morning of the 26th, left his camp near Helpmakaar for Zululand.

At 9 p.m. (26th), Leuchars got a wire from Mackay, saying he was
marching with a force 600 strong from Rorke's Drift on the 27th to
operate about ten miles down the Buffalo river on the Zululand side.
He at once decided to move into Zululand with a force and gain touch
with Mackay, though he did not inform Mackay he was doing so.[215]
Orders were sent to Sibindi (then in Umsinga division) to march his
_impi_ across the Buffalo to meet Leuchars in the vicinity of Ngqulu
and Mpukunyoni hills, six miles west of Qudeni mountain. Owing to the
country on both sides of the Buffalo being exceedingly broken, orders
were given that only a top-coat or blanket, 3 lbs. of grain, and one
day's rations were to be carried. The actual duration of the incursion
was to be governed by circumstances, it being felt that, in case of
necessity, the troops could easily live on the country for a week.

Getting away at 5.30 a.m. (27th), the force, consisting of 180 U.M.R.
and 60 U.D.R., with the Krantzkop Reserves, after much severe climbing
over rocky thorn country, reached the ledge about half-way up on the
western face of Qudeni mountain.

On the way up, Colonel Leuchars' horse, which had got above him, fell.
It knocked him down and rolled over him. But for a thorn bush, it
must have gone to the bottom of the mountain. Leuchars, who was badly
bruised and shaken, had great difficulty in getting along, either
walking or riding. Although he must have been in great pain, he did not
delay the column.

A number of recently vacated huts belonging to disloyal members of
Mbuzo's tribe were destroyed, as also supplies of grain found there.
Many rebels could be seen on the mountain top, but as it was important
to keep the appointment with Sibindi, the column was not delayed on
their account.

As far as could be seen, there were no cattle in Mbuzo's ward, which
lay to the right along the Tugela. All had apparently been removed
to the top of the mountain. In Matshana ka Mondise's ward, however,
there were large numbers, but they were for the most part the property
of Matshana himself. They were not interfered with, as all the
intelligence went to show that that Chief and the majority of his
people were loyal, although five of his sons had rebelled. A number of
kraals in the ward, belonging to rebels, were destroyed.

Matshana's kraal on the Qudeni was reached at 11.30 a.m., when an
interview took place between Leuchars and the Chief. The latter was
delighted to see a European force, as he was afraid lest the rebels,
led by his sons--who wished him out of the way--should attack him. He
was, therefore, sorry to learn the column would be in that part only
a day or so, leaving him to protect himself as best he could in the
absence of his loyal young men. These, in response to the Government's
call, had gone off to assist at Nkandhla.

Guides were now furnished by the Chief, when the force moved to
Mpukunyoni hill, reaching there at 12.30 p.m. After off-saddling for
an hour at another of Matshana's kraals, the troops divided into
three sections and proceeded to different positions on the long ridge
opposite to, and immediately north of, Mpukunyoni. One of these bodies
surprised a party of ten armed rebels driving cattle towards Faku's
ward, nearly the whole of whose people were already in open rebellion.
A troop, under Lieut. H.E.G. Fannin, was dismounted and sent to a
small, wooded valley into which these rebels had fled. The valley was
driven, with the result that eight Natives were killed and the cattle

The other portions of the force had, in the meantime, gone off to the
north-east into Faku's ward, where they burnt a number of kraals.

At 4.30 p.m. Sibindi joined Leuchars with about 1,100 men.

It now became necessary to select a site on which to bivouack for the
night. The only water available was a little stream called Burobo,
which flows from east to west, and about a mile from Mpukunyoni.
Between the stream and Mpukunyoni the country is intersected by
_dongas_ which run from the base of the hill to open on to different
parts of the stream. With the object of being near water, Leuchars
selected an old mealie garden between two of the _dongas_ referred to,
and only 200 yards from the stream. This spot was by no means a good
one for defensive purposes, being in the midst of broken and somewhat
bush-covered country, with high tambookie grass, and commanded by high
ground in several directions, especially on the immediate north. In
other respects the ground was favourable for a Zulu army to operate
in. The 'chest' could form up and advance unseen up a _donga_ in one
direction, whilst somewhat similar advantages were available for each
of the 'horns.' From a soldier's point of view, therefore, the site
was somewhat questionable. There was, indeed, safer ground higher up
nearer the hill, but Leuchars was a diplomat as well as a soldier, and,
with a lengthy experience in Natal, he thoroughly understood the Native
character. He knew that manœuvring in itself would have little or no
effect on the rebels. As at Nkandhla, a collision was essential, but to
bring it about, it was necessary to give the enemy a fancied advantage.

The bivouac took the form of a square, each side of which was 120
yards long. Two squadrons U.M.R. (Headquarters and City) occupied the
eastern face; one squadron U.M.R. (Noodsberg) and one squadron U.D.R.
the southern; and Sibindi the other two faces. Sibindi's men were
particularly adapted for night work, having magnificent eyesight, and a
keen sense of hearing.

The squadron which had been operating on the north-east, returned at
6 p.m. to report having observed an _impi_, about the same size as
Sibindi's, moving towards Mpukunyoni from high hills on the north-east.
This force, Leuchars concluded, was moving away from Mackay. It was,
however, too late then to operate against it.

Soon after the men had settled down for the night, a man arrived from
Matshana ka Mondise to warn Leuchars to be particularly careful as the
enemy was near by, and to point out that, in his opinion, the column
had bivouacked in a dangerous locality.

Every precaution was taken to safeguard the square against surprise.
Sentries and pickets were directed to be extra vigilant. During the
night, which was a bitterly cold one, two false alarms occurred, one at
10.30 p.m., the other about 2 a.m., both caused by young sentries of
Sibindi's levy. The alacrity with which every man sprang to his place,
without the least confusion, was highly satisfactory.

At 4.30 a.m. all stood to arms. Half an hour later, a troop under
Lieut. J.H.C. Nuss was sent out, with orders to reconnoitre in the
direction in which the _impi_ had been seen the previous evening. If it
was not in sight, he was to go to a suitable hill and try and get into
communication with Mackay by heliograph.

About 6 a.m., however, Nuss and his troop, after firing a couple
of shots by way of alarm, rode back to report that the enemy was
approaching in force and was close at hand. As he spoke, the latter
could be heard shouting their war-cry "Usutu" as they advanced. In
a few moments, a dark mass could be observed in the half-light of
early dawn,[216] streaming rapidly over a small neck some 700 yards
north-east of the square. They moved at once into the bed of the stream
where, it so happened, the cattle seized by Leuchars on the preceding
day had been left for the night. A smaller force (left 'horn') could,
about the same time, be seen sweeping along the foot of Mpukunyoni in
rear of the bivouac, as if to attack from the _donga_ on the west.
Another force, evidently the right 'horn,' detaching itself from the
'chest,' came down the stream to engage the north side of the square.

The attack opened at 6.15 a.m. on the eastern face, by the enemy
causing the cattle, which they had driven ahead of them, to rush wildly
at the square on emerging from the _donga_ referred to. The order was
thereupon given to fire, when, at the first volley, fifteen of the
cattle fell within 15 or 20 yards of the troops. Two or three of those
rebels who were advancing under cover of the cattle were also killed.
This had the effect of checking the enemy's rush for a time. The rebels
then proceeded to encircle the square, keeping well under the excellent
available cover. Repeated attempts were made to rush at the bivouac
through the open ground between it and the _dongas_, but, on each
occasion, the attack was overwhelmed by steady, well-directed fire.

The fight had by now assumed practically all the characteristics
peculiar to South African warfare. There were the Militia Reserves,
the majority of them Dutchmen, their horses already saddled, prepared,
in accordance with the practice of their forefathers, on being too
hardly pressed, to mount and retire to the next ridge and again contend
against overwhelming odds. There, too, were the Active Militia, most
of them the descendants of Scotchmen or Englishmen, who, true to the
custom of _their_ ancestors, had, with saddles planted on the ground,
taken shelter behind them, having come to stay and fight to the bitter

The enemy, again, delivered his attack in true Zulu style. The 'horns'
had deployed from the 'chest' to right and left in the ancient orthodox
manner with the idea of encircling, closing in on, and eventually
massacring, their opponents to a man. Sibindi and his men, too, were
there, though only at a later stage did they get a chance of exhibiting
the martial instincts of their tribe.

Whilst the various attacks were in progress, the leaders urging the men
to close in, it was observed that the enemy had approached to within 80
yards of Sibindi's men, causing the latter to become a little nervous.
It was accordingly considered necessary for all sides of the square to
be held by riflemen. To do this, some were withdrawn from other parts,
and the sides of the square reduced by about 20 yards. The movement,
which took place about 6.45 a.m., was carried out with the utmost
coolness, enabling the enemy to be opposed at every point with heavy,
effective fire.

During the whole of this time, there had been an incessant fire from
two or three men who were armed with modern weapons and concealed on
the long high ridge on the north. They were between 700 and 800 yards
from the square. This fire caused a considerable number of casualties,
including Tpr. H. Steele, U.D.R., killed; Tprs. S. Mackenzie and P.
Braithwaite, U.D.R., wounded; sub-Leader T.J. van Rooyen, Krantzkop
Reserves, wounded (three places); twenty-one men of Sibindi's levy,
wounded--three of them succumbing to their injuries within three hours.
There were also many narrow escapes, and casualties among the horses.
All but three of the casualties among the men were caused by Mauser

The whole of the cover on the ridge in question was carefully searched
by picked marksmen. Later on a man, reported to be Faku's induna, was
found dead there. The principal sniper, however, escaped, a man named

Up to 7.30 a.m., Sibindi's men had remained practically inactive. When
superseded by the riflemen, they had withdrawn into the square. They
did not, however, like quitting the cover afforded by the grass. They
then quietly abided the issue, sustaining the many casualties referred
to whilst conforming to methods of warfare which must have appeared to
them strange. When, however, the enemy's attacks became less vigorous,
they realized that their turn to pursue must shortly arrive. The order
came. In about five minutes, Sibindi got his men to charge. This they
did strictly in accordance with the custom of their forefathers,
shouting their tribal war-cry "Undi! Undi" as they bounded forth to
deal destruction to their flying foes.

Many rebels escaped viâ the waterfall and down the great valley on the
west of the square. Others were pursued up the ridge, and in numerous
other directions. The levy alone succeeded in killing thirteen at the

A squadron was sent in pursuit of those that had attacked from the
_donga_ on the west and then retreated round Mpukunyoni. Troops were,
moreover, sent in pursuit to the north-east. One of these discovered
the enemy's blankets, etc., at a kraal about one and a half miles off.
The things has been left there just prior to attacking.

The dead were counted in th scrub and _dongas_ immediately round the
lager, fifty-seven bodies being found, exclusive of those killed by
Sibindi's men. The aggregate was probably not less than a hundred.
Among the slain was Babazeleni, Faku's chief induna and principal
commander of the _impi_.

The losses sustained by the Reserves were attributed by Leuchars to
their having saddled up when the alarm was given, and stood on their
line with the bridles over their arms. The saddled horses naturally
afforded a good target for the snipers.

The wounded were attended to by Dr. C.H. Crass, N.M.C., who, with three
members of the Signalling Corps as assistants, performed his duties
during the action and afterwards in an eminently satisfactory manner.

The attacking rebels proved to be only about 800 strong. They were
composed of Faku's and Mtele's tribes, with some from Makafula and
Mehlokazulu. A number of them were Christians. One of these, as was
proved from a pocket-book found on him, was a certificated preacher of
the Gordon Memorial Mission, Natal.

Owing to several of the wounded having to be carried on improvised
stretchers, to there being no sign of Mackay, and to the enemy having
been seen at Qudeni on the 27th, Leuchars resolved to return to
Ngubevu, though by a different route, namely viâ Ngqulu, the Buffalo
valley and Sibindi's location.

[Illustration: MPUKUNYONI

Dispositions are at moment _impi_ appeared on the neck near A

Scale: 4 inches = 1 mile. Contours Ver. Int. = 30 ft.


 A = _Position of the cattle_
 B = _Where first attack began_
 C = _Point of subsequent attack. Enemy advanced to C under cover of donga_
 D = _Point of another attack,--from the river bed_
 E _and_ F = _Enemy's snipers; most destructive was at E_
 G = _Waterfall; many escaped here_
 H = _Where enemy stopped before attacking. Clothing left at the two trees
      near by_
 J = _Leuchars' square_
 K = _Where Nuss was when he caught sight of_ impi
 crescent = _Enemy_   .__.__  _Lines of enemy's advance_]

The return journey began at 10.30 a.m., but proved most arduous
on account of the wounded having to be carried by relays of U.M.R.,
the Reserves, and Sibindi's levy. After the column had gone three or
four miles, gun fire could be heard, and shells were seen bursting on
Hlazakazi Mountain, about eight or nine miles to the north in a direct

A halt was called at the Buffalo at 3 p.m., after which the column
moved on to the Copper Syndicate Works on Umsinga Mountain, where
Steele was buried.

In consequence of having stabbed and killed a number of the enemy,
Sibindi's men, on the march back, carried their assegais, as customary
on such occasions, with the blades upwards. On getting to the Buffalo,
they bound certain green rushes round their heads, and otherwise
doctored and cleansed themselves.

The column moved further up the same mountain and, at 7 p.m.,
bivouacked for the night at the kraal of Sikota, one of Sibindi's

At 11 a.m. on the same day, Leuchars sent a message to Lieut. M.W.
Bennett, N.F.A., who was in charge of the camp at Ngubevu, directing
him to send bread for the troops, also medical comforts and stretchers
for the wounded. These reached the column about 3 a.m. on the 29th.

The march was resumed at 7 a.m. on the following morning, the camp at
Ngubevu being reached at 1 p.m.

The Krantzkop Reserves were now sent back to Krantzkop, with orders for
the Second and Third Krantzkop Reserves to demobilize.

       *       *       *       *       *

At the moment Leuchars was dealing the enemy a heavy blow at Mpukunyoni
(28th), Mackay was operating in difficult country about Malakata and
Hlazakazi mountains, some fifteen and eleven miles respectively from
Mpukunyoni in a direct line.

Lieut.-Col. J. Weighton, N.C., on Mackay's departure, was sent to take
command at Helpmakaar. He directed Mackay to return; the order was,
however, countermanded by Leuchars, who, as has already been observed,
was put in command of all the forces in Natal. Mackay was thereupon
instructed to continue to operate in Nqutu and western portions of
Nkandhla divisions as an independent column.

Between the 28th May and 10th June, Mackay operated between Isandhlwana
and Madhlozi mountain. On the 28th, a reconnaissance was made in the
direction of a well-watered valley of vast extent known as Mangeni,
in which some 2,000 head of cattle and many goats were discovered,
evidently placed there by Natives for safety. Mehlokazulu and two or
three followers were observed on the east side of the valley hurriedly
escaping towards Qudeni. It being too late to seize the stock, steps
were taken early the following morning to collect and bring it to camp.
On other days, special pains were taken in the wards of Makafula, Faku
and other Chiefs to ascertain promptly the kraals of rebels, especially
such as had joined the force that attacked Leuchars at Mpukunyoni.
The stock belonging to them was thereupon seized and, after returning
what was proved to belong to loyalists--done on the advice of a
specially-appointed Board--the balance was sent forward to Dundee to be
sold by public auction.

Whilst Mackay was encamped at Mangeni, information was received to the
effect that Mehlokazulu, Mtele and other rebel leaders, had, two weeks
prior to attacking Leuchars, assembled their men at a kraal overlooking
Mangeni and there had them formally doctored for war. As, however, the
kraal in question was within view of Helpmakaar, although hardly less
than twenty-five miles away, it was deemed unsafe for the ceremonies to
take place in its immediate vicinity, for fear lest the European troops
stationed there, then 800 strong, should, by means of field-glasses and
what not, see what was being done! A spot close by, but well out of
sight, was accordingly chosen, and there the ceremonies were performed
on orthodox lines, two head of cattle being killed for the _impi_.
There were two doctors. The principal one was Magadise, afterwards, as
has been seen, one of the snipers at Mpukunyoni. It was here, too, that
Mehlokazulu declared his policy to be to wait and see what the white
people intended doing. He would not, he said, go forward and assume the
offensive, but wait to be attacked, when a stubborn resistance would be
offered. After being doctored, the bulk of the forces were accordingly
told to return to their kraals and await further orders. This advice
was publicly approved by Babazeleni, the man of Faku's tribe who
commanded and was killed at Mpukunyoni. It was about this time, too,
that the small store, a mile from the kraal where the doctoring took
place, was burnt to the ground.

Among the Chiefs who attended the above gathering was Makafula. He
went because his ward had been chosen by Mehlokazulu as a convenient
rallying-point for the insurgents in that part of the country. He
was much afraid of the notorious Chief, who might have caused him to
be attacked and exterminated forthwith had he held back. Mackay, it
will be remembered, did not leave Empandhleni for Helpmakaar, viâ
Nondweni, till the 11th May, which was just about the day that the
above doctoring took place. It is, therefore, reasonable to suppose
that Makafula temporarily identified himself with the rebels solely
because of there being no European troops in the vicinity to which
he could have gone for protection. His act would, nevertheless, have
been regarded as treasonable had not the Chief immediately dispatched
a messenger to the local magistrate, Mr. Hignett, to report exactly
what he had done, and by what reasons he had been actuated in so doing.
"Acting on my advice," says the Magistrate (who had presided over the
district for over six years), "though desirous of retiring from his
ward, he (Makafula) remained at his post at great personal risk, and,
under the pretence of interesting himself in the rebel designs, acted
as an informant." Predicaments of this kind frequently occurred in
various parts of the Colony, and, too impatient to personally inquire
into the circumstances, commanding officers sometimes concluded that
sedition had been committed, when the act had sprung from motives
entirely dissociated from a spirit of disloyalty. When rebellion breaks
out it is, of course, difficult to weigh and consider evidence that is
at all involved, the impulse being to assume from even the most trivial
indications that the worst has happened, and, therefore, that the most
severe punishment must be meted out at once to fit the supposed crime.

Among the Chiefs who afforded Mackay assistance in the way of scouts
was the Basuto Mayime. His people had been settled in the country
ever since the Zulu War, having been granted land in consideration of
notable services rendered by them during that campaign.

Mackay's operations at this time were confined to those parts of
Nqutu district that abutted on the Buffalo river. He operated in, and
thoroughly patrolled, such parts as Isandhlwana, Malakata, Hlazakazi
and Mangeni. Steps were taken to ascertain all kraals from which
Natives had deserted to join the rebels, whereupon their stock was
seized and confiscated. Owing to these measures, which included the
destruction of Mehlokazulu's most important kraal, Mackay assisted
materially in causing the situation at Nkandhla to mature, besides
restraining many from rebelling through fear of their stock being
looted by the enemy. But for such activity, Mehlokazulu, for instance,
would not have amalgamated his forces with those of Bambata as soon as
he did. Mackay, in fact, compelled the foregoing, Mtele, Nondubela and
other leaders, with their followers, to act with greater precipitation
than it was in their interest to do. Had more time been allowed, it is
more than likely that a far greater _impi_ would have been raised in
Nqutu district than the one that actually went forward to Nkandhla.
If, again, Mehlokazulu had been afforded the opportunity, it is not
improbable he would have resorted to tactics similar to those adopted
by Bambata and Sigananda towards seemingly neutral or half-hearted
tribes, _i.e._ dragooned them, by seizure of stock, etc., into taking
up arms against the Government.

The Reserves attached to Mackay's column were ordered, on the 5th June,
to demobilize at Helpmakaar. The excellent services rendered by the
men whilst in the field were suitably acknowledged by the Commanding

When McKenzie was appointed to take supreme command in Natal and
Zululand (30th May), Leuchars was instructed to continue to command all
troops in Natal as well as those in Nqutu district, though in future
under McKenzie.

After placing Newmarch in temporary command of the U.F.F., with Capt.
W.N. Angus as staff officer, Leuchars proceeded with Carter viâ
Greytown to Helpmakaar to direct operations from that point.


[Footnote 205: By this time, Van Rooyen and his men had got back from

[Footnote 206: In consequence of Bambata's and Sigananda's _impis'_
raiding tactics. Many cattle were at the same time driven into Natal.]

[Footnote 207: Two of Gayede's sons were killed in the action at Bobe.]

[Footnote 208: The strength and disposition of Leuchars' forces,
at 3rd May, was as follows: At _Mazongwane_ (high up Inadi
River)--U.M.R., 192; N.F.A., 37; N.M.C., 3; N.V.C., 2; N.T.C., 6.
At _Greytown_--N.R.R., 44; N.S.C., 6; U.M.R., 7; Reserves, 81. At
_Krantzkop_--N.R.R., 58; Reserves, 81; U.M.R., 5; N.S.C., 1. At
_Keate's Drift_--U.M.R., 31. At _Mapumulo_--U.M.R., 20.]

[Footnote 209: These springs are in the bed of the Tugela River, some
nine miles from Krantzkop.]

[Footnote 210: His force was composed as follows: U.M.R., 150; 1st
Umvoti Reserves, 40; 2nd Umvoti Reserves, 30; Krantzkop Reserves, 50;
N.F.A., two guns; N.R.R., 50; and 25 men of Sibindi's levy.]

[Footnote 211: Reports had been received as far back as the 19th
ult. of messengers having come to Mtele from Mehlokazulu and Faku
in Zululand asking him to co-operate. On his agreeing, Mehlokazulu
instructed Kula through Mtele "to wait until fighting had commenced in
earnest in Zululand, when he was to attack Pomeroy and then proceed
against Greytown."]

[Footnote 212: When at Nondweni, a small party visited the spot where
the Prince Imperial and others were killed during the Zulu War. The
memorial cairn and graveyard, in charge of a Native headman, were found
to be in good order.]

[Footnote 213: An account of the position and occurrences at Umsinga
will be found in Chapter XV.]

[Footnote 214: It will be seen in Chapter XV., that a column (under
Murray-Smith) was posted at Fort Murray-Smith, a couple of miles from
Helpmakaar, simultaneously with the departure of the Zululand Field
Force for Nkandhla from Dundee on the 1st May.]

[Footnote 215: Mackay was not advised, as the only means of
communication, a telephone, was eighteen miles away.]

[Footnote 216: The sun rose, on the day in question, at about 6.45 a.m.]

[Footnote 217: Mackay camped at Isandhlwana on the night of the 27th.
He operated at Malakata on the morning of the 28th, and at Hlazakazi at
1.30 p.m. on the same day.]

[Footnote 218: On Sibindi's levy getting within about three miles of
the kraal of Nyoniyezwe, the minor for whom Sibindi was acting, they
started to sing their ancient, tribal war-song. Up to that moment, the
women had been in hiding in various places, owing to uncertainty as to
whether the _impi_ they had, two or three hours before, seen descending
to the Buffalo from the direction of Mpukunyoni, was the enemy, or men
of their own tribe. The sun had, in the meantime, set, and it had begun
to get dark. On recognizing the old familiar song, and realizing that
their men were returning triumphant, they forthwith emerged from their
respective hiding-places and kraals, and, one and all, wherever, on the
bush-covered mountain, they happened to be, accorded their heroes so
weird and fantastic a greeting as will not quickly be forgotten by the
European troops who had the privilege of hearing and witnessing it. At
least sixty to seventy women, faces smeared with light-coloured clay,
and carrying little hand-brooms, with leaves bound round their ankles,
approached the advancing column, shrieking at the top of their voices
as they ran about: "_Ki, ki, ki, ki, ki, ki, ki, ki,--Kuhle kwetu!_"
(Oh! joy in our homes!) The oft-repeated cries were heard in all
directions. Not only did this serve as a welcome to the warriors, but
as an alarm to all of the tribe who were too far off to hear the famous



Hitherto McKenzie's efforts to come into conflict with the enemy
had met with comparatively little success, and this in spite of the
fact that the Zululand Field Force had been over three weeks on the
spot. Ever since the force arrived, the men had, indeed, been kept
particularly busy. Reconnaissances had been carried out time after time
in Insuze valley and at Nkandhla by McKenzie, and in the neighbourhood
of Macala and Qudeni by Barker, four columns had made a converging
movement on Cetshwayo's grave (the enemy's headquarters), then had come
Sigananda's negotiations for surrender, the reconnaissance to Macala,
followed by further activity in the directions of Tate, Mome and Komo.
In the course of the operations, many rebels had been come across, but
as they were nearly always in small parties, it was impossible for
those unacquainted with the peculiar conditions to repress feelings of
disappointment with the results that had been achieved by the end of
May, especially as intelligence went to show that Bambata and Company
were at the head of at least 1,000 men, and that these numbers were
constantly increasing. Where was this ever-vanishing _impi_? What was
the best way of making it fight? That was the problem McKenzie was
called on to solve. He had not merely to be ready to fight when it
suited him to do so, but to hunt for the rebels and make them fight,
however much in favour of the latter locality and time might happen
to be. His difficulties were, therefore, primarily and, indeed, almost
entirely of a strategical character. He, of course, knew of the rebels'
perpetually shifting from one place to another on purpose to avoid
a conflict, and, at the same time, of always being on the alert to
take advantage of detached sections of the troops. That such were
their methods had of itself required time to ascertain. The methods
were novel. There was nothing of that kind during the Zulu War.[219]
Sometimes the enemy would be at Nkandhla, at others at Macala. At each
of these places there were dense forests and rocky hiding-places. The
intervening country, moreover, was exceedingly rough, but so well known
to the rebels that they could travel over it by night with the greatest
ease. In these circumstances, in addition to robbing them of all food
supplies to be found about Nkandhla, the O.C. came to the conclusion
that the only policy was to drive the forests in as thorough and
systematic a manner as possible. But to carry this out effectively with
the men at his disposal was out of the question. That, at any rate,
was the view of General Stephenson and other competent authorities.
Hence he was compelled to adopt procedure which he felt might easily
fail in actually cornering the enemy. However, in order that the best
might be done, he decided to undertake and persevere with the drives.
These it was necessary to carry out section by section, as it was quite
impracticable, owing to their magnitude and interconnection, to attempt
the whole of the forests in one day. If the enemy's strategy was to
keep shifting about, the troops could at least help him to shift about
a little more, and perhaps rather more than he had intended to do.

       *       *       *       *       *

Whilst the troops, after operating at Tate gorge, were taking a
much-needed rest on the 31st May, Mansel and Barker were summoned to
Nomangci. Colonel McKenzie then proceeded with these and other officers
to the heights above Mome valley, where the proposed drives were to
begin, and explained the plans he had in mind for the following day.

On the 1st June, all the troops moved out at an early hour. When
daylight appeared, Gun Hill had already been occupied by two
15-pounders, N.F.A., and two pompoms. The valley was heavily shelled
and searched in every direction from above, as well as by Mansel from
below, but without much result. The men then proceeded on foot with
the Native levies to drive both sides and bottom of the valley in the
following order: McKenzie's worked down the western slopes, whilst
Mansel's ascended the ridge on the east as far as Esipongweni peak,
near Sigananda's kraal, Enhlweni, and then down towards the river bed.

McKenzie's men, consisting of 400 R.H., 150 Z.M.R., 140 D.L.I., 100
N.P., and 100 Nongqai, or about 900 in all,[220] with about the same
number of Native levies, moved in single file down an open ridge
along the north edge of Esigqumeni forest and in the direction of
the waterfall. On entering the forest, the Nongqai and levies were
distributed along the line of troops. When the head of the column had
got within a few yards of the Mome stream, "files right" was given,
which brought the troops into line formation facing down the stream
and towards the stronghold. The shelling from Gun Hill began when the
head of the column was about half-way down, and continued until it had
reached the Mome. Mansel's guns shelled the same forests from the mouth
of the valley. Many of the shells burst over the troops, whilst others
did so at the proper place. The column halted whilst Eziwojeni forest
was being shelled. During the shelling, which lasted nearly an hour,
one of R.H. was grazed across the forehead by one of the bullets of a
shrapnel shell, whilst one of the levies was struck by a shell on the
leg and seriously wounded. The troops remained in line formation until
the right flank was in position.

Whilst waiting for the order to advance, one of General Stephenson's
staff officers (who was with one or two others), when in the act of
taking a photograph, was fired at by a rebel at a distance of about
twenty yards. The charge, evidently one of slugs, luckily struck
no one. One of the officers immediately fired three times with his
revolver in the direction the shot had come from. This caused a little
confusion, as some of the men, believing the enemy to be near, also
began firing ahead. Just before resuming the advance, three volleys
were fired in the direction to be traversed in order to clear the way.
The left flank kept as close to the Mome as possible. Progress was slow
on account of the abnormally steep and difficult nature of the ground.

Just above the thick forest at the bottom of the waterfall, orders
were given to the troops in the higher portions of the forest to wheel
gradually to the left and in the direction of the forest below, it
being at the time thought that a number of rebels had gathered there
to make a stand. In consequence of this, a section on the extreme left
flank lost touch, but continued to move downwards. A number of other
men in different parts of the line also temporarily lost touch.

In the meantime, on the opposite or eastern side of the valley, the
T.M.R. had gradually worked their way up and co-operated generally in
accordance with the plan. "A troop (T.M.R.), in the advance, occupied
a kopje and sent ten of the men up the ridge to round up cattle, which
they succeeded in doing. In retiring, a sniper on their left flank,
concealed in the bush, shot Tpr. Steyn, who some days afterwards died
from the effects of the wound. Three of his comrades immediately
went to his assistance and carried him along, whilst two men went in
advance and the remaining four protected the rear. The retirement was
conducted with coolness and precision, and both General Stephenson and
Colonel McKenzie, who witnessed the movement from Gun Hill, openly
expressed their approval of the men's conduct."[221] After the forests
in the immediate vicinity of the waterfall had been driven, the troops

As a result of the operations, a considerable number of women and
children emerged from the forest. They carried white flags. They were
directed to a place of safety during the operations and subsequently
returned to the bush. Much pains was taken, without success, to
discover Sigananda's whereabouts. Only three rebels were killed;
twenty-four surrendered to the troops. Traces of recent extensive
occupation were, however, found. Information received at the time went
to show that the enemy had vacated the gorge on the preceding day.
About 300 cattle and many goats were captured. Sigananda's Enhlweni
kraal was destroyed. Two men (including Steyn) of the T.M.R. were
wounded by snipers.

Mpikwa, one of Sigananda's principal indunas, surrendered at the
magistracy during the day with seventy-six men of the same tribe. Among
these was a brother of Sigananda. All declared they were opposed to
their Chief's conduct and, had, therefore, refrained from participating
in the Rebellion.

On the 2nd June, McKenzie moved his camp to the east and further up
the Mome stream, with the object of making an extensive drive to the
east through the heart of the Nkandhla forests (Dukuza), as well as
over Bomvana ridge where large numbers of cattle had been repeatedly
seen and in which direction Sigananda's _impi_ was then said to be.
The Z.M.R. and N.C. were left to occupy the camp until dark when, with
their fires alight, they were to withdraw, so as to lead the enemy
to suppose the locality was still being occupied. A 15-pounder and a
pompom, moreover, supported by the Z.M.R., continued to shell the upper
portions of Mome gorge until dusk, with the view of keeping the enemy
from entering the bush that had been driven that day.

Since McKenzie's departure from Insuze valley on the 23rd May, Mansel's
column, when not actually engaged in a combined movement with that of
McKenzie, had operated within a radius of five or six miles of the
grave and succeeded in capturing considerable quantities of cattle,
goats, etc., besides doing other useful work.

Colonel Woolls-Sampson at this stage received orders to proceed to
Pietermaritzburg to confer with the Acting Commandant (Major-General
Sir John Dartnell, K.C.B.)[222] and the Government. Major C.N.H.
Rodwell, N.C., now assumed the duties of Chief Staff Officer, with the
local rank of Lieut.-Colonel.

McKenzie left with his forces at 7 a.m. on the 3rd June, with the
object of making an extensive drive in an easterly direction. Mansel,
with N.P. and T.M.R., proceeded from his camp to the vicinity of Komo
Hill. The guns and pompoms took up positions covering the general
advance of the former column. Colonel McKenzie, accompanied by General
Stephenson and his bodyguard of N.C., moved round open ground on the
north to a position some three miles in a direct line from Bomvana
ridge. The Z.M.R. occupied a kopje about one mile west of where it was
proposed the drive should cease. Here they were subsequently joined by
the O.C. Troops and General Stephenson, N.C. being strengthened by a
troop temporarily detached from the Z.M.R.

R.H., D.L.I., and N.D.M.R., together with the Native levies, after
crossing the head of the Mome valley, lined up along the edge of the
bush, where instructions were given to the officers to drive the bush
in line, with one European to every three levies, thus 1 *** 1 *** 1
*** 1. The objective pointed out was a knoll, which could be seen over
the bush and beside the Nkandhla-Eshowe road. The N.D.M.R. took the
left, D.L.I. the centre, and R.H. the right. As regards R.H., A and
D squadrons were on the left, C in the centre, E and B on the right.
Royston himself was on the right.

The idea was that, on the march through the bush, R.H. were to join
forces with Mansel's men, who would move on the right from Cetshwayo's
grave, whilst the left of the line was protected by McKenzie and the
men posted near him on the open tops of the overlooking ridges.

After proceeding through the forest for about two miles over extremely
broken country, the centre of the R.H. section of the line found that
the spruit Royston had directed the right of the line to rest on was
joined by another flowing down from the left front.

On C squadron, in command of Capt. E.G. Clerk, reaching the spruit
referred to, a number of tracks of Natives were observed, so fresh
as to appear to have been caused but a few minutes before. Following
these, the men, still in fair line, came in contact with a party
of thirty to forty rebels. A number of these were killed as they
endeavoured to escape. Shortly after, it was discovered that touch
had been completely lost with the two squadrons on the left, and that
Royston with B and E had swung away more to the right and were at that
time on the far side of a very high and narrow kopje. Four rebels were
chased by men of C up this hill and would have escaped altogether had
not the attention of men on the hill been attracted. The latter moved
along the crest and shot the fugitives. Corporal Alexander, C squadron,
killed later in the day, did some very accurate shooting at some
Natives who were, as they thought, securely hidden on their side of the
same kopje, sniping at members of C squadron in the valley below. These
were shot by him at a range of about 500 yards.

After what remained of C had moved on, six _amadhlangala_ (war-huts)
beside the spruit were destroyed. Here a quantity of goods looted from
Davis's waggon on the 29th May was found. About a mile and a half
further on, the men emerged, about 1.30 p.m., on to an open ridge,
where some forty-five men of the squadrons on C's right, together with
some Native levies, were come upon. Here Clerk found instructions had
just come from Colonel McKenzie through Colonel W.S. Shepstone to move
on, as Royston, with the remainder of the right wing, was said to be
in advance on the right. There was, however, ground for doubting the
intelligence, as firing could be faintly heard away on the right and
slightly to the rear. At this time, it was not known to C where the
R.H. squadrons on the left, much less the D.L.I. and the N.D.M.R.,
had got to. After a few minutes' halt, Clerk gave the word to move
forward. London, supported by Lieuts. Fryer and Midgley and others of
R.H. were put on the right, with the main body of levies, whilst Clerk,
supported by Lieut. Stewart and Sergt.-Major Webber, took the extreme
left. Lieut. Shepstone, who was with a portion of the levies and some
of R.H. on the left, soon completely detached himself. Many Native
footprints were seen; indeed, there was every sign of a large body of
the enemy being close in advance. Six cattle that were come upon was a
further indication. "I passed the word down the line," says Clerk,[223]
"to keep a sharp look-out, explaining that I knew we were close on the
enemy. At this time, a number of the levies had moved from their proper
position and were bunched up near me, close on my right. The nearest
European was Corpl. Alexander, about ten yards off on my right. Hawkins
was next to him, then Holmes, Flynn, Corpl. Woolnough (A squad),
Act.-Sergt. Fraser, Harding, Wilkinson, Bouck, Nesbit and others. After
passing the word of warning, we moved about 200 yards and had just
crossed a small _donga_, when I thought I noticed something move on
my left. On searching the bush, we failed to find anybody, though we
noticed that the Natives' tracks were very numerous and fresh. We moved
forward till the left was about twenty yards across the _donga_, the
right not having yet crossed it, when a Native stepped out of a thick
bush, between forty to fifty paces away on our left front. He was armed
with, I think, a breech-loader. He fired the charge, striking close
to the third man's feet (Hawkins). This appeared to be the signal,
as immediately on the report, the forest on our left and left front
seemed to be alive with the enemy. It looked like an overturned hive
more than anything else. They must have been lying down till the shot
was fired. They yelled 'Usutu!' and something like 'Zuzu!' and charged
at us, one horn swinging round on our left and the other towards our
right and breaking. I turned to call to the men, only to find that
the Native levies were running for their lives, not directly back
the way we had come, but down the line, straight down to our right.
This served to break our line a lot and create a gap between the 7th
and 8th men. Seeing that there was no chance of making a stand where
we were, I shouted to the men to move back and rally in the _donga_
lower down. Knowing that unless the centre were checked in some way,
the enemy would cut us up before we could get back to the _donga_, I
emptied my carbine (magazine) into the main lot at about twenty yards
distance and about seventy from where I was afterwards lying. This
served to check them for a minute or two and I took advantage of it to
run after the men. While doing so, I slipped another cartridge into
the breech of my carbine and had just succeeded in doing so, when I
ran into another lot of the enemy who had charged between the _donga_
and myself (_i.e._ between where I first fired on the enemy and the
position at which we rallied), as if to partly surround the party in
the _donga_. I thereupon fired five shots at them with my revolver
as I ran towards my men. The enemy broke, and left, as I thought, a
clear line to the _donga_, where I could hear Fraser's voice calling
out, 'Here we are, Sir!' Just then a Native rose from the low bush in
front of me, _i.e._ between me and where I heard Fraser's voice. He
had a stabbing-assegai and some sort of weapon--it seemed like an old
muzzle-loading gun. He raised the assegai, but as he did so, I snapped
at him the last shot in my revolver and he fell. As he fell, another
Native appeared suddenly on my left--I think he had been behind a
small tree. He was within stabbing distance before I noticed him, my
attention having been engaged with the other man. I had no time to aim
my carbine, merely being able to swing it up and parry his thrust. I
narrowly escaped being wounded, for the assegai just grazed the right
eyelid (I thought my eye was out, as the blood flowed over my cheek
and almost blinded me). Catching my foot in something I fell, but the
slope of the ground being very steep, I succeeded in throwing myself
right over. I turned over purposely and, in so doing, again faced my
adversary. Swinging my carbine forward, I pulled the trigger, not,
however, with the ordinary finger, for which there was no time, but
with my little finger which happened to be in position at that instant.
The shot struck the man in the chest and he fell forward past me on my
left about seven yards from the east edge of the _donga_. I remarked
that this man had bound round his forehead a broad band of Turkey-red,
as well as a stiff peak of red over the centre of the forehead.[224]
The first of the other two had a narrow strip of red cloth round his
forehead. I also noticed that a great number of the remainder of the
enemy had Turkey-red round their heads. Recovering my footing, I ran
down and leaped into the _donga_, where I found Fraser, Woolnough,
Alexander, Holmes, Flynn and Hawkins. The rebels seemed to surround us
immediately and I had succeeded in firing only about two shots when
Alexander staggered forward crying out, 'Oh, my God, pull this out,
pull this out!' referring to an assegai which had been driven into the
middle of his back. Someone pulled the assegai out and he sank down and
died immediately. This assegai had been thrown from a distance of about
ten yards up the _donga_ by one of the enemy who was there. Almost
immediately afterwards, Hawkins staggered forward and sank against the
east bank just on my right, with two assegais in his back. He remained
in a crouching position and, from the peculiar sound, I knew his lung
had been injured. Once he cried to someone to shoot him and put him out
of his misery. Just as he fell, I felt a shock through my left upper
arm, which caused my hand to lose its power; owing to this, I dropped
my carbine. Stooping quickly to pick it up, I found that my left hand
was useless and that I could not grasp anything. The little finger only
retained its normal power. I seated myself on a root which was jutting
slightly out of the bank and, raising the carbine with my right hand,
succeeded in loading it by gripping it between my knees. I then fired
it by lifting it with the right hand and pulling the trigger with the
little finger of my left. I continued doing this until loss of blood
compelled me to abandon the carbine in favour of my revolver, which I
had to load in the same way, _i.e._ between my knees.

"Shortly after I was wounded, I heard Holmes say, 'Ah! I've got it!';
he went on to explain that a bullet had gone through his thigh. He,
however, continued firing, merely relieving himself by leaning against
a tree which grew from the bank of the _donga_. Woolnough had already
been wounded in the ankle, and was lying close by the bank on the
eastern side of the _donga_. Flynn had blood streaming from wounds on
the face, but Fraser, though in a very exposed position (with a white
shirt on), suffered no injury whatever. All this time we were crying:
'Rally here, Royston's,' thinking it possible that the men further down
the _donga_ might succeed in forcing their way to us, or that Colonel
Royston might be within hearing and come to our assistance. I also
shouted out, 'Give it to them, boys!' intending that the enemy should
hear, as I supposed a few of them might know English. I knew that the
men lower down were busily engaged from the firing I could hear, and
occasionally I could hear Sergt.-Major Webber's voice encouraging our

"The Natives had made two charges when, as I was aiming at one up the
_donga_, about twenty yards off, a thrown assegai penetrated my right

"We were by this time getting very weak from loss of blood, and, as
our fighting strength was four only, viz. Fraser, Holmes, Flynn and
myself, things were looking very serious. I personally felt very weak
but, after drinking some water from Flynn's water-bottle, I revived in
time to assist in repelling the third charge. We succeeded in driving
them back again, but I knew that unless help arrived soon, we would
be overcome and, speaking to Fraser and Flynn, said if they succeeded
in getting out to tell the Colonel that we had left our mark on
the enemy. A minute or so later, Holmes said, 'Look out, they're
preparing to rush again.' I, at that moment, was loading my revolver
with the last six cartridges I had. I succeeded in getting five in, but
dropped the sixth. I fired two shots at some Natives in the _donga_,
twenty to thirty yards up. Holmes fired at them at the same time. They
both dropped, I am certain Holmes killed one, but am not sure of the
other. At this moment, shouting and shooting attracted our attention,
and to our relief we saw other members of the regiment coming to our
assistance, amongst the first being Lieuts. Male, Jones, and Oswald,
then Colonel Royston a second or two later, he having stopped to
bandage levy-leader W.H.E. Hopkins, who had been shot on the side of
the head when running by the side of Colonel Royston in advance of the
relieving party."

[Illustration: MANZIPAMBANA

Action at its height

            Scale in Yards (approximate)
 0 10 20 30 40 50         100        150        200


 A to B & at L   _Positions of enemy before attack._
        C to D } _Sections of line of drivers before attack._
        G "  H } _Line broken owing to rough ground._
        J "  K }
          E     _Nine cattle here, left by enemy as bait._
          F     _Position of small group, Native levy, before attack._
            _Troops (C Squadron, R.H., Capt. E.G. Clerk)._]

The foregoing account is necessarily confined to what took place in
Clerk's immediate vicinity. The following particulars, taken from
others who were engaged, are intended to supplement Clerk's graphic

The action occurred at the bottom of a large valley, which lies
wholly within Dukuza forest, and through which flows the Manzipambana
stream. There are remarkably few stones about, except in the _donga_
or water-course, which runs almost due north and south. The gully in
question is but 130 yards long; it slopes steeply on the east, and is
12 to 14 ft. wide and about 6 ft. deep where Clerk lay. The forest
is not very dense at this particular spot, one being able to see
fifty yards all round. The enemy, about 300 strong--all exceptionally
well-built men--was congregated in one spot. Although he must have
been within twenty yards, the late Alexander, when sent forward to the
left by Clerk to reconnoitre, did not see the _impi_, no doubt because
lying flat on the ground in accordance with custom, and behind trees
and other cover. Although frequent efforts were made by the rebels to
charge one or other of the three groups of R.H. in that vicinity, not
one was pressed home, due no doubt to the accuracy of the shooting,
and to the fact that the 'horns' failed to get round at the lower end
owing to the length of the line. Each of these groups was engaged,
though at longer ranges than Clerk's group had to fire at. More than
once the highest and the lowest groups fired at one another when masked
by the rebels. Where Clerk was, the fighting was almost hand to hand.
Many assegais were thrown and shots fired by the rebels. The engagement
did not last more than fifteen to eighteen minutes.

It is difficult to determine how many of the enemy were killed; the
number was at first given as fifty-three, but probably some of these
were merely wounded and got away. In view of the duration of the
action, and of its having taken place at short range, with at least
twenty-four rifles, the killed were probably not less than thirty-five.
The having of about nine head of cattle with them is noteworthy as
evidence of an intention on the part of the rebels to decoy by offering
a bait. As soon as the action commenced, the cattle were driven ahead,
as if to confuse or afford cover. A device of this sort, it will be
remembered, was adopted when the rebels made their first charge at
Mpukunyoni. The enemy was in possession of anything from a dozen to
three dozen guns of different kinds, but his shooting was distinctly
poor; more casualties, however, were attributable to gun-fire, such as
it was, in this action than in any other of the campaign.

The conduct of the levies in deserting _en bloc_ at so critical a
moment is a lesson to be carefully borne in mind in the future. At the
same time, it is fair to point out that they were not being led by
anyone well-known to them, or familiar with their language; there were
not more than fifty, and these were separated from the rest of their
party. In this connection, it was unfortunate that the levy-leader
attached to that part of the line was not at hand to give such moral
support as he could. The fact that one or more of the enemy wore
Turkey-red, thereby becoming undistinguishable from the levies, may
be due to such or similar material having been among the goods in the
waggon looted by the rebels a few days before.

It was most providential that Royston was within reach. Had he not come
when he did, the party must have been annihilated. When the relieving
party heard their comrades' shouts, they set out as fast as they could
down a steep incline nearly a mile away from the scene of the action.
Royston was accompanied by Hopkins, Oswald, Male and others. Hopkins,
struck by a bullet on the side of the head, fell, rose, plunged
forward again down the hill, only to fall again, when he was assisted
by Royston. The enemy was found on all sides, especially east of the
donga, but, on seeing reinforcements arrive, showed no disposition to
fight, especially after Major A.W. Fraser, with his officers, n.c.o.'s
and men had deployed on the east. The wounded were attended on the spot
by the rescuers and, a few minutes later, by Capt. Austin Robinson,
N.M.C., who was most assiduous in the discharge of his duties under
difficult conditions.

There were four killed, viz. Corpl. E. Alexander and Tprs. J.L. Bouck,
Harding and S.J. Robertson; eleven were wounded: Capt. E.G. Clerk,
Lieuts. P. Male and Oswald, Corpl. Woolnough, and Tprs. J. Hawkins,
F. Flynn, W.C. Holmes, W.H.E. Hopkins, D.C. Swart, J. Mann and H.D.M.
Barnett. Of the latter, Clerk, Hawkins, Holmes, Hopkins and Swart were
wounded severely. Hawkins succumbed to his injuries the same evening.

"All the units engaged inflicted severe losses on the enemy during the
day's operations, and over 150 were killed, ten of them by Colonel
Mansel's force. Over two hundred head of cattle were captured. It was
again a very hard day for the troops, who had to work dismounted over
exceedingly difficult country."[225]

Colonel McKenzie moved his column through the forest on the following
day (4th June) along the road (Nkandhla to Eshowe), to join Mansel's
force near Bobe ridge. The combined force thereupon drove through the
forest on the eastern side of the road, making towards Sibuda peak.
N.N.C., T.M.R. and Natives were on the left of the line; D.L.I, and
Nongqai in the centre; and N.C., Z.M.R. and R.H. on the right. The
N.D.M.R. occupied high ground near the objective towards which the
troops were working. Owing to no rebels being found in the vast area
traversed, it seemed that the enemy had moved back to the western or
Mome side of the forests. With the forces at his disposal, it was quite
impossible for McKenzie to prevent such breaking back. His idea, under
the circumstances, was to harass the enemy as much as possible, by
constantly driving him from one position to another.

It was on this day that the Natal Rangers (seven companies, with Maxims
and signallers), under Lieut.-Col. J. Dick, D.L.I., arrived at Nomangci
camp. Their arrival was most opportune. They soon proved to be a
valuable addition to the forces.

A detachment of 85 N.N.H. (under Major G. Moe, U.M.R.), also came in on
the 4th, with a number of remounts. Many of the corps had seen service
during the Zulu War and on other occasions. Their enrolment was,
therefore, wise, not only from a political, but also from a military
point of view.[226]

On the 5th, the men, including those of Mansel's column, thoroughly
exhausted by the heavy climbing and driving, were given a complete rest.

Leaving sufficient troops to take charge of the camp, McKenzie
proceeded, on the following day, to drive that portion of the forests
which slopes away downwards from the waggon road in the direction of
Insuze and Manzipambana rivers. The line of drivers, which included
N.R. and N.N.H., swept along both sides of the Manzipambana, and
through what is acknowledged by Native residents to be the densest and
least frequented portion of the forest. The N.N.C., T.M.R., N.P. and
Nongqai, under Barker, co-operated effectively on the south. Only ten
rebels were shot, as but few of the enemy were come upon during the
operations. These again covered an enormous and particularly rugged
area.[227] Intelligence at this time went to show that the enemy was
gradually quitting Nkandhla for Macala and the Qudeni forests, as a
result of the frequent and thorough-going driving being done by the

"The force bivouacked for the night at the Nkunzana stream," says
McKenzie. "The next morning (7th June), I moved up the Bobe ridge, and
having received information that Sigananda was in the bush facing the
south of the road from Bobe ridge to the Isibuda (Esibudeni) hill,
I made a drive through that section of the forest and also shelled
the bush, the guns having come out of camp to join me. Unfortunately
some pompom shells struck very close to the squadron of the Natal
Carbineers, but, fortunately, no one was hit. No trace of Sigananda
could be found. Twenty rebels were killed. A large number of cattle
were taken and stores of grain destroyed."

After an exceedingly trying day, McKenzie withdrew for the night to
Nomangci (the infantry being assisted by ox-waggons sent from camp to
meet them), whilst Barker returned to his camp near the grave.

It became necessary to give the troops another rest on the 8th. Many
of the men had, by this time, completely worn out their boots and
clothing, in consequence of the rough work in the forests.

As the forests now appeared to be clear of rebels, in so far, at any
rate, as large parties of them were concerned, McKenzie began to work
out plans for a combined move of all the columns, including those of
Leuchars and Mackay, to Qudeni, where the enemy was reported to have
mustered in considerable strength.

Heliographic communication was established with Mackay at Madhlozi
mountain. During the day (9th), small drives of bushes took place in
the neighbourhood of the camp, unattended, however, with any success.

At night, however, intelligence of such vital importance was received
as to enable McKenzie, not only to come face to face with his
long-sought-for enemy, but, by taking advantage of the opportunity to
the maximum, to deal him a crushing blow, so decisive, indeed, as to
bring the Rebellion in Zululand to an abrupt end, much to the relief of
the Colony and not least of the troops themselves.

Reference has already been made to the local intelligence staff, Lieut.
Hedges and Sergts. Calverley and Titlestad. These officers, all of
the Z.M.R., and intimately acquainted with Zululand, had, for some
days past, been endeavouring to locate Sigananda. This was done with
the assistance of Mandisindaba, a man who had for long been known to
Calverley. He had been induced by the latter to surrender with his
family a few days previously. This was allowed by McKenzie to take
place on condition that he went to the Mome and ascertained Sigananda's
whereabouts as precisely as possible. Accompanied by two or three
Native scouts and two rebel spies--the latter disguised as messengers
from Dinuzulu--Mandisindaba proceeded to the gorge. Whilst walking
through a forest, the party accidentally met a member of Sigananda's
tribe who, it so happened, was also in search of Sigananda. On being
informed that two of the party were messengers from "the Prince" and
were carrying a message which they had been directed to deliver to the
Chief, the man referred to announced that he had been sent by Bambata
and Mehlokazulu, then bivouacked at Kombe forest (fifteen miles west
of Mome), to inform Sigananda that they would leave there with the
whole of their forces (including many of Sigananda's tribe)--some
twenty-three companies in all--that very evening, and, travelling viâ
Macala, camp near the junction of the Mome and Insuze, with the object
of entering the Nkandhla forests.

Whilst endeavouring to locate the Chief, the party separated
themselves from Bambata's messenger. The former presently succeeded in
obtaining information as to Sigananda's approximate whereabouts, when
they immediately withdrew to carry back their extremely important
intelligence. This was received at an appointed rendezvous, and at
once, _i.e._ at 9.30 p.m., conveyed to Colonel McKenzie.

After considering the matter, McKenzie concluded that, although the
rebels might reach Mome during the night, they would probably not
enter the forests until daylight. He accordingly decided to try and
prevent their entry, a decision which, having regard to the lateness
of the hour and the great difficulties to be overcome, called for that
swiftness and directness of action which are so characteristic of the

Whilst plans and arrangements were being made for the move, a message
was received from the Magistrate at Empandhleni, confirming in all
essentials the intelligence that had already been brought in.

This corroborative information had also been obtained by Native
scouts--two very plucky men, one of them called Bayekana, who had
themselves seen Bambata and Mehlokazulu's _impi_ in the Kombe forest,
and further ascertained from people in the vicinity that the intention
was to move to the Mome the same night. This intelligence was at once
transmitted by special runners over a distance of twenty-five miles to
the Magistrate, who, again, was six miles from Nomangci.

Presuming that the rebels would move down the Insuze valley, that being
their easiest route, it became necessary to place the responsibility
of preventing the entry primarily on the column already in the
vicinity of the grave. This column, in the absence of Mansel on duty
in Pietermaritzburg, was then under the command of Lieut.-Col. W.F.
Barker, D.S.O.[228]

The instructions issued at 10.30 p.m. by McKenzie to Barker, being
important, are given _in extenso_:

 "From O.C. Troops to Colonel Barker.

 "On receipt of this despatch, you will please move _at once_, with
 all available men (leaving sufficient for the defence of your camp),
 to the mouth of the Mome valley. I have information that an _impi_
 is coming down from Qudeni to enter the Mome valley between this and
 to-morrow morning. Please try and way-lay this _impi_ and prevent them
 from entering the Mome, and at daylight block the mouth of the Mome
 at once. It is anticipated that they will not enter the Mome till

 "I have reliable information as to almost the exact spot Sigananda
 is in and I am moving from here to surround him. He is supposed to
 be just below the Mome stronghold, a little lower down than where we
 burnt his kraal. I will cut off this portion at daylight and drive
 down towards you, so please do all you can to prevent his escape, and
 to co-operate with me generally.

 "At daylight, please send the Zululand Police and Native levies up to
 Sigananda's kraal, which you burnt the day we attacked the stronghold,
 where they will join my forces. You must take your gun[229] and Maxims
 in case you meet the _impi_, which is reported to be of strength.

 "Look out for my signals."


[Footnote 219: Small parties of troops were, of course, sometimes
swooped down on suddenly in 1879 and overwhelmed, _e.g._ the Prince
Imperial's party and the Intombi disaster. Such tactics, however, were
merely incidental or subsidiary to those generally practised.]

[Footnote 220: N.C. remained with the O.C. troops at Gun Hill during
the drive.]

[Footnote 221: W. Bosman, _The Natal Rebellion of 1906_, p. 66.]

[Footnote 222: This appointment had become necessary early in June,
owing to Colonel Bru-de-Wold being obliged, through illness, to
temporarily relinquish the duties of his office.]

[Footnote 223: The following account is now published for the first

[Footnote 224: This cloth (Turkey-red) had been issued to members of
levies as a badge to indicate that they were loyalists. It was worn
either round the left arm or round the head (above the forehead).]

[Footnote 225: Report, Col. D. McKenzie, September, 1906.]

[Footnote 226: Some account of the excellent services performed by
N.N.H. will be found in Appendix XI.]

[Footnote 227: During this drive, a few N.N.H. were directed to look
after the horses. One of the men, Hendrick Mkabela, seeing a party
of rebels, with twenty-one head of cattle, attacked them and, though
single-handed, succeeded in capturing the stock, and subsequently
handing it over to the Provost-Marshal.]

[Footnote 228: Barker had assumed duty on the 8th.]

[Footnote 229: Barker had two 15-pounders.]



Of so important a nature were McKenzie's instructions, that three men
were employed to carry them to Barker, who was known to be camped
three or four miles from the grave.[231] The three selected were Tprs.
C.W. Johnson (because of his knowledge of the district), G.O. Oliver
(because of his ability to speak Zulu), and W. Deeley (as additional
rider in case of accidents)--all of the Z.M.R. In informing the men of
the contents of his despatch, McKenzie explained he did so, so that, in
case of mishap, one or other of them should ride through and acquaint
Barker thereof, even though only verbally.

It was just about 10 p.m. when the men, quitting Nomangci camp, moved
towards the road a mile off. Once in it, they pushed forward at a
sharp pace, which increased to a gallop on entering, as they presently
did, the great black forest. The speed at which they went naturally
caused the clatter of the horses' hoofs to reverberate loudly in the
still, dark avenue formed by the trees on either side. It was for a
double purpose they galloped along as they did, firstly, to convey the
intelligence with utmost speed, secondly, to give the impression to
any of the enemy that might be lurking about--for the entire route to
be traversed was held by him--that the party was larger than it really
was. After proceeding about half a mile in the forest, a large tree
was found lying at right angles across the road. It had not fallen
by accident, but had been chopped to come down as it had done, so as
to obstruct waggons going to and fro. (Only a few days before, it
will be remembered, a waggon carrying supplies had been captured in
this locality). Leaping the hurdle, the riders were next surprised at
seeing a fire burning but a short distance away to the right, one of
them declaring he heard persons running from there further into the
forest. It was not until they had got to the looted store at Sibudeni
peak, where they left the road to proceed along a rough track leading
through other dense forests and broken country to Bobe ridge, that
the horses were pulled in and compelled, owing to the nature of the
ground, to proceed at a walk. At this point, two or three cow-hides
were found tightly stretched and pegged out to dry across the said
track. To prevent more noise than necessary at this dangerous part (it
was one of the enemy's principal outposts--the attack on Mansel of 5th
May began near there), the men dismounted, made a detour round the
hides, and then went on again as before. They soon emerged altogether
from the forest, descended the long steep Bobe ridge, and crossed the
Halambu stream at the bottom. Here doubt arose as to the whereabouts
of the Transvaalers' camp, but the existence of fresh wheel-marks,
fortunately noticed in the nick of time leading off the well-beaten
Fort Yolland track, induced the men to follow them, with the result
that, after proceeding but a few hundred yards, they found the object
of their mission had been successfully achieved. To be passed through
the lines of sleeping soldiers and on to the Officer Commanding was the
work of but a few moments. The despatch was safely delivered at about 1

Barker at once made arrangements to move as directed. He had all the
officers and men quietly roused. Calling the former together, he read
them the despatch and made known the order of march, anticipating
he would be in time to lie in ambush at Tate gorge, that being a
part of the country which lent itself well to such tactics.[233] The
strictest orders were issued that there was to be neither smoking
nor talking. Leaving a force sufficient to defend the camp, the rest
of the column moved off at 2 a.m. It was made up as follows: T.M.R.
(three squadrons--B, C and D); N.P. (90); N.F.A. (one section--two
15-pounders); one Maxim gun; one Colt gun; Nongqai (100); and a levy of
about 800 Natives (Chiefs Mfungelwa and Hatshi).

When near Cetshwayo's grave, Inspector C.E. Fairlie, with Nongqai
and levies, branched off to the right and proceeded to a position
overlooking a small neck in that large bend of the Mome stream situate
some 200 yards below where the "pear-shaped" forest (Dobo), tapering
down, abuts on the said stream. He was directed to stop the rebels on
their making an appearance at the neck. If nothing happened for an
hour after daybreak, he was to proceed up to Sigananda's already burnt
Enhlweni kraal and there, as directed, co-operate with McKenzie's

On reaching the entrance of Mome gorge, the advanced guard of the main
body, consisting of a troop of C squadron, had already moved across the
comparatively level ground opposite the mouth, when Barker and those
with him, glancing over their right shoulders, observed a number of
fires burning brightly in the gorge, some 1,000 yards away. There were
about sixty. It seemed as if the troops had come too late. Word to halt
was immediately passed along. The guns at the moment were half a mile
in rear. On looking intently, it seemed as if figures were moving in
front of the fires. The time then was about 4 a.m. Barker dismounted,
and, taking two or three men with him, advanced on foot along the slope
of the small ridge on the west of the mouth of the gorge to obtain a
nearer view. Having satisfied himself the enemy was actually bivouacked
on an old mealie garden, and in considerable force, exactly where the
fires were, he proceeded to make his dispositions for attack, which, it
was arranged, should begin as soon as daylight came. B and D squadrons
and a Maxim gun were posted on a ridge to the immediate east of the
Mome stream, where a good field of fire could be commanded. C squadron
and fifty N.P. with a Colt gun, occupied the eastern face of a low
ridge on the west, whilst the rest of the Police, except the troop that
formed an escort to the guns posted on a prominent and detached hillock
(in front of the mouth of the gorge), were kept in reserve out of
sight and close to where the road passes between the gun position and
the said low ridge on the west. The object of the latter force was to
prevent a possible breaking back of the enemy into Insuze valley. The
guns, crossing at the drift, purposely made a big detour to the left,
skirted the left bank of the Insuze, and came up the southern face of
the hillock referred to.[234] As it was, it was feared the noise was
enough to alarm the enemy.

When Fairlie arrived at his position, finding the enemy bivouacked
immediately below him, he detached about twenty Nongqai and 400 of the
Native levy, with two or three Europeans, to hold ground north of him,
and opposite and within 100 yards of where the Dobo bush meets the Mome.

The orders were that not a shot was to be fired nor the slightest noise
made until daybreak, when a round from the 15-pounders was to be taken
as the signal for a general fusillade. Barker made it known that he
himself was with the guns.

For about two hours everybody remained in position, perfectly still.
As silent were they as their sleeping foes. The fires died out
gradually, one by one. The time was one of the greatest anxiety for
the commanding officer, as he did not know but that the whole of his
remarkably elusive foe had slipped through the neck immediately in
rear of their bivouac, which neck, owing to the nature of the country,
it was impossible to completely block in rear without disclosing the
presence of a hostile force. Owing to a heavy mist that arose towards
dawn, making it difficult to discern objects at a distance of 200
yards, daylight was longer than usual in coming.

After watching for a long time through field-glasses, the mist
cleared slightly, when Barker saw something resembling the outline of
a burnt kraal where he had hoped to set eyes on the enemy himself.
Suddenly remembering no burnt kraal existed on that particular spot a
few days previously, he looked again, when he became convinced that
what he beheld was nothing else but the enemy himself, drawn up in a
circle--the inevitable circle in which orders are given as to engaging
an enemy. Barker, moreover, saw enough to convince him that he had
himself by then been seen.

The preconcerted signal was fired a few seconds later, not, however,
by the 15-pounders, but by the Maxim under Lieut. R.G. Forbes, on
the opposite or eastern side. What occurred at that point was this:
D squadron under Capt. H. McKay, lay on Forbes's immediate right.
Forbes's orders were not to fire without consulting McKay, and fire was
on no account to be opened unless found to be absolutely imperative,
viz. to prevent actual escape of the enemy up the gorge. If, however,
it started in any other quarter, the Maxim was, of course, to do
likewise. Just as it began to get light, the time being about 6.50
a.m., Forbes and McKay, using a good pair of field-glasses, 400 yards
closer to the enemy than Barker, could see the rebels getting up and
forming themselves into companies. It appeared as if they were about to
move up the Mome and towards the redoubtable stronghold. McKay declined
to give the order to fire until, after closer examination, he agreed
that, by not opening, the first company, then obviously on the move,
must be lost. "All right, have a go," he cried, whereupon the Maxim
blazed forth at a range which, as it turned out, had been correctly
fixed at 600 yards.

As soon as the Maxim started, practically simultaneous volleys broke
from all troops east and west, including the two 15-pounders and Colt
gun--the whole forming almost a semi-circle of flame in the gloomy,
early dawn. The consternation among the rebels was such as, for a few
moments, to paralyze action; they rushed wildly to and fro, throwing
down coats, tin cans, equipment, etc. and seeking shelter in the
greatest disorder, anywhere and everywhere. Large numbers dashed
through the neck in the hope of escaping to their original destination,
only to be met, first by well-directed fire of the men posted
immediately above that part on the east, and, where these failed,
by that of men (also on the east), detached from Fairlie and pushed
forward still nearer the Dobo forest. Thus those fortunate in escaping
the hail of bullets at the mouth had to continue to run the gauntlet
for another 200 or 300 yards over rugged country. The day of reckoning
had come, and come with a vengeance. Some, by sheer perseverance and
good luck, succeeded in reaching the forest immediately below the
waterfall, where they were, of course, safe; but, on this retreat
being completely cut off by McKenzie, as will presently be seen, the
fugitives found themselves forced to enter the then only available
shelter, namely the Dobo forest; but to proceed thither was no better
than jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. That forest was
nothing less than a huge trap, capable of being completely surrounded
and driven at leisure. Moreover, in attempting to gain entrance
thereto, more than one sharp encounter took place with the Nongqai,
levies, and supporting European troops.

At 7.5 a.m. the "cease fire" was sounded, when the troops were directed
to leave the ridges and drive down the slopes, as well as over the
area and along the stream in the immediate vicinity of the bivouac,
also between the neck and Dobo. Much of the ground was covered with
shrubs, long grass or rushes, and, here and there, the banks of the
stream were hollowed out through the action of the water. In carrying
out the movement, several cases occurred of individual rebels feigning
death, when, on being more closely examined, they suddenly jumped up
and attacked, either by seizing their assailant's rifle, or lunging at
him with an up-till-then carefully concealed assegai.

Having described how Barker (who happened to be nearest the enemy)
carried out the instructions he had received from McKenzie, it is
necessary now to see what action was being simultaneously taken by
the latter. The infantry and artillery were moved from Nomangci at 3
a.m. and the mounted troops at 3.30 a.m. to co-operate with Barker
by descending both ridges overlooking Mome gorge, with the principal
object of cutting the enemy off from the stronghold on fleeing from
Barker below.[235] The western side was occupied by N.C. (C squad),
Z.M.R. (about 100), N.D.M.R. (about 100), R.H. (about 450), D.L.I.
(about 140), N.F.A. (one 15-pounder), two pompoms, a Maxim detachment,
and a Native levy. The eastern side was held by the Natal Rangers (with
Maxim guns), under Lieut.-Col. J. Dick.[236]

As part of McKenzie's plan was to effect the capture of Sigananda,
he dismounted the Z.M.R. and marched them and the D.L.I. in single
file, together with the Native levy, down to the large forest known
as Mvalasango (on the west of the waterfall), in which Sigananda was
said to be, with the object of driving it. The men were lining the
edge of this forest, extremely dense and steep at that part, and
awaiting the order to move forward into the bush, under Lieut.-Col.
J.R. Royston, when the loud and simultaneous fire already referred to
burst from Barker's Maxim, artillery and rifles, about 2,500 yards
further down. The first thought that flashed across McKenzie's mind
was that Barker had trapped the rebels at the mouth whilst they were
marching to enter. If such surmise were true, it became necessary
at once to prevent fugitives from retreating towards Tate gorge and
Macala. With this object in view, the troops were recalled and the
order given to mount, the intention being to move down into the Insuze
valley by way of Gcongco ridge which, as will be remembered, had been
used on the occasion of the converging movement on Cetshwayo's grave.
These movements, although extremely difficult in the mist and dark,
were carried out with great rapidity and dash, but resulted only in
the troops being presently wheeled to a position lower down the gorge
than the one just vacated. McKenzie came to the decision to right
about wheel whilst on the gallop, owing to seeing that the flash from
the fire of Barker's 15-pounders, 1,400 feet below, was directed up
the Mome instead of westwards as at first anticipated. To return to
hold ground half-way between top and bottom of the gorge and 300 yards
from the edge of Dobo, was a matter of but a few moments. On this
hurried rush back, a solitary armed rebel was come upon and shot whilst
attempting to escape in the mist.

Alive to the importance of swift movement, McKenzie dashed down the
side of the gorge at a pace that excited at once the surprise and envy
of his men. These could but follow to the best of their ability. He
grasped the situation in an instant--his eye for country is proverbial.
He saw that the main line of retreat, the disposition of forces then
being what it was, must necessarily be up the Dobo, to the top of the
ridge (down whose eastern slopes that forest grew), and from thence
into as precipitous though narrower a ravine on the west. Stringent
orders were thereupon given for that particular topmost part to be
effectively guarded by Royston's Horse, who were, moreover, ordered
to connect with Barker's left. So important did McKenzie deem this,
and rightly so, that a staff officer was at once sent to see that the
order he had already sent by another staff officer was, as a matter
of fact, being properly executed.[237] His next act, as essential as
the other, was to push troops down to check the rebels already making
along the river banks towards the waterfall and the large dense forests
in that neighbourhood. Detachments of the Z.M.R., N.D.M.R. and R.H.,
having once more dismounted, accordingly ran down to the Mome and there
effectually cut off such fugitives as had not already made good their
escape, compelling them to find refuge, though only for a time as it
happened, in the pear-shaped or Dobo bush. At the same time, the N.C.
Maxim (Sergt. Ross), was smartly got down to a suitable position and
greatly assisted in preventing the enemy's escape.

The Rangers had originally been directed to hold the upper eastern
ridge of the Mome and get in touch with Fairlie. On leaving Nomangci
camp at 3 a.m., they were obliged to traverse a large section of forest
along narrow paths, where they were delayed owing to the guides for
a time losing their way, so much so, that when the action started,
the men had barely emerged from the forest at the left rear of the
waterfall. On hearing the fire, however, they pushed forward at a brisk
pace to occupy the ground assigned them.

When the action was at its height, they were required to move down
and assist men of N.C., Z.M.R., R.H. and other corps in cutting off
the retreat. The necessary orders, however, could not be conveyed, as
there was insufficient sunshine to use the heliograph. The semaphore
was tried, but also proved unsuccessful. It is, however, doubtful, if,
had the men come down, they would have been in time to be of material

After running down to check escapes along the banks of the Mome, the
detachments of Z.M.R., N.D.M.R., N.C. and R.H. that had assembled
there, when it was evident the fugitives had been cut off, were
reinforced and then directed by McKenzie to drive, under the command of
Lieut.-Col. Royston, down the Mome through the scrub and bush towards
the lower part of Dobo. In the course of this drive, the notorious
ringleader, Mehlokazulu, one of the men who started the Zulu War, was
shot. He was wearing a new pair of riding trousers, shirt, socks and
overcoat, whilst a pair of new tanned boots was being carried for him
by one of his servants.

About 9 a.m. Barker got into communication with McKenzie by semaphore,
when he received orders to move his guns to the ridge in immediate rear
of the enemy's bivouac (where the neck referred to was), and to search
Dobo thoroughly with shrapnel. The forest was accordingly shelled from
top to bottom. The enemy, realizing that he had been caught in a trap,
could do nothing else than conceal himself as effectually as possible
among the numerous boulders, crevices and other hiding-places to be
found there. The troops at the bottom, including Nongqai and levies,
now began to drive the bush upwards. They had not proceeded many yards
before Colonel McKenzie directed them to withdraw, climb the western
face of the gorge immediately north of Dobo, and, joined on top by
N.D.M.R., R.H., D.L.I. and B and C companies N.R. (which battalion had
been ordered to come down from the opposite side of the gorge)[238] to
drive downwards towards the Mome. The reason for operating in this way
was because, by advancing upwards, the troops were at a disadvantage,
as the rebels, most of whom still retained possession of their
assegais, would have been able to throw with effect at men climbing
under the greatest difficulties up so steep an incline.

It was already 2 p.m. when the drivers, purposely as numerous as
possible, were in position. N.R., R.H., and D.L.I. took the left,
N.D.M.R. the centre, with Nongqai and levies on the right. The rate of
progress, owing to the exceptionally steep and rugged area, and to the
enemy having concealed himself in various and most ingenious ways, was
very slow. Steps, too, had to be taken to see that the line advanced
in as uniform a manner as possible to prevent accidents. Occasionally
Nongqai or levies on the right, more used to such movements than
Europeans, got ahead, when they had to be halted to allow the rest
to move up. With the constant interruptions that occurred, it is
surprising the drive was conducted as well as it was.

After reaching a point about three-quarters of the way down, it
was seen the Nongqai had again swung round in advance and partly
overlapped. If their being in advance had been dangerous when higher
up, it was more so now where the bush, narrowing as it approached
the Mome, was only 250 yards across instead of 1,200. All this
time, independent firing had been going on in various directions
and many rebels were killed. Fairlie, who led the Nongqai, fearing
accidents, decided to withdraw, leaving the rest of the bush to be
completed by such troops as remained. He directed the "assembly" to
be sounded. The effect of this unfortunate mistake was that, not
only did all the Nongqai begin to leave, but also all the European
troops and Native levy (though not so fast), for, hearing the call,
the majority naturally supposed it had been ordered by the general
officer commanding. Had the "assembly" not been sounded, the rest of
the bush--only a small portion remained--must have been as thoroughly
driven as that already done, with the result that many rebels, who
had continually slipped further and further to the bottom end as they
heard the drivers advancing, would not have escaped as they did. For
all anyone knew at the time, Bambata and other important rebels were
among those who escaped. When the bugle sounded, it was already late
(4.30 p.m.), though not so late as those engaged supposed, nor too late
for the drive to be completed. Exactly how many rebels escaped at that
particular spot it is impossible to say. A hundred would probably be
beyond the mark.

After withdrawing from Mvalasango forest, in which it was supposed
Sigananda was concealed, McKenzie could not, of course, take steps
to drive it that day. Even supposing Sigananda was there, which, as a
matter of fact, was not the case--information subsequently obtained
proved he was in the small gorge immediately on the west of Mome--the
futility of driving increased every moment after withdrawing to cut off
the enemy. Sigananda, on hearing the fire at the mouth (supposing him
to have been in the gorge), would naturally have retreated further into
his stronghold, and to one or other of its innumerable recesses where,
after the delay of say an hour or two, it would have been utterly
impossible, even for the total forces engaged, to have found him, had
they been withdrawn from all parts of the field to undertake the search.

Among the slain were Mtele[239] of Umsinga division uncle of Chief
Kula, who will be dealt with at length in Chapter XV.; Nondubela
(_alias_ Mavukutu), a Chief also of Umsinga division and an associate
of Mehlokazulu; Paula and Moses, the Christian teachers who had joined
Bambata at Mpanza; and the rebel protagonist Bambata himself.

The death of Bambata occurred as follows: Some time after those who
fled into Dobo had passed in, and shortly before the shelling thereof,
a solitary unarmed man, with but a shirt on, was seen making his way
up the Mome stream, walking in the water. The first to notice him
was a Native loyalist, some sixty yards away on the left bank of
the Mome. Behind the man in the shirt, however, on the right bank,
and only ten yards off, was another loyalist. The man in the water
perceived the Native sixty yards off, but not the one in rear. Seeing
the more distant man rushing to attack him, he left the water, but no
sooner did he mount the right bank, than the one in rear, seizing the
opportunity, darted forward and planted his long-bladed assegai in the
rebel's body. This happened just as that part, where Dobo abuts on
the Mome, had been reached. The loyalist, a powerfully built fellow,
endeavoured to withdraw the weapon, the only one he had, with the
object of again stabbing his far-from-dead foe. But, having thrust
too hard, the assegai had got so bent that it could not be extricated.
The unfortunate victim had by this time fallen. Presently, the man who
had first observed him, crossed the stream and, raising his assegai,
attempted to thrust at the half-prostrate form. Quick as lightning, the
latter--never uttering a sound--clutched the assegai with both hands
before it had struck him, and violently struggled for its possession.
It seemed he must succeed, notwithstanding two were against him. He
fought with the valour of despair. By this time, however, a Nongqai,
also on the left bank, had noticed what was afoot. Coming up quickly,
he raised his rifle and shot the rebel through the head. And there,
after further unsuccessful efforts to withdraw the assegai, the corpse
was left to lie. None of those present bothered themselves with
deceased's identity. As the establishment of such identity did not take
place until a couple of days afterwards, and then only under special
circumstances, the rest of the story must be reserved for its proper

[Illustration: MOME

Dispositions are at beginning of action; for subsequent ones, see
Reference and text


0 500 1000 2000 3000 yards


 A = _Colonel McKenzie's position during action_

 B = _Where N.C., N.D.M.R, and R.H. prevented escape of rebels_

 C, D, E = _Positions N.C., D.L.I., N.D.M.R. respectively, at 7.30 a.m._

 F = _Squadron, R.H., 8 a.m._

 G = _Barker's 15-pdrs., 8 a.m._

 H _to_ J = _Barker's force was operating at 8 a.m. between these points_

 K = _Bambata killed here_

 L _to_ M = _Line held by N.R., 8 a.m._

 N = _Mehlokazulu killed here_

 _Enemy; after being repulsed
 at G, fled to forest near waterfall,
 also to Dobo (pear-shaped) forest_]

When the last troops (among them the D.L.I. and the Native levy) had
emerged from Dobo, orders were given for the columns to march back to
their respective camps. Needless to say the infantry that had taken
part in the last drive, were thoroughly exhausted by the time they got
back. For them, indeed, the day had been particularly long and arduous.

It is only to be expected that the enemy's losses were severe. The
total, however, as has been proved by subsequent enquiry, was not
so great as believed by some. The estimates were at first fixed at
anything between five and six hundred. Taking into consideration the
accounts given by rebels, by members of various units that took part,
and others likely to know, it would appear the number was about five
hundred. The losses amongst McKenzie's troops, including Barker, were
small. Capt. S.C. Macfarlane (D.S.O.), T.M.R., was killed (probably
by his own side, through his pushing further forward in the early
dawn than directed to do). Lieut. C. Marsden, R.H., and Tpr. F.H.
Glover (I.L.H.), T.M.R., were mortally wounded, and eight other
Europeans wounded. Sergt. Mahashahasha, Z.N.P. (Nongqai), and members
of the levies were also wounded. This great disparity in losses of
the opposing forces is, of course, accounted for by the fact that the
rebels were taken at a disadvantage. It is only natural that heavy
losses would have resulted on well-armed troops waylaying the enemy
as was done on the day in question. The rebels knew perfectly well
what the result of clashing with European troops would be (this from
lessons drawn especially from the Zulu War), even where the ground
was not particularly favourable to either side. They had still to
experience the effects where, with greatly inferior weapons, they were
tactically at serious disadvantage. Such contingency they were, of
course, aware _might_ occur. No doubt, looking on their opponents as
slow and ponderous, they thought it would never arise. It is, however,
the unlikely that occurs in war. There is no question that the end they
kept constantly in mind was in some way or another to secure tactical
advantages over detached sections of European troops similar to that
obtained over themselves by the latter on the 10th of June, when, it
is needless to add, they would have administered punishment even more
severe and relentless than was meted out to them then.

To be shot down or stabbed in battle is regarded by Natives as the
natural consequence of war, and, when an advantage has been obtained,
they are surprised if it be not used to the greatest effect. It
is difficult to describe the contempt with which the warlike Zulu
regards what we are pleased to style magnanimity--the magnanimity, for
instance, of Gladstone in 1881, with certain victory in view, and the
magnanimity of restoring Cetshwayo to Zululand in 1883. They reason
thus: Two peoples are at war; one must defeat the other, and the best
way is to do so in a thorough-going way. Nothing, they hold, is so
effective and lesson-serving as wholesale slaughter. Anything else
is to pander to future trouble and misery. When the blow has to be
struck, let each strike and strike severely. To spare an enemy during
continuance of hostilities is fatal. As well spare flames doing their
best to burn down a kraal.

Curious incidents sometimes occur on the eve of momentous events, but
escape narration because irrelevant to the issue. An exception must be
made on the present occasion, for the story will at least surprise any
Zulu that happens to hear it. "As we were marching at a walk on the
night in question," says Barker, "and when about two miles to the south
of Cetshwayo's grave, I and my Adjutant (Capt. W. Jardine) leading, I
noticed in our path a black cat. I called Jardine's attention to it,
jocularly supposing it to be a sign of luck ahead. It was moonlight,
and before the mist had come on. The cat, black all over, was evidently
tame. It led the way towards the Mome. I afterwards forgot and lost
sight of it. On our way back after the fight, coming along last, as I
wanted to see all our men out, the same cat entered my path and came
along. Again I lost sight of it, but next morning found it lying on or
near my pillow. After this, it remained in camp and became a regimental
favourite. I subsequently took it to the Transvaal."

The chapter will conclude with a brief survey of what took place among
the rebels themselves between the converging movement on Cetshwayo's
grave (17th May), and their collapse at Mome.

Not satisfied that the order to rebel had emanated from Dinuzulu, as
declared to be the case by Cakijana and Bambata, seeing the promised
reinforcements had not arrived, Mangati resolved to visit Usutu and
learn the truth from Dinuzulu himself. Bambata decided to accompany
him, but Cakijana, owing to the wound he had received, could not
go. The two, accompanied by two other mounted men, rode off on the
20th. Interviews took place, probably on 24th (Queen's birthday), and
25th, between them and Dinuzulu. The latter denied having started or
authorized the Rebellion, emphasizing he had merely said to Bambata:
"If you people want to fight, why do you not all unite and fight the
whites?" He said, again, to Mangati: "If you people desire to fight,
go and do so, it is not my doing. Go and join Mehlokazulu. I hear he
also has joined the rebels. After joining him, go and join Sigananda,
and, if necessary, go on fighting till you get to Natal.... Sigananda's
messengers are here now to report that the white people have burnt my
father's grave and are unearthing my father's bones. I tell you now, go
and join Mehlokazulu and do what he tells you."[240] After spending two
days at Usutu, where they were fed and hospitably treated by the man
who, but five weeks before, had sent the loyal and reassuring statement
printed on p. 214, and beginning: "I am not surprised that the Natal
Government should have doubt as to my loyalty.... I can only say I am
perfectly loyal and am most anxious to give proof of this...." the
rebel ringleaders departed with a blessing from that 'loyal' and 'much
maligned' Chief, to use their best endeavours to overthrow the white
man's rule.

By the time Mangati and Bambata had got back to the area of
hostilities, Leuchars had fought his action at Mpukunyoni (28th).
Mehlokazulu and other leaders from the north-west moved to Nkonyeni
forest, near Kombe. After the fight at Manzipambana (3rd June), the
greater portion of the Nkandhla rebels collected at Macala. Bambata,
leaving Macala with his tribesmen, got into touch with Mehlokazulu,
and returned with him and them on the 7th to mass at Macala. Here, the
combined forces were informed by Mangati that he had just returned from
Dinuzulu whose wish it was that Macala--"a man with a temper"--should
take supreme command, and Mganu command the regiment Mavalana. Under
this arrangement, Bambata and Mangati assumed the title of 'princes.'

Finding the _impi_ had, for the most part, gone to Macala, Sigananda
sent word to Bambata to return at once, as, having started a rebellion
in his (Sigananda's) ward, it was unfair to desert, leaving him to cope
as best he could with the enraged Europeans. Bambata had deceived them
once by declaring the white man's bullets would not 'enter,' was he
going to do so again by throwing over the original plan of adopting
Nkandhla as the principal rallying-ground? The reply was that the
forces would return at once.

It was now resolved by the leaders to further increase their numbers if
possible. A large force accordingly proceeded on the 7th to the Tugela,
near Watton's store, where Mangati alone paid a visit to a son of Chief
Gayede to induce him, as diplomatically as he could, to join them. The
son explained his father was ill and unable to join, being a mere "dog
of the Government." The primary object of the expedition was to put
Gayede and another adjoining Chief, Hlangabeza, to death, whereupon
their people would probably espouse the cause of the rebels. These
irregular and hazardous proceedings were strongly disapproved by Macala
and others. These men, therefore, refrained from accompanying the force.

After visiting Watton's store, the _impi_ bivouacked in Zululand, close
to the river. It was mid-day before they were again astir. A couple of
Native police from Krantzkop were soon observed on the opposite bank.
They began shouting at the rebels. Cakijana dismounted, dropped on his
knee, and shot one of them dead, after which the force moved back to

There being no reason why the _impi_, considerably augmented by the
arrival of Mehlokazulu's and other men, should not return to Nkandhla
to continue tactics up till then comparatively successful, a start was
made for the Mome between 6 and 7 p.m. on the 9th. The men, leaving in
batches, marched in the loosest order. When close to Tate, they got
reliable intelligence that Barker was still near Insuze river, although
his waggons had gone off to Fort Yolland. Ndabaningi believed the
news, but Mehlokazulu ridiculed it, retorting that the informants were
partial to Europeans and purposely wished to mislead.

Mangati, with four companies, moved at once up the Mome gorge
and bivouacked near the waterfall. Owing to sheer obstinacy on
Mehlokazulu's part, the main _impi_ camped at the mouth of the gorge
instead of moving further in with Mangati. It was, moreover, owing to
him that intelligence brought about 3.30 a.m., three hours before the
action began, by a little boy to the effect that some waggons were
approaching was ignored--these 'waggons,' as it happened, being the two
15-pounders and ammunition waggons. In reply, Mehlokazulu described
the intelligence as rubbish, for he had himself seen from Macala every
waggon belonging to Barker's column trek off towards Fort Yolland.
Thus, this vaunted leader, chiefly on account of personal fatigue, did
his side the greatest possible disservice, forfeiting his own life in

After hearing the little boy's story, Ndabaningi detached himself with
a section of the rebels and followed Mangati, leaving Mehlokazulu and
Bambata with the bulk of the _impi_ behind.

The aggregate force that came from Macala would have been anything
between 1,200 to 1,500 strong. Of these, probably not more than 1,000
were in action, if so many.

Had the whole body entered the stronghold unperceived, the plan was to
rest a day, then begin attacking the surrounding Chiefs and looting
their stock. These Chiefs, although members of their tribes had become
rebels, had themselves refrained from joining. It was, therefore,
supposed that, on conclusion of hostilities, they would visit their
displeasure on those who had rebelled. Consequently, the intention
was to deal vigorously with and kill off these half-hearted men;
such were the tactics of Tshaka, for, after killing the leaders, the
ordinary people, it was found, flocked to the 'conqueror.' The policy,
furthermore, was to lie in wait for small parties of the Government
forces near, but especially _in_, the forests, and massacre them
before reinforcements could arrive, as, indeed, had almost happened at

The reader will naturally wonder what became of the newly-appointed
commanders, Macala and Mganu. Macala thought it wiser to push into
the gorge. He joined Mangati and Ndabaningi, leaving the headstrong
Mehlokazulu and Bambata to look after themselves. Mganu, however,

On Bambata and Mehlokazulu's suspicions being aroused, scouts were sent
out to examine the ridge on the west, occupied by part of Barker's
force. These returned a few minutes before the Maxim opened to report
troops were really there. The _impi_ was speedily roused and formed
into an _umkumbi_, that is, the 'circle' Barker had seen. Bambata then
completely lost his head, so much so that Mganu, in the absence of
Macala, was called on to take general command. He immediately gave such
orders as appeared necessary to meet the situation. His own regiment,
Mavalana, was told to charge at Barker in one direction, and the others
to do likewise in another. But before the men (already arranged in
companies) could move forward (not _backward_ as McKay and Forbes had
believed), the Maxim began--not from the ridge suspected by the rebels,
but from a different one. What followed at this stage has already been
related. It remains to add that, when it became a case of _sauve qui
peut_, the majority turned and made over the neck in rear as hard as
they could. It flashed across the minds of those familiar with that
part of the country that Dobo was a snare; that being the case, there
was nothing for it but to run the gauntlet towards the waterfall. This,
as has been seen, many accordingly did.

And so, as far as the ordinary rebel could see, the great storm that
was to come turned out to be nothing more than a thunder of artillery
and hail of bullets, brought on by that very race against whom the
mysterious command had been specially directed. Truly, the manner in
which Dinuzulu had directed the elements left much to be desired.


[Footnote 230: This word is dissyllabic, and pronounced 'maw-me' (the
'e' being as in 'met').]

[Footnote 231: Owing to the insanitary state of his camp (the site
having recently been used by three columns), Barker got permission from
McKenzie to move about three miles to the south-east of the grave, and
out of sight of Macala. This had occurred on the afternoon of the 8th.
On the same day, all the supply waggons (empty) trekked back to Fort
Yolland. Little did Barker suppose that this lucky move would make the
enemy believe the column had vanished as well.]

[Footnote 232: Some fifteen miles of difficult country had been
traversed. The feat was a noteworthy one; it had called for courage and
daring, and well deserved the Distinguished Conduct Medal afterwards
awarded to each of the men.]

[Footnote 233: The mouth of Tate gorge is about a mile west of the
mouth of Mome gorge, and is on the route along which, as hinted in
McKenzie's despatch, the enemy would probably travel. In Barker's view,
it was just possible the enemy, although bound for Mome, would proceed
thither through Tate. It will be seen later, McKenzie, notwithstanding
his written instructions, entertained similar suspicions.]

[Footnote 234: This is the hill referred to on p. 246.]

[Footnote 235: Orders were given for the searchlight to be kept
flashing throughout the night, to give the enemy the impression that
the troops were quietly resting on Nomangci--a ruse that exactly served
its purpose.]

[Footnote 236: F company (Capt. Forsbrook) was, however, at Mangeni. It
joined the regiment on the 14th June.]

[Footnote 237: It so happened that a squadron of R.H., which, for a few
minutes had gone astray during the gallop on top, had already been made
by Major A.W. Fraser to occupy a portion of the position in question,
and so prevent escapes then already beginning to occur.]

[Footnote 238: The battalion moved in line of companies, searching the
bush-covered gullies _en route_; a number of rebels was come upon. A
and H companies lined the river, whilst parties of D, E and G lined one
of the sides of Dobo bush as it was being driven. The work done by the
regiment, especially B and C companies, was very useful.]

[Footnote 239: It is believed by some that this man escaped.]

[Footnote 240: Cd. 3888, p. 185.]



Although Nkandhla had been selected by the rebel leaders as their
_terrain_, that was not to say outbreaks would not occur in other parts
of the Colony as well. Indeed, one of the objects of making Sigananda's
stronghold the principal rallying-point was to encourage overt acts
of rebellion in other parts from knowledge of the fact that, so long
as the fastness was held, it was available as a general headquarters
and place of refuge. As an illustration of this, the disaffected men
of Ngobizembe's tribe who, after being punished in the middle of March
by Leuchars--being by themselves powerless to resist the troops--made
off from Mapumulo and joined Bambata at Nkandhla. Mehlokazulu and
other Chiefs, as has already been seen, broke from Nqutu and adjoining
districts to do the same. The principle upon which all these men acted
seems to have been that, where local confederates were not strong
enough to offer resistance on the spot, either from want of numbers
or suitable fastnesses, they would move to Nkandhla, but where the
prospects were not unfavourable, as at Umsinga and Mapumulo, each with
a teeming Native, and sparse European, population, they would resolve
to try their chances there and then, in the hope that, by creating
additional and widely-separated areas of disturbance, the difficulties
of the troops would be increased, when other tribes would follow one
or other of the alternatives referred to, always with the ulterior
motive of causing the country to rise _en bloc_.

In view of the importance of Umsinga and Mapumulo, both districts being
within forty to forty-five miles of Nkandhla by such routes as Native
pedestrians ordinarily travel, it is well to understand the position at
those places.

In Umsinga district there were, in 1906, ten tribes, by far the largest
being that of Kula. The total huts owned by members of his tribe was
upwards of 4,500.[241] The huts (in the same district) of the other
nine tribes together did not amount to 4,000. To so great an extent did
Kula over-shadow the other Chiefs, that it is unnecessary to make more
than passing reference to the latter.

Kula was a young man, grandson of Ngoza, once famous throughout Natal
and Zululand as Sir Theophilus Shepstone's principal induna. Ngoza,
after serving in a position of trust and responsibility for many years,
was appointed Chief over a tract of country vacated in 1858 by a Chief
Matshana[242] to escape arrest. The ward was 450 square miles in
extent, almost the whole falling within one magisterial division.

The Poll Tax Act and regulations were promulgated to the Natives of
Umsinga in September, 1905, visits being paid by the Magistrate to
four centres for the purpose. The announcement was well received. The
only matter commented on by the Natives was that young men and boys
(over 18) were held liable for the tax, instead of their fathers, as
in the case of the hut tax. It was thought this would promote greater
independence than was already being exhibited towards parents, and,
at the same time, lead to youths retaining their earnings, instead
of handing them over to their fathers or guardians, as up till then
customary, on the plea of having to meet obligations of their own
towards the State.

Kula and the smallest local Chief, Nondubela, soon began to influence
their respective people against paying the tax. Their intrigues were
extended to other Chiefs near them, both in Natal and Zululand. Early
in December (1905), the same two tribes began to prepare for rebellion.
Supplies of assegais, shields and _tshokobezi_ badges were obtained.
The young men of all the Umsinga Chiefs were called on to pay the poll
tax subsequently to 20th January, though payment, it was explained,
might be made at any time between then and 31st May. Only one of the
Chiefs made earnest and successful endeavours to induce his men to pay,
viz. Tulwana, a man who had always been conspicuous for his loyalty to
the Government. Nondubela instructed his men not to pay, nor did any
do so until after the Rebellion had broken out and several reverses
had been sustained by the rebels. Kula advised his tribe to pay a few
pounds, and so throw dust in the eyes of the Government. £98 out of
£1,500 is all that was paid by his people.

In February, two of the same man's tribe, constables at Tugela Ferry,
were charged and convicted of conspiring to murder the European police
at that place and seize their arms and ammunition. The conspiracy was
exposed by one of Chief Sibindi's men--a fellow constable.

Kula, a man of intemperate habits, had for long been a source of
annoyance. In 1898, he openly organized his tribe into regiments. He
was reproved for so doing by the Supreme Chief. Between 1898 and May,
1906, he was repeatedly fined, either for refusing or neglecting to
supply labourers for the Public Works Department. In January, he was
warned by the U.S.N.A. to be more careful. "The Government," this
officer said to him, "is lenient, but will not put up with annoyance
such as this for ever." In July, 1905, the Governor (Sir Henry
McCallum) paid a visit to Pomeroy. The Chiefs were summoned to greet
him. Kula arrived with a mounted cavalcade and deliberately galloped
past the King's representative without saluting. For this gross
disrespect he was cautioned by His Excellency in person.

On the 4th March, 1906, about fifty men of the tribe residing at Elands
Kraal, under headman Mabulawo, openly took up arms. This caused all
European farmers in the neighbourhood to flee precipitately from their
homes. The _impi_ continued under arms and defied the local police,
with the result that thirty-six of the Police Field Force, under
Sub-Inspector C.R. Ottley, were sent to Umsinga to restore order.
Ottley, however, deemed it inadvisable to attempt more with so small a
force than camp near the court-house. On the 23rd, Kula held a large
beer-drink at his kraal within two miles of the magistracy. An armed
force was there assembled, it was said, for the purpose of killing the
police and court officials. On the night fixed for the massacre, Kula,
it seems, got drunk, when some of the more loyal headmen of the tribe
bound him up, thereby preventing him from carrying his supposed threat
into execution.

After these proceedings had been reported, Kula was summoned to
Pietermaritzburg by the Supreme Chief. He at first hesitated about
complying, but, on being pressed by his headmen, obeyed. Upon being
questioned at headquarters by the Minister for Native Affairs, he
denied everything that had occurred, but, in the face of irrefutable
evidence, was ordered to arrest Mabulawo and all who had been or
were still under arms. Twelve days later, the headman was brought
to the Magistrate, unaccompanied, however, by any of those who had
armed. On the 23rd April, a large _impi_ was organized to release
Mabulawo. The latter was now driven off in Dr. Keith Murray's trap to
Pietermaritzburg. When the _impi_ heard of this, and of the fact that
thirty of the Umsinga Reserves had been mobilized and posted at the
magistracy, they withdrew to their kraals.

Ever since the 4th March, the affairs of the district had been going
from bad to worse. Europeans and loyal Natives were assaulted by
disaffected Natives with impunity, so much so that the police were
directed to desist from attending beer-drinks in uniform, and not to
arrest any Native in the presence of others. By this time, Kula's
tribe had virtually become master of the district, doing whatever
appeared right in its own eyes.

It so happened the Magistrate (Mr. A.E. Harrington) was collecting
hut tax at Keate's Drift when Mr. Cross and party were fired on by
Bambata and others in Mpanza valley (3rd April). Chiefs Silwana and
Sibindi were ordered to arm and prevent the rebel Chief from crossing
into their wards. As soon as the message reached Sibindi, he did all
he could to assist, in fact most of his tribe in Umsinga division were
mobilized within two hours. Silwana's response was half-hearted. About
11 p.m. the same day, Ottley and twenty men arrived at the drift from
Pomeroy, six hours after hearing of Bambata's outbreak. The Magistrate,
Umsinga, proceeded the next day (4th) to collect taxes at Tugela Ferry,
where, however, but few paid.

The unrest among the Umsinga Natives now became more accentuated.
Mtele, Kula's uncle and principal induna at Elands Kraal, mobilized the
whole of the people under his charge. Nondubela joined him. The indunas
of that portion of Ngqambuzana's tribe, which was in Umsinga division,
were reported by the Chief as intending to cross into Zululand and
join the rebels. All the Europeans of the district went into lager at
Helpmakaar, excepting the court officials. The Umsinga Reserves were
joined by those of Dundee, Newcastle and Weenen early in May, together
with a composite Militia force under Major W. Murray-Smith, N.M.R.

Kula reported by messengers on the 4th May that Mtele was in open
rebellion. Harrington, in reply, remarked that he had two months
previously told Kula a portion of his tribe was in rebellion, but this
had been denied; "he sends only now to tell me what I knew two months
ago." Before receipt of this message, Kula had openly declared that he
would never come to the court again.

In consequence of a large number of Natives being expected at the
magistracy to pay taxes, a squadron N.M.R. (Capt. P.M. Rattray,
D.S.O.), with a few Reserves under Chief Leader D.C. Uys, was sent
there from Helpmakaar at 6.30 a.m. on the 8th, pending arrival the
same day of Lieut. G.R. Richards, M.L.A., and a squadron (100) N.C.
Kula, probably because he saw troops proceeding to the magistracy,
deemed it prudent to visit it too. Accompanied by a dozen of his
leading men, he arrived shortly before 11 a.m. Almost simultaneously,
Richards rode in with his men. Harrington conferred with the latter,
Rattray and Uys. He pointed out the degree to which Kula was implicated
in the Rebellion, and suggested the man should be removed from the
district. Richards, then in charge of the post, though not senior
officer, decided, with the concurrence of the other officers, to
transfer the Chief to make the statement he had already made respecting
disloyalty in his tribe to the Officer Commanding at Helpmakaar. Kula
was informed of the decision. A few minutes later, he was required
to proceed with Rattray and his men to Helpmakaar. Six headmen were
allowed to accompany the Chief. On arrival at Helpmakaar, Kula was
closely examined by Lieut.-Col. A.T.G. Wales, who, in his turn,
resolved to keep him in custody pending receipt of orders from the

The Government was naturally placed in an awkward position by these
unexpected and unusual proceedings. Richards, of course, had made no
actual arrest, and, in referring the question of the advisability of
Kula's continued presence in the district to the officer at Helpmakaar,
had done so because the point at issue appeared to be one not for him
but for some higher authority to decide. The Commandant was surprised
at Richards' action, and could he at once have got into communication
with the responsible officers, the probabilities are that Kula would
not have been either arrested or detained, as everything pointed to
his committing himself sooner or later, when he would have been either
captured or shot as a rebel.

Under the circumstances, in view of the then greatly disturbed
condition of the country, the Government caused the Chief to be
conveyed on the 9th from Helpmakaar to Pietermaritzburg, where he was
detained, though not in custody.

Those best competent to judge, firmly believe the arrest or enforced
removal of this important Chief at that particular moment checked the
spread of rebellion in those parts. This, indeed, was subsequently
realized by the Government. Thus, though there was irregularity
in the way in which Kula was removed, the step was justified by
peace being maintained at a time when a rising was imminent in the
thickly-populated district over which he had control.[243]

Kula's brother, Manuka, tried to usurp control of the tribe after the
former's departure. On such endeavour being detected, he was promptly
placed under arrest.

       *       *       *       *       *

Simultaneously with the dispatch of the Zululand Field Force to
Nkandhla (1st May), squadron A (with the Sydenham troop of B), N.M.R.
(about 110), under Lieut.-Col. H. Sparks, V.D., were detailed for
Mapumulo, whilst the remainder of the regiment (160) proceeded viâ
Dundee to Helpmakaar, under Major W. Murray-Smith. A force,[244] under
the command of Murray-Smith (with Capt. G.T. Hurst as Staff Officer),
left Dundee for Helpmakaar on the 5th. It reached its destination on
the 6th, but moved on the 7th to a new site two miles off, where a
strong lager of wire entanglements was speedily erected.

It was from the foregoing column that the detachments proceeded to
garrison Pomeroy, as already noticed in connection with Kula's removal.
Patrols, too, were sent out in various directions. These obtained
intelligence in confirmation of Mtele and Nondubela being in open

When Wales left for Pietermaritzburg on duty (11th), Murray-Smith
took over the command. Finding the Natives referred to were actually
in rebellion, Murray-Smith decided to attack and prevent them from
inducing others to take up arms. An armed body of 200 to 300 was
discovered at a kraal in a valley some four or five miles from the
camp. As, however, the Commandant's instructions were that the column
should simply proceed to Helpmakaar and, having fortified itself, await
Mackay's arrival, it became necessary for permission to assume the
offensive to be obtained. This Colonel Bru-de-Wold, after carefully
considering the situation, gave in a few hours by telephone.

On the following day (12th May), Rattray was accordingly detailed to
take command of the mounted troops, viz. 60 to 80 N.C. (Lieut. P.W.
Stride); 60 to 80 N.M.R.; about 150 Newcastle, Ladysmith, Dundee and
Estcourt Reserves; and 8 Umsinga Reserves under Chief Leader A. Müller,
the latter being guides and scouts.

Leaving camp before daybreak, the force moved towards Elands Kraal,
some ten miles away. About 9 a.m., the scouts got in touch with the
enemy and exchanged a few shots. Rattray, close at hand, pushed on at a
gallop up a hill and attacked Mtele's _impi_, about 150 to 200 strong,
the latter partly concealed in bushes. The _impi_, making neither
charge nor stand, was forthwith driven into an adjoining valley,
through which they were promptly pursued by N.C. and N.M.R. as far
as the Buffalo (about two miles), as well as in other directions. On
reaching the river, the Natives scattered more than they had already
done, some crossing into Zululand, whilst others concealed themselves
in as extraordinarily rough country on the Natal side.

The Reserves, with a Maxim (N.M.R.), took ground where the enemy had
first been seen. From such position, a continuous fire was kept up,
which proved very effective in breaking down any opposition that might
have been offered in such extremely rugged and out-of-the-way country.

The main force with Murray-Smith had, in the meantime, occupied high
ground overlooking the Elands Kraal settlement and the Buffalo valley.
Here the N.F.A., supporting and covering Rattray, opened and kept up
a shrapnel fire on groups of retreating Natives. Such, however, was
ineffective on account of the long range.

The whole action, including pursuit, lasted about two hours. The troops
suffered no casualties; of the rebels, twenty-nine were killed, eight
prisoners were taken, and thirty cattle captured.

On an examination of the scene being made, two camps of war-huts
were found (about a mile apart). Food and clothing belonging to the
insurgents were discovered at the back of the hill on which they were
first sighted.

Two days later, Murray-Smith took a force (including N.C. at Pomeroy,
then having been relieved by N.R.R.) to Nondubela's kraal, at a hill
called Nqoro, near Buffel's Hoek, but the rebels, on the alert in
consequence of the action at Elands Kraal, escaped to Zululand. It was
on the same day that Mackay crossed into Natal at Rorke's Drift.[245]
Had it been possible for him to co-operate, Nondubela and his force
might not have escaped as cheaply as they did. As it was, Murray-Smith
went with a section of his force to Rorke's Drift, then down the right
bank of the Buffalo, whilst another section, under Rattray, proceeded
by road viâ Elands Kraal valley, and, after crossing Mazabeko stream,
converged with the main body on Nqoro bill (below Fugitives' Drift).
On this occasion, all kraals that were come across belonging to rebels
were destroyed. Over forty miles were covered during the day. The
feature of the day's operations, however, was the splendid performance
of the guns (N.F.A.) under Wilson, which travelled a distance of not
less than forty miles.

In addition to _tshokobezi_ badges, it was noticed that strips of white
goat-skin, about an inch broad and tied round the neck, were used by
Natives of these parts to indicate being in rebellion. The prisoners,
as well as the killed, were found wearing them.

As soon as Mackay arrived, he took command and operated as already
described in Chapter XII.

Orders were received from the Commandant on 16th May for 100 N.M.R.
and 100 N.R.R.[246] under Murray-Smith, to escort a convoy of fifty-one
waggons (supplies, etc.), from Dundee to Nkandhla. Leaving on the 17th,
the escort, strengthened at Vant's Drift by 100 N.C. under Richards,
arrived at Nkandhla viâ Nqutu, Nondweni and Owen's store, on the 24th.
On the following day, the escort, less the N.C.--detached to become
bodyguard to Colonel McKenzie--was ordered to return with the empty
waggons to Dundee and join the Umvoti Field Force (then under command
of Major W.J.S. Newmarch, U.M.R.) at Greytown, and do so viâ Tugela
Ferry. Murray-Smith left Nkandhla on the 26th and, returning viâ Nqutu,
reached Dundee on the 30th.

The night the escort reached Nqutu (28th May), an absurd scare arose
out of a belief that Mehlokazulu intended attacking the village the
same night. The Basutos had, in consequence, mobilized and taken refuge
at the gaol. As, at this time, Mackay was camped sixteen miles away at
Isandhlwana, it is difficult to understand how the scare arose.

On arriving at Dundee, Murray-Smith got orders from Leuchars to proceed
_by rail_ to Greytown, leaving N.R.R. at Dundee. He accordingly
entrained on the 1st June, reached Greytown 6 a.m. on the following
day, and joined the U.F.F. at Spitzkop on the 3rd, temporarily taking

Shortly after, Mackay moved into Nqutu district, Zululand (27th May),
to co-operate with Leuchars. Lieut.-Col. J. Weighton was appointed to
command at Helpmakaar.

On being appointed (29th May), to the command of all troops south of
Tugela and in Nqutu district, Zululand, _i.e._ the whole of Natal
plus Nqutu, Leuchars, as has been seen, visited Helpmakaar to direct
operations from there. He arrived at that place on the 2nd June to
find that 1,000 of Chief Silwana's men had suddenly, and without
reference to the Commandant of Militia, or to himself, been called
out by the Minister for Native Affairs, with orders to be at Pomeroy
on the 3rd. Efforts were at once made to secure a European leader. The
men displayed no enthusiasm whatever and were barely civil. Although
called out under the authority of the Native Code as an ordinary levy,
they asked to be armed with rifles and supplied with blankets. The
applications could not be entertained. Warnings were received that
the levy was not to be trusted. It was freely stated that Silwana had
forbidden the men to cross into Zululand. At Gordon Memorial mission
station they looted a European house. On a false alarm occurring one
night, a number of the younger men sprang to arms with the war-cry,
"Usutu!" Under these circumstances, Leuchars decided to send them
back to Weenen. Urgent requests, however, came from Government and
the Magistrate of Weenen to give them a trial. Mr. G.A. Jackson, who
knew the people, was accordingly appointed to lead them. The order
to return to their homes was withdrawn. They were told Jackson would
take them next day (7th) to a locality where a number of returned
rebels of Manuka's section was in hiding. As there was a tribal feud
of long standing between Silwana's and Kula's people, it was thought
the levy would have undertaken the duty with alacrity. Jackson went to
Helpmakaar to arrange for supplies. On getting back to Pomeroy next
morning to lead the levy on, he found no less than 600 had deserted
during the night. Although about 100 of those remaining volunteered to
go forward, they were carried away by the majority, who, packing up
their bundles, made for their homes. After expressing regret at the
behaviour of their men, the indunas proceeded to do likewise.[247]

By way of facilitating control of the forces in Umsinga and Nqutu
districts, those under Mackay, less the Reserves sent back to
Helpmakaar, were separated from the Helpmakaar Field Force and formed
into a distinct column, with instructions to confine their operations
to the basin of the Buffalo and the north-west portion of Qudeni
mountain. Mackay's column then consisted of the N.C., Right and Left
Wings; N.R., one company; N.F.A., one battery (six guns); and N.N.H.,
one squadron.

The Mapumulo garrison was detached from the U.F.F. and became a
separate column under Sparks, with authority to turn out 200 from each
of two loyal tribes to assist in searching for and arresting returned
rebels of Ngobizembe's tribe.

The H.F.F. was now made up of the garrisons of Pomeroy, Fort
Murray-Smith,[248] Helpmakaar, Paddafontein and Dundee. Wales was
appointed to command vice Weighton, who had been ordered to take over
court-martial duties.

Further proof was given by the Transvaal at this juncture of an
earnest desire to assist Natal in her trouble. That patriotic
and well-known organization, the Lancaster and York Association,
Johannesburg, conceived the idea of offering Natal the services of
150 men (twenty-five of them mounted). On approaching the President,
Mr. (now Sir) Abe Bailey, K.C.M.G., the latter not only approved the
proposal, but undertook to defray all expenses of equipment, clothing,
saddlery, etc.--excepting only salaries and food supplies--out of
his own pocket. This generous offer was most gratefully accepted by
the Natal Government. So enthusiastically did Mr. Joe Bell, Mr. W.
Beachy-Head and other members of the Association take the matter up,
ably assisted by the Staff of the Transvaal Volunteer Headquarters,
that after beginning to enrol on the 1st June, the corps, under the
command of Lieut.-Col. Thomas Peakman, C.M.G., with Capt. G.H. Helbert,
as Adjutant, actually presented itself for inspection at 3 p.m. on the
3rd,[249] and, moving off by train at 5.15 p.m., reached Dundee at
9.30 a.m. on the following day, prepared for any service that might be

The greatest pains had been taken to select only the most efficient
out of the 1,500 applications handed in. The rapidity with which the
men were enrolled, clothed, equipped and entrained was as surprising
to the people of Johannesburg as it was to the Colony of Natal. The L
and Y, or 'Rosebuds,' as the corps was more familiarly styled, were
directed to attach themselves to Mackay's column. This they did at
Mangeni on the 9th June. Peakman was appointed second in command of the
column, and he and his contingent remained with it until the end of the
operations in Zululand.

       *       *       *       *       *

Intelligence was received by McKenzie (at Nomangci) on the 9th June of
the presence of a strong rebel force at Kotongweni mountain (_i.e._
close to the Tugela, above Watton's Drift). This was probably the force
whose expedition was referred to on p. 315, although the expedition
there dealt with was confined to the neighbourhood of Watton's Drift.
McKenzie ordered the U.F.F. to make a night march on 12th and, crossing
next morning near Ngubevu Drift, to work down Mfongozi valley, where a
column from Nkandhla would be ready to co-operate. Leuchars thereupon
re-mobilized the 1st and 2nd Krantzkop Reserves, instructing van Rooyen
to march down the Dimane valley to the Tugela and prevent the enemy
from breaking into Natal from Kotongweni, on their being pressed on
the Zululand side. The O.C. Helpmakaar, moreover, was directed to
co-operate on the north-west by moving a force of Reserves, N.R.R. and
D.L.I. to look out at the Buffalo for any of the enemy who might be
returning to their homes in that direction. It was at this time (10th),
it will be remembered, that the Mome action took place.

The U.F.F., joined by Sibindi, who had again voluntarily mobilized his
men, crossed at Ngubevu and proceeded to Mfongozi valley, where touch
was got with Mackay, but, in spite of constant efforts, communication
could not be opened up with the column from Nkandhla until 11 a.m.
on the following day. Leuchars operated in Mfongozi valley both on
the 13th and 14th, capturing many cattle. After he had conferred with
Colonel McKenzie, a decision was come to for both columns to operate
at Kotongweni on the following day. Five hundred of Sibindi's men
accordingly went down Mfongozi river to the Tugela, whilst McKenzie
operated from the top of the mountain. The operations, however, proved

The O.C. Troops now directed Leuchars to return to Broeder's Hoek,
about twelve miles from Krantzkop magistracy, keeping his own force in
the vicinity of Kombe forest. Mackay was instructed to remain on Qudeni
mountain during a three days' armistice which was proclaimed at the
same time, to afford rebels an opportunity of surrendering. Captive
women were utilized to make the proclamation known to those who were in

The U.F.F. marched viâ Ngubevu to Broeder's Hoek. The Reserves at
Helpmakaar were demobilized on 16th and 17th June, with exception of
those of Umsinga, who were retained as garrison at Helpmakaar lager,
it being still unsafe for the women and children who had taken refuge
there to return to their farms.

With the object of relieving some of the men of Mackay's force, two
squadrons B.M.R. and one squadron N.C.(D), were mobilized, and sent
under Arnott to Dundee on the 18th.[250] Major Moe proceeded, at the
same time, with the whole of the N.N.H. to Pomeroy, in order to bring
rebels of Kula's tribe to book, also escort to Pomeroy Chief Makafula
of Nqutu district whom Mackay had been directed to arrest. The arrest,
however, was not made, as Mackay, who had been in close touch with the
Chief, had good grounds for believing he was not disloyal, as supposed
to be the case by those at a distance. In this view, Mackay was
supported by the Magistrate.

Whilst contemplating a demonstration in Silwana's location by Mackay's
column from the Umsinga side, and by the U.F.F. from that of Greytown,
Leuchars received a wire from O.C. Mapumulo reporting that his convoy
had been attacked on the morning of the 19th at Oglesby's store,
near Otimati, when one man had been killed and another wounded. He
thereupon caused his forces to concentrate at Mapumulo as speedily as

Before describing the position at Mapumulo, a thickly-populated
district which now became the principal focus of rebellion, it will be
necessary to take up the threads once more at Nkandhla and narrate what
happened between the action at Mome gorge (10th) and the outbreak at
Mapumulo just referred to.


[Footnote 241: Giving, roughly, a population of 18,000 souls, or about
2,500 fighting men.]

[Footnote 242: The man referred to frequently in this history as
Matshana ka Mondise.]

[Footnote 243: Kula's uncle, Mtele, with the portion of the tribe that
rebelled with him, formed part of the force that attacked Leuchars at

[Footnote 244: It was made up of 200 N.C., Right Wing (Major A.C.
Townsend); 160 N.M.R. (Capt. P.M. Rattray); N.F.A. (four guns) (Major
C. Wilson); 55 N.R.R. (Lieut. A. McKenzie); and departmental details.
When _en route_ to Helpmakaar, it was joined by the following Reserves:
80 Newcastle (Chief Leader Adendorff); 200 Estcourt (Chief Leader A.F.
Henderson, C.M.G.); 55 Dundee (Chief Leader D.C. Uys).]

[Footnote 245: His and Murray-Smith's men met near the Buffalo and
moved back together to the latter's camp.]

[Footnote 246: N.R.R. were relieved at Pomeroy on the 16th by D.L.I.
(100) (Capt. W.P.M. Henderson), the latter having arrived at Helpmakaar
on the preceding day from Dundee with a convoy of supplies.]

[Footnote 247: Report, Colonel G. Leuchars, C.M.G., 23rd Nov. 1906.]

[Footnote 248: That is, the lager, consisting chiefly of wire
entanglements, erected about two miles from Helpmakaar.]

[Footnote 249: By the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, South

[Footnote 250: Only, as will appear later, to proceed at once to



Reference was made towards the close of the preceding chapter to a
combined move by Leuchars, Mackay and a column from Nkandhla in the
direction of Kotongweni on the 15th June. The object was to drive
the enemy with his stock from Qudeni mountain into the valley of the
Mfongozi river. The Nkandhla column, commanded by McKenzie, consisted
of the 'divisional troops' shown at the foot of the page.[251]

The transport and N.F.A. (pompoms), with an escort of N.R. (three
companies, A, D and E, Major Boyd-Wilson), proceeded on the 12th viâ
Nkandhla and Ensingabantu to Ntingwe. On the same day, the remainder
of the divisional troops and R.H. (temporarily detached from Royston's
Brigade), visited and thoroughly searched Ofeni gorge and ridge _en
route_. Ofeni[252] is a remarkable chasm, about five miles to the
south of Empandhleni. A small stream that rises there and descends
rapidly to the Insuze, has the same name. The sides of the chasm, which
are over 300 feet in height, are linked together by means of a tiny,
natural bridge but a few feet in width. Makahleleka, one of Sigananda's
many and more important sons, was declared to be in hiding at this
uncanny place. The search, however, resulted in practically no rebels
being found. The troops afterwards proceeded to Titlestad's store, at
Ntingwe, where they bivouacked for the night.

Although the foregoing movement was carried out expressly with the
object of co-operating on the 13th with Leuchars and Mackay, then near
Kotongweni and Qudeni respectively, the plan, in so far as McKenzie
was concerned, was disturbed through receipt of intelligence to the
effect that Bambata, Cakijana and Mangati had taken refuge in the bush
at Macala. To surround the mountain by daybreak on the 13th then, of
course, became the immediate object. Barker was ordered to co-operate.
He was to take up positions on the south, whilst McKenzie would do
likewise in other directions. When dawn broke and the latter's troops
were in the positions assigned, Barker was found exactly where it was
desired he should be, _i.e._ at the lower end of Macala bush. The
fastness, which lay in a bush at the top of the mountain, consisted of
great masses of rock lying one on top of the other in such a way as to
form, below the surface of the ground, a network of dark passages, the
one communicating with the other. Only with the greatest difficulty
could people who had taken refuge there be found and, when this
occurred, the searchers, on account of the irregular formation of the
labyrinth and its narrow passages, ran serious risks when dealing with
a desperate enemy, especially one who had reduced the length of his
assegai to enable it to be used with the best effect. A Native levy
which had accompanied the column, was instructed to drive the bush,
whilst being supported by the troops. During this operation, a rebel,
who was concealed under the rocks, stabbed one of the levy in the leg.
On the drive, which was partially successful, coming to an end, the
underground passages were entered and thoroughly searched by the N.C.,
with the result that a number of other rebels was killed. It afterwards
transpired that these Natives, when at first they had found themselves
surprised by the troops, ran to the rock 'warren,' never dreaming
"people with boots on," as they put it, would venture to explore so
dark and perplexing a spot. The principal object of the quest, however,
was not attained, though Bambata's witch-doctor, Malaza, was among the
slain. Some 450 cattle were captured during the day. McKenzie withdrew
to Ntingwe, and Barker to near Cetshwayo's grave.

Whilst the foregoing operations were in progress, the Z.M.R., under
Vanderplank, proceeded to the hill Jokwana, west of Macala, to get in
touch with Leuchars and Mackay, and to advise the former of what was
taking place at Macala. He was, moreover, to co-operate as well as he
could in carrying out the original plan. Owing, however, to the haze,
communication could not be established.

On the day following, 14th June, McKenzie moved up towards Kombe
forest, where he succeeded in getting into communication with Leuchars.
A drive of the combined forces through the valley that lay between
them was accordingly arranged and took place the same day, but without
result. Colonels McKenzie and Leuchars met, when further combined
operations were arranged to take place on the 15th at Kotongweni,
where Mangati and Cakijana were then alleged to be hiding in caves.
On the departure of the O.C. Troops from Nomangci, Lieut.-Col. J.S.
Wylie, D.L.I., was placed in charge of the camp. Hedges, Calverley
and Titlestad were, at the same time, instructed to try and locate
Sigananda, with a view to bringing about his capture or surrender. One
or other of these alternatives appeared imminent. As a result of the
untiring and well-directed efforts of these officers, not only was
the rebel leader's whereabouts discovered, but, on his being persuaded
to surrender, he did so forthwith, not, however, to Wylie, but to an
officer of lower rank. The latter's action, with Wylie in camp, was
inexcusable, and his acceptance of the surrender irregular and invalid,
as, of course, the only person competent to announce the terms of
surrender was the O.C. Troops. Unfortunately, the last-named did not
receive a notification as to what had happened until twenty-four hours
later. He decided that the surrender was to be unconditional and be
accompanied with those of all the Chief's people, together with their
arms. To this Sigananda agreed. On the 16th, he was conveyed by the
balance of R.H. at Nomangci to Empandhleni.

Boyd-Wilson, by making a creditable forced march with the transport,
succeeded in joining McKenzie at Kombe on the 14th.

The combined operations at Kotongweni (15th) proved disappointing. In
the neighbourhood of the camp, however, where the bushes were searched
by N.R., thirteen rebels were shot, whilst a large quantity of goods,
probably looted from European stores in the vicinity, was discovered.
Owing to Mackay not having got in touch with McKenzie on the 13th, his
column was unable to take part in the operations.

In the meantime, reliable intelligence had reached Nomangci of Bambata
having been killed during the action at Mome. Because of a rumour
circulated on the day of the action that he had escaped with a wound,
it obviously became necessary to take the greatest pains in securing
identification. Two of his tribe, who had been brought from Greytown
in April in anticipation of difficulty in connection with matters
of identification, happened to be still at Empandhleni. These were
conducted on the 13th to the spot where the body was lying, namely, at
the very bottom of the gorge, within half a dozen yards of the right
bank of the Mome, and just where the Dobo or 'pear-shaped' forest abuts
on the stream. Although the inspection took place five days after
death, the features, by reason of the extreme cold in the gorge at
that time of year--mid-winter--were remarkably well preserved. The two
Native informants, who were intimately acquainted with Bambata, had
no difficulty in recognizing the body as that of their Chief. Such
peculiarities as had been described _beforehand_ by these and other
relatives and acquaintances as characteristic of Bambata, were found
about the body--tallying exactly. Among them were: a gap between the
two middle upper teeth; slight beard, rather under, than on the front
of, the chin; a scar immediately below one eye, and another on the
cheek opposite; a high instep. As, however, the officer in charge
wished to put the matter beyond all doubt, and as to carry a corpse
already five days old up the sides of a gorge, about whose steepness so
much has already been written, was out of the question, he directed the
head to be removed and brought instead. As a result of this, decisive
corroborative evidence was secured. This must have been wanting had
timidity been permitted to usurp the ordinary dictates of common sense.
It was, of course, of the utmost importance to prove that the principal
ringleader in a serious rebellion, a man then still believed by many
of his followers to possess supernatural powers, was really dead. Care
was taken to keep the head in a decent manner until the plain and
necessary object, solely on account of which it had been removed, was
served. At no time whilst it was in charge of the troops, was there the
slightest act of disrespect towards it or the deceased's memory. It was
not exposed to public view, but kept by one of the medical officers in
a manner the most proper under the circumstances. It was, moreover,
impossible for anyone to see it without permission, which, again,
was withheld, except for the necessary purpose of identification. In
addition to the two Natives referred to, three others, viz. a prisoner
who had come from Natal with Bambata, and two men of Sigananda's tribe
who knew Bambata well, were sent by the Acting Magistrate to see the
head; this they at once recognized as Bambata's.

As soon as identification had been completed, the head was taken back
to the gorge and there buried along with the body.[253]

After the finding of Bambata's body and the surrender of Sigananda,
General Stephenson, who had witnessed the operations at Nkandhla
for nearly three weeks, left with his staff for the Transvaal, viâ

Before proceeding with his chief staff officer and bodyguard to
Empandhleni on the 16th, McKenzie, convinced that the Rebellion was
then practically over, allowed the levies to return to their homes for
three days. During this period, he gave out, all operations would be
suspended, to afford those in hiding an opportunity of surrendering.
The levies were accordingly told to try and induce rebels of their
respective tribes to come in. Sigananda was, at the same time, directed
to send messengers to members of his and Ndube's tribes who had
rebelled, by way of bringing about speedy and general surrenders. Among
those who were successful in this connection was Sergt. E. Titlestad,
of the Intelligence Department, and for long a storekeeper at Ntingwe.
Proceeding to Qudeni forest he, in a couple of days, managed to induce
284 men to return with him to camp. McKenzie's column, then taken
command of by Royston, moved to Ndikwe stream, north-east of and below
Ensingabantu store.

With the Rebellion in Zululand at an end, nothing remained but to clear
the country in the direction of Qudeni, Mfongozi and towards Nqutu,
that is, to receive surrenders or make arrests where rebels, generally
the most culpable, were unwilling to come in. Woolls-Sampson, having
returned from his visit to Pietermaritzburg,[254] was, on the 20th,
given command of a column.[255] He was instructed to form a depôt at
Ensingabantu and to operate in that part of the country.

It was at this stage that news of the outbreak at Mapumulo on the 19th
was received. In addition to instructing Leuchars to push forward the
U.F.F. to the scene of disturbance, Mansel was ordered by the O.C.
Troops to camp at Middle Drift, from which place patrols were to be
thrown out in all directions, particularly up and down Tugela valley,
so as to intercept movements towards Zululand of rebels then stated to
be collecting on the right bank of the Tugela, between Middle Drift and
Bond's Drift.

Mackay and Royston proceeded, in the meantime, to clear country in the
vicinity of their respective camps. On the 22nd, two squadrons N.C.,
with the mounted section, L and Y, and a Native levy, left on a patrol
in the direction of the Buffalo river. Very difficult country was
traversed. A remarkable gorge, known as Emlola-mazembe (_where axes
are ground_), was come upon in a small and peculiarly-secluded valley,
through which the Gubazi stream passes. At the lower end of the valley,
the stream runs through a huge cleft, the stone walls of which are
about 150 feet high and only about 12 feet apart at the top. The cleft
extends some 100 or so yards before the water flows from a large dark
pool at this uncanny spot into another valley beyond. No wonder that
such place had, until that very day, been occupied by rebels.

A notable arrest was made about this time near Empandhleni, viz.
Bekuzulu, brother of the late Mehlokazulu. This man, who was a rebel,
was being harboured at a kraal. The head of the kraal was, of course,
also arrested.

At Empangeni on the coast, a Chief Bejana had recently failed to comply
with the orders of the local Magistrate. Without informing Colonel
McKenzie of what was taking place, a small party of N.P. proceeded to
Empangeni to effect the man's arrest, but, feeling later on they were
not strong enough, applied for reinforcements. The idea of sending a
small party on such a mission appeared more likely to provoke than
suppress rebellious tendencies, consequently Barker was directed to
assume command and make the arrest. Owing, however, to instructions
received from headquarters, the expedition did not take place, although
Barker's orders were not definitely cancelled until he had got as far
as Entumeni.

The Government, as stated in Chapter IX., felt it necessary for
Dinuzulu "to take some action to show his loyalty." It was thought he
and Meiteki should visit Pietermaritzburg and advise as to the state
of affairs in Zululand. The proposal, however, was allowed to drop for
the time being. On the 29th May, the Governor again strongly urged it.
Mr. Saunders then acquiesced. An invitation was conveyed to Dinuzulu,
who replied (2nd June) that he was in bad health, and that he wished
to discuss the matter with his headmen. The headmen were summoned,
but, owing to the alleged death of one of the Chief's children just
at that moment, his meeting with them was delayed. The headmen saw
the necessity for making the visit, but remarked that "in Dinuzulu's
present state of health, they feared he would never reach, but die on
the road." Permission was sought to send a large deputation of indunas
instead. In acceding to the request, the Governor suggested that the
Chief should himself go to the telephone at Nongoma and be there to
refer to whilst the interview lasted. About twenty indunas, headed by
Mankulumana, accordingly proceeded to Pietermaritzburg, accompanied by
the Commissioner and the local Magistrate. They had three interviews
with Sir Henry McCallum on the 20th, 21st and 22nd. The latter reported
that the men had replied in a straight-forward and satisfactory manner
to questions put to them, so much so that he and the Minister for
Native Affairs were persuaded "that Dinuzulu's name had been used as a
'stalking-horse' by different malcontents to incite their neighbours
to rebellion." It was in this way, they believed, that many of the
false rumours of which the Chief complained had arisen. It transpired
from the interviews that messengers had reached Dinuzulu from three
Natal Chiefs, whose coming he had failed to report in accordance with
instructions previously given him by the Governor. The indunas were
told to inform Dinuzulu that he had disobeyed orders, and that he was
to be more careful in future.

On account of ill-health, Dinuzulu did not proceed to the telephone
office at Nongoma, as desired by the Governor.

The situation at Mapumulo now began to grow more serious. It developed
with the same remarkable rapidity that had been witnessed at Nkandhla.
At such a time, given a few weeks of incubation, a Zulu is nothing if
not swift and vigorous in his movements. To organize is, with him,
instinctive. To-day the country may be still and deserted, to-morrow it
is overrun by great 'swarms,' called _impis_, sprung from nobody knows

McKenzie made up his mind to withdraw from Zululand all troops that
could be spared and proceed with them towards Mapumulo, so as to
confine the Rebellion as much as possible to the vicinity of the
fresh outbreak.[256] Royston's brigade remained at Ndikwe, with
orders to operate through Mehlokazulu's ward towards Nqutu, clearing
up generally and receiving as many surrenders as possible. The
Commissioner for Native Affairs was at first of opinion the latter
action might be misunderstood by loyal Zulus, but, after further
consideration, concurred in it.

Woolls-Sampson left Empandhleni on the 23rd June,[257] and, marching
viâ Fort Yolland, took up a position on the northern side of the Tugela
at or near the precipice known as Isiwasamanqe, with the object of
preventing Natal rebels from breaking into Zululand. The loyal tribes
of that part, including that of Mtonga,[258] assisted with levies.
Strict orders were, at the same time, given to Woolls-Sampson to take
every precaution to prevent looting of property, or damage to crops,
kraals, etc., of friendly Natives.

As, at this juncture, everything pointed to a peaceful state of affairs
in Zululand, the O.C. Troops left Empandhleni on the morning of the
25th. By this date, the majority of rebels in Nkandhla district had
surrendered. The garrisons at Empandhleni and Ensingabantu were,
nevertheless, allowed to remain, owing to the inadvisability of
entirely and suddenly denuding the country of troops. Just before he
left, the indunas and Native messengers at the magistracy asked to see
Colonel McKenzie, when they expressed their gratitude for the Rebellion
having been so rapidly suppressed and peace restored once more. They,
at the same time, warned him "just to glance back occasionally, as a
grass fire, when put out, often starts again in rear." This McKenzie
took to mean that Dinuzulu was still in his rear and might have to be
dealt with.

These facts are sufficient to show that, to the action at Mome, must be
attributed the complete and almost immediate collapse of the Rebellion
in Zululand. After that fight, there was no further opposition in any
direction in Zululand. Throughout Nkandhla and Nqutu districts peace
and good order were restored almost at a single stroke. A decisive
blow, and all was over. That was what McKenzie constantly aimed at,
that was what the Government desired him to aim at, because the
more summary the punishment, the sooner would peace be restored and
destruction of life put an end to. War is not a pastime, as some people
seem to think, but a reality, as stern in operation as any law of
nature. At any rate, that is how it is viewed by Zulus, and the sooner
Europeans look at it in the same way when at war with these tribes, the
better for them and the tribes.

Although, for a few days, many rebels remained in hiding, none ventured
to take refuge in the stronghold which, having become a place of bad
omen, was entirely deserted. It had become the home of the dead. Nor
did the few more prominent rebels like Cakijana, Mangati and Magadise,
fearing the consequences of their misdeeds, make further use of it
during the many weeks they roamed about from one place of hiding to

       *       *       *       *       *

It will be remembered that Mapumulo district was visited by a column
(under Leuchars) during March, when a large cattle fine was levied on
Ngobizembe and members of his tribe for defiant conduct towards the

As part of the general plan for coping with the Rebellion, the
Commandant of Militia decided at the end of April to establish a
garrison at Mapumulo. This took place simultaneously with the Z.F.F.
leaving Dundee for Nkandhla, and the garrisoning of such other places
as Helpmakaar, Krantzkop, and Greytown in Natal, and Empandhleni, Fort
Yolland, and Eshowe in Zululand.

It was known that the Natives at Mapumulo were liable to rise at any
moment, hence the question as to how the outbreak could be delayed at
once occurred to the Commandant, for he had not sufficient troops to
operate in that part as well as at Nkandhla and other places. Calling
to mind what he had read and studied of Cape and other Native wars as
to how Natives, setting no value on time, had often been prevented from
precipitating a conflict through troops being frequently moved about
in such a way as not to run risks of being ambushed, he decided to
garrison the place with a small force which, strongly entrenched behind
wire entanglements, would be adequate in case of a rush, though not
strong enough should the O.C., losing his head, feel inclined to act on
the aggressive. Lieut.-Col. H. Sparks, V.D., was the officer selected
for the post, firstly, because he was intimately acquainted with the
district, and secondly, because of his being a cautious leader. He
was instructed to have the district well patrolled, but on no account
to come into collision with the enemy unless his lager was attacked.
Stores, etc., were to be drawn from Stanger, but, unless a strong
escort accompanied the waggons, drivers and voorloopers were to have no
escort at all.

The force, consisting of 120 N.M.R. and 50 D.L.I., arrived at
Mapumulo on the 2nd May. Sparks found the Natives, barely fifty
miles from Nkandhla as the crow flies, with the Tugela between, in
a very disturbed state, notably the tribes of Ndhlovu, Meseni, and
Ngobizembe. They were all palpably in sympathy with Bambata. A lager
of wire entanglements was erected about the gaol and court-house.
Patrols were sent out daily to Balcomb's and Allan's stores, _i.e._
north and north-west, as well as to Thring's Post and Umvoti Drift, in
Meseni's ward. On the 15th May, a large one went into the latter ward,
where armed Natives were observed on the hills. These were said to be
awaiting an opportunity of joining Bambata at Nkandhla.

Reports were continually brought in by scouts that Natives of certain
tribes were being doctored for war, after which they proceeded to
Nkandhla. One of the Chiefs concerned helped to ascertain the kraals of
those who had so gone off. Sparks adopted the ingenious expedient of
distraining all cattle belonging to these kraals until the rebels who
ordinarily lived there had been surrendered, and, in several instances,
with every success. The O.C., moreover, ably assisted by the
Magistrate (Colonel T. Maxwell),[259] got into touch with a number of
loyal Chiefs and headmen. In these and other ways, these two officers
succeeded in maintaining order until after the decisive blow had been
struck at Mome.

Of the Chiefs in Mapumulo, Lower Tugela and Ndwedwe[260] divisions,
two or three, apart from those already referred to, call for special

Meseni was head of the Qwabe tribe, one of the most ancient and famous
tribes in Natal and Zululand.[261] On the death of his father Musi,
some years before the Rebellion, a dispute arose as to the heir, when
the Governor, after inquiry, decided to divide the tribe. Meseni was
appointed Chief over the principal section, whilst his nephew, Siziba
(a minor), was awarded another section, as well as the property left by
Musi. This decision, however, caused considerable dissatisfaction. The
Magistrate of Lower Tugela (Mr. F.P. Shuter), was shortly after made
Chief over Siziba's section. This gave great offence to Meseni. A fight
took place between the two factions. Although, in Meseni's view, one
party was as guilty as the other, his men were more severely punished
than those presided over by the Magistrate. This Meseni felt to be
unjust. He became disrespectful to Mr. Shuter. Such offence, as well
as his assembling men with the alleged intention of attacking another
Chief, with whom some difference had arisen, were reported, when nearly
1,000 huts of his tribe (_i.e._ the section in Lower Tugela division),
were detached and put under other Chiefs.

When those of Meseni's tribe in Mapumulo division were called together
by the Magistrate for the purpose of the poll tax being explained, they
behaved in an insolent and defiant manner. This occurred at Gaillard's
store, Umvoti, whilst the Chief himself was at Stanger in connection
with the faction fight referred to. Such absence did not, of course,
prevent his being called on for an explanation by Leuchars in March. He
was ordered to arrest and hand over all such as had misbehaved. This
Meseni said it was impossible to do within the three days allowed,
especially as many weeks had elapsed since the affair. He, however,
brought in a number, who were punished. For failing to hand over
about 200, he was later on arrested and imprisoned at Mapumulo. After
being in gaol for about six weeks, he was released by order of the
Government, without, however, having been brought to trial. When, with
the fighting going on at Nkandhla, the people at Mapumulo began to
assume a rebellious attitude, Meseni was ordered to come in but did
not do so. In May and June, when larger numbers of troops came to the
district, he called up his people, as he says, to protect himself.
Action of that kind, of course, at once gave the impression that he was
in rebellion.

Ndhlovu ka Timuni, of the Zulu tribe, was a Chief with considerable
influence in Mapumulo division.[262] Owing to a mistake, he was
summoned to Stanger in April. On instructions from Mapumulo, he was
placed under arrest and subsequently removed to that place, where he
was detained for a time and then released.

The people of both these tribes broke into rebellion in June.
Associated with them were the Chiefs Matshwili and Mlungwana, also
portions of Ntshingumuzi's, Swaimana's and other tribes. Ntshingumuzi
himself did not rebel, though a relation of his, a young man Mahlanga,
vigorously coerced many to rise and join Matshwili.

But although, as in the cases of Meseni and Ndhlovu, there was
apparently some cause for complaint, purely Native influences of a
distinctly disloyal character were at work, and this prior to either of
the arrests referred to.

As far back as January and February, for instance, a large portion of
Ntshingumuzi's tribe had been doctored for war, whilst practically
the whole of those of Mlungwana and Matshwili had gone through the
same performance.[263] There is no act, passive in its nature, which a
Native can commit that betrays hostile intent more plainly than being
doctored for war. Once such ceremonies are held, all that remains is to
await the signal for a simultaneous rising.

Early in June, two messengers (one a headringed man) arrived from
Siteku, an uncle of Dinuzulu, living near Melmoth in Zululand. This
man (Siteku) incited the tribes of Ndhlovu, Matshwili and Meseni to
rebel and kill all the white people; "Bambata has not been killed," he
said, "but is in hiding in the Tugela valley." He threatened Ndhlovu
with violence if his people did not rise. Calling to mind an occasion
on which a relation of that Chief had, some seventy years before,
failed to assist the Zulus against the Boers, Ndhlovu was warned that
although his relation had escaped punishment at the hands of the Zulus,
he (Ndhlovu) was not to be too sure such luck would be his own during
the existing crisis. Ndhlovu states that a messenger from the tribe of
Mtonga (another uncle of Dinuzulu, living in Eshowe district), also
came and incited him to take up arms.

It was in these and other ways, too numerous to be noticed in detail,
that the majority of the Native population at Mapumulo decided to
rebel. Those who did, began by arming and organizing themselves quietly
in their respective wards. And the more they massed and organized, the
more confident they were of success. To such a pitch did the excitement
grow, that Ndhlovu resolved to step forth and give the required signal.

It so happened that on Monday, the 18th June, a convoy of nine waggons,
drawn by oxen, left Stanger for Mapumulo. The waggons outspanned for
the night 200 yards from Oglesby's store, near the Otimati stream, and
some six miles from Mapumulo. On receipt of news of the locality being
in a greatly disturbed state, an early start was made on the following
day. The usual Native driver and voorlooper (leader) accompanied each
waggon, also a European conductor (Q.-M.-Sergt. L.E. Knox, N.M.R.),
Trooper Albert Powell, of the same regiment (who was returning from
sick leave), and a Griqua. Just as the waggons had begun to descend a
white cutting, some fifty or sixty rebels of Ndhlovu's tribe, wearing
_tshokobezi_ badges, sprang up on either side and made for the leading
waggon. Knox was struck with a knobstick, and stabbed in the right
thigh (the assegai penetrating to the stomach). He jumped from the
waggons, dashed through his assailants and made off for Mapumulo along
the road as hard as he could go. Being a good athlete, he quickly
out-distanced the rebels and arrived at the magistracy shortly before
9. In the meantime, Powell, who was on the last waggon, ran to
Oglesby's store. The Oglesbys (father and son), did what they could.
The former was in the act of conducting Powell to a cave a few hundred
yards off, when the _impi_ came in sight and overtook them. Powell,
who, like Knox, was in uniform, was immediately stabbed to death, but
Oglesby and his son, well known to the Natives of that part, were not

The drivers and voorloopers ran off for a time as soon as the attack
began, although the rebels shouted that, being Natives and having been
commandeered for service, they would not be molested. The oxen were not
interfered with, nor were any contents of the waggons worth referring
to looted.

Early the same morning (19th), Corporal J. Koster, N.M.R., rode off
from Mapumulo towards Stanger on leave. After going about eight
miles, and at 7 a.m., when on a short-cut, he was suddenly attacked
from the lower side of the path by eight rebels of Ndhlovu's tribe.
The telegraph wire between Mapumulo and Stanger had just been cut.
It was possibly in anticipation of a despatch-rider going that way,
that the Natives lay there in ambush. Assegais were flung at Koster,
who narrowly escaped being killed as he rode past. One of them struck
his horse, piercing a kidney. After galloping about 300 yards, he
dismounted and fired several shots at the enemy, who at once decamped.
These shots were heard by the rebels then engaged with Knox some three
miles off, and to this may be due their not having pursued Knox further
than they did. Koster then passed on to Thring's Post, where he was
informed that a Norwegian storeman, Sangreid, and Mr. W.C. Robbins
(Stock Inspector), had been murdered during the night in Mr. Thring's
dwelling-house, some 400 yards from the store. After obtaining a trap
and pair at Bull's some miles nearer Stanger, Koster returned to
Thring's. He found Sangreid dead, but Robbins living, though severely

The _impi_ that attacked Sangreid and Robbins was also from Ndhlovu's
tribe, evidently the same men that subsequently attacked Knox. Robbins'
life was saved by one of the rebels, owing to his being well known in
the district. Sangreid was brutally murdered in his bedroom, late at
night, for no offence whatever.

The stores at Thring's Post and Oglesby's were looted, as also the
cattle belonging to the former place. Oglesby's store was not looted
until it had been vacated by the owners.

On Knox reaching Mapumulo, it so happened a patrol was about to leave
for Balcomb's, six miles north-west of the magistracy. A hurried
account of what had occurred was given to Lieut.-Col. J. Ritchie, V.D.,
who, after directing others to follow in support, left with Capt. W.H.
Smith and eleven N.M.R. at a gallop for the spot at which the convoy
had been attacked. On getting within a couple of hundred yards of
Oglesby's store, a large track, evidently of the _impi_, was come upon.
Following this, the men passed through a Mission Station (Norwegian),
about a thousand yards from the store. Near this station, which was
still being occupied by the missionary, four armed Natives, evidently
scouts, were seen on a hill on their left front. These immediately
disappeared into a large valley and towards a kraal belonging to Chief
Ndhlovu (Ezintandaneni). Ritchie galloped to a high ridge overlooking
the valley. A solitary horse was observed some distance below tied to
a tree, whilst a number of cattle, which afterwards turned out to be
those seized at Thring's Post, were seen grazing within the immediate
vicinity of the kraal. The men dismounted and descended the rocky,
steep slopes towards the kraal. This, in respect of the position they
then occupied, lay between them and the magistracy. After proceeding
about 120 yards, and when about the same distance from the kraal, they
were suddenly surprised by an _impi_ about 200 strong, up to that
moment concealed near a bed of reeds in one of the two forks at the
head of a kloof or small valley running past, and on the immediate
north of, the kraal. As soon as the enemy showed himself, he charged
upwards at them, shouting Dinuzulu's war-cry "Usutu!" The troops
opened fire at once at fifty yards. This had the effect of checking
the advance for the time being. "They attempted several times," says
Ritchie, "to get round our flanks and ... in fact had almost succeeded,
when Knox and Campbell came up with the supports.... The rebels had
again to take shelter under the cliff and behind the rocks. Shortly
after this, they made one more determined rush to get up over the
rocks, where eight or ten of us were standing. They came to within five
yards, but, although all had their assegais poised ready for throwing,
only one was actually thrown. The fire seemed to paralyse them. The
assegai that was thrown just grazed the head of one of the men."

[Illustration: OTIMATI

Sketch Plan

Scale-in Yards (approximate) 0 50 100 150 200


 A. _Ndhlovu's Kraal._

 C. _Those of Enemy that escaped
 fled past_ B _in this direction.
 Others went down stream on left._

 D. _Bed of reeds_


 _Point where troops were
 attacked when moving
 towards_ A _from_ X.

 X _Point from which
 sketch was made._]

It was but a few minutes after Ritchie had gone off from Mapumulo, that
Capt. A.G. Knox, brother of the man already referred to, and Capt. W.A.
Campbell left with about fifty men in support of Ritchie as directed.
They arrived on the ridge referred to just before the charge. Their
appearance was most opportune as, having descended as far as they had
done, Ritchie and the others would probably have been annihilated
had the rebels not been checked as they were from the ridge. Finding
the supports too strong, the enemy retreated down the valley up
which they had come, many being shot as they ran. The locality being
'thorn-country' afforded cover--even though it was winter--of which
full advantage was taken by the enemy. The troops now combined and
drove the valley from which the attack had come, as well as a similar
one 120 yards from the kraal on the south, in which other rebels were
found concealed. One or two of the ridges were also driven.

During the drives, which extended over about a mile of country, many
armed Natives withdrew from their hiding-places and were shot as they
ran down the streams towards the still more rugged country below.
Lieut. R. Armstrong and another, who had become detached from the
main body, took up a position below Luhoho's kraal and commanded the
fugitives' main route at _C_ (_vide_ plan) with considerable effect.

Towards the conclusion of the drives, intelligence was received that
Ngobizembe's men, under Sambela, about 600 strong, were approaching
from the direction in which the rebels had just fled. Owing to accounts
subsequently received from the fugitives, they decided not to continue
the advance.

The total strength of the N.M.R. engaged on this occasion was sixty-six
(made up of the Stanger and Greenwood Park troops, exclusive of twelve
men sent by Sparks to Nyamazana to expose themselves to the enemy in
Meseni's ward, and thereby prevent the latter from joining the _impi_
at Otimati). About 150 rebels were killed and four prisoners captured
during the operations, which lasted an hour and a half. There were no
casualties among the N.M.R. Powell's body was found later the same day
in a horribly mutilated and scarcely recognizable condition, having
been dragged by the rebels some 300 yards from where he had been killed
to a place where it was supposed it would not be found. It was then
removed to Oglesby's store.

The number of rebels killed in this action was greater, in proportion
to the number of troops engaged, than in any other action of the
campaign. From start to finish, the proceedings reflect the greatest
credit on Ritchie and his men, not the least remarkable feature being
the rapidity with which the men got into action. Only fifty minutes
elapsed between their leaving camp and firing the first shot, although
the distance travelled was fully seven and a half miles.

It afterwards transpired that the rebels, led by Ndhlovu himself, were
expecting Ritchie and the few with him to go to the kraal, when the
plan was to cut them off in rear. No doubt the horse and cattle had
been purposely left as baits. Before the arrival of the troops, the
enemy were in the cattle-kraal. They slipped into the valleys on either
side at the last moment.

After the action, Ritchie sent Smith with sixteen men to investigate
what had occurred at Thring's Post. As many of the enemy were still
lurking about the broken country in the vicinity of Oglesby's, the
reconnaissance caused both sections of the troops to run considerable

When Sparks ascertained that the wire between him and Stanger had been
cut, he sent telegrams asking for reinforcements to Kearsney, for
transmission to headquarters. The men who carried the despatches were
Sergts. A.J. Wadman and J.E. Sjöblom. Leaving at 10 a.m., they found
the wire had been cut a few yards from the store at Thring's Post. When
proceeding along the short-cut on which Koster had, unknown to them,
been attacked the same morning, they found some fifty or sixty of the
enemy, who attempted to cut them off. On reaching Thring's Post, they
found the store upside down, a great many goods having been looted and
the rest scattered on the floor. "I noticed," says Wadman, "about ten
mice which I had previously seen at the store had been let out of their
cage and then stabbed with assegais." After delivering the despatches,
the men returned to Mapumulo the same night.

On this same eventful day (19th), Sub-Inspector A.S. Clifton, of the
Natal Police, arrived at Thring's Post with about a dozen men, and
removed the deceased Mr. Sangreid, as well as Mr. Robbins, to Stanger.

The troops ordered by Leuchars at this juncture to concentrate at
Mapumulo were N.M.R., under Murray-Smith; U.F.F., under Major W.J.S.
Newmarch; two squadrons B.M.R. mobilized on the 14th and originally
directed to proceed, with D squadron, N.C. (Capt. J.W.V. Montgomery),
to Helpmakaar;[264] and C.M.R. Maxim detachment (Capt. M. Humphery).
The first-named regiment, receiving orders at 2 p.m. on the 20th, left
at 5 p.m. in light marching order, and, after off-saddling for four
hours at Balcomb's, reached Mapumulo before dawn on the following day.
A portion of the regiment made a reconnaissance the same morning in the
neighbourhood of Oglesby's store. Powell's body was brought back and
buried at the magistracy.

Further reconnaissances took place towards Otimati and Isiwasezimbuzi,
near the Tugela, on the 22nd and 23rd respectively.

A patrol under Knox proceeded on the 25th to Hlonono Mission Station,
when many of the enemy in the low country of Meseni's ward were located.

Arnott's column reached Otimati drift on the 24th. As the camp was to
be a standing one, the waggons were formed into a lager, strengthened
with barbed-wire entanglements.

Leuchars, who reached Arnott on the morning of the 27th with
the greater portion of the Mapumulo force, now decided that a
reconnaissance in force should take place in the direction of the
hill Peyana, some three miles to the south-west of Thring's Post, and
two from Hlonono Mission Station. The troops, including a section
of C Battery, N.F.A. (Currie); four C.M.R. Maxims (Humphery), and
two Maxims and one Rexer, N.M.R., left camp at 9.30 a.m. under the
command of Lieut.-Col. Arnott.[265] The N.M.R., 350 (Murray-Smith),
were in advance, N.C., 100 (Montgomery), on the left, and B.M.R., 100,
supporting. The Carbineers, besides supporting on the left, covered
a convoy of waggons then on the way to Kearsney, escorted by a troop

After branching off due west from the main road at Thring's Post, some
difficulty was experienced in getting the two field guns down a rough
incline. These guns, with a troop N.M.R. as escort, took up a position
and unlimbered at _C_ (_vide_ plan), which covered some 2,000 yards
to right and left front; N.C. took high ground to the left at _D_,
from where a deep kloof to their front was commanded; N.M.R. moved in
extended order to neck _A_, and halted on the ridges to right and left
thereof, with B.M.R. supporting in immediate rear on the right. These
dispositions were made owing to the broken nature of the ground, which
favoured ambuscade, and had up till then been held daily by the enemy's
outposts. The track along which the column had to advance skirted to
the right of, and under, Peyana hill (_B_), by which it was commanded.

When the troops were engaged occupying the ground referred to, the time
now being about noon, some half a dozen of the enemy's decoys were
observed on hill _E_ to the west of Peyana, freely exposing themselves.
This was almost a certain indication that the enemy was in ambush
somewhere, most probably behind Peyana, and overlooking the route along
which the troops were moving.

After the ridges referred to had been properly held, two troops N.M.R.
were sent forward to scout before the column proceeded further towards
the decoys. One troop advanced to within 100 yards of the crest of
Peyana, the other halted in support, about 150 yards in rear. Lieut.
P. Addison, in command of the advanced troop, then went forward alone
mounted, accompanied by his dog. He rode to a neck near the crest and
to within thirty yards of the enemy, who were about 400 strong, lying
concealed in a slight depression out of sight of the troops at _A_.
In the immediate rear of the enemy, was a bushy krantz. On seeing the
rebels, Addison shouted "Here they are," and, turning immediately, rode
back to rejoin his troop, and then on to the main position at _A_. The
troops supporting had already been ordered to retire. As Addison was
turning, the enemy rose _en masse_, then crouched, only to rise again
in an instant, crying "Usutu! Usutu!" as they charged down the steep,
grassy slopes in open order at the retiring troops. N.M.R. at _A_,
with three Maxims (C.M.R. and N.M.R.), and the Rexer,[266] could not
open fire because of the enemy being masked by the retiring troops.
In the meantime, however, the two 15-pounders on higher ground opened
with shrapnel at about 1,800 yards, over the troops at _A_, as well as
those retiring. One of the two or three shells fired struck right in
the middle of the swiftly-moving mass, but, failing to burst, did no
harm. In a few seconds, heavy rifle and machine fire broke from the
N.M.R., who were reinforced at the same moment by a squadron of their
own regiment, up till then kept in reserve, but which, on seeing the
charge, was at once pushed forward to assist on the left.

The combined fire had the effect of checking the rush and breaking the
rebels into three bodies. One of these (_i.e._ the larger portion) ran
into a valley immediately below the ridge south of the neck referred
to, where it hid in scrub and such other cover as could be found;
another fled to the left of N.M.R. position and disappeared into a
kloof, but, when making down the kloof, was met by a hot fire from N.C.
at _D_, when a number of casualties was sustained. The centre portion
continued the charge, and came within a few yards of _A_ before it
was stopped; the rebels then turned and fled to the south-west. At
this particular moment, the N.M.R., as well as the ridge on which they
were, masked the fire of the field guns at _C_, which had, for a few
seconds, been directed at the charging rebels.[267]

After the rush had been broken, N.M.R. galloped in line of squadrons up
Peyana, accompanied by the machine guns. It so happened that a large
portion of the enemy (about 300), had taken no part whatever in the
charge. They preferred to lie in wait, that, no doubt, being part of
the plan. They were discovered a few yards from where the first lot had
started. For the most part, they turned right about and fled, under
rifle and shell fire, down the precipitous and bushy country in rear of

When the position at the kop had been taken, Arnott ordered the
B.M.R. (by this time strengthened by C squadron, under Capt. J.L.
Gordon),[268] to descend on foot into the small valley of scrub, etc.,
on the right of, and below, _A_. This was thereupon driven from top
to bottom by C squadron at the point of the bayonet. Gordon sighted a
large _impi_ in Mvoti valley that had not been engaged; he continued to
watch its movements until recalled to the column.

Arnott now marched in open order, with as broad a front as the country
would permit, until Hlonono Mission Station was reached. Here the
ridges overlooking low ground on the south-west were lined, with a
front of about half a mile. The main body of the rebels, estimated at
3,000 to 4,000 strong, was presently seen about one and a half miles
off, and between the station and Meseni's principal kraal, evidently
trying to get round the column's right flank. As soon as it came within
artillery range, fire was opened from Itshelensimbi hill. This, in a
few minutes, succeeded in checking the advance.

The object of the reconnaissance having been achieved, viz. locating
the position and strength of the enemy, the column began to withdraw to
the camp at Otimati. During the retirement, which was carried out in
good order, the field guns shelled the _impi_ whenever it appeared,
thereby preventing the rear-guard from being harassed in any way.

Some seventy Natives were killed during the engagement. The casualties
among the troops were of a minor description, no one being killed.

Examination of the plan will show that the ambush was of a very
ingenious character, the locality selected being exactly suited for the
purpose. Troops less wary would probably have been trapped. The plan
evidently was to draw them towards _E_, when the two _impis_, barely
fifty yards from one another at _B_, would have pounced upon them front
and rear.

The rebels, who were under the command of a brother of Meseni,
Muziwenkosi, carried ordinary shields and assegais. One of them used a
rifle, whilst others had shot-guns. All wore the _tshokobezi_ badge.

The decoys, who were seen before the action began, openly signalled
to the two _impis_ on Peyana, visible to them, but invisible to the
advancing column. This was done by sweeping the grass to right and left
with their shields. Such action, of course, immediately aroused the
suspicions of the troops.

On Addison galloping back to rejoin his men, the dog, a white pointer,
missed him and got in amongst the rebels. These he followed, barking at
them in the liveliest manner.

[Illustration: PEYANA (HLONONO)


Dispositions at the beginning of the action.

Scale: 1 inch = 1/2 mile,

0 500 1000 1500 yards


 A = _Neck._
 B = _Peyana hill._
 C = _Gun position._
 D = _N.C. position._
 E = _Where decoys were seen._
 F = _Trig. beacon._
 N.C., etc. _See Abbreviations._
 (crescent) = _The enemy._  (dashes) = _Scrub and swamp._

_Line of troops' advance is from Thring's Post viâ F towards E._

_Retreat of Impi 1 as per arrows; Impi 2 made off through bush in its
rear towards Umvoti R._]


[Footnote 251: Nkandhla column: C squadron N.C.; N.D.M.R.; Z.M.R.; 150
N.P.; pompom section, N.F.A.; and 3 companies N.R. The N.P. at this
time had only one officer, Sub-Inspector F.B.E. White. Royston was, at
the same time, given command of a column, known as Royston's Brigade,
consisting of R.H.; D.L.I.; 4 companies, B, C, G, and H, Natal Rangers;
and one section, 15 pounders, B battery, N.F.A.

Before the O.C. Troops left Nomangci, his Intelligence Officer, Capt.
E.J.B. Hosking, asked for a squadron in order to search for Bambata's
body, said to be lying in the Mome gorge. The application however,
could not be granted, as there were no men to spare, and because
McKenzie realized that, if Bambata was dead, his body could no doubt
be recovered later. Under the circumstances, it was certainly wiser to
act on the assumption, weak though it was, that Bambata was still at
large, than on the far stronger one that he was already dead, and that,
therefore, absolute proof of such fact was necessary.]

[Footnote 252: From _ufa_ or _ulufa_, a crack.]

[Footnote 253: Conclusive as is the evidence as to Bambata's death,
strong rumours nevertheless got afloat shortly after the Rebellion that
he was still alive and in hiding, first in one part of Zululand then
in another. To this day, there are Natives and Europeans who believe
the rumours, but such beliefs have probably been formed without due
consideration of the facts here set forth. For the most part, they
rest on the mere fact that Bambata's wife, Siyekiwe, did not go into
mourning. Under normal conditions, this would undoubtedly have been an
important criterion, but the conditions were clearly very abnormal.]

[Footnote 254: This officer had been to explain more thoroughly than
could be done on paper the particular problems that confronted the
troops at Nkandhla.]

[Footnote 255: It was composed as follows: N.D.M.R. (with one Maxim),
198; Z.M.R. (with three Rexer guns), 99; N.P., 147; N.R. (three
companies, A, D and E), 290; N.F.A. (one 15-pounder and two pompoms),
26; departmental corps, 19; staff, 11. Total, 790. There were also
Native levies (Lieut. W.H. London).]

[Footnote 256: Woolls-Sampson was ordered to Empandhleni. Leaving his
infantry at Ensingabantu store, he reached Empandhleni with the rest
of the force on the 22nd. The D.L.I., detached from Royston's brigade,
joined Woolls-Sampson, whilst three companies of Rangers (A, D and E),
under Boyd-Wilson, became attached to Royston, in lieu of B, C, G and
H, whose disposition is referred to further on. The N.F.A. (B battery),
moreover, detached from Royston's brigade, returned to Empandhleni
to join Mackay, whilst N.F.A. (two guns, 15-pounders), detached from
Mackay, joined Royston.

Mackay was directed on the 22nd to move to Empandhleni as speedily as

Dick, with N.R. (C, F, G and H companies), left on the 23rd for Fort
Yolland. He had with him 40 N.N.H. B company, N.R. remained as garrison
at Empandhleni. He moved to Middle Drift on the 26th, to Krantzkop on
the 28th, and to Thring's Post on the 2nd July.

The Cape squadron of R.H. (about 100), arrived at Gingindhlovu on the
23rd, where it was directed to remain pending further orders.

Part of the C.M.R. Maxim detachment, after being detained for a few
days at Melmoth, came on to Nkandhla and eventually joined Mackay's

[Footnote 257: He escorted about 230 Native prisoners from the place
referred to to Fort Yolland.]

[Footnote 258: A brother of Cetshwayo. Cetshwayo had, years before,
attempted to put him to death, when he was obliged to take refuge for
some years in Natal.]

[Footnote 259: Colonel Maxwell, a firm ruler, with a varied and
life-long experience in Natal in different official capacities, was
selected for the position, after the Magistrate, who had been defied by
Ngobizembe's men when the poll tax was proclaimed, had left Mapumulo.]

[Footnote 260: A broad, continuous tract of country, which runs through
portions of Mapumulo and Ndwedwe divisions, and extends further south,
is reserved entirely for Native occupation. The three districts
mentioned had, in 1906, a total population of 80,000 Natives.]

[Footnote 261: Qwabe, the progenitor of the tribe was, like the founder
of the Zulu tribe, a son of Malandela, who flourished probably at the
beginning of the sixteenth century. As Qwabe was Zulu's elder brother,
the tribe, though politically subordinate to the Zulu one, is regarded
as senior in a social sense.]

[Footnote 262: Being of the Zulu tribe, he was, of course, related to

[Footnote 263: The following is a digest of interesting evidence given
for the prosecution at the trial of Ntshingumuzi, Mbombo and another
before the Native High Court. Mbombo was a doctor from Zululand, living
near Usutu kraal under Dinuzulu, and one of that Chief's domestic
physicians. It was alleged that Ntshingumuzi had called the tribe to
his own kraal, early in 1906, to be doctored for war. In response to
the summons, the people came carrying sticks and dancing-shields. They
formed a circle (_umkumbi_) in the cattle-kraal. Mbombo then came
out of a hut with his face smeared with black powder, and carrying
a smoking firebrand. He went round the men, first on the inside and
then on the outside of the circle, flourishing the smoking brand
wherever he went. He then threw it away and sprinkled the people with
medicine, by means of two Native brooms, one being held in each hand.
After this, the company was sent by him to a stream. His boy followed
with a basket of medicine, which was put into deep running water, so
that the water flowed into the basket and out of it. The basket was
retained in position by the doctor's boy, assisted by one of the boys
from the kraal. The warriors drank of the water, some from the basket
itself, and others just below it. This done, they individually moved
down the stream and vomited into the water. After washing their bodies,
they moved back to the cattle-kraal, chanting as they went in company
formation. Thus clean of body and stomach, they dipped their fingers in
the war medicine, prepared on heated potsherds, and brought it to their
lips. The Chief was not doctored. When sprinkling the warriors, the
doctor asked them if they wanted war, they replied in the affirmative.
They were then allowed to return to their kraals, but told to sleep on
their weapons.--_Decisions, Native High Court_, 1907, p. 93.

It seems that the warriors were also invited by the doctor and
Ntshingumuzi to make money contributions, and that shillings and
sixpences were given. The money, it was said, was to be sent to the
'Chief of Zululand' (Dinuzulu) to buy drugs, to render their bodies
impervious to bullets.]

[Footnote 264: These squadrons, when preparing to move from Dundee
to Helpmakaar, got orders on the 20th to move to Chaka's Kraal, on
the north coast. The destination was altered to Stanger and, on 21st,
to Otimati, for which latter place the troops marched from Stanger
on the 22nd, having by then been joined by C Battery, N.F.A. (Major
Currie); Durban Reserves (Chief Leader N. Chiazzari); and the Indian
Stretcher-bearers (Sergt.-Major M.K. Gandhi). The column was placed
under the command of Lieut.-Col. W. Arnott.]

[Footnote 265: Although giving the command to Arnott, Leuchars
accompanied the column, and, with his staff officer (Major Carter),
witnessed the operations from the field gun position referred to later
on in the text.]

[Footnote 266: Probably the first time this type of gun was used in

[Footnote 267: The artillery fired about fifteen rounds, viz. shrapnel,
from _C_. To begin with, the shells burst on graze; later on, good
bursts were obtained.]

[Footnote 268: This squadron had been sent out in the morning to patrol
near Tugela. It arrived at a most opportune moment.]



McKenzie reached Krantzkop on the same day that the action at
Peyana[269] was fought. He met and discussed the position with
the Acting Commandant (Major-General Sir John Dartnell)[270] and
Leuchars on the 29th June. Owing to its appearing that disaffection
was spreading from Mapumulo towards Tongaat, and not being confined
to Mapumulo division, as had been supposed, he gave up the idea he
had first entertained of trying to force the rebels towards the
Tugela, where they would have found themselves opposed by Mansel and
Woolls-Sampson on the Zululand side, for one that involved a far more
extensive field of operations. In pursuance of the fresh plan, Barker
(then at Middle Drift) was detached from Mansel,[271] and, on account
of being closer than Mackay, and having mule-transport which had been
resting a few days, was sent round by Dalton and Great Noodsberg to
take up a position at Esidumbini, that is, on the far or south-western
side of the disturbed area. Barker reached Krantzkop from Middle Drift
on the 29th. He left the same afternoon and got to Dalton on the 30th.
On the night of the 29th, two guns, A Battery, N.F.A., were pushed
forward to reinforce him, as it was reported the enemy was in force at
the junction of Umvoti and Hlimbitwa rivers. The artillery was sent, as
it appeared possible to shell the rebels from the slopes of Noodsberg
and drive them back to the sphere of intended operations, viz. that
part of Umvoti valley occupied chiefly by Meseni's and Swaimana's
people. Woolls-Sampson was instructed to move viâ Bond's Drift and
Bulwer to Thring's Post, whilst Mansel, supplemented by such police as,
up till then, had been attached to Woolls-Sampson's column, proceeded
to the position just vacated by the latter column.[272] A detachment
of D.L.I. formed a garrison at Bond's Drift. At this point was a large
railway bridge connecting Natal with the coastal districts of Zululand.
Mackay's column, by this time hastening to concentrate with the other
troops at Thring's Post, reached Krantzkop at mid-day on the 30th, only
to move later the same day towards its destination.

The necessity for swiftness of movement was in the air. Every man knew
that Mapumulo was one of the most densely-populated districts in Natal.
It was a purely Native district in which the ancient superstitions,
habits and customs of the Zulus were still generally observed. The
country was open and picturesque, with water and pasture abundant. The
climate, moreover, was as fresh and exhilarating as that at Nkandhla.
Such troops, _e.g._ Mackay's, as had not as yet clashed with the enemy,
betrayed irrepressible eagerness to do so as soon as possible. Not less
keenness was displayed by the Transvaalers under Barker, flushed with
their recent and brilliant successes in Zululand. Thus, although at
this critical moment, some 8,000 rebels were reported to have massed in
Umvoti valley, barely a dozen miles from Thring's Post, the _morale_
of the troops was excellent. And, one and all, the crushing blow at
Mome still in their minds, were inspired with the feeling, not only
that the concentration taking place was opportune and fitting, but
that they were on the winning side and would still further stamp out
the Rebellion, be the insurgents 10,000 or 20,000 in number. If ever
a man rode a winning horse, knowing he was winning, that man at this
moment was McKenzie. Eager co-operation by the Government in every
conceivable direction, with a vigilant and sympathetic Governor, and
every combatant, white or coloured, animated with a desire to put forth
his best, _that_ was what all these neo-Usutuites of Natal had to
contend with. Thus, although some sharp conflicts with the rebels had
still to come, it was a foregone conclusion that the Rebellion in those
parts, notwithstanding the formidable numbers that had massed, would be
crushed, and crushed in the speediest manner possible.

As soon as Woolls-Sampson reached Bond's Drift on the 1st July, after
traversing an exceedingly difficult country for ox-transport, he
received orders to push on with all speed to Thring's Post. At Bond's
Drift he was joined by a squadron of Royston's Horse that had been
recruited in the Cape Colony. He decided to leave his transport at
Bond's Drift and to make a night march. Thring's Post was reached at 3
a.m. on the 2nd.

On leaving the drift, Woolls-Sampson instructed Major S.G. Campbell,
D.L.I., to establish the garrison referred to with 35 D.L.I. (mounted
infantry), 145 D.L.I. and one N.F.A. gun. At 11 a.m. on the 2nd,
however, Campbell, then on the Zululand side, received a wire from
Woolls-Sampson ordering him to come on at once to Thring's Post with
a convoy of twenty-two waggons of supplies, it being imperative for
these to reach Thring's Post the same night. By double-spanning (no
punt being available, as the water was too low), the waggons were
got across, and at 1 p.m. the convoy, consisting of 70 D.L.I., one
N.F.A. gun (Beningfield), 50 Z.M.R. (Flindt), and some 15 N.D.M.R.,
moved forward. When about a mile from Mr. Hulett's house at Bulwer, a
Native was seen on the road. As he appeared suspicious, he was made to
accompany the convoy. Questioned as to the whereabouts of the enemy,
who, it seemed, from a subsequent telegram from Woolls-Sampson, was
lurking in the vicinity, the man denied all knowledge of it, though
later on said he had heard it might assemble where the springs of two
streams were but a few yards apart. A short halt was made at Bulwer
and, just after sunset,[273] the convoy pushed on.

In the ordinary course, the best plan, with an enemy close at hand,
would have been to lager at Bulwer. It was owing entirely to the
stringency of the orders that an advance was made at that late hour.
All were warned to be ready in case of attack. Bayonets were fixed and
flankers thrown out. With darkness rapidly coming on, the flankers,
for fear of being cut off, were not more than thirty yards off the
road. Four mounted men of the advanced guard, consisting of a troop
Z.M.R., under Capt. D.J.C. Hulley, marched along the road. A couple
on the right and another couple on the left did the flanking, whilst
seven were in the road in immediate rear of the front four. Behind,
with an interval of about fifty yards, came 70 D.L.I. (with a Maxim
gun), N.F.A. gun, an ambulance, and 22 waggons. A number of N.D.M.R.
were riding on the vehicles. Z.M.R. (35) formed the rear-guard with two
Rexer guns. The Native referred to was now noticed staring frequently
to the right.

Owing to the likelihood of attack, the men marched as compactly as
possible. The worst spot was undoubtedly the long cutting a mile after
leaving Bulwer; nothing, however, was seen or heard of the enemy at
that point. The little column next moved slowly across the low ridge
between the end of the cutting and a small zinc store, known as
Macrae's, on a knoll. The small clump of trees between the road and
the store could be seen on the horizon ahead. The country about this
part is rugged, though the three or four valleys in the vicinity, if
steep, are, just there, small and not deeper than 100 feet. The road
was hard and in good condition. After passing the store (at a distance
of thirty yards), it is practically level and easy-going the whole way
to Thring's Post.

The convoy moved along well, at an average speed of two and a half
miles an hour (the usual pace for oxen on good roads). As, after
leaving the cutting, danger of attack did not appear so imminent, Capt.
Robert Armstrong, N.M.R., was sent on by himself to select a suitable
bivouac. The advanced guard now went up the slight incline to the left
of the store. When passing, a black dog that was following Hulley
stood, and, ruffling its hair, began to growl and bark in the direction
of the plantation on the right. Seeing this, Hulley became suspicious;
the same instant, noticing a mass of armed Natives springing up from
among the trees[274] (the sound they made being similar to the rising
of a flock of guinea-fowl), he shouted a warning. The guard swung
their horses round and began to fall back on the main body in rear as
the rebels, some 300 strong, dashed forward from both sides of the
road,[275] crying "Usutu! Usutu!" and using their knobsticks as well as
assegais. Armstrong, by this time some 200 yards ahead, finding himself
cut off, galloped back through the enemy, knocking down two or three,
and using his revolver freely as he did so; notwithstanding the heavy
fusillade then going on towards him, he succeeded in reaching the main
body on the right without mishap. Steady and well-directed volleys were
poured into the advancing enemy. He did not assume his characteristic
formation, probably owing to the nature of the ground, but moved along
the road _en masse_ and with great dash. The distance from the store to
the head of the column was barely eighty yards. The hot and effective
fire, however, including case from the 15-pounder, stopped the
advance, and caused the rebels to break to rear and right of the store.

Two minutes after the attack had failed, reinforcements having, in the
meantime, moved up from the rebels' rear, another attack came, slightly
to the left of where the first had taken place. This was well met by
rifle fire and case, and resulted in a second and speedy retreat.

There being reason to suppose a third would follow, Campbell drew the
men up in half-moon formation across the road, the convex side facing
the store. The 15-pounder was placed in the centre of the road, the
rear-guard was brought up, and the N.D.M.R. directed to fire right and
left as necessity arose.

As anticipated, the third attack came, some twenty minutes after the
second. It was from the same quarter, and was delivered after darkness
had set in. It met with no better luck than the others. During this
attack, one of the three Rexer guns was brought into action.[276]

Two hundred yards beyond the store, a road branched off to the left.
At this point, a second _impi_, also about 300 strong, had at first
lain in waiting, its object evidently being to allow the convoy to
get between both _impis_, when it would have been attacked front and
rear. The plan failed on account of the foremost body being prematurely
forced to take action.

The rebel forces were composed of men of Matshwili's and Ntshingumuzi's
tribes, under the indunas Dabulumbimbi and Mvukazi respectively.
Mahlanga also accompanied Ntshingumuzi's men as second in command. He
remained in rear whilst urging others to charge.

During the engagement, forty rebels were killed and others wounded.
Tpr. G. Coll, Z.M.R., was seriously wounded with assegais. He received
every attention from Major Campbell, M.D., C.M. (Edin.), but afterwards
succumbed to his injuries at Thring's Post.

The dog which had been the first to detect the enemy, and practically
saved the column, was accidentally shot by its own side when trying to
get back.

The column bivouacked for the night where it had been engaged. Apart
from the proximity of the enemy and the darkness, it was impossible
to move, because waggons and oxen, owing to Native drivers and
voorloopers having run away, had either capsized or become considerably
disorganized. Thring's Post was reached at mid-day on the 3rd without
further incident.

The smart manner in which these attacks were met and repelled reflects
the greatest credit on Campbell and his men, who were not only ambushed
at dusk by an enemy far outnumbering them, but were considerably
encumbered by slow transport, which had already come some nineteen
of the twenty-eight miles to be done that day. Even the 15-pounder
was being drawn by oxen. Having regard to the enemy's most determined
charges, only remarkable promptitude and resourcefulness on the part
of the officer in command turned a threatened calamity into a decisive

But other and even more important developments were occurring almost
simultaneously not many miles away. To these we must now hasten to draw
the reader's attention.

The last we saw of Barker was his departure from Krantzkop to take up
a position at Esidumbini. His force then consisted of four squadrons
T.M.R. His orders were to reach Esidumbini as soon as possible and
be on high ground overlooking Umvoti Drift at Gaillard's store by
daybreak, 3rd July, to co-operate with three other columns from
Mapumulo, Thring's Post and Glendale in a general converging movement
on Meseni's ward, where, it was known, the rebels had assembled in
great force.

A delay occurred at Dalton from 9 a.m. (30th) until 2 p.m., owing
to Barker having to wait for supplies. These had to come from
Pietermaritzburg and Greytown by rail. He resolved to push forward at 2
p.m., with thirteen waggons, though still somewhat short of supplies.
During the same afternoon, he was joined by the guns that had been sent
after him.

About 8 p.m., a message came from Chief Leader H. Ehlers, in command
of the New Hanover Reserves (70), to say he was in lager at Little
Noodsberg Hall, and that intelligence had come in to the effect that
he was to be attacked at daybreak on the 1st July by an _impi_ that
had been seen during the afternoon on the Great Noodsberg.[277]
Barker immediately decided to march to the Hall with three squadrons
(each about 100 strong), leaving the fourth as escort to the guns and
transport. The Hall was reached at midnight. Everything there was
quiet. When daylight appeared, the expected attack was not made. Barker
then left for the Great Noodsberg, where he waited till 11 a.m. for
the rest of the column to come up. That night the column bivouacked on
the Great Noodsberg. A number of scouts had been noticed during the
day, all of whom retired suspiciously to the front of the column as it

By 7 a.m. on the 2nd (Monday), having been joined by the New Hanover
Reserves on the preceding afternoon, the column was again on the
move.[278] After travelling about a mile and a half, the advanced guard
(B squadron, T.M.R.), came upon an _impi_ some 300 strong, concealed on
both sides of the road in a wattle plantation (site of the Newspaper
Mission Station), which had been thinned out, but had a lot of scrub
about it. Steps were now taken to drive the place, with the result
that many armed Natives, particularly near their small church, where
it had evidently been intended to lie in ambush for the troops, were
discovered and shot. Scarcely any other portion of the column, except
the advanced guard, came into action. As the enemy retreated, he was
pursued by the advanced guard and two troops of A squadron, T.M.R. The
operations lasted about twenty minutes. After the fighting was over,
the plantation was again, but more thoroughly, driven. About sixty
rebels were killed.

At 9.30 a.m., the column moved along easy slopes towards Insuze river,
the advanced guard being increased to two squadrons. The strength of
the column now was four squadrons, T.M.R. (400); two Maxims and one
Colt gun (25); two guns, 15-pounders, N.F.A. (25); and the Reserves
(70). There were no Native levies.[279] Many Natives were observed on
high ground to the right and left fronts.

After passing Butler's store, about a thousand yards from Insuze
Drift, Barker, seeing the place was a suitable one for watering,
decided to halt. The column accordingly began to pull out on to level
ground immediately across and to the right of the drift. The guard,
under Lieut. H.S. Liddle, went forward to establish itself on a long
grassy ridge, parallel with the river at that part. This ridge rises
to a height of 60 ft. above the drift and increases gradually to 80,
100 and 150, as it extends further to left and right fronts. On the
immediate right of the small neck through which the road passes over
the ridge, was a police station, consisting of two or three small
buildings. Three or four Native kraals were also to be seen on the
ridge to the left of the road. With the object of protecting the column
against surprise, the guard occupied ground (_C_), some thirty yards
to the right of the station. A troop was sent to kopje _F_, whilst a
section (four men), under Sergt.-Major S.L. Neville, was sent to _B_,
_i.e._ within fifteen or twenty yards of the kraal--round which grew
a thick, bushy fence.[280] Here three of the men dismounted and were
just handing over their horses, with the object of searching that and
the other kraals, before occupying a kopje near by, when an _impi_,
some 500 strong, sprang from behind the nearest kraal and hedge, and
charged round both sides of the kraal at the men, shouting the usual
war-cry as they did so. The latter, having no time to fire, mounted
and retired to the guard, wheeling slightly to the right, to avoid
masking the fire. The enemy continued their charge. The troops at the
drift, as well as the guard, opened a hot fire as they ran. In the
meantime, another _impi_, as strong as the first, began to appear from
a bush some forty yards to the guard's right rear. The bush, showing
but slightly on top, extended down a steep incline on the far side of
the ridge. At this moment, Barker, who was watering his horse when the
charge began, galloped to the troops at the police station. Whilst six
men were told off to check this latter charge, others were engaged with
the _impi_ rushing down from the kraal. It was all a matter of seconds.
The guard stood their ground and opened smartly with magazine fire.
Notwithstanding the cross-fire, flank and front, that was being poured
into them by the men near the drift, some of whom had lined the left
bank below the drift, whilst others were on higher ground in rear, the
_impi_ succeeded in getting within a very few yards of the guard. The
leader did not fall until within six. On his falling, the remainder
broke and ran down the slopes on the far side, looking from the drift.
When the action was at its height, Barker, whose horse was wounded with
an assegai, instinctively perceived that the critical point was the one
to which he had just ridden. He at once sent for reinforcements. Such
men as were immediately available dashed up. Neither of the two guns at
the drift came into action. Had case been promptly fired at those who
came from the kraal, it must have proved very destructive at a range
of 400 yards. A few seconds later, however, it became impossible to
open, owing to the guns being masked by the reinforcements that sprang
forward from the drift to the ridge.

A and B squadrons, as well as two troops of D, were sent in pursuit of
the now flying enemy. The two 15-pounders were placed at the kraal from
which one of the _impis_ had been in hiding, whilst the Maxims and Colt
gun took up positions on the ridge between the police station and the

The rebels retired in a northerly direction, down Insuze valley. They
were hotly pursued by the troops, who rode along the ridges. The field
guns fired about twenty rounds with great effect at ranges varying
from 600 to 1,800 yards, but were eventually forced to cease fire, on
account of the pursuing squadrons too closely approaching the enemy.
The machine guns, too, did excellent work.

A third _impi_, also about 500 strong, which up till then had taken
no part whatever in the engagement, was accidentally come upon by A
squadron (Lieut. R.V. Saner).[281] The attack made by about fifty of
this _impi_ was promptly and effectively repelled, whereupon the rebels
joined the others in a general retreat.

At a distance of three or four miles from the scene of action, about
thirty fugitives got into a narrow valley (through which the pursuing A
squadron had to pass), evidently to lie in ambush. They were, however,
seen, and dispersed with loss. Still another _impi_ was observed by the
same squadron about a mile to the left, composed apparently of men who
had not been engaged at all. They did not, however, come into action.

Two troops of C squadron were ordered to turn out the rebels who
were hiding in the long grass and rushes in a valley between the gun
position, near the police station, and the pursuing squadrons.

By 11 a.m., the squadrons, having by that time pursued the enemy
for four or five miles, were recalled, as a number of rebels had
shown themselves on both flanks near the police station. The troops
reassembled by about 1.30 p.m., when they off-saddled for an hour on
different parts of the ridge.

The casualties were Tpr. Robert Knight, D squadron, T.M.R., killed;
Tprs. Simcox and Tobin, A squadron, T.M.R., wounded. The enemy's losses
amounted to about 400.

A local Native Chief, Mahlube, who was with Barker's column when the
foregoing action was fought, although many of his tribe had joined the
rebels, expressed the following opinion: "My belief is that the enemy
intended disputing the drift with the troops as they were watering
their horses. The T.M.R. saved themselves by their courageous stand.
Had they betrayed the slightest weakness, they would have fared badly,
for I could see the enemy were reckless and did not care what happened."

The march to Esidumbini was resumed at a quarter to three. A camp was
formed at that place on its being reached two hours later. The night
passed without incident.

The demeanour of the local and apparently neutral Natives was
unsatisfactory. They were very reticent and pretended to know nothing
whatever of the intentions of the enemy. They professed to be ignorant
of the _impis_ that had attacked but a few miles away at Insuze. One of
the Chiefs, Njubanjuba, living on high ground, must have seen the fight
and could have given valuable information had he chosen. He maintained
a sullen and insolent attitude all the time the column was in the
district. It was in view of these facts that Barker decided not to
leave camp until after daybreak, a decision which, as it happened, was
one McKenzie had also come to, in consequence of information obtained
by him on the night of the 2nd that the rebels proposed to attack
Barker at dawn on the 3rd.

When the column started (7 a.m.), one squadron, T.M.R., and the New
Hanover Reserves being left to guard the camp, it proceeded along the
Mapumulo road towards the high ground overlooking Umvoti Drift.

[Illustration: INSUZE

_Dispositions at the beginning of the action_

Scale: 6 inches = 1 mile. Contours Vert. Int. = 20 feet

0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 _yards_


 A = _First attacking impi_

 B = _Pickets_

 C = _Two troops, T.M.R._

 D = _Impi; out of sight at drift_

 E = _Where part of enemy gathered
 when about to retreat_

 F = _Hill to which pickets were sent_

 G = _Police Station_

 H = _Six men posted here to check
 impi in bush_

 J = _Butler's store_

 K = _Position of 15-pdrs. during enemy's
 retreat. Maxims and Colt gun
 were then between G and L_

 (arrow) = _Direction of enemy's retreat_

 (crescent) = _Enemy_

 (blank) = _Waggon_

 (lines) = _Swamp, with long grass and

  (dots)= _Kraal_]

On the march, a number of Natives was seen on a ridge at Sikota's kraal
in the neighbourhood of a prominent detached hill Ponjwana.[282] Word
was passed on to the advanced guard, A squadron (78), who, however,
had already perceived the rebels' movements. As further attack was
imminent, the main body was kept within two to three hundred yards of
the advanced guard. About three miles from Esidumbini Mission Station,
the Mapumulo road passes over two well-defined hills about a thousand
yards apart, and connected by a hog-backed neck. The country on either
side of the road is steep and thickly covered with thorn bush. As the
road approaches Sikota's kraal from the hog-backed hill, the ground
rises immediately on the left to about fifty feet above the road, such
elevation extending for about 200 yards, when the road enters and
ascends open ground for another 200 yards. It is about a hundred and
twenty yards from the road at this point that the kraal referred to was
situated. On the immediate right of the road is a dense, precipitous
bush, 100 yards broad at the top and extending some 400 yards down into
an enormous, steep, and wooded valley. On the left of the road where
Sikota's kraal was, and opposite that kraal, is a patch of open, high
ground extending some two or three hundred yards, and about a hundred
and fifty broad. To the west of this, the country falls away into
another great valley, similar to the one already referred to. At the
front, again looking from the road where it is nearest the kraal, the
ground slopes gently to the front and right front, but more sharply to
the left, where the trees grow more closely together.

As the column came along the hog's back, it became a little "crushed
up," whereupon the advanced guard cantered forward a little way to the
knoll on which Ngembudi's kraal stood.[283] At this point, a section
was marching some thirty to sixty yards ahead along the road, whilst
half a dozen scouts moved out to their positions on the right and left
fronts, owing to the ground there lending itself to better deployment.
No sooner, however, was the top of the knoll reached at _A_ than the
enemy, some three to four hundred strong, was observed 150 yards to the
right front, that is, some way down an incline, but not concealed from
view of the leading section. The scouts fell back to the troop in rear,
which, at the same time, advanced to a point in sight of the enemy and
immediately lined across the road.

Fire was opened at the rebels then swiftly charging, with uplifted
shields, like a hive of bees upset, over somewhat uneven ground. Some
of the guard at first fired from the saddle, aiming rather at the
oncoming mass than at particular individuals.

The men, ordered to dismount, handed over their horses to be held, and,
dropping quickly on one knee, opened a hot and rapid fire. The charge
was direct and determined. Some of the enemy came to within ten feet of
the rifles when, their centre by that time blown out by the first-class
marksmen that happened to be among the troops, they swerved off to
right and left. Those going to the right were in the act of passing
between the flank and the kraal, when C squadron was moved smartly to
the right, only to come to so close quarters with the strong force then
at and about the kraal as to be obliged to fall back to hold the line
_B_ indicated on the plan. Barker had, in the meantime, moved up from
the main body, some 200-300 yards in rear at the moment of attack,
and addressed himself to the situation on the right, then the most
critical. At the same time, the left flank being threatened, support
was also pushed forward there. This caused the rebels opposite that
flank to retreat to west and down the steep inclines.

After the main fire had been turned towards the _impi_ at the kraal,
that _impi_ was also repulsed, when it forthwith precipitated itself
into the dense bush on the immediate east of the kraal, and from thence
down the great, steep valleys and ravines which were near at hand.

[Illustration: PONJWANA



Dispositions at the beginning of the action

Scale: 6 inches approximately = 1 mile

0 100 200 300 400 _yards_


 A = _Where scouts first caught
 sight of impi at D_

 B = _Line held by troops when
 pressed on right flank_

 C = _Ngembudi's kraal_

 D = _Impi that attacked first_

 (dashes) = _T.M.R. scouts_

 (crescent)= _The enemy_

 (arrow)= _Lines of enemy's retreat_]

Just as the situation in front was becoming critical, that is, about
the end of the first charge, another and different body of the enemy,
about 200 strong, charged down on the rear-guard from that part of the
hog's back which rises fifty feet above the road on the left, whilst
yet another, though smaller _impi_, attacked from the right rear.

The scouts that were in rear galloped up to the last two troops which,
turning left and right about as the position required, proceeded to
pour in a hot fire at the charging enemy, then some 100-150 yards away.
The rushes were stopped, whereupon the rebels broke and fled down the
valley on the right, to join those who had already fled from the kraal
into the valley on that side.

When the attacks had been beaten off, Barker at once sent A and B
squadrons in pursuit, but, owing to the extremely broken nature of the
ground and to the extensive thorn-bush, the majority of the rebels
escaped. It was impossible for the 15-pounders, particularly during
the retreat, to be used with effect. During the engagement, Capt. J.T.
Mitchell was wounded. About 100 of the enemy were killed.

       *       *       *       *       *

Whilst Barker's column was thus brilliantly holding its own, each time
against an _impi_ larger than itself, a large European force was being
concentrated with surprising rapidity at Thring's Post, the place
selected by McKenzie as his general base of operations.

Arnott, leaving Otimati at 2 p.m. on the 1st, reached Thring's Post the
same afternoon.

After explaining the situation to the Acting Commandant and McKenzie,
and discussing the future plan of campaign, Leuchars left Elandskop
with the U.F.F. on the 29th and reached Thring's Post on the 1st.

Mackay moved from Mvuzana stream near Nkandhla at 8 a.m. on the 28th
June, and crossed the Tugela at Middle Drift on the same day. On the
29th, leaving his ox-transport to ascend Krantzkop mountain during
the afternoon and following morning, he reached Elandskop at noon.
Unable to march before noon on the 30th, because of the transport, the
column nevertheless succeeded in arriving at Thring's Post early on
the 2nd July, _i.e._ a few hours after Woolls-Sampson had come in from
Zululand. He was thereupon joined by C squadron, N.C. (which had, for
about five weeks, served as bodyguard to O.C. Troops), as well as by
squadron D of the same regiment.[284]

Thus, between 27th June (day of the action at Peyana) and the 2nd July,
the situation in Mapumulo division had so far changed that, instead of
less than 200 troops being in the district, there were over 2,500 at
Thring's Post, and 500 with Barker at Esidumbini.

In addition to the steps taken to cope with the situation in that part
of the Colony, and to Mansel being posted in the neighbourhood of
Isiwasamanqe in Zululand, Dick was ordered to proceed with the N.R.
direct to Mapumulo, leaving half a company to garrison Krantzkop,
whilst the detachment of N.R.R., then at Krantzkop, was ordered to

The Chief Leader at Krantzkop got orders to mobilize at once the First,
Second and Third Reserves.

The detachment of D.L.I. at Pomeroy was sent to Ndwedwe viâ Verulam.
The posts at Fort Wales and Sibindi in Umsinga division were evacuated,
the N.R.R., up to then garrisoning those places, moving to Pomeroy to
replace the D.L.I.

The detachment of D.L.I. at Melmoth proceeded to Eshowe and from there,
with as many others of the D.L.I. as could be spared by O.C. Eshowe,
went to join their regiment at Bond's Drift.

Whilst camped at Otimati, Mackay decided to send a Native spy to
Meseni's principal kraal with the object of finding out as much as
he could about the movements, strength and intentions of the enemy.
Nkantolo, the man in question, left at 4 a.m. on the 2nd. He rejoined
Mackay's column at Thring's Post at 9 p.m. the same day, to report
that, disguised as a rebel, he had been to the principal kraal
Mtandeni, where he learnt that a vast _impi_ had been mobilized and
was camped in the immediate vicinity of the kraal; and that portions
of the force were already out guarding parts of the valley where it
was supposed the troops might attempt to enter. He heard of the fight
that had already taken place that day with Barker at Insuze, and that,
with a view of checking the latter's advance--it being already known
his column was a small one--an _impi_ had been sent towards Esidumbini
to lie in ambush on the road to be travelled. The same man also
ascertained that, on the preceding Sunday afternoon (1st), a European
who was passing through the district on a bicycle from Mapumulo towards
the coast, had been captured by the rebels, brought to Mtandeni, and
there murdered and mutilated.

On this intelligence being brought to the notice of Colonel McKenzie,
he decided at once to inform Barker of his danger. It was accordingly
arranged that Nkantolo, notwithstanding that he had already walked
some twenty-five miles that day, should take a despatch to Barker
warning him not to leave Esidumbini before dawn, which, according
to instructions previously issued to that officer by McKenzie, it
was necessary for him to do. In view, however, of the fact that the
distance from Thring's Post to Esidumbini by the most direct route
is not less than twenty miles, the task, in spite of the Native's
assurances to the contrary, appeared a greater one than he could
possibly perform, especially as, seeing the intervening country was
under arms, it was imperative to use a still longer route to avoid
contact with the enemy. When Nkantolo, having travelled through the
night, was approaching his destination, he heard the fire at Ponjwana
and, afraid of being mistaken by Barker's force for a rebel, decided
to make another detour to Esidumbini. After reaching that place and
reporting himself, he at once followed the route taken by Barker,
passing over the battle-field at Ponjwana, and delivering his message
about noon in the neighbourhood of Umvoti Drift. Thus, between 4 a.m.
on the 2nd and noon on the 3rd, a distance of not less than sixty miles
had been covered by the messenger. This is but an illustration of what
many Zulus are capable of doing. Such extraordinary mobility is but
one of the factors that has to be taken into account in a war between
Europeans and Natives.

Reference has already been made to the general plan of converging on
Meseni's valley, and the attempt made by Barker to carry out his share
of that plan.

The instructions to Woolls-Sampson were to proceed to Mapumulo and,
picking up there the N.M.R. and a detachment of C.M.R. Maxims, to make
a night march to a kopje overlooking the drift (Gaillard's), where the
Mapumulo-Esidumbini road crosses the Umvoti. He was to arrive at that
spot before dawn, and there co-operate with the columns of Mackay on
the left and Barker on the right.

Mackay was to proceed viâ Hlonono Mission Station, close to the scene
of Arnott's recent action, towards Meseni's principal kraal, and there
co-operate with Woolls-Sampson on the right and Leuchars on the left.

Leuchars[285] was to move after dark into Glendale valley, along the
main road from Kearsney. He was then to bivouack for the night, and
move sufficiently early on the 3rd to co-operate with Mackay and

From all reports that had been received, it appeared the main force
of the rebels was concentrated at Meseni's Mtandeni kraal, hence the
nominal objective of each of the columns was this kraal. They converged
thereon, roughly speaking, from the four points of the compass.
McKenzie gave the column commanders clearly to understand that the
movements of the different columns were to be of an encircling nature,
with the object of hemming the enemy in, and it was with that object in
view that they were to co-operate with one another as much as possible.

Colonel McKenzie, who was accompanied by the Acting Commandant,
attached himself to Mackay's column. This force reached Hlonono Mission
Station just as day broke. As the troops were proceeding down a ridge,
a party of rebels was surprised in a thorn valley on the right. This
valley was swept through by the Natal Carbineers, one squadron being
sent to a ridge on the right of the valley. The main body passed
down the quickly-descending ridges towards Meseni's kraal, hurriedly
searching the country as they went.

On Mackay's column reaching Mtandeni, the kraal was found completely
deserted. Two separate camps of temporary war-huts had been erected
within 300 yards of the kraal at the rear, capable of accommodating
1,500 men. Many signs of recent occupation were observed, such as bones
of cattle that had been slaughtered, pots, etc. The kraal had evidently
been hurriedly vacated, as numerous articles, such as dishes, mats,
spoons, ornaments, etc., etc., were found lying about in the huts. A
search was made for the European said to have been murdered. A bicycle
with satchel attached, containing articles of clothing evidently
belonging to the deceased, was found. Later on, under a tree, 150 yards
from the kraal, the corpse of the murdered man was also come upon.
The body had been horribly mutilated. The head had been cut off and
removed; and the whole of the intestines, heart, lungs, liver, stomach,
etc., extracted. The right hand, cut off at the wrist, was missing,
whilst the pad or sole of one of the feet had also been cut away and

The body was shortly after identified as that of Mr. Oliver Edward
Veal, of the Public Works Department, who had left Pietermaritzburg
in the hope of seeing a friend attached to Colonel McKenzie's staff.
Deceased left Pietermaritzburg for Greytown by train on the 30th June,
and from thence viâ Krantzkop to Mapumulo on a bicycle. At the latter
place, he was warned of the danger of entering Meseni's ward but,
having already come further than he had intended, he decided to go on
to Tongaat and catch the train back to Pietermaritzburg on the Sunday.
He was quite unarmed. He, moreover, not being a combatant, was in
mufti. A party of rebels caught him half a mile from Gaillard's Drift
and triumphantly conveyed him to Mtandeni. Meseni was informed of what
had happened. He ordered Veal to be conveyed back to Mapumulo, but the
large force there congregated was in no mood to carry out the order.
Macabacaba, the fighting induna, not only ignored his Chief's orders,
but identified himself with those who clamoured for Veal's being put
to death. The rebels accused the latter of being a spy. Had he been
able to speak Zulu, he might have been able to clear himself of the
charge. As it was, Meseni concluded he was not a spy; it was on that
account he gave the order he did. That the Chief's order should have
been ignored shows that he had practically lost control of the tribe.
Instead, however, of actively interfering, he allowed the rebels to do
what they wished. And so this perfectly innocent young man, actuated by
no other motive whatever than that of getting back to duty as speedily
as possible, was struck, stabbed, and fearfully mutilated in the manner
already described. The principal motive of the murder was, no doubt, to
enable the local war-doctor to obtain parts of the body for doctoring
the impi and rendering it so terrible to its opponents as to ensure
victory on a conflict occurring.

There is no truth in the rumour that the sole of deceased's foot was
removed whilst he was still alive, and that he was then compelled to
walk. Zulus are undoubtedly barbarous in certain respects, but to say
that the above took place is a libel. If proof be wanted, we have it
in the fact that the foot was closely examined on the body being found,
when no trace whatever of dirt attaching thereto was detected.

The killing of this fine young fellow, loved by all who knew him, only
shows what Natives were still capable of during the Rebellion, and how
necessary it was to guard against members of any regiment becoming
detached and wandering about in the enemy's country.

Another point is that whereas the rebel Chiefs generally protected
civilians as far as they could, such protection could not be relied
on, especially in the case of Meseni who, though present, was unable
or did not care to assert his authority. In spite of all professions
by the ringleaders that European non-combatants, including women and
children, would not be molested, there was no guarantee whatever that
a time would not arise when indiscriminate massacres would take place.
Thus, the only way of checking these possible catastrophes was to do as
McKenzie did, viz. so punish the rebels as to show them that rebellion,
even in incipient forms, would be stamped out with the utmost severity.
Had Chiefs been able to exercise effective control, especially when the
passions of their people were aroused, a corresponding modification
might have been introduced by European officers in dealing with the
situation, but with instances as revolting as the one described, no
other course was left than to suppress the tendencies in the sternest

Meseni's kraal was burnt and Veal's remains buried close to where they
were found.

McKenzie moved to an elevated position about a mile from Mtandeni, from
where he generally directed the operations.

Woolls-Sampson, after leaving Mapumulo at 2 a.m. on the 2nd, advanced
due south towards Wome kopje, overlooking Gaillard's Drift. Difficulty
was experienced, when compelled to leave the road, through his not
having a proper guide. A party of rebel scouts was surprised just
before dawn--half a dozen of them were shot and two captured. The
night-march was otherwise without incident. As soon as it got light,
about forty of the enemy were observed on top of a steep hill,
Mpumulwana, about a mile from Wome. There were other signs that the
enemy was concentrating there--the beginning of exceedingly broken
country, covered with thorn trees. Woolls-Sampson sent B squadron
N.M.R., dismounted, under Rattray, to dislodge the rebels. After going
half-way up the steep hill in close order with bayonets fixed, Rattray
sent Tpr. Le Mesurier on horseback to draw the enemy. The squadron
followed close in rear. Le Mesurier rode practically up to the enemy,
whom he found to be 300 to 400 strong. He then turned and galloped down
the incline. The rebels, armed with shields and assegais, at once began
to charge. As they appeared over the brow, they were met by the fire of
Rattray's men. Instead of continuing, they drew back to the crest from
whence they had come, and there once more concealed themselves as best
they could.

Woolls-Sampson now sent the N.D.M.R. (under Abraham) at the gallop,
with Z.M.R. and R.H., to a hill on the enemy's right flank, which
commanded the rear of the hill occupied by the enemy. N.D.M.R. opened
fire from right rear when the rebels, seeing they might be surrounded,
retreated down the slopes in their rear towards the Umvoti river. As
they made off, they were closely pursued by Rattray. Many were shot in
the pursuit, especially by the Maxims. The remainder of the force was
brought up, when the bush was driven to the river.

The troops were halted some 300 yards from Mpumulwana. 'A' squadron,
N.M.R., was now sent to cover the right flank, as well as endeavour to
bring fire to bear on the part of the hill occupied by the enemy. In
the meantime, C squadron went forward to support Rattray.

When the N.D.M.R., after operating on a ridge almost parallel to that
on which the main body was, reached the base of a conical hill, still
nearer Wome, on their left front, a separate and considerable body of
Natives charged on to them from the top. The attack was immediately
met and the rebels, having no opportunity to form up, hid themselves,
after suffering severe loss, in scrub, dongas, etc. Whilst crossing
some mealie-fields which appeared to be clear of rebels, Abraham and
Lieut. H.G. James, Z.M.R., who were riding together with a few men,
were suddenly attacked by rebels, up till then carefully concealed.
Both officers used their revolvers with effect at close quarters.

In the operations about Mpumulwana and Wome, 102 of the enemy were

It so happened that many of the rebels who escaped from Woolls-Sampson
came in the direction of Mackay's column, when, later in the morning,
very heavy losses were inflicted on them by the Carbineers in the scrub
and thorns on both sides of the river--especially on the left bank.

Woolls-Sampson moved the whole of his force to the river, but although
at once getting in touch with Mackay, he failed to do so with Barker,
whose delay was, of course, accounted for by his having been engaged
with other _impis_ at Ponjwana, as already related.

Now, as to Leuchars. At daybreak, after entering Glendale valley, the
column worked up the river. At a place where the Umvoti flows close
to a precipitous and thickly-wooded slope, the road was found well
barricaded with trees. The removal of the obstruction delayed the
advance for about fifteen minutes. On the edge of some cane-fields,
a few Natives were seen running into a densely-wooded valley on the
right. Two shells were fired at them. Leuchars ascertained from Indians
living there that the rebels were in the habit of secreting themselves
in the cane, and that they were there then. It, therefore, became
necessary to proceed with caution and to take the column off the road
and through a field of young cane. Further delay arose through an
ambulance waggon capsizing.

On the mill being reached, it was found that a store had been burnt and
a house looted.

Leuchars' principal difficulties, however, arose after the road came
to an end beyond the mill, when the guns and ambulance were obliged to
proceed along trackless country, for the most part covered with thorn

It was 2.30 p.m. when he sighted Mackay's column on a knoll near Umvoti

After his action at Ponjwana, Barker resumed his march at 9 a.m., and
arrived at Gaillard's store, Umvoti Drift, shortly before noon. His
progress through the intervening thorn country was retarded somewhat
owing to being occasionally threatened by the enemy, though without
any serious attempt to come to close quarters. After conferring with
McKenzie, he moved back to Esidumbini, reaching his camp at 7.30 p.m.
after an uneventful march.

In the afternoon, Mackay's, Woolls-Sampson's and Leuchars' columns
proceeded to high ground on the road, about 1,000 yards from Gaillard's
Drift (left side), and close to the spot where, two days before, Veal
had been caught. Here the combined forces bivouacked for the night.

The total number of rebels killed by the columns during the day was
444, and about 400 cattle were captured.

On the following day (4th July), McKenzie decided to remain in Umvoti
valley and to continue the sweeping operations generally in a northerly
direction. Leuchars operated on the left, Mackay in the centre and
Woolls-Sampson on Mackay's right. Each column traversed exceedingly
rugged country during the day, but practically none of the enemy
were met with in any force. All the rebels had apparently dispersed.
Mackay proceeded viâ Misi hill into Swaimana's ward where, owing to
not having vacated their kraals as instructed to do, two brothers of
Swaimana--loyalists--were unfortunately shot in the belief that they
were rebels.

Nineteen rebels were killed and a large quantity of stock captured
during the day.

The columns--searching the country as they went--returned to Thring's
Post on the 5th.

Attached to the Natal Carbineers was Lance-Corporal V.J.W.
Christopher. When in the neighbourhood of Hlonono Mission Station, he
went to a kraal to make investigations. As he entered the place, a
rebel, who had armed and concealed himself behind a fence, immediately
pounced upon and stabbed him and his horse to death. The body was
removed and buried at Ladysmith.

Although the combined operations in Umvoti valley, on account of
Barker having been opposed at Ponjwana and Leuchars having to bring
his guns and ambulance along rough and roadless country, did not
achieve McKenzie's principal object, viz. establishing a cordon round
Meseni's entire force, they were nevertheless successful in stamping
out rebellion in that part. As late as the evening of the 2nd, all
reports had gone to show that some 6,000 to 7,000 Natives were under
arms in Umvoti valley. But, as the result of the vigorous operations
of the 3rd, 4th and 5th, the rebel forces, defeated in action at two
points, had entirely vanished. And, with their kraals destroyed and
stock captured, no opportunity was allowed them to reorganize with any
prospect of success.

The _terrain_ here, though difficult to operate in, differed greatly
from that at Nkandhla in having no strongholds of any importance.
Had the valley been dealt with piece-meal, it is more than probable
hostilities would have been kept up longer than they were, and been
accompanied with far greater loss of life to the rebels than actually
took place. Although the punishment was not as severe as it might have
been, it was heavy enough to show Natives the futility of taking up
arms against organized European troops. The swoop on Meseni's valley
from four widely-separated points was a fine conception, and, although
not as effective as it might have been, and was intended by McKenzie
to be, the rebels saw enough to realize that an octopus had come down
upon them from the surrounding heights, against whose powerful and
far-reaching tentacles their own efforts were puny and feeble in the
extreme. The reader may remember that a Zulu dreads nothing so much
as being surrounded or hemmed in. The very effort to do this on the
3rd no doubt caused many of them to be afflicted with nightmare, for
that was the day on which, as they say, "every hill was covered with
European troops, which, moving closer and closer, threatened and meted
out destruction on every side."

On intelligence being brought in at 2 p.m. on the 6th that Meseni was
in hiding a short distance off, three squadrons hurriedly left Thring's
Post, only, however, to find, after proceeding a couple of miles,
that the place was at least nine miles from camp, and required a much
larger force to deal with. The troops accordingly returned to camp.
Orders were issued the same night that all mounted troops of Leuchars',
Woolls-Sampson's and Mackay's columns were to move out at 3.30 a.m. on
the 7th in the direction of Glendale. Fortunately there was a bright

Woolls-Sampson's men took the right. After making a long detour, they,
approaching on the west, reached the appointed rendezvous, Mzonono
gorge, shortly after daybreak, and got into touch with Mackay, who had
moved to the east side from the north. Leuchars was to have closed the
bottom end from the south-east, but he arrived late, owing to having
been conducted along the wrong road. McKenzie, who was with Mackay's
column, caused the bush in the gorge to be driven, but without result.
Woolls-Sampson's and Mackay's men subsequently went to the top of hills
overlooking the Kearsney sugar plantations and searched some caves near
there. Leuchars, in the meantime, drove a valley on the east. During
the day, thirteen prisoners were taken and six rebels killed. Tpr.
Reed, N.C., accidentally shot himself through one of his lungs, but the
injury luckily did not prove fatal.

The troops returned the same afternoon to Thring's Post, without having
been able to ascertain the Chief's whereabouts.[286]

With the object of dispersing a body of rebels, said to be between
Spitzkop and Riet valley, Barker was instructed to move his column
towards the upper portion of Umhlali river. A company N.R., was, at
the same time, detached from Royston's column (which had just reached
Dundee), and ordered to proceed by rail to join Barker.


[Footnote 269: Sometimes called Hlonono, after the name of a Native
who, until recently, lived some two miles from the scene.]

[Footnote 270: This distinguished officer, who had assumed office on
the 2nd June, arrived at Krantzkop on the 29th. His services were,
briefly, as follows: Indian Mutiny, 1857-8; Bhootan Expedition,
1865; Zulu War, 1879; Boer War, 1881; and Boer War, 1899-1902, being
frequently mentioned in despatches and awarded the King's and Queen's
medals with clasps. He was knighted (K.C.B.) and granted the honorary
rank of Major-General in the Army on the conclusion of the last Boer

[Footnote 271: When directed to arrest Bejana near Empangeni, Barker
moved towards Eshowe with three squadrons, T.M.R. On getting to
Entumeni, however, his orders were cancelled, when he proceeded to
Middle Drift, reaching there on the 23rd June. By this time, he had
become practically detached from Mansel's column, then making towards

[Footnote 272: _i.e._ Ngudwini, near Isiwasamanqe, Eshowe district.]

[Footnote 273: The sun set at 5.10 p.m.]

[Footnote 274: There was no undergrowth of any kind.]

[Footnote 275: On the left of the road, the enemy had been concealed at
the head of a small valley. _Vide_ map and inset.]

[Footnote 276: A brief report on this gun, which was first used at
Peyana, will be found on p. 419.]

[Footnote 277: The New Hanover Reserves assembled at Noodsberg Hall,
by direction of the Acting Commandant, on the 27th June. On the 28th,
a patrol visited the Swedish mission station (Rev. J.F. Ljungquist),
under the Great Noodsberg, when a small body of the enemy was seen on
the top of the mountains. Mdungazwe reported that the rebels were doing
their best to incite people of his and other tribes to rise. As word
had come in that Butler's store had been looted at Insuze, the whole of
the Reserves, including Messrs. W. Dickens, M. Jackson, J.H. Culverwell
and H. Jacobson, left to visit the place, but, on discovering a party
of the enemy driving some thirty cattle near the Newspaper Mission
Station, two miles from Butler's, the project was abandoned after
capturing the cattle. The rebels now assembled in larger numbers at
Newspaper, and rumours of an intended attack on the Hall were freely
circulated. It was at this stage that Ehlers got into touch with Barker
at Dalton.]

[Footnote 278: On moving from the Hall to rejoin his column, Barker
left the Reserves where they were, but when he received warning a few
hours later of a possibility of his being attacked by strong bodies of
the enemy, he ordered them to attach themselves to his column.]

[Footnote 279: There was no opportunity for Barker to obtain levies
from local tribes until the 7th. He was then joined by men of those of
Mdungazwe and Mahlube, who gave much assistance in seizing cattle and
locating rebels.]

[Footnote 280: The owner of this kraal, Kati, was a member of the Natal
Police. Kati did not fight at Insuze, but did so at Ponjwana (Sikota's
kraal), where he was killed.]

[Footnote 281: This _impi_ was found crouching, their faces towards the
drift, in a slight grassy depression at _D_, about 150 yards in rear of
the kraal from which the first attack had come. Although concealed from
the troops at the drift or police station, it became easily visible,
owing to there being no cover, as soon as men began to move towards its
right rear.]

[Footnote 282: This hill was between four and five miles from the camp,
and on the far side of, and about 1,000 yards from, Sikota's.]

[Footnote 283: _Vide_ plan.]

[Footnote 284: The regiment now, for the first time during the
Rebellion, operated under its O.C. As to its strength, see note 2, p.

For the past and recent history of this fine regiment, the reader could
not do better than consult the following work: _The Natal Carbineers_,
1856 to 1911. Edited by Rev. John Stalker, M.A.--P. Davis & Sons,
Pietermaritzburg, Natal. 1912.]

[Footnote 285: Woolls-Sampson's, Mackay's and Leuchars' columns were
composed as follows: _Woolls-Sampson_--N.M.R., 300 (Murray-Smith);
N.D.M.R., 200 (Abraham); Z.M.R., 100 (James); and one squadron R.H.
(Cape), 85 (Simmons).

_Mackay_--N.C. Right Wing (Barker); Left Wing (Brandon), 560; L and Y,
150 (Peakman); N.R., 350 (Dick); N.F.A., two guns, A battery (Wilson),
two guns, B battery (Acutt), and two guns (pompoms), (Swain).

_Leuchars_--U.M.R., 270 (Newmarch); B.M.R., 160 (Arnott); N.C., D
squadron, 89 (Montgomery); N.F.A., two guns, C battery (Currie).]

[Footnote 286: At 3 a.m. on the 15th, a fire suddenly broke out at
the field hospital, Thring's Post, owing to a hurricane blowing about
fragments from a burning rubbish heap. The medical officer (Dr.
R. Milner Smyth) assisted by others, succeeded with considerable
difficulty, in rescuing the patients (one of them, the man referred to
in the text) from their burning tents.]



It was clear from the outset that the _impis_ that attacked the convoy
at Macrae's on the 2nd July had come from Matshwili, Ntshingumuzi and
Ngobizembe's tribes. Of these, the leading spirit was undoubtedly
Matshwili[287] of the Mtetwa tribe. Intelligence went to show that a
force of some eight companies of the rebels, _i.e._ between 400 to
600 men, was concealed in his ward in deep ravines at Izinsimba, a
tributary of the Tugela. These rebels, although they had failed to
annihilate Campbell, were awaiting favourable developments in other
parts to amalgamate, or effectively co-operate, with the _impis_
of Meseni, Ndhlovu and others. Only by striking decisively was it
possible for McKenzie to break down the widespread disaffection in
Mapumulo, Lower Tugela and Ndwedwe divisions, all thickly inhabited by
uncivilized Natives.

As soon as the principal rebel force had been disposed of, attention
was turned to that of Matshwili. McKenzie decided to surround this
_impi_ in the same way that had been attempted in Umvoti valley. The
situation demanded celerity of action. With such crafty foes, action
within twenty-four hours or so might meet with success, when a couple
of days would result in absolute failure. The problem, however, was
not of such vast dimensions as that in Umvoti valley, but, in view
of the rugged country in which Matshwili's people lived, quickly
descending as it does into a far more difficult and thickly-wooded
district in the vicinity of the Tugela, it was necessary to cut off
retreat thereto before the enemy had conceived the possibility of such
movement taking place. Owing to the nature of the country, offering
innumerable facilities for escaping, McKenzie was especially careful in
the preparation of his plans.

The columns employed were those of Mackay, Woolls-Sampson and Leuchars.
They were composed as follows:

_Mackay's_--Right and Left Wings, N.C.; 2 guns, N.F.A. (Wilson).[288]

_Woolls-Sampson's_--4 squadrons, N.M.R. (Murray-Smith); 2 squadrons,
N.D.M.R. (Abraham); 1 squadron, Z.M.R. (Vanderplank); 2 guns, N.F.A.
(Acutt); detachments of D.L.I. and N.R.

_Leuchars'_--3 squadrons, U.M.R. (Newmarch); 2 squadrons, B.M.R.
(Arnott); 1 squadron, N.C. (Montgomery); L. and Y. (Peakman); 2 guns,
N.F.A. (Currie).

Mansel, as will presently be seen, also co-operated on the north-east.

McKenzie, with Mackay's column, left Thring's Post at 3 a.m. on the
8th, and advanced towards Izinsimba from the west. With a good moon,
the first part of the march was comparatively easy. The ground,
moreover, was fairly level. Matshwili's principal kraal was approached
by two squadrons N.C. (dismounted), led by McKenzie, and then smartly,
though quietly, surrounded by men with fixed bayonets before dawn,
in the hope of arresting the Chief. The place, however, was found to
be deserted. Mackay was directed at once to occupy a small, narrow
ridge immediately overlooking Izinsimba (right bank), on which was a
small mission station, and, in addition, to throw forward along the
same ridge a strong force to hold ground on the immediate west of
Woolls-Sampson's position.

By this time, Woolls-Sampson had already taken up the position assigned
him further down the Izinsimba. He had left Thring's Post at 2.30 a.m.
and proceeded by road to Macrae's store, where he turned off sharp
to the left and descended a long ridge to take up a position on the
Izinsimba, about a mile and a half below Matshwili's principal kraals.
The N.M.R. took the advance. Rattray was sent with squadron B to get
astride of the stream, about fifty yards below where a tributary (which
springs immediately east of Macrae's store) enters it. Ground was
accordingly held to the extent of about fifty yards on either side.
Murray-Smith, with the rest of N.M.R., remained for the time being at
the base of the ridge the troops had come down, covering the entrance
to Indaka spruit. The remainder of the troops supported some 200 yards
in rear. All these positions were reached before daybreak.

Leuchars, who had marched at 3 a.m. to link up and co-operate with
Woolls-Sampson on the opposite or left side of the Izinsimba, got
generally into position by daybreak.

The converging on the valley by the three columns from different
directions was accomplished in a highly creditable, and, indeed,
remarkably simultaneous and accurate manner, owing chiefly to the
excellence of the plan and the orders issued for carrying it into

About 120 yards to the right front of Rattray's position, and in the
same valley, was a square Native hut, from which nearly a dozen Natives
soon rushed up the stream into thick bush. These, however, were not
fired at, owing to the advisability of reserving the ammunition for
the main body, which, it was supposed, would attempt to force its way
through later. Presently some thirty of the enemy, probably alarmed
by the noise of the approaching artillery, tried to break through the
cordon, but were driven back with loss.

Finding that touch had been satisfactorily established by Mackay with
Woolls-Sampson on the right flank, and Leuchars on the left, McKenzie
caused a small forest on Leuchars' side of the stream, and under
high ground lined by his men, to be searched by Wilson's guns, using

One squadron, N.C., lined the ridge on the right of Izinsimba, another
was posted higher up the stream, whilst, as has been seen, a strong
force was holding the ridge on Woolls-Sampson's left flank.

By now, Woolls-Sampson had moved down the greater part of his
column (dismounted) to block the Izinsimba valley more effectually,
preparatory to driving up the stream, in which direction it was then
evident the enemy was concealed and in force. After making such
dispositions as were necessary, the drive began.

Leuchars did not take part in the earlier movements that occurred
near where the Indaka and Imbuyana streams enter the Izinsimba. What
happened with his column was this: Arnott, with B.M.R. (two squadrons),
and N.C. (D squadron), had been directed to occupy ground immediately
opposite that held by Woolls-Sampson. Arnott's guide mistook the path,
which resulted in his pushing too far down the Izinsimba, _i.e._ about
800 yards below Woolls-Sampson. Such position was reached at dawn. The
error, however, proved advantageous, as the troops were just in time
to prevent the escape of about 150 rebels who were between N.M.R. and
B.M.R. They were driven up the Izinsimba and dealt with later.

As, by this time (10.30 a.m.), it was clear that a considerable
portion, if not the whole of Matshwili's _impi_ had been completely
surrounded, McKenzie ordered the principal valley to be driven
downwards towards Woolls-Sampson, whose men (N.M.R. and N.D.M.R.),
then out of sight in the irregularly-shaped and bushy valley, were
already slowly and cautiously driving upwards.[289] The former troops
(_i.e._ those driving downwards) consisted of portions of Mackay's and
Leuchars' columns acting in combination, notably N.C. and L. and Y.

The drives, which were through rough and rocky country, took about
three hours to complete. Two or three of the small, precipitous ravines
opening into the main valley, especially on the right side of the
stream, were also driven. During the drives, numerous armed rebels were
come upon in various parts. These made the best use they could of their
assegais and shields. There was plenty of cover, bushes as well as
rocks, but before long the enemy realized that he had been completely
hemmed in. He continued to fight to the last, though at considerable
disadvantage, because of having broken up into small groups. The
"Usutu" war-cry was used whenever any lot made up their minds to charge
or hurl their assegais.

Mansel left Ngudwini camp at midnight with 146 N.P.; two guns, N.F.A.;
and 100 N.N.C. (Commander F. Hoare). His force co-operated generally
at Izinsimba. It crossed the Tugela, drove the thorn country near
the river, captured 100 cattle belonging to rebels, and returned to
Ngudwini during the afternoon.

The operations at Izinsimba proved very successful. The enemy's losses
amounted to 547 killed, including Matshwili, his son, his principal
induna, Dabulumbimbi,[290] Mahlanga,[291] a Native Christian preacher
(who, though carrying a Bible and hymn-book, was fully armed), as
well as many of those who had taken part in the attack on Campbell's
convoy six days before. The rebels' camp, consisting of many temporary
war-huts, evidently hastily vacated, was found in a bend of the stream
under a lot of shady trees.

It was already late in the afternoon when the forces withdrew, after a
heavy day's work, to the base at Thring's Post.

L. and Y. (Peakman), who, as part of Leuchars' column, took part in
the drives, were of much assistance. The L. and Y. infantry deserve a
special word of praise. Not only did they march out a distance of
ten miles, but besides driving the valleys through the greater part of
the day, walked all the way back to camp the same evening without a
single man falling out.


Dispositions in each case are at the beginning of the action.]

With the decisive blows at Mome, Umvoti valley, Insuze and Izinsimba,
the one following the other in quick succession, and each involving
the rebels in severe losses, cessation of hostilities and restoration
of peace became possible far sooner, and with much less bloodshed,
than would otherwise have been the case. But, before this desirable
consummation could be reached, a little more work remained to be done.

Ndhlovu's district had not been invaded. This was the tribe that had
murdered Sangreid and Powell, had attempted to murder Robbins and Knox,
and, apart from looting the stores at Thring's Post and Otimati, as
well as a herd of cattle from the former place, had fought the N.M.R.
at Otimati. After allowing the troops to rest on the 9th, McKenzie
accordingly arranged a combined move on this ward for the morning
of the 10th, intelligence going to show that Ndhlovu's _impi_ lay
concealed in the Mati valley.

In pursuance of the plan, Leuchars, whose column now consisted of
U.M.R., N.M.R. and L. and Y., left at dusk on the 9th for Allan's
store viâ the magistracy at Mapumulo. Woolls-Sampson, whose column
now included B.M.R. (Arnott), in lieu of N.M.R., made for Hlungwini
Drift (Tugela). Both columns were to be at the mouth of the Mati by
the following dawn. Mansel got orders to move up the Tugela and assist
on the Zululand side. Again, accompanying Mackay's column, McKenzie,
leaving shortly before 3 a.m., entered the rebels' district by a more
direct route than did the other columns. The N.R. accompanied Mackay,
though, being infantry, started half an hour earlier.

Woolls-Sampson's column traversed extremely difficult and thorny
country. It proceeded to where the Mati joins the Tugela and close
to Isiwasezimbuzi mountain. Although a thick mist added to the
difficulties of the march, the force was in position at the appointed

Leuchars, after bivouacking at Mapumulo, left that place at 3 a.m. As
with the other columns, strict silence was observed during the march
and no lights struck. By daylight, the force had occupied positions
round Allan's store. Subsequently, Capt. W.J. Gallwey was sent down
Masiwele valley with a squadron, whilst another squadron, under Capt.
E. Simkins, crossed the Masiwele stream and moved along a high ridge
on the north. Leuchars, in the meantime, took the main body down Mati
valley, where it had been arranged Gallwey and Simkins should meet him.
When about three miles from the Tugela, touch was got with the columns
of Woolls-Sampson, Mackay and Mansel. None of the enemy, however, were
met with, though a spoor leading in a northerly direction into the next
ward was found.

After the columns had got into their respective positions, McKenzie
directed them to drive forward simultaneously to the junction of the
Mati and Masiwele streams. The country each column operated in was
exceedingly rugged. Vast portions of it were covered with thorn and
other varieties of trees, growing so closely together in places that
it was impossible for horsemen to do otherwise than proceed in single
file along narrow, stony footpaths, across which fallen trees and
other obstacles were frequently found. Not a single rebel was seen
throughout the day. The movement, though within ten days of the general
concentration at Thring's Post, had come too late. The wily rebels, no
doubt aware of what had happened at Izinsimba, had slipped, under cover
of the dense forests, some ten miles or so up the river.

The troops, having bivouacked for the night on the Mati, continued the
operations during the following day, but met with no better success.
Leuchars and Woolls-Sampson then withdrew to Mapumulo, and Mackay to
Thring's Post. The infantry, including D.L.I., returned to Thring's
Post viâ Isiwasezimbuzi (_the goats' precipice_).

On the day in question, Mansel left Ngudwini with 146 N.P.; 100 N.N.C.
(Hoare); 2 guns, N.F.A.; and 100 Nongqai (Fairlie), and, crossing the
Tugela, met and co-operated with McKenzie in Mati valley. Recrossing
the Tugela, his force bivouacked for the night near the drift.

In regard to the operations of the 10th and 11th, Colonel McKenzie
remarked: "Some column commanders used their guns whilst a heavy fog
was hanging over the valley. There was apparently no need for this,
but, thinking they were in touch with the enemy, it had the effect of
hastening the movement, which might have been the means of allowing the
enemy to escape, for, naturally, the country traversed was not searched
so thoroughly as it otherwise would have been."[293]

In consequence of the operations in Umvoti valley and at Izinsimba,
finding their _impis_ altogether unable to stand against the troops
as had at first seemed possible,[294] Meseni and Ndhlovu decided to
quit their wards and take refuge in Zululand with a few headmen. News
of the flight was speedily obtained by O.C. Troops and telegraphed to
the Commissioner at Eshowe. The refugees were placed under arrest by
the loyal Chief Hatshi, near Entumeni forest, and conveyed to Eshowe.
McKenzie ordered that they should be sent under escort to Mapumulo.
They accordingly reached Thring's Post on the 13th, and Mapumulo
magistracy on the following day. To the latter place McKenzie at the
same time transferred his headquarters.

With the surrender of these two men, and the death of Matshwili, there
was every reason for supposing that the Rebellion was at an end in that
part, if not throughout the whole Colony. In the absence of disturbing
intelligence from any other district, the latter assumption presently
proved to be correct.

Immediately Meseni and Ndhlovu arrived at Mapumulo, the advisability of
proclaiming a general armistice was considered. Although it was known
that small bands of rebels still existed in the Tugela valley, between
Krantzkop and Izinsimba, notably under the leadership of Sambela, a
relation of the expatriated Chief Ngobizembe, McKenzie felt the time
had arrived when an opportunity of surrendering should be afforded to
all who cared to avail themselves thereof. It was with the object of
discussing the situation from this and other aspects, that the Minister
of Justice and Defence (Mr., now Sir, Thomas Watt) and the Commandant
of Militia (Colonel Bru-de-Wold)[295] visited McKenzie at Mapumulo on
the 14th. Orders were thereupon issued that all further operations were
to be suspended. Column commanders were, at the same time, instructed
to use every endeavour to induce outstanding rebels to come in. One of
the means adopted with success was to use the services of those who had
surrendered, on seeing whom many still at large became satisfied that
the opportunity given was _bona-fide_.

The Krantzkop, Durban, New Hanover and Umvoti Reserves were
demobilized, as also the N.N.C. and N.F.A. The Durban Reserves (under
Chief Leader N. Chiazzari, D.S.O.) had for some time been doing good
work at Thring's Post.

On the 16th, Leuchars' column went to relieve Barker's at Esidumbini,
when the latter, after an exceptionally fine record in the field, both
at Nkandhla and in Natal, was permitted to return to the Transvaal.

Since the 3rd, when, after successfully invading Umvoti valley, Barker
had returned to Esidumbini, his column, still including the New Hanover
Reserves, had been far from idle. The country was thoroughly scoured
in all directions within a radius of ten to fifteen miles of the camp,
notably the wards of Chiefs Njubanjuba, Xegwana and Swaimana. Between
the 4th and 14th, seventeen rebels had been killed, 233 prisoners
captured (including sixty-three suspects), and over 1,000 head of
cattle taken. When the order to return to the Transvaal was received,
Barker was still engaged sending out small patrols, seizing stock, and
accepting surrenders in different directions.

The infantry corps, D.L.I, and N.R.R., were demobilized on the 16th,
and the New Hanover Reserves on the 17th, whilst the Z.M.R. were sent
to relieve at Krantzkop. When, on the 14th, McKenzie moved his camp to
a spot near Mapumulo, N.R. (two companies) were left to occupy Thring's

By the 22nd July, a very considerable number of rebels had
surrendered to the various columns, but, as some were still at large,
notwithstanding special pains taken to induce them to come in,
Woolls-Sampson got orders to demonstrate in the vicinity of Riet valley
on the coast, between Glendale and Chaka's Kraal.[296] Leuchars, at the
same time, moved towards Tongaat, and Mackay into Ntshingumuzi's ward,
near Bulwer, afterwards to Otimati. In each case, column commanders
were instructed to use every effort to induce rebels outstanding in
those parts to surrender, and not to resort to aggressive measures.
The doctors who were in Mackay's column (Capt. J.E. Briscoe and Lieut.
W. Black) dressed the wounds of a number of rebels that were met
with in different places. In consequence of these tactics, many more

Sambela, the man above referred to, was arrested on the 18th near
Umhlatuze river in Zululand, whilst Meseni's 'fighting induna,'
Macabacaba, who was primarily responsible for Veal's murder, was
secured in Ndwedwe district about the same time.

McKenzie was summoned to Pietermaritzburg on the 24th. He returned to
Stanger on the 28th, when a general order was issued for all Militia
corps still in the field to demobilize on the 30th.

Before concluding the account of the operations, it is necessary to
consider briefly what Mansel's and Royston's columns had been doing in
Zululand, since the general concentration at Thring's Post.

When, on the 29th June, Woolls-Sampson was ordered to proceed to Bond's
Drift and then to Thring's Post, the N.P., 147, who had been attached
to his column since 20th, were, it will be remembered, left at Ngudwini
to form part of Mansel's force. Mansel had left Fort Yolland on the 3rd
July, with N.F.A., 35 (two guns); N.N.C., 140, and Nongqai, 130, and
assumed command at Ngudwini on the same day. Patrols were daily sent by
him down and up the Tugela to prevent rebels crossing into Zululand.
When the three columns at Thring's Post made a combined move in
Matshwili's ward on 8th, and in Ndhlovu's and Ngobizembe's on 10th and
11th, he, as has been seen, co-operated from the Zululand side. On the
13th, his column moved to Isiwasamanqe, from which position a constant
watch was kept along the river. N.N.C. and N.F.A. left Mansel on the
16th to demobilize in Durban. The column moved on the 21st and reached
Bond's Drift on the 23rd. On Mansel leaving (24th), Lieut.-Col. W.J.
Clarke took over the command. The force demobilized in Pietermaritzburg
on the 3rd August.

Royston's column, consisting of R.H., D.L.I. (including Mounted
Infantry) and N.F.A. (two guns), moved to Ndikwe stream on the 20th
June, and to Ensingabantu on the 21st. On the same day, the D.L.I.
(including M.I.) left to join Woolls-Sampson at Nkandhla. The column
was, however, joined by four companies N.R. (Boyd-Wilson). N.F.A. (two
guns) were detached and returned to Empandhleni on the 23rd. After
establishing a garrison at Ensingabantu with one company N.R. (Capt.
J.J. Whitehead), to guard the supplies, Royston left that place and, on
the 24th, proceeded on a two days' drive to Macala mountain, down to
the Tugela, and from thence to Mfongozi valley.

On the 27th, a force of 250 mounted men demonstrated down Mfongozi
valley, towards Tugela and Qudeni mountain, returning to Ensingabantu
for supplies. The column now went over Qudeni, towards the junction of
Tugela and Buffalo rivers. The country between Hlatikulu forest and
the Buffalo was driven, after which the force rested at Mangeni. The
Mangeni district was next driven towards the Buffalo, about 1,500 head
of cattle belonging to Chief Matshana ka Mondise being seized.[297] The
column then went on to bivouack at Isandhlwana.

Mehlokazulu's ward was now traversed by the column. All prisoners,
cattle, sheep and goats that had been seized were handed over to the
Magistrate, Nqutu. The force moved to Vant's Drift, where waggons from
Dundee had to be awaited, as no transport from Zululand was allowed
to cross into Natal owing to East Coast Fever restrictions. Dundee
was reached on the 7th July. The column ceased to exist on the 19th.
Royston entrained with his regiment for Pietermaritzburg on the 29th.

Whilst the column was camped in the vicinity of Rorke's Drift, five
Native prisoners were shot when attempting to escape from custody.
The case formed the subject of inquiry, first by a Military Court
of Inquiry, then by Mr. Justice Beaumont (now Sir William Beaumont,
K.C.M.G.) of the Supreme Court, on a complaint by the Bishop of
Zululand that the men had been "taken out after their arrival at the
camp near Rorke's Drift and deliberately shot." The allegations,
after being fully examined, were found to be not proved, although the
Commissioner considered the Bishop was amply justified in taking the
action he did.

After the disaffection in Mapumulo and adjoining districts had been
finally dealt with, there remained but two tribes to consider, viz.
those of the brothers Tilonko and Sikukuku, living near Mid-Illovo.
The former and more important Chief was ordered to appear before the
Minister for Native Affairs in Pietermaritzburg. This he did on the
23rd July. After denying the charges brought against him, he was served
with a summons to stand his trial on the 30th, and then permitted to
return to his tribe. The summons was obeyed.

It was subsequent to this incident that the Government came to the
decision to demobilize, as already narrated. Owing, however, to the
fact that the unrest had not entirely died out, and that certain
clearing-up operations might require military assistance, it was
resolved that a composite regiment, consisting of about 600 men, made
up almost entirely of special service men, should be enrolled and
stationed in Mapumulo division or wherever else might be desirable. The
actual formation of the regiment was, however, rendered unnecessary
owing to work done during August by R.H., by three special service
squadrons, 139, 84 and 40 strong,--the first (consisting of N.C.) at
Mapumulo, under Capt. J.W.V. Montgomery; the second, under Capt. E.
Simkins, at Tongaat; the third, at Krantzkop and, later, Nkandhla,
under Lieut. G.E. Blaker,--and by N.R. and N.N.H. The first-named
corps, again commanded by Royston, visited various Chiefs' wards in
the neighbourhoods of Krantzkop, Nkandhla and Qudeni, that is, on the
Tugela side of those mountains. During such demonstrations, neither
Natives nor their property were interfered with in any way. Lists of
outstanding rebels were readily obtained from each Chief and special
efforts were made to bring about early surrenders. Royston addressed
several large gatherings of Natives at different places. The tone
of his remarks on each occasion was everything that could have been
desired, and helped materially in causing the people to return to
their several customary avocations. The speedy manner in which the
lately disturbed areas assumed their normal condition, as well as the
eagerness displayed by the great majority of Natives to hand over the
rebels, must be attributed in no small degree to the exertions of this

A detachment of 50 R.H. under the command of Lieut.-Col. B. Crompton
(N.C.), D.S.O., operated independently of the regiment, by direction
of the Commandant, in the Noodsberg district between the 5th July and
the 9th September. The country about the Great Noodsberg was driven
with the assistance of Native levies, viz. 130 from Chiefs Swaimana and
Mdungazwe, and 500 from Sobuza. The detachment rejoined the regiment at
Pietermaritzburg on the 9th September.

Montgomery's men reached Mapumulo on the 11th August. In addition to
guarding prisoners, gaol and supplies, the Umvoti and Tugela valleys
were regularly patrolled, with the assistance of Native levies.
Several important captures of rebels were effected. The squadron,
understaffed as regards officers, performed its various duties in a
very satisfactory manner. It was disbanded on the 12th September.

Simkins carried out patrols in the Tongaat district, took charge of
prisoners, and discharged other similar duties.

Blaker's squadron, which contained N.C. men and ex-members of other
corps, performed useful work at Krantzkop, and, along with Z.M.R.
under Capt. Flindt, at Nkandhla. At the latter place, it and Z.M.R.
co-operated with R.H. in Mfongozi valley. Disbandment took place
simultaneously with R.H., Montgomery's squadron, and details of the
active Militia.

And so it happened that, by the 12th September, there being no
recrudescences of the Rebellion, Royston's Horse, Natal Carbineers,
Natal Native Horse, Natal Rangers[298] and details had been disbanded.
Such work, _e.g._ arresting criminals, as then remained to be done was
within the power of the ordinary police to perform.

It has been observed that, with the surrender of Tilonko, the torch
of Rebellion was regarded as finally extinguished. This, in fact, was
the case. Curious that on the very day this Chief was on his way to
Pietermaritzburg (23rd July), the light of a far more important man was
flickering out at Empandhleni. This was none other than the veteran
Chief Sigananda, who, forced to rebel,--as he plainly hinted at his
trial, by Dinuzulu and Mankulumana's attitude towards Bambata,--had
been the cause of so much trouble at Nkandhla. Although treated
as a first-class offender, supplied during his thirty-eight days'
imprisonment with whatever he required in the way of food, clothing
and other comforts, the old man was unable, at the age of 96, to
adapt himself to changed conditions of living. He was cheerful and
communicative to the last, and in full possession of all his faculties.
On more than one occasion, he narrated wonderful experiences gone
through by him in earlier days. Among these, was the massacre of Piet
Retief and party in 1838 at Mgungundhlovu, when Sigananda had himself
actively participated. The glee with which the old man told of his
King's triumph, wholly regardless of the fiendishly treacherous manner
in which it had been accomplished, served to throw a lurid light on
the true Zulu character when called on to deal with a supposed enemy.

As soon as the T.M.R. were relieved at Esidumbini, they proceeded to
Durban. There they became the guests of the Mayor and Corporation
during such time as they were in the town. The whole people rose in
their honour and loudly acclaimed their performance. The regiment was
entertained by the Government at luncheon on the 21st, when, in the
course of an eloquent speech, intended also to apply to the "Rosebuds"
(L. and Y.) and Rangers (N.R.), the Governor formally and warmly
expressed the heartfelt thanks of the Colony for the splendid services
that had been rendered by the Transvaalers, services which included the
defeat and expulsion of the enemy from a stronghold supposed for many
generations to be insurmountable and impregnable. Help such as that,
freely and generously given by a sister Colony in time of need, would,
said Sir Henry McCallum, never be forgotten. At Johannesburg, again,
the return of these and other Transvaal troops was an occasion of much
public rejoicing.

The following general resolution was moved and carried unanimously in
the Legislative Council as well as in the Legislative Assembly on the
31st July:

"(1) That the cordial thanks of this Council (Assembly) are hereby
accorded to the Militia and other forces now or lately engaged in
the field, for the promptitude with which they responded to the call
to arms for the purpose of quelling the rebellion of portions of the
Native population of this Colony. That this Council (Assembly) in
congratulating the Officers Commanding upon the success which has
attended their arms, places on record its appreciation of the gallantry
and endurance displayed by all ranks, and of the public spirit with
which private interests have been sacrificed by all alike for the
defence of the Colony. (2) That a copy of this resolution be conveyed
to the Commandant of Militia, with an expression of the wish of this
Council (Assembly) that its terms may be communicated to the various
units engaged."

Two days later, some 2,000 troops, representing the various units
recently engaged in the operations, including the Cape Mounted Rifles,
headed by the band of the Cameron Highlanders, marched to and paraded
on the Market Square, Pietermaritzburg, where they were addressed
by the Governor in the presence of a large concourse of spectators,
not the least interested being members of many of the Native tribes.
Speaking on behalf of the Colony, and as His Majesty's representative,
Sir Henry McCallum cordially thanked the troops for "the magnificent
services they had rendered to the Colony and to the Empire." "For,
perhaps, the first time on record," he went on, "you have been engaged
principally upon the offensive, and you have carried out work which was
supposed to be insurmountable. This has required the greatest fortitude
on your part. Willingly have the mounted men put their horses on one
side, scrambled into the bush, and got into the forefront in attacking
the enemy. The conduct of the campaign throughout has been one for the
greatest congratulation, not only to yourselves, but to the Colony
in general." His Excellency added: "I see on parade a detachment of
the Cape Mounted Rifles. I am afraid that many volunteers from the
Cape Colony were disappointed at not being able to take part in this
campaign, but I am extremely glad that arrangements could be made by
which our sister Colony was represented. I thank those who have come to
our assistance extremely, and I ask them when they go back to inform
their fellow-colonists that the young Colony of Natal has equally
soldiers who are ready at all times to give to her assistance, if
wanted, in the same way that they have come to us."

With martial law in force, it followed that offences arising out of the
Rebellion were, for the most part, dealt with under such law. Many of
the Magistrates were granted authority by the Commandant to try these
offences, but this was revoked by the Governor on the 17th September.
Graver crimes were reserved for properly-constituted courts-martial.
These courts were convened at such places as Nkandhla (Empandhleni),
Mapumulo, Greytown, Dundee and Pietermaritzburg, and were presided
over by the following, among other, officers: Lieutenant-Colonels J.
Weighton, V.D., J.S. Wylie, H.H.C. Puntan, H.R. Bousfield, C.M.G.
The sittings began at Empandhleni on the 25th June with the trial of
Sigananda,[299] and lasted till the end of September. To afford the
accused every facility in procuring witnesses, to obviate putting
European and Native witnesses to more inconvenience than necessary,
and to impress those most specially concerned with the enormity of the
offences that had been committed, it was arranged to try offenders, as
far as possible, in the districts within which the treason or sedition
had been committed. Among the most important trials were those of
Sigananda, Ndabaningi, Meseni, Ndhlovu,[300] Tilonko, Sikukuku, and
some forty of those implicated in the attack on the Police at Mpanza
(tried in two lots). In some of these, and in other, cases, the death
sentence was passed, but, on the advice of Ministers, the Governor,
in every instance, commuted it to one of imprisonment. The three
Natives, including Mjongo, who were concerned in the murder of Hunt
and Armstrong--too unwell to be tried by court-martial at Richmond
in March--were tried in September, not by court-martial, but by the
Supreme Court. The evidence adduced was similar to that given at the
court-martial. The prisoners were defended by counsel other than those
who appeared before the latter court. The three were convicted, the
jury being unanimous in respect to two, and 7 to 2 as to the third.
The sentence of death by hanging was subsequently carried out. This
conviction by an ordinary tribunal only goes to confirm the Governor's
contention in respect of the first trial, namely, that it was in every
way fair and just.

Kula, the Chief who was removed from Umsinga in May, was not tried for
the reason that no crime of a sufficiently definite nature was found to
have been committed by him. As, however, his conduct as a Government
officer had, for some time past, as well as during the Rebellion, been
unsatisfactory, it was considered undesirable for him to resume control
of his tribe. He was accordingly required to reside for a time a few
miles from Pietermaritzburg, so as to be under the immediate eye of the

The rank and file of some 4,700 prisoners were tried by their
respective Magistrates and by Judges. The great majority of sentences
ran from six months to two years, with whipping added. A few were
for longer periods, for life, etc. After a number had been flogged,
the Government directed suspension of all further whippings during
good behaviour. Special arrangements had, of course, to be made in
Durban and elsewhere for accommodating the prisoners. About 2,500
were confined in a compound at Jacobs near Durban, formerly used
by Chinese labourers; 400 (for the most part with sentences of two
years) in a special prison at the Point, Durban; 100 at Fort Napier,
Pietermaritzburg; and the rest in various gaols. The Inspector of
Prisons (and Assistant Commissioner of Police), G.S. Mardall, was
responsible for the carrying out of the foregoing and other connected
duties. The labour on which the men were principally employed was
in connection with the harbour works, Durban, as well as making and
repairing roads in different parts of the Colony. Later, about 1,500
were hired by the Collieries, and others by the Railway Department.

As the Ministry were of opinion that a good effect would be created on
the Native mind by such ringleaders as had been sentenced to long terms
of imprisonment being sent out of the Colony to serve their sentences,
arrangements were made for the removal of twenty-five to St. Helena.
They were deported on the 1st June, 1907.

A general desire to abrogate martial law at the earliest opportunity
was felt as soon as the troops had been demobilized. No one was more
anxious to do this than the Government itself. With so many prisoners
to be tried for offences of varying gravity, however, it was impossible
to do this before the 2nd October.

On the same day, the Governor, on authority granted by the Secretary
of State in August, signified his assent to an Act indemnifying the
military and civil authorities of the Colony and all such persons as
had acted under them in regard to acts during the existence of martial

It was with much gratification that the Governor and his Ministers
received the following telegram, on the 2nd September, from the
Secretary of State for the Colonies:

"I rejoice to think that the period of strain through which the Colony
of Natal has passed may now be considered at an end, and I desire
on behalf of His Majesty's Government to express our sense of the
courage and self-reliance with which the emergency has been met. The
conduct of the troops in the field and the management of the operations
appear from all accounts to have been admirable and to have been well
supported by the determination and self-restraint of the Government
and the people. I should have been prepared at any moment to move His
Majesty's Government to render assistance, but I am glad that the
necessity did not arise.

"The judgment and moderation shown in the commutation of courts-martial
sentences inspires the hope that the peace of the Colony will now be
re-established on the broad basis of justice and good feeling for all

"For yourself this has been a time of great stress and anxiety, and
I congratulate you on the success which has attended you in your
difficult task."

       *       *       *       *       *

An estimate of the total number of rebels that took part in the
Rebellion is very difficult to arrive at at all approximately. Judging
from the reports of Commanding Officers, the aggregate for Natal and
Zululand would be about 10,000 to 12,000, of whom about 2,300 were
killed. After the outbreak, the Government obtained particulars from
the various Magistrates, when the totals for Natal and Zululand were
found to be 3,873 and 2,031 respectively; of these, 782 and 609 were
said to have been killed or missing.[302] There are several reasons why
the Magistrates would have been unable to obtain exact information,
the chief among them being dread of punishment, either by imprisonment
or seizure of stock. At the same time, the military estimates may also
have been at fault.

It remains to refer to the cost of the Rebellion. The expenditure for
the suppression and prevention thereof was met from loans raised under
Acts of the Natal Parliament, whereby authority was granted to borrow
up to £1,000,000. A sum of £900,000 was raised, the amount realized
being £892,137 16s. Actual expenditure chargeable against loan account
amounted to £637,039 15s. 5d. at 31st December, 1906; this rose to
£778,360 1s. 7d. by 30th June, 1907. Included in the latter total are
claims for compensation for losses sustained during the Rebellion,
£40,750, and upkeep of rebel prisoners, £49,657, whilst a reduction of
£10,992 has been made, on account of monies received by Government for
the hire of rebel prisoners.[303]

The issue of a medal, in recognition of services rendered during the
Rebellion, was approved by His Majesty the King. It was granted to
those (including nursing sisters), who served between the 11th February
and the 3rd August, for a continuous period of not less than twenty
days, also to certain civilians, Native Chiefs, and others who had
rendered valuable service. A clasp, inscribed "1906," was issued with
the medal to such as had served for a continuous period of not less
than fifty days.


[Footnote 287: Grandson of the famous Dingiswayo, initiator of the
modern Zulu military system.

When questioned by Natives as to who had given him orders to start
hostilities in a country belonging to the Government, Matshwili is said
to have replied: "If you don't keep quiet, I'll shoot you."]

[Footnote 288: Two companies N.R. (F and H) escorted the guns part of
the way.]

[Footnote 289: B.M.R. also took part in driving up the stream.]

[Footnote 290: The man who led Matshwili's _impi_ when Campbell was

[Footnote 291: _cf._ p. 346.]

[Footnote 292: The B.M.R. were later on sent a short way into Zululand;
they rejoined the column, along with Z.M.R., at Mapumulo on the
following day.]

[Footnote 293: General Report, September, 1906.]

[Footnote 294: When advised by their elders, men who had fought for
Cetshwayo during the Zulu War, not to take up arms against the whites,
as they would be as surely defeated as they (the elders) had been in
1879, the semi-civilized youths of 1906 shouted derisively: _Sa si
nqeko tina!_ _i.e._ _We_ were not there!]

[Footnote 295: Colonel Bru-de-Wold resumed duty early in July.]

[Footnote 296: On the 30th July, Woolls-Sampson's column was taken over
by Arnott, the former having been granted leave of absence.]

[Footnote 297: A mistake. Mackay, acting on advice received from the
Commissioner, had already imposed a fine of five head of cattle for
every rebel, when 312 cattle and 169 goats had been handed over by the
Chief, in addition to thirty-three rebels. Matshana was, thereupon,
given a complete discharge.

Because it was supposed Mackay had not properly dealt with the
position, another column, seven days afterwards, invaded the district
and swept up almost every beast it could find; and yet Matshana had
kept in close touch with the authorities ever since Bambata's arrival
at Nkandhla. Out of his many sons, five joined the rebels, whilst
a number of people had gone from the tribe. These incidents were
immediately reported to the Commissioner, the Chief urging that a
striking example should be made of his rebels, beginning with his sons.
As regards these defections, Matshana was no worse than the majority of
the Nkandhla Chiefs, and not nearly so bad as some, _e.g._ Sigananda,
Ndube and Mbuzo. But there is another and more telling consideration.
"On Sunday evening (27th May)," says Leuchars' chief staff officer,
Major (now Lieut.-Col.) S. Carter, "soon after we settled down in camp,
a man came from Matshana ka Mondise, saying the Chief sent him _to warn
us to be particularly careful, as we were in a dangerous locality_.
The man was told to go back and thank Matshana for his warning. Next
morning, after the fight was over (_i.e._ the battle of Mpukunyoni),
two mounted messengers, ... arrived and said they had been sent by
Matshana to congratulate Col. Leuchars on having defeated the enemy."
There are other facts in connection with this matter, other assistance
readily afforded by the Chief under difficult circumstances, but the
foregoing are, perhaps, sufficient to show the danger of sending one
column to generally 'put right' what it is supposed another has failed
to do through incompetency or lack of information. The result was that,
on the truth coming to light, Matshana's wrongfully seized property
was, of course, restored by order of the Commandant of Militia.

If further proof be required of the Chief's loyalty, we have it in
the fact that, as declared by the rebel ringleader Mangati, Matshana,
because of his loyalty, was to be shot by rebels then being harboured
at Usutu by Dinuzulu.--_Vide_, Cd. 3,888, p. 186.

It is right to add that Royston was not acquainted with the foregoing
facts when the cattle were taken.]

[Footnote 298: When, on the 10th July, Dick returned to Durban,
Furze took command (under Wylie); Furze was relieved on the 13th by
Boyd-Wilson. In the concluding stages of the campaign, N.R. were
detailed as garrisons at such places as Thring's Post, Kearsney,
Stanger, and Nkandhla, whilst E squadron cleared up at Noodsberg.]

[Footnote 299: Major W.A. Vanderplank, Z.M.R., prosecuted in this
important case, and Capt. C.F. Clarkson, D.L.I., with Lieut. H. Walton,
N.C., defended.]

[Footnote 300: Meseni and Ndhlovu were tried at Mapumulo on the 16th
and 17th July, 1906, and convicted of high treason.]

[Footnote 301: Other Chiefs and headmen, whose conduct during the
disturbances had been unsatisfactory, were deposed, and, in some
cases, ordered to remove to other districts. Among those removed were
Tshingana, Dinuzulu's uncle, and, later on, Mabeketshiya, one of
Dinuzulu's cousins; the former left Mahlabatini district to live near
Amanzimtoti in Natal, the latter went from Vryheid district to Alfred

[Footnote 302: As, at a number of the places where engagements had
occurred, _e.g._ Mome, Insuze and Izinsimba, it appeared that many
bodies of rebels had not been removed, it became necessary for the
Government to send out a small party to bury them.]

[Footnote 303: Particulars will be found in Appendix VIII. regarding
expenditure from the beginning of the Rebellion to 31st May, 1910,
_i.e._ including that incurred in connexion with the Dinuzulu
Expedition, December, 1907, to March, 1908.]



From a military point of view, the rapidity and thoroughness with which
the rising was suppressed cannot but reflect the greatest credit on
the Colonists and the Government of Natal. Hostilities began on the
4th April and lasted until the middle of July, barely three and a half
months. The achievement was altogether a notable one, and one of which
far larger Colonies would have justly been proud, especially when it
is borne in mind that it was accomplished without the assistance of
the Mother Country.[304] To have conducted with success so formidable
a campaign, calling as it did for the employment of nearly 10,000 men
and over 6,000 Natives, without Imperial aid, is probably unique in the
history of the Empire. And not less creditable was it that the rising
was kept from developing to far greater proportions, as might easily
have happened through mismanagement.

The character of the work done by the Natal Militia, as well as by
the Transvaal and Cape troops, the Natal Police and other forces,
shows that a very high standard of efficiency existed at the beginning
of the hostilities, indicating that organization in the hands of
the Commandant, and of the authorities in the sister Colonies, was
everything that could have been desired. Throughout the campaign, all
units, under their respective commanding officers, discharged the
duties allotted to them in a cheerful, soldier-like and exemplary
manner. Many of the operations and actions engaged in from time to time
were of a particularly severe and difficult nature. Especially was
this the case in regard to what is known as the thorn country, which
is very extensive and broken, and at Nkandhla, where forest-driving
had to be repeatedly undertaken, often under the most disheartening
conditions. If the men were not obliged to undergo privations to an
abnormal extent, it was only because of the general excellence of the
other branches of the service, _e.g._ transport, supplies, medical,
ordnance, etc., each of which, again, was strongly supported by all
ranks of the Natal Government Railways Departments.

Foremost among individuals who contributed to the success were the
Governor, Sir Henry McCallum, G.C.M.G., the Natal Ministry (Messrs.
Smythe, Maydon, Hyslop, Watt, Winter and Clayton), and Colonels
Bru-de-Wold, McKenzie and Leuchars.

Attention has already been called to the eminent services rendered by
Sir Henry McCallum. That he should have made a point of discussing
the position with his Ministers, as he did, _daily_ from the day the
trouble started to its close, is proof, if any were wanting, of his
extreme solicitude for the welfare of the Colony. Valuable assistance
was afforded him throughout the campaign by Sir Charles Saunders, for
the time being his deputy in Zululand.

The Ministry are deserving of the greatest praise for the cool,
resolute and statesmanlike manner in which they controlled the
affairs of the Colony. They met the extraordinary difficulties that
confronted them from time to time with courage and success. The stand
made when the suspension of the Richmond executions was ordered is
alone sufficient to cause their administration to be remembered and
respected. A further measure of credit is due to Sir Thomas Watt,
who, as Minister of Justice and Defence, was, of course, primarily
responsible for the excellent state of military organization at the
beginning of the campaign.

It is unnecessary to recapitulate what has already been said about
Colonel Bru-de-Wold. The Militia was exceedingly fortunate in having
so enthusiastic and experienced an officer as Commandant. The same
applies to that distinguished soldier Major-General Sir John Dartnell
who, for a time, relieved Colonel Bru-de-Wold.

That Colonel (now Brigadier-General Sir Duncan) McKenzie did more than
come up to the high expectations formed of his capacities as a soldier
was generally acknowledged. But few opportunities for distinguishing
himself arose during the demonstrations in February and March. When he
assumed command at Nkandhla, however, early in May, with Colonel Sir
Aubrey Woolls-Sampson as Chief Staff Officer, they became numerous.
It was due mainly to his generalship, ably supported by the column
and other commanders, that the decisive results at Nkandhla and
elsewhere were brought about. Every operation or action taken in hand
by him during the campaign was planned with the greatest care and
circumspection. He was fortunate in being provided with excellent
intelligence. His policy was always to strike hard, and to afford no
chance of escape. It was, in the main, owing to this method, and the
vigour and resolution with which it was followed, that hostilities were
brought to an end as soon as they were.

A fine horseman, with an unerring eye for country, his performances in
the field were invariably marked by swiftness of action, and brilliancy
and thoroughness of execution.

Colonel Leuchars commanded all troops in Natal proper and Nqutu
district, though, after 30th May, he did so under McKenzie. Much
useful and solid work was done by this popular officer, with Major
(now Lieut.-Col.) S. Carter as Staff Officer. He proved himself to be
a judicious, capable and reliable commander. The disturbed area over
which he had control included no less than five magisterial districts.
As these all abut on the Tugela, it can be seen that the command was
one of exceptional difficulty, and this not only in a geographical, but
a diplomatic, sense.

The first lesson of the Rebellion may, therefore, be said to have been
(_a_) the happy conjunction of capable statesmen and soldiers, one and
all ready to serve the Colony to the utmost in its time of need; and
(_b_) the thoroughness of military organization.

_Rebels' strategy, tactics, etc._--The primary object of the rebels was
to score victories, however small, at the outset, it being felt that
that was the most effective way of rousing the people from a condition
of apathy or inertia brought on through chronic fear of Europeans. The
masses considered it was useless fighting against a race far better
armed than themselves, and one which, twenty-eight years before, had
defeated the Zulu army when in its highest state of efficiency. If
the Rebellion was not to fall flat, the most strenuous efforts had,
therefore, to be made to secure adherents.

Having regard to their inferior weapons, the only chance of success
lay in selecting a _terrain_ suitable to their tactics. That, at any
rate, would afford breathing-time, for if the theatre of war lay away
from railways and in country difficult for horses, the longer would
hostilities continue. Thus success was recognized as depending largely
on protracting the campaign, by rendering it as difficult as possible
for the troops.

To start hostilities, again, at the most favourable time, _i.e._ about
May, when all the crops had been reaped, was regarded as essential. It
is true that the Trewirgie affair occurred in February, but such must
be regarded as an exception which proved the rule.

The feeling that they could, as it were, "float" a general rebellion
was, no doubt, largely derived from the success achieved by a Zulu
_impi_ against Potgieter's commando at Holkrantz. The ambuscade
at Mpanza, too, was a success, and afforded just the illustration
required to support the cry that European bullets would not "enter."
As Natives in general greatly dreaded rifle fire, it became necessary
to counteract the fear by inventing the "non-entering-bullet"
superstition. Had but one or two rebels been killed at Mpanza, not
nearly so much would have been made of the superstition as was done.

The fact that, at the beginning of June, the position was extremely
serious, only shows that the enemy's tactics had been effective,
differing widely from the free, open methods practised during the Zulu
War. But for the remarkable _coup_ at Mome, the Rebellion might easily
have developed to far greater proportions. As it was, many Chiefs on
both sides of the Tugela had begun to assist directly or indirectly.
And it is clear that the more protracted the fighting, the more Natives
at large would have inferred that the Government had got to the end of
its resources, and was, therefore, unable to cope with the situation.
Once such a notion had been created and been widely believed, anything
up to 100,000 might have risen, and so called for an army corps to deal
with the outbreak at a cost of £10,000,000 or so. That is the prospect
the Ministry had before them at the latter end of May and beginning of

That principles such as the foregoing would be followed in any future
Native war appears axiomatic, particularly as Natives know quite well
that their tactics in 1906 were, on the whole, successful; Mome, though
a catastrophe, was due to accident or carelessness that could easily
have been avoided by a competent commander.

That an outbreak should have occurred at Mapumulo subsequent to the
_débâcle_ in Zululand, is remarkable chiefly as showing lack of
territorial organization. Although a certain amount had been introduced
at Nkandhla, between the arrival of Bambata and the action at Mome, the
army daily becoming more crafty and efficient, it had reference only to
such rebels as had actually massed at that place. A supreme organizer
was wanting, one who, whilst directing at Nkandhla, could have so far
enforced obedience as to control situations such as those at Umsinga,
and especially in Mapumulo and Ndwedwe divisions. That there was this
want was undoubtedly felt by every insurgent. They knew too much
of Tshaka's successes to do otherwise than realize that they were
weak, and see what such weakness was due to. That is why Dinuzulu's
personality and presence was so much in demand. That is why, for
instance, one heard of such talk as that they would seize and carry
him off to lead them whether he willed it or not. To have a visible
leader and to submit to his direction, that was the height of their
ambition. Only then did they feel themselves to be a people, possessed
to some extent of their former solidarity. To sacrifice their lives for
someone is everything, to have to do so for an absent reality, nothing.

Another lesson is the necessity of pursuing the enemy the moment he
starts hostilities. Quick pursuit is what every Zulu holds as a primary
maxim of warfare. Such action inspires loyalists with confidence,
because affording them protection at the time they most require it.

The policy of the rebels having been to avoid conflict whenever the
conditions were unfavourable, meant that the campaign resolved itself
into one where the troops had _always to assume the offensive_.[305]
The enemy deliberately invited being hunted in the forests in which
he took refuge. There was no other alternative but to 'hunt' him. His
perpetual and masterly evasiveness was resorted to just because felt to
be the most telling and safest tactics to adopt. He knew that, man for
man, he was infinitely better acquainted with forests, streams, dongas,
caves, hills and valleys than the Europeans, most of whom had spent the
greater part of their lives in towns at a distance and in sedentary
occupations. But, whilst practising these methods, the motive was
invariably to draw the troops on after him in the hope of small parties
becoming detached when the opportunity was smartly seized, and the
severest blow possible struck. This being the game, can it be wondered
at that the rebels were severely punished whenever they were come upon?
For it must be remembered that, up to the moment of Mome, nothing had
been further from their minds than to surrender. Ample opportunities
for so doing, notably when the troops first went to Cetshwayo's grave,
were afforded, but the negotiations fell through because they felt, and
even publicly stated that they had not had enough fighting. From their
point of view, it was in their interest to continue.

This watchful evasiveness, then, was the essence of the situation at
Nkandhla. Hence it sometimes happened that the troops drove one or
other of the bushes in the belief the enemy was there, whereas, as a
matter of fact, he was not there at all, but at Macala ten miles off or
elsewhere, having slipped away during the night.

In these circumstances, it was soon realized that, not 2,500, but
10,000 men were required to deal with Nkandhla alone, although the
rebels themselves did not exceed 2,000 in number. In no other way was
it possible to put a cordon round the forests, and, by confining the
enemy, speedily starve him into submission.

Connected with the same tactics was the waylaying of a force when on
the march. This generally took place at a carefully-selected position,
from which there was an immediate and safe line of retreat. Instances
of this occurred at Mpanza, Bobe, Macrae's store, Peyana, Insuze and
Ponjwana. At all, except Mpanza and others not here named, the method
was to divide the _impi_ into two bodies, one to attack the front,
and the other the rear, of the advancing column. And the principle
was observed, although the ground rendered the application thereof
extremely difficult. On no occasion did attack take place in the open,
as often happened during the Zulu War.

The only standing camp attacked was that of Leuchars at Mpukunyoni.
This took place at dawn, there being no shelter for the troops except
their saddles.

At Macrae's store, the attack came just after sunset and later--the
only instance of night attack. When the offensive is assumed by Zulus,
the proper time to do so is just before dawn, unless the force be a
strong one, when battle would be given in broad daylight.

The rebels moved about to get food and seize cattle chiefly at night,
sometimes going ten or more miles for the purpose. Those wounded in
action, too, were removed after dark.

A close watch was always kept on each column, especially by spies
posted on hills, where, if out of rifle range, they did not mind
whether they exposed themselves or not.

Occasionally it happened that those who had fought against the
troops, but had been obliged to surrender, took up arms against their
own people. Several of such men were utilized as spies, and proved

_European troops._--Having regard to the number of troops in the
field, the importance of the campaign, and the wide area covered by
the operations, it would seem the officer in supreme command should
have been given the rank of Brigadier or Major-General. The O.C. Troops
was, of course, a full Colonel, but, on being appointed over Natal and
Zululand, it would, perhaps, have been more in accord with the general
duties he had to perform, to have conferred on him a rank conspicuously
higher than that of any one else in his command. The rank, however,
seeing the campaign was being conducted by Colonial troops, could have
been conferred only by the local authorities.

The want of a trained staff was much felt by each column.

"It is," says Sir Duncan McKenzie,[306] "of great importance that an
intelligence department should be formed on the soundest of bases....
It is not sufficient that an intelligence officer should simply be
able to speak the language of the country. He should have all the
available information at his instant disposal and also be able to guide
or conduct his O.C. anywhere.... Intelligence officers should not be
attached to any regiment in peace-time, but in the event of a force
being required in any district, the intelligence officer from that
district should be placed at the disposal of the column commander." All
the columns were supplied with excellent intelligence. To the fine work
done by Lieut. Hedges and Sergts. Calverley and Titlestad at Nkandhla
must be attributed much of the success met with in that district.

The two points on which attention was, perhaps, chiefly concentrated
were (_a_) methods of dealing with the enemy when concealed in forests,
and (_b_) advanced guards. That such matters assumed the importance
they did, was due to the enemy habitually leaving the initiative to
be taken by the troops. The troops never went out to drive forests,
but some catastrophe was possible. The greatest circumspection had
invariably to be exercised, not so much because unable to afford the
loss of men, as because the loss would have been absurdly magnified by
the enemy to obtain further recruits.

The principal authority as to dealing with the enemy in the Nkandhla
forests is, of course, Sir Duncan McKenzie. "A General Officer
Commanding," he says, "at a place like Nkandhla should have 10,000 men
at his disposal. I, however, derived confidence from the fact that not
above 2,000 rebels were in the bush, consequently greater risks were
taken than would have happened had they been more numerous. The chief
aim as to the drives was this: I fitted my force to the bush, not the
bush to my force. It was impossible to do the latter, so I did the
former. As soon as the intelligence, which was good, showed in what
part of the forests the enemy was, it was at once driven.

"The forests could never have been completely driven at one time,
_i.e._ in one day. Empandhleni and a number of other places had to
be garrisoned, whilst the different camps had to be protected during
the actual operations. Such calls naturally greatly reduced the force
available for driving.

"I do not see how the driving could have been carried out more
effectively than was done with the men at my disposal. My tactics,
of course, would have been considerably altered had there been, say,
10,000 troops. I would, in that event, have put the men in a line as
skirmishers, with small supports at intervals of every 500 yards, and
larger ones at points that appeared more dangerous.

"So long as there was no reverse or tight corner, I felt the levies
were all right, hence their being sent in with the troops, as they were
to assist in the drive.

"I always made a point of driving downhill as much as possible, so that
when the enemy was come upon, he would be obliged to charge uphill."

Barker, who was more frequently attacked when actually on the march
than any other column commander, says of advanced guards: "I would
never allow the guard to be more than 300 yards from the main body as,
if further, I would not have been able to gallop up in time on its
being suddenly attacked.

"I had only one squadron as advanced guard between Noodsberg camp and
Dalipa (wattle plantation). It was formed of two troops in front in
sections of four (in close touch with each other), with two troops
close up on either side in support. The head of the main column was, at
the same time, marching in the centre, not more than 200 yards away.
This order was adopted as I expected to be attacked. The guard, in this
way, were able to at once deliver a counter attack, instead of falling
back on the main body. Had they been weaker, they would have been
obliged to fall back.

"It is, moreover, necessary to have the guard so arranged that the
main body can be pushed forward to support whichever side the attack
comes from. In Native warfare, one can never tell what flank will be

"I fully realized that the whole essence of the position lay in the
advanced guard. Hence, before the action at Ponjwana, having seen
Natives collecting the previous day along the route to be traversed, I
warned the officer in command to be on the alert. When the attack came,
sudden though it was, his men were ready in a moment to engage the

One of the surprises of the campaign, in the opinion of competent
judges, was the prominent part played by infantry, _e.g._ D.L.I.,
N.R.R. and N.R. Because a less showy arm, infantry has been apt to be
underrated in connection with Native warfare. It is, however, not too
much to say that any such opinions as existed in Natal have had to be
considerably modified on account of the consistently fine work that
was done at Nkandhla, and in the actions of Bobe, Mome and Izinsimba.
Not only was it found that a well-trained corps could march twenty
or even thirty miles a day, but able to take a share in the fighting
as effective as that of troops conveyed on horseback to the scene
of action. As Native wars of the future will probably be fought on
difficult and out-of-the-way ground, similar to that chosen in 1906, it
would be well to bear this fact in mind.

In going through thick bush held by the enemy, as the N.P. had to do at
Mpanza, it would appear advisable for the advanced guard to dismount
and hand horses to Nos. 3, as, in the event of attack, men would then
be able to reply at once, as well as stand together to resist the rush.
Horses are startled by the shouting inevitable on such occasions, with
the result that a man's time is taken up in trying to keep his seat,
thereby becoming practically _hors de combat_ at a very critical moment.

The following miscellaneous extracts are taken from an unpublished
general report by Sir Duncan McKenzie:

_Transport._--"The majority of the transport was ox-transport; for
military operations, mule-transport is absolutely necessary....
Expense should not be considered in such an important matter.[307] ...
The necessity of good conductors was apparent." Closer supervision
should be exercised by O.C. units than was done to ensure that only
the regulation weight per man is put on the waggons. "Pack transport
is absolutely necessary in rough country, and the saddles should be
carried on the waggons, so that they can be used when the country will
not permit of waggons accompanying the troops."

_Remounts._--"The loss of horses from hard work, exposure and want of
suitable food is bound to be heavy.... Steps should be taken to enable
the remount officer to know exactly where he can put his finger on
suitable horses when required.... The establishment of a proper remount
depôt is strongly recommended."

_Boots, clothing, etc._--"These should be issued on repayment at cost
price and the articles should be of really good quality. The wear and
tear on clothing, and more especially on boots, was very heavy.... A
man without boots is useless."

_Searchlights._--"Their usefulness for defensive purposes is of the
greatest value.... They should be so arranged that with one engine and
dynamo, two or more lights could be placed at different positions in
the defences."

_Maxim Transport._--"Having seen practical results with the C.M.R.,
who carried their Maxims on pack mules led by Cape boys, and the Natal
Militia regiment, who carried theirs on pack horses led by a mounted
man, I certainly recommend that we should follow the C.M.R. in this

_Stretcher-bearers._--"These are indispensable when fighting takes
place in the bush or rough country. There was no organized supply until
too late." Natives had to be employed at exorbitant rates.

_Native levies._--Their value was largely discounted by the fact that
parts of many tribes had joined the rebels. "Their services came in
useful in clearing up after an engagement, collecting and driving
cattle, etc., and also using up the enemy's supplies. They require to
be led by experienced officers who are known to them and who are also
well acquainted with Native habits and customs. For operations, they
need to be stiffened with a good proportion of European troops."

Colonel Leuchars, who had exceptional opportunities of observing them,
is of opinion that "as a fighting force, they were useless, though
those under Sibindi (a Chief quite above the average) were, as far as I
know, keen to help the Government. The use I expected to make of them
was in skirmishing down broken, bushy valleys, but my experience goes
to show that for this work they were useless as, although I succeeded,
after some trouble, in extending them, they would always, a little
further down the valley, collect and march along in groups. As scouts
and camp followers, they were useful. In a lager, through not being
armed with rifles, they are only an encumbrance. Their only use would
be to skirmish through rough country known to be occupied by the enemy,
and this, as pointed out above, they failed to do."

_The Rexer guns._--"This arm," says McKenzie, "gave most satisfactory
results. Handiness and portability in rough country are its chief
advantages. It does not afford a large target for the enemy, as is the
case with the Maxim. No cases of jamming occurred. The number of spare
parts to be carried is few. On more than one occasion, the gun was
caught up by the gunner and used from the shoulder when, owing to scrub
and long grass, the tripod could not be used. The present equipment for
carrying the gun is not satisfactory.... Every squadron of mounted men
and company of infantry should have three of these guns."

_Branding of loot stock._--"It is imperative that all captured stock
should be at once branded with a distinctive mark. A responsible
officer with each column should be detailed for this purpose."

_Miscellaneous._--No epidemic or cases of serious illness occurred. The
organization of the medical department was so carefully planned and
carried out that only four died from disease out of over 9,000 men in
the field.

"Generally speaking, veterinary surgeons had more animals to look after
per man than it was possible to deal with."

"The establishment of a field bakery and consequent supply of fresh
bread was an excellent innovation."

Sufficient transport was always available, although at times the
demands were very heavy.

The making of roads through all inaccessible parts of the Colony would
appear to be necessary. The want of these was felt along both sides
of the Tugela. A belt of country, some five miles wide on either
side, needs attention, though that is by no means the only region in
Natal that is difficult of access. Only narrow and inexpensive roads
are required. These, in time of peace, would be of assistance to
the inhabitants in facilitating conveyance of produce to available
markets, and generally developing the locations.


The lesson to be learned from the poll tax is, of course, that no
taxation should be imposed on Natives without previously consulting
them in some way or another. It is, however, unnecessary to obtain the
views of more than a few of the leading and most influential advisers.
These would speedily reveal the attitude likely to be taken up by the
majority towards any such proposal.

The advisability of securing uniformity when promulgating measures
closely affecting the Natives is so obvious as to call for no special

The likelihood of some of the Native police (Government) taking part
in the Rebellion was realized at the outset, consequently, at such
places as Krantzkop and Mapumulo, men connected with the divisions
were removed to another part of the Colony, their places being taken
by others. Native police from such stations as Insuze, Kearsney,
Glendale, Umhlali and Stanger rebelled. Sixteen were recognized, by
their finger-prints, among the rebel prisoners, whilst at least four
were killed. About eighty Durban Borough police are said to have taken
up arms.

On the other hand, out of the whole of the Nongqai, whose members and
ex-members numbered some thousands, only one man, who left the force
some twenty years previously, is known to have joined the enemy. Full
and careful inquiry was made in the matter by Chief Commissioner
Mansel. This highly creditable state of affairs may be accounted for by
the fact that, during the many years Mansel had control of the force,
he never allowed any one to serve as 'substitute' for a regular member.
An account of the Nongqai will be found in Appendix XI.

The part taken by Christian Natives in the Insurrection was a large
and prominent one. The teaching of many Native preachers, generally
belonging to Ethiopian denominations, was of a distinctly seditious
character. Here, for instance, is a type of an address frequently
repeated in 1906 in a location within the vicinity of Greytown: "The
end of the age is at hand! On the black race did God originally bestow
the right of governing. The race, however, failed to acquire the art.
Now is the time drawing to a close. The right to govern is reverting
to its original possessors. Authority will be conferred on the black
race, and they will now be exalted to a position above the whites. You
shall enjoy complete ascendancy over Europeans, for the power has at
length been restored to you by the Almighty. Even were actual conflicts
to occur between you and the whites, you will surely put them to
flight, for God is standing by you." The services were usually held in
out-of-the-way places, and always out of hearing of Europeans or their
Native agents. It was found exceedingly difficult to obtain sufficient
evidence to prosecute, even though sedition was known to be constantly
preached. When hostilities actually broke out, many of these men
determined to practise what they had preached; they accordingly broke
away from mission stations, notably in Mapumulo, Ndwedwe and Umsinga
divisions, and joined the rebels.

In July, 1907, it was found that of the Native prisoners then in
Natal gaols, 418 were Christians. Of this number, 204 were ordinary
criminals, whilst 214 had been convicted of rebellion.[308] Of the
latter figure, seven were preachers. The foregoing totals, which are
below the actual numbers, owing to the difficulty of ascertaining who
were converts, were obtained subsequent to the release of about 500
rebels, among whom other so-called Christians would probably have been

In addition to the above, several preachers and many members of
different denominations were shot during the operations. Hunt and
Armstrong, it will be remembered, were murdered by a band of mission

It is but fair to add that many of the Christian Natives who rebelled
were not attached to any recognized missionary body at the time they
did so.

A number of other matters, which might have been noticed here, have
already been sufficiently dealt with in preceding chapters. The Native
Affairs Commission drew attention to various reforms in administration,
many of which have already been introduced, such as the appointment
of a Council for Native Affairs and Commissioners,[309] limitation
of interest on loans, various problems connected with labour, and
compulsory service on public works.

The fact that none of the Magistrates of such districts as Mahlabatini
(H.M. Stainbank, later J.Y. Gibson), Nongoma (G.W. Armstrong), and
Nkandhla (B. Colenbrander), in Zululand, and Umsinga (A.E. Harrington)
and Mapumulo (T. Maxwell), in Natal, were withdrawn, but continued
to discharge the duties of their office throughout the Rebellion,
tended to influence and reassure many European farmers, storekeepers
and others, preventing them from getting into a panic, and, by flying
off to other parts for protection, making matters considerably worse
than they were. With the troops often operating at a distance, there
is no doubt considerable danger was run of any of these magistracies
being attacked and the officials murdered. As very little protection
was immediately available, sometimes even with the Native police
disaffected, it would have been comparatively easy for any band of
determined rebels to have brought about one or more of such results
before assistance could have been rendered.

Much credit is due to Magistrates generally for the admirable manner in
which they retained a hold on the Natives of their districts throughout
the period of unrest. Occasionally, however, scares among Europeans
could not be prevented. Those at Greytown and Nqutu have already been
noticed; another occurred at Pietermaritzburg.

It will already have been gathered that many loyalists, especially
those of tribes within the area of disturbance, stood in an extremely
invidious and dangerous position. Too little consideration is given
to the fact that, unless promptly supported by Government forces,
loyalists are liable to be murdered or their property looted. When an
outbreak occurs, it is almost as important to support the well-affected
as it is to operate against the insurgents themselves. The reason is
clear. If you do not back up those on your side when in danger, do not
be surprised if, in your absence, they are coerced into taking up arms
against you, and so add greatly to your difficulties.


[Footnote 304: Except to the extent indicated on p. 63.]

[Footnote 305: Perhaps the principal feature of the rebels' tactics was
that the troops _should_ assume the offensive.]

[Footnote 306: General Report. Sept. 1906 (not published).]

[Footnote 307: In his report for 1906, Col. Bru-de-Wold observes:
"The recent operations have shown the absolute necessity for mobile
transport, as rapidity of movement is the secret of success where
Natives are concerned; ox-transport is far too slow to meet the

[Footnote 308: Those convicted of rebellion were about 5·3 per cent. of
the total number of rebel prisoners, less the 500 referred to in the

[Footnote 309: The Union Government has abolished both the Council
and the Commissioners, so that Natal is now practically in the same
position in which she was before the Rebellion.]



As far back as June, 1906, the Prime Minister had informed the
Legislative Assembly that certain bills, prepared by the Native Affairs
Department, and of the greatest importance in connection with Native
administration, would be laid on the table of the House. At the same
time, the Government was of opinion that the scope of these should
be extended. It had, accordingly, been deemed advisable to appoint a
Commission to inquire into the whole subject of Native administration
and legislation. In this proposal the Governor concurred; indeed, in
his capacity as Supreme Chief, he had already urged the taking of some
such step.

The appointment of the Commission, however, could not take effect until
September, primarily on account of hostilities in the eastern districts
of Natal, as well as of the dissolution of Parliament and following
general election.

The terms of reference were of the widest range, practically every
aspect of Native legislation and administration being set down for
inquiry. There was, however, one matter which did not fall within the
scope of the inquiry, viz. the actual causes of the Rebellion.

The seven Commissioners appointed included a representative of the
Imperial Government. No time was lost in getting to work.

The labours and area covered by this important body are succinctly set
forth in the following extracts from its own report:

"The design of the inquiry being both general and particular, the
powers conferred have been used in the manner intended and to the
fullest extent by collecting information from all sources, European,
official and unofficial--Native and others; all being invited who could
further the investigation, by advice or suggestion, or the results
of their observation or experience.... The Commission held its first
meeting on the 16th October, 1906, ... evidence was received from
time to time up to the 18th June, 1907. To facilitate this object,
thirty-four places were visited, at which statements by 301 Europeans
were received, together with those of 906 Natives and others, who
addressed the Commission personally or by delegation. So highly did the
Natives appreciate the opportunities afforded them of expressing their
views that at least 5,500, including Chiefs and headmen, exempted and
Christian Natives, attended, and, on the whole, spoke, as they were
invited to do, with remarkable freedom."[310]

The recommendations of the Commission will be referred to later.

Colonel Bru-de-Wold was unfortunately obliged to retire from the
position of Commandant of Militia, as well as from the public service,
at the beginning of 1907. He had served in several capacities,
chiefly as a soldier--always with benefit to the Colony and credit to
himself--for upwards of thirty years. In recognition of the splendid
work done by him before and during the Rebellion, the honour of
D.S.O. was conferred on him by the King. The Natal Militia, moreover,
presented him with a sword of honour, formally handed to him by
the Governor. Colonel Sir Duncan McKenzie, K.C.M.G., succeeded as

A general election took place towards the end of 1906, when Mr.
Smythe's Ministry, finding itself without a sufficient working
majority, resigned in November. The Right Hon. Sir Frederick R. Moor,
P.C., K.C.M.G., was then called on to form a ministry. This he did, the
portfolio of Premier and Minister for Native Affairs being taken by

In connection with many of the courts-martial referred to in the
preceding chapter, a considerable amount of evidence was led more
or less implicating Dinuzulu in the Rebellion. Moreover, a Native
who had visited Usutu kraal on private business in January, 1907,
reported having seen being harboured there twenty-eight rebels he knew
by name and some hundred or more others. The men, it was averred,
had been formed into three companies and called the Mbambangwe
(leopard-catcher) regiment, because, for the most part, they consisted
of those who had almost annihilated a small portion of Royston's Horse
at Manzipambana.[311] In these circumstances, the Government arrived
at a decision in August to hold an inquiry into Dinuzulu's conduct.
Although action followed, it was soon suspended in favour of the Chief
himself paying the Governor a visit. The making of such visit arose
out of a conversation Sir Charles Saunders had with Dinuzulu (then at
Nongoma) over the telephone. The latter had wished to 'unburden his
heart.' After doing this as well as he could through the telephone, he
asked that what he had said might be transmitted to the Government.
This, the Commissioner replied, it was obviously impossible to do,
although he promised to forward a summary, and suggested Dinuzulu's
paying the Governor a visit and setting forth at a tête-a-tête all
he wished to say. As, by this time, the Imperial Government wanted
Sir Henry McCallum to assume the Governorship of Ceylon at an early
date, suggestions were made to Dinuzulu that he should proceed to
Pietermaritzburg for the purpose of unburdening himself, and, at
the same time, bidding His Excellency good-bye. After some delay in
arranging preliminaries, he proceeded to the railhead at Somkele. At
various stopping-places on the way to Pietermaritzburg, he was visited
by Natives, who not only accorded him the highest royal salutes, but
laid at his feet other tokens of devotion and humble allegiance. This
triumphal progress continued until he had reached Pietermaritzburg. At
this place, too, the Natives treated him in a manner that could not
have been outdone by the most servile subjects of an eastern potentate.

On the 20th and 21st May, he was summoned to Government House, where
he, with his indunas, Mankulumana and Mgwaqo, and others, had lengthy
interviews with Sir Henry McCallum in the presence of the Minister for
Native Affairs and other officials. After saying all that was on his
mind, Dinuzulu was spoken to straightly in respect of his misbehaviour
and offences, real and imaginary, so far as these were then known. He
parried too searching inquiries with his usual dexterity, not unmingled
with _suppressio veri_, but there were certain accusations which he
was unable, even with the assistance of his counsellors, Mankulumana
and Mgwaqo, to quite brush aside. For instance, his having received
messengers from Chiefs in all parts of the country in connection
with the poll tax and not reporting them to the local Magistrate, as
required to do by standing instructions.

The Governor's object, however, was not to punish him for such misdeeds
as had come to light, or to probe too deeply into others that rested
merely on suspicion, but to show him that the Government was in
possession of information which clearly proved misbehaviour on his
part, and to afford friendly counsel as to his conduct in the future.
Little did the Governor or the Government know that the man then being
addressed and urged to make a clean breast of his grievances, as he
had himself requested to do, had already committed several serious and
unpardonable acts of high treason.

After another interview, this time with the Acting Prime Minister and
other Ministers, the Chief returned to his kraal.

By this time, the Native Affairs Commission was touring in Zululand,
holding meetings at most of the magistracies with Chiefs and followers,
under conditions the most pleasing to the Natives. Zulus rejoiced at
having that opportunity of laying their grievances before the official
delegates. Not so Dinuzulu. And yet the Governor's words to him,
through the interpreter, were that he would "have an opportunity of
laying his views before the Commission. I ask him to do so, because I
can assure him that any recommendations which that Commission may send
in will receive the earnest consideration of the Government."[312]

When Dinuzulu got to Somkele by rail, the Commission happened to be
there too. This Dinuzulu knew, and yet although compelled for some
hours to be at the station, he was unable to leave his railway carriage
and walk a hundred yards to tender evidence, general in character,
which it was well within his power to give, and which, in the interests
of the people one would think he would rejoice to have tendered.

By reason of the fact that interviews had taken place with Dinuzulu,
the Governor decided to arrange others with the most influential of
those Natal and Zululand Chiefs who had behaved loyally during the
Insurrection. Some of these men controlled tribes as large or larger
than that of Dinuzulu. It was, indeed, for that particular reason that
no differentiation was shewn between him and them. The interviews,
held on the 3rd and 4th June, helped materially to allay much of the
nervousness then still prevalent among the people at large, and to
restore the former amicable relations between them and the authorities.

This proved to be the last of many useful services Sir Henry McCallum
was called on to perform as Governor of Natal. With the greatest regret
did Natalians of every class take leave of this public officer, for he
was one who had very closely identified himself with their interests,
in times of peace and of war. The energy and ability with which he had
grappled with the numerous issues of the Rebellion were at all times
conspicuous and conspicuously successful. Difficulties of the most
serious nature arose, sometimes with surprising force and suddenness,
only to be met with coolness and courage, and invariably surmounted.
The Colony prided herself in having him as her Governor. In his hands
she felt safe. So satisfied was she with him in command, as to accord
him every privilege in connection with internal affairs as it was
possible to do. In parting with him, after more than the normal term of
years, she rejoiced to know that his services and experience, which had
been of such intrinsic value to her in times of stress and of peril,
would not be lost to the great Empire of which she formed a part.

Until the new Governor's arrival at the beginning of September, Mr.
(now Sir William H.) Beaumont, one of the judges of the Supreme Court,
acted as Administrator.

Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Matthew Nathan, K.C.M.G., who had served with
distinction as Governor on the Gold Coast and Hong Kong, arrived at a
critical time to preside over the affairs of the Colony. He at once
addressed himself to the situation which, as will be seen, had been
rapidly developing during Mr. Beaumont's tenure of office.

During Dinuzulu's visit to Pietermaritzburg to see Sir Henry McCallum,
reference had been made to certain two murders in regard to which the
Chief was said to have rendered no assistance to the Government. He
explained, though not at that moment, that one of the men had 'died' in
his ward and the other (Mnqandi) outside it. The latter who, up to the
time of his death, had been living at Usutu kraal, had had his throat
cut, but after walking a long way, died some eight miles from the
kraal. This incident occurred about the same time that Stainbank was
murdered. Dinuzulu declared he was unable to offer any explanation as
to how the crimes had come to be committed.

These murders, both of which took place during the first half of 1906,
are mentioned because it was owing to them and similar mysterious
occurrences in 1907, again associated with Dinuzulu, that the Colony
came once more to be placed under martial law, and a large portion of
the Militia mobilized for the purpose of restoring order.

Following on a charge of having committed adultery with one of
Dinuzulu's wives (a charge which was not substantiated), and on that
account, believed to have caused Dinuzulu to become ill, another man,
Gence _alias_ Nsasa, formerly employed by the Chief as a doctor, was
murdered in Nkandhla district in April, 1907.

The latter incident, however, because of deceased's low rank, did
not excite nearly as much attention as the murder of a prominent and
conspicuously loyal Chief, also of Nkandhla, named Sitshitshili. This
man had materially assisted the Government to the utmost of his ability
during the Rebellion. Many years before he had saved Dinuzulu's life,
when the kraal at which the latter was staying was suddenly attacked
by Zibebu's _impi_. Sitshitshili's murderer, who professed to be a
messenger, was a stranger to deceased. He was allowed to spend a couple
of days at the kraal. Seizing his opportunity when his host was alone
at night, and after drinking a cup of coffee with him a few minutes
before, he shot him in the chest and stomach with a revolver and,
though pursued, escaped in the dark. The effect instantly created on
the Native mind by this revolting and brutal murder is best stated in
the words of Sir Charles Saunders, written but two weeks after the

"Several of the loyal Chiefs from different parts have either visited
or sent representatives to me to express their regret and horror at
what has happened, and emphatically assert that the life of no loyal
person is now safe.... There appears to be no doubt in their minds
that this murder, as well as others, was inspired at the Usutu kraal.
Some say so openly, whilst others, who are not so frank, insinuate
in unmistakable terms that they share the same view, and it is not
difficult to perceive that they hold Dinuzulu, either directly or
indirectly, responsible for the whole."

[Illustration: MVELI,


[Illustration: SITSHITSHILI,


[Illustration: SIBINDI,


[Illustration: MANKULUMANA,

Dinuzulu's principal induna.]



Bambata's chief wife.]

To show the people that the Government was alive to the necessity of
preventing such crimes, the Police at Nkandhla magistracy immediately
set to work to try and discover the murderer. Everything that skill
or perseverance could accomplish was attempted. But these exertions
did not escape the attention of specially interested parties. Sergeant
Wilkinson, the officer who was in charge of the investigations, retired
to his room about midnight on the 8th of September. Barely a minute
after blowing out his light, two shots were fired at him through a hole
in a window-pane with a revolver. One struck about eight inches above,
and the other under, the bed. Being very dark, no clue could be got of
the would-be murderer, except that the bullets closely resembled those
fired at Sitshitshili. As, except in a very limited degree, Natives are
not allowed to possess firearms, and, when permitted, almost invariably
procure guns, the fact that a revolver was used on Sitshitshili and
Wilkinson at once attracted general attention.

Orders were now issued by the Government for the country to be
thoroughly patrolled by a strong Natal Police Force, with the object of
restoring public confidence. Some such action was sadly needed, but,
in the opinion of Native loyalists, far wide of the mark. These and
many other people held but one opinion, namely, that Dinuzulu himself
was the _fons et origo_ of all the mischief. If not he, then puppets
directly or indirectly instigated by him or his indunas.

The long dispensation or lease of immunity Dinuzulu had enjoyed was,
however, fast coming to a close. Oppressed with the feeling that his
misdeeds were gradually coming to light, in spite of all his profound
and subtle influence on Zulus in general, in spite, too, of the
terrorizing tactics above referred to or still to be described being
traceable to his kraal, if not to his personal attendants and himself,
he had done his best to enlist the Governor's sympathies on his own
behalf. Those of Sir Charles Saunders he felt he could still count on,
though he failed to give that officer credit for being able to see
through his prevarication, and affectedly innocent pose.

For some months past, rumours to the effect that Bambata's wife and
children were being deliberately harboured by him at his kraal had
come to the notice of the Government. As, however, it was extremely
difficult for any official Native messenger--a European one would have
been hopeless--to obtain information on such point by visiting Usutu,
all that could be done was to mark time and watch developments.

The opportunity came shortly after the return from his visit to
Pietermaritzburg. He had been asked by Sir Henry McCallum to give
orders for the arrest of any rebels who might find their way to Usutu
and have them conveyed to the local Magistrate. On this Magistrate
subsequently sending a list of eight rebels who had been recently seen
in his ward, Dinuzulu caused five, and another not specially asked for,
to be delivered two weeks later--3rd July.

On the morning of the same day, however, Siyekiwe, the wife of the
notorious rebel Bambata, and two of his children, a girl (about 16)
and a boy (about 14), turned up suddenly at Mahlabatini magistracy,
having, as they declared, left Dinuzulu's kraal the evening before and
travelled through the night. They had deserted, owing to a threat by
Dinuzulu to remove them to a remote region in the north. As the Chief
had led the Government to believe there were no rebels at his kraal, he
determined to rid himself once for all of the woman and children. They
had at length become a nuisance, although he believed, or professed
to believe, his friend Bambata to be still alive. It was owing to
Dinuzulu's not informing Siyekiwe of Bambata's death that she did not
shave her head, as is universally customary among Zulus and other
Natal tribes. The failure to do this was of the greatest importance in
keeping alive the impression among Natives in general that Bambata was
not dead, but roaming about somewhere. If his favourite wife, the one
who had accompanied him in his flight to Usutu, did not believe in his
being dead, no one else would, as she was not unnaturally looked on
as the principal authority in such matter. Who, they argued, can know
better than a woman if her husband be dead or not? Not the woman, but
Dinuzulu appears to be responsible for the false impression that was
circulated far and wide.

When Dinuzulu went to Pietermaritzburg, he had temporarily secreted the
woman and children at a kraal a few miles off. That of a thoroughly
reliable adherent was selected. But as the woman, quite young and
rather good-looking, was not without male friends, she, on being
recalled to Usutu, heard of the scheme, whereupon she made a plan and
speedily got completely beyond Dinuzulu's reach. Then was the fat in
the fire!

The fugitives were passed by the Magistrate to Sir Charles Saunders
who, amazed to hear their numerous revelations, had them conveyed
to Pietermaritzburg, where the whole story was carefully reduced to

And what was the story? Briefly this. About a month before the attack
on the Police in Mpanza valley (4th April, 1906), and when the Police
were attempting to arrest Bambata for refusing to obey a summons
from the Government, a Native messenger arrived to say Dinuzulu
wished Bambata to come to him, the former having heard he was unhappy
through being harassed by the Government and Europeans generally.
After conferring with members of the tribe until lately presided over
by himself, he left for Usutu, taking with him the woman and three
children (by two other wives). Travelling on foot, the party reached
Usutu in a few days. Here Bambata had several interviews with Dinuzulu
and his indunas, Mankulumana and Mgwaqo. He was treated with every
consideration. Suitable accommodation and food were found for him, his
wife and children. Bambata informed his wife that, at the interviews he
had had with Mankulumana and others, he had been reproved for showing
cowardice on the occasion of the Police entering his ward to arrest
him. It was considered he should have shown fight. Bambata queried
how it was possible for him to go to war with Europeans. "Have you
no people?" they asked. "A few," he replied. "Few though they be, you
ought to have come into conflict. What do you suppose caused us to
fight in 1879? Do you think we did so by the aid of drugs?"

The day before Bambata's departure for Natal, he was summoned to where
Dinuzulu, Mankulumana and others were. "The room I was seated in,"
says Siyekiwe, "was close by where Dinuzulu was with the men referred
to, and I could hear distinctly what was said. I heard Mankulumana say
to Bambata 'There is nothing more that we have to say to you to-day.
To-day we give you this weapon, a Mauser rifle, and we say: Go across
into Natal and commence hostilities. We give you Ngqengqengqe, whom we
direct to go back with you, also Cakijana.... After causing an outbreak
of hostilities, you will remove into the Nkandhla district. Do not be
afraid through thinking that the fighting is brought about by you. We,
not you, are responsible for it....' The words I have given were spoken
by Makulumana in the presence of Dinuzulu in an audible voice.... My
husband said he hoped that they would not deceive him, make a fool of
him, and deny the fact that they were the originators of what they
wanted him to do. My husband was also instructed thus: 'After you have
started the fighting and fled for refuge to the Nkandhla forest, we
will meet you there.'"

The rifle, said to have been handed to Bambata by Mankulumana in
Dinuzulu's presence, with cartridges done up in a piece of white cloth,
were seen by the three. Bambata then left. Some time afterwards,
Dinuzulu informed the woman that a rebellion had broken out in Mpanza
valley, and that her husband had fled to Nkandhla forest.

When the Commissioner for Native Affairs made his visit to Usutu early
in April, 1906, the woman was there the whole time, carefully concealed
in the harem.[313]

There is no necessity to refer to other items in the story, such as the
visits and harbouring of various rebels, seeing they belong rather to
criminal proceedings than to a history. These proceedings, as well as
the foregoing crucial fact, will be briefly dealt with later. Suffice
it to say, the woman and children had been actually harboured by
Dinuzulu, fed, accommodated and medically treated at his own expense
for a period of over fifteen months. During that period, the boy was
appointed cleaner of the large number of guns possessed by Dinuzulu,
many of them illegally held. And yet the Chief had been called on
officially from time to time to produce all guns in his possession for

Not long after the woman and children had given their sensational
evidence, the one corroborating the other, they were permitted to
return to their relations at Mpanza.

The position now became clearer, though still complicated.

Sir Henry McCallum's object, when he had his interviews with Dinuzulu,
was so to rouse the Chief to a sense of his duty as to cause him,
on getting back to Usutu, forthwith to put his house in order and
discontinue his unsatisfactory behaviour. We have seen the way in
which he treated the Governor's suggestion about appearing before
the Commission, and what he did about handing over the rebels who
had taken refuge in his ward. Although called on later to deliver up
other rebels, declared by reliable informants to have been recently at
Usutu, he neglected to do so, on the plea that the men had not been
there. The Governor also advised that all firearms in his possession
should be given up. According to the evidence of Bambata's wife
and children, especially the boy, and to other testimony, Dinuzulu
possessed many more guns than had been registered, consequently he
had failed between the time of getting home and when the woman and
children deserted--a period of at least three weeks--to act on the
Governor's advice.[314] What was his object in not wishing to disclose
that he had these unregistered guns? He, moreover, had held a hunt in
August, extending over a fortnight, in the Black Umfolozi valley, at
which, as reliable information went to show, he secretly inspected
about 150 breech-loading rifles in possession of his people, including
his bodyguard, 'Nkomondala.' On the same occasion, he is said to have
told his most confidential advisers "that he had experienced great
difficulty in getting Mauser ammunition, but that there was not the
same difficulty with regard to the ordinary .303 ammunition, as he
could get this from agents at Delagoa Bay ... and was expecting 2,000
rounds from that source, which would be conveyed to him in bundles of
cat-skins, ostensibly brought up from there by Portuguese Natives for
sale amongst the Zulus."[315]

In reply to Dinuzulu's remark that he had not assumed the position of
Government Induna, that being one of the conditions under which he was
repatriated from St. Helena in 1898, the Governor had told him he would
at once be given that position, but such appointment would necessitate
his coming into closer touch with the Magistrate, Nongoma, than was
possible at Usutu. The suggestion that, in assuming the position, he
should move closer to the magistracy was, however, apparently ignored.

In addition to these unsatisfactory features, was the far graver one of
the murders that had been and were still being committed. Apart from
those of the Magistrate of Mahlabatini, Tshikana, Mnqandi and Gence,
that of Sitshitshili had occurred in August, and the attempted one of
Sergt. Wilkinson early in September. The strongest representations
were made to the Commissioner by many loyal Natives that "the failure
to obtain a conviction against the murderers of the Magistrate (Mr.
Stainbank), or to bring to justice the murderers of certain Natives,
and the belief that these murders had been instigated by Dinuzulu,
were creating a doubt in the minds of loyal Natives as to the power
of the Government to redress such wrongs, the fear that further
murders would be perpetrated with impunity, and that Dinuzulu, by a
course of terrorism, would win over the allegiance of heretofore loyal
Natives, increase his power and independence, and so bring on another

The Police sent to patrol Zululand after Sitshitshili's murder, visited
north-eastern and northern Zululand, and ended by passing by Usutu
on the 30th September. Everywhere the people were quiet and orderly.
The only uneasiness exhibited was when the force, under Inspector O.
Dimmick, got near Usutu. As it approached, many Natives proceeded to
the kraal. Halting some distance off, Dimmick sent Inspector C.E.
Fairlie and two troopers to see Dinuzulu. The Natives, of whom less
than 100 were then seen at the kraal (though reliable evidence received
later showed that many others were concealed in a _donga_ near by)
became disturbed, wondering why an armed force had come that way. After
speaking to Dinuzulu, Fairlie inspected the kraal. The Police then
moved towards Nongoma.

Intelligence was, at the same time, received that Dinuzulu had, two
or three weeks previously, been "doctored for war by a Native doctor,
either from Pondoland or Basutoland," and that certain ceremonies had
been carried out similar to those in vogue in the days of Tshaka.[317]

An old Boer farmer of Vryheid district, Mr. Conrad Meyer, long a friend
of Dinuzulu, paid the latter a visit in October, when, after several
interviews, he came to much the same opinion as to the Chief's loyalty
as Sir Charles Saunders had so consistently held during 1906.

Whilst the Government, with the foregoing and other facts before it,
was seriously considering what action should be taken, an attempt was
made (7th October) to murder Mapoyisa, principal son and heir of the
Chief Mbuzo, as well as another Native of the same tribe. The evidence
went to show that the two would-be murderers had come from Usutu kraal.
But people had hardly grasped the facts connected with this attempt
when another cold-blooded murder was committed, this time on an elderly
and respected Chief, Mpumela. The lives of two other loyalists were
attempted about the same time (November). An attempt is also said
to have been made on a storekeeper, George, formerly in the Police.
His store, about six miles from Usutu, was destroyed by fire. It is,
however, possible the latter occurrence was due to lightning.

Information also came in that the ringleaders of the previous year's
rebellion, Mangati and Cakijana, had for long been harboured by
Dinuzulu, although well knowing that warrants were out for their
arrest. The former, captured in November in Vryheid district, stated
on oath that Dinuzulu had been and was still instigating the murders.
He (Dinuzulu), in short, seemed "determined," as the Administrator
pointed out to the Secretary of State in August, "on a course of
self-aggrandizement, of cool defiance or indifference to the wishes of
the Government, and of open hostility to those Natives who had been
loyal; and it was clear that his attitude and actions were becoming a
serious cause of unrest and apprehension amongst the loyal Natives, and
a menace to the peace of the country."

It was in view of all these and other circumstances, too numerous to
refer to, that the Government, supported by the Attorney-General,
ultimately decided to issue a warrant for Dinuzulu's arrest on a charge
of high treason,[318] and to mobilize a large portion of the Militia to
reinforce the Police when proceeding to execute the warrants.

For other reasons, Dinuzulu became very agitated about this time. The
arrival of the Police on the 30th September, and especially their being
stationed at Nongoma, twelve miles from his kraal, greatly upset him.
He contemplated leaving Usutu and establishing himself on the Black
Umfolozi, where the hunt had recently been held. He dispatched earnest
letters to the Governor, Prime Minister, and Under Secretary for Native
Affairs, asking for fair play, expressing confidence in his rulers,
etc.; he followed these up, on the day that the troops reached Zululand
(3rd December), with an urgent message through the Magistrate, Nongoma,
portions of which ran as follows:

"I have heard that it is the intention of Government to send and take
me by surprise shortly after Christmas.... I do not understand this,
and want to know if there is any truth in it, as I know of no wrong
that I have done. If Government think I am in the wrong over anything,
why does it not place me on trial and punish me if found guilty? I am
also surprised to hear that the court-house at Nongoma has been placed
in a state of defence. Police are camped all round it.... Nothing is
wrong in this division, as far as I know. The only place where things
are wrong is Nkandhla division, and I am not responsible for what
happens there; and in my opinion, ... these murders are being committed
there on account of Government having given cattle which belonged to
rebels to different people in that division, and the original owners of
these cattle resent seeing their cattle in other people's possession."

In the meantime, however, seeing that the several murders and other
crimes against public order recently committed in Zululand had caused
widespread unrest and fear of violence to law-abiding people, and as,
in order to restore order and confidence, it was imperative to arrest
all persons concerned in the crimes, a proclamation was issued on the
30th November directing the strengthening of the forces in Zululand
to enable the arrests to be effected. Orders were, at the same time,
issued for the mobilization already referred to of the greater portion
of the Active Militia. The troops actually called out were 188 officers
and 1,928 of other ranks.

There was good reason to suppose that Dinuzulu's immediately available
_impi_ was comparatively insignificant, notwithstanding his hasty
endeavours to augment it under the shallow pretext of the young men
being required to 'weed his gardens.' Such appeals had been made to
Chiefs living outside Zululand, viz. in Vryheid and Ngotshe districts.
Mr. Meyer had reported "one sees at a glance that he (Dinuzulu) is a
man of rank without followers." That the force dispatched to deal with
him was so overwhelmingly strong, was due solely to the Government's
wish to overawe armed rebels or others at Usutu against all forms
of resistance. It was recognized that an outbreak at Usutu might be
taken by the Zulus as the signal for a general rising. Another reason
was that Silwana, a powerful Chief of Weenen, whose levy, it will be
remembered, behaved unsatisfactorily during the Rebellion, was said to
be calling on his people to rebel.

Units mobilized with the same remarkable rapidity that had
characterized their movements in the preceding year, and were ordered
to proceed by rail direct to Gingindhlovu. This station, on the
Zululand coast and nearly twenty miles from Eshowe, was reached on the
evening of the 3rd December.[319] On the same day, martial law was
proclaimed, to operate, however, in Zululand only. Owing to the sudden,
and necessarily sudden, mobilization, no preparation was made to fill
up the places of those who had been called away. The ex-Commandant
(Colonel Bru-de-Wold) was hastily summoned from Port Shepstone and
asked to arrange for the defence of Natal in the event of hostilities
breaking out in Zululand. The necessary organization was carried out
in a thorough-going manner. The Reserves in sixteen districts (_vide_
Appendix VII.) were called out and ordered to patrol their respective

As soon as Dinuzulu's message was received, the Government, although
the troops were by then well on their way to Gingindhlovu, thought it
necessary to advise the Chief that there was no intention to take him
by surprise, and that the Chief Commissioner of Police was being sent
"to require him to surrender himself in order that charges against
him might be tried." He was, at the same time, directed to proceed to
Nongoma and there await the police officer.

A communication such as this could not, of course, do otherwise than
bring about confusion among the troops that were concentrating at
Gingindhlovu, through altering elaborate arrangements which had already
been made for their subsequent advance.

The position, from the Government's point of view, was a difficult
one, but with martial law proclaimed, and the troops actually in the
field, the stronger and better course, perhaps, would have been to have
referred Dinuzulu's communication to the O.C. Troops to deal with as he
might have considered necessary under the circumstances. As it was, his
hands were tied, and his plans considerably upset.

That the Ministry were not alone in their desire for settlement of a
trouble inherited to some extent from their predecessors, can be seen
from the following remarks by the Governor, Sir Matthew Nathan, to
the Secretary of State: "Though I am doubtful whether this situation
would have arisen if Ministers had at once, after the suppression of
last year's Rebellion, or even at a later date, adopted the policy
of amnesty and conciliation, and had thereby prevented Dinuzulu from
acquiring the power he has done by protecting outlaws and by reason of
the country remaining unsettled, yet I recognize that, under existing
conditions, with a growing tale of unpunished murders attributed
throughout the country to that Chief, it was not possible for the
Government to remain inactive."[320]

The previous Government had, however, been out of office for over a
year. During such time, the new Government had had, and had taken
advantage of, opportunities of ameliorating the conditions as far as
was possible. More was to follow as soon as time had been given to
introduce some of the legislation recommended by the Native Affairs
Commission. If the Government erred in not declaring an amnesty sooner,
or in not releasing prisoners in larger lots than it did, that gave
Dinuzulu no right to persist in disloyal and treasonable behaviour.
At no moment could a general amnesty have cured such position as then
existed. The fact that such policy had answered in other parts of the
world, or even in Zululand after the 1888 disturbances, cannot be taken
as a formula to apply to circumstances which happen to be similar in
a few respects. Had a general amnesty been attempted sooner than it
was, it would have been a blunder and enabled Dinuzulu, especially as
rumours were current in Zululand at the time that _he_ was going to
secure an amnesty, to pose as liberator-general, although known to be
actively and flagrantly disloyal. It would have been to place a premium
on still more serious rebellion in the future. The only remedy was the
one adopted, namely, to remove the source of mischief once for all.
That the Ministers were not mistaken in the view they took, will be
seen further on. As it was, between July and the issue of the warrants
for Dinuzulu's arrest, some 500 to 600 prisoners had been released,
whilst, as soon as the arrest was made, Ministers decided to release
the remainder at short intervals, 300 at a time.


[Footnote 310: Report. Native Affairs Commission, 25th July, 1907.]

[Footnote 311: Deposition by Mgunguluzo, 1st Feb. 1907.]

[Footnote 312: Cd. 3,888, p. 83.]

[Footnote 313: It will be remembered that Mr. Saunders, while at Usutu,
got a telegram saying Bambata had broken into rebellion, and that he
told Dinuzulu this, whereupon the latter and his indunas were, says the
Commissioner, "unanimous in their expressions of indignation; their
frank demeanour left no doubt in my mind that these expressions were
perfectly genuine and that Dinuzulu and his people were not in any way
associated with Bambata and his doings."--Cd. 3,207, p. 31. And yet
the wife and children of the very man whose acts they had unanimously
condemned to the principal executive officer of the Government were not
100 yards away as they were speaking!]

[Footnote 314: It was definitely proved later that Dinuzulu was in
possession of unregistered guns at the time of his arrest (December,
1907). Hence his opportunity of conforming to the Governor's advice
extended over six months.]

[Footnote 315: Minute, C.N.A. to Prime Minister, 23rd Aug. 1907.]

[Footnote 316: Administrator (Mr. W.H. Beaumont) to Secretary of State,
29th Aug. 1907.]

[Footnote 317: Minute by Magistrate, Ndwandwe district, 29th Sept.

[Footnote 318: There was also another warrant, charging him with being
in possession of unregistered firearms.]

[Footnote 319: Of the Carbineers, one of the newspapers reported:
"They were the first to get orders ... and in an incredibly short time
were on their way to Zululand. The regiment is to be congratulated on
being referred to in a despatch by the Prime Minister to the Governor
as having performed 'one of, if not the quickest mobilizations on
record.'" Receiving orders to mobilize on the 30th November, the
Headquarters squadrons entrained at 5.15 p.m. on the 2nd, and reached
Gingindhlovu at 5.35 a.m. on the 3rd December.]

[Footnote 320: Cd. 3,888, p. 182.]



The Government's decision to arrest Dinuzulu was communicated at once
to the Commandant. This officer had already been put in command of the
Natal Police Reserve, under Dimmick, at Nongoma. On the 24th November,
100 Natal Police, under Inspector W.F. Lyttle, left Pietermaritzburg;
fifty of these proceeded to Melmoth, whilst the balance reinforced

Dimmick got orders to make it known that the additional men were
considered necessary to effectually patrol the district, then in a
disturbed state in consequence of the recent murders. Lyttle was
instructed to pay a visit by himself to Emtonjaneni heights, and there
select a site for a camp a mile from Emtonjaneni store, and along the
road to Nkandhla. He was, at the same time, advised that he would be
ordered to move his camp there at an early date. The object was, in
this and other ways, to create the impression that the next movement of
troops would be to Nkandhla for the purpose of arresting murderers, and
certain unpardoned rebels known to be still in hiding in that district.
A detachment of N.P. that was at Mahlabatini joined Lyttle at Melmoth.

On the Militia being called out to arrest Dinuzulu, a plan of campaign
was drawn up by the Commandant and submitted for the consideration
of Government. The troops were thereupon ordered to mobilize and
concentrate at Gingindhlovu, the idea being to march from there viâ
Emtonjaneni to Usutu.

Sir Duncan McKenzie left Pietermaritzburg on the 3rd for Gingindhlovu.
On reaching Durban, however, he received a wire from the Prime Minister
embodying the message from Dinuzulu anticipating arrest, and was told
that the Magistrate, Nongoma, had been instructed to advise Dinuzulu to
surrender at once at Nongoma, where he would be taken charge of by the
Chief Commissioner of Police. This arrangement, of course, completely
altered the aspect of affairs. After consulting Sir Charles Saunders,
the Commandant decided that there was then no object in marching
the troops, by that time already at Gingindhlovu, from that station
to Nongoma, when they could be taken by rail to Somkele, and thus
considerably shorten the march.

There was, indeed, nothing else to be done. Owing to Dinuzulu having
been authoritatively informed of the intention of the troops, the
necessity for stratagem had completely disappeared.

A small infantry force, consisting of D.L.I. and two guns N.F.A. (C
battery), was accordingly dispatched, under Brevet Lieut.-Col. J.
Dick, D.L.I., to Melmoth, to augment the Police already at that post.
The object of this movement was that the two bodies should combine
and proceed, as they eventually did, to Emtonjaneni heights, to be in
readiness to co-operate with the troops at Nongoma in the event of
Dinuzulu offering resistance. The Z.M.R. were mobilized and ordered to
join Dick's force.

The remainder of the troops were directed to go by rail to Somkele and
from there by march route to Nongoma. By this time, however, the rail
transport that had conveyed the troops to Gingindhlovu was on its way
to Durban, and delay resulted from its having to be recalled.

On the afternoon of the 4th, the Commandant, leaving the troops under
the command of Lieut.-Col. W. Arnott, and accompanied by Sir Charles
Saunders, Chief Commissioner Clarke, N.P., and a small staff, proceeded
by train to Somkele to interview the Chiefs of that locality, and
thereafter to move on to Nongoma and personally conduct negotiations
with Dinuzulu. It was expected the troops would come on during the
night and reach Somkele the following morning. As, however, provision
on the Gingindhlovu-Somkele section had been made with the object
of running only one train a day, it was impossible to transport the
brigade to Somkele as expeditiously as was desired. The regiments
consequently arrived at Somkele with considerable intervals of time
between them.

Responsibility for failure to convey the troops, etc., with reasonable
rapidity, cannot in any way be regarded as falling on the railway
authorities who, during this expedition, as well as throughout the
operations in 1906, did everything that could possibly have been done
to ensure success. Had a few days' notice been given on the occasion in
question, there would probably have been nothing to complain of.

As Somkele is very unhealthy both for man and beast (malaria and
horse-sickness), especially in December, the brigade was ordered to
leave as soon as possible after arrival, proceed to high ground in the
vicinity of Hlabisa, and from thence to Nongoma. Owing, however, to the
difficulties already referred to, also to rain and bad roads, it was
impossible to carry out the new plan. The regiments moved more or less
independently of one another. N.C., B.M.R., U.M.R. and N.F.A. reached
Nongoma on the 10th, and the remainder of the brigade on the following

In the meantime, the Commandant had had interviews on the 5th and 6th
with Chiefs at Somkele and Hlabisa. They were told that, as troops
would soon be passing through their wards, with the object of putting
an end to unrest in other parts of the territory, there was no occasion
whatever for alarm. They were very grateful for the warning, and hoped
every success would be met with in ascertaining and punishing the

The Commandant arrived at Nongoma on the 6th, to find 170 N.P., under
Dimmick, already on the spot.

On Saturday the 7th, three messengers, including Mankulumana,
arrived from Dinuzulu, notwithstanding that the Government had
on the 3rd clearly directed the latter "to proceed at once to the
Nongoma magistracy and there await the arrival of Mr. Clarke (Chief
Commissioner of Police)." They came to say that Dinuzulu did not know
what offence he had committed to necessitate his surrendering. He
desired to know his alleged offence, and who the informant was. The
messengers were considerably surprised to find Sir Duncan McKenzie at
Nongoma, as Dinuzulu's instructions were that Mankulumana should apply
through the Magistrate and Commissioner for permission to see the
Governor, of whom they felt the information above referred to should
properly be sought. It was explained that Dinuzulu would have made
the journey himself, but was prevented from doing so through having a
bad knee. They added that he feared being taken by surprise, as had
happened when Sitshitshili was murdered. He could not understand why
fortifications had been constructed at Nongoma[321]; if such were
necessary, why was not notice of the impending danger given him, in
order that he, too, might avail himself of the protection? He denied
the rumoured accusation of arming his people. All he had done was to
summon boys in the usual way to hoe and weed his gardens.[322] He
could not understand how the Government could have gone the length of
thinking he was arming against it.

In reply, the Commandant said it was quite unnecessary to send a
messenger to Pietermaritzburg, as he was in a position to answer all
the questions that had been put. The charge was high treason, and
had been laid by various witnesses, whose statements were in the
Government's possession. The best thing the Chief could do, seeing that
martial law had been proclaimed in Zululand, was to surrender before
the troops got to Nongoma. To enable him to come in, as he said he was
unwell, a suitable conveyance would be placed at his disposal.

A lawyer (Mr. E. Renaud, of Durban), who had been engaged on behalf of
Dinuzulu, and who arrived before the messengers had left, was allowed
to write advising the Chief as to the course to pursue. Permission
was, moreover, given him to communicate with Dinuzulu at any time, on
condition that his letters were produced for inspection.

On the 8th and 9th, further messages came from Dinuzulu, the main
subject of which was the ways and means of surrendering. It was
decided to send an ambulance as far towards Usutu kraal as it was
possible to get, leaving the intervening three miles to be traversed
by him on horseback. Capt. Stuart proceeded on the 9th to receive
the surrender at the spot agreed on. Instead of being at the place
about noon as arranged, Dinuzulu did not get there till 7 p.m. He
arrived with a small following, a number of whom accompanied the
waggon all the way to the magistracy (fifteen miles). In consequence
of Dinuzulu's delay, hilly country, and a dark night, Nongoma was not
reached until 11.15 p.m. As accommodation was naturally very limited
and as it was drizzling, the Chief was given a room within the gaol
and made as comfortable as possible. It turned out he had previously
dispatched a party with a marquee and tents in charge of Mankulumana
to the magistracy by another route, in the hope that there would be no
objection to his putting up outside the lager. This, however, could
not be allowed, though there was no objection to his pitching and
occupying the tents within the lager. Under the circumstances, he
preferred to remain where he was, _i.e._ in one of the gaol cells.

The formal interview with the Commandant took place at 3 p.m. on the
following day. Mankulumana, Mgwaqo and Ncapayi (his secretary) were
allowed to be present. Dinuzulu, who was well dressed in European
costume, and wore a military helmet, walked with ease from the gaol
to the court-house, a distance of about 150 yards.[323] As, by this
time, many of the troops had arrived, there was a large gathering of
spectators when the interview took place. The Commandant said he was
glad Dinuzulu had had the good sense to surrender because, had he not
done so, it would have been necessary to enforce the orders of the
Government, when many innocent people might have been injured. There
had been various murders of black as well as white people going on
in the country. The Government was determined to put a stop to such
crimes. Dinuzulu had evidently been exercising an evil influence in
the country, and had become a menace to law and order. The three
columns then in Zululand and Vryheid district had, he was told, entered
Zululand to put an end to the disorder, and would not leave until all
the prevailing unrest had disappeared.

The Chief replied that he could not imagine what offence he had
committed. That he should be charged with high treason, as he had been
informed was the case, was ridiculous. How could a man like himself
think of taking up arms against the Government? Where was he to procure
the men wherewith to oppose his father? He requested to be informed of
the specific accusations that had been made against him. These, said
the Commandant, were known to the Government, and would be communicated
in due course by the proper authorities. It was on these that the
warrant for his arrest had been issued. The Government would, no doubt,
arrange for a fair and impartial trial by civil tribunal, and ample
time would be afforded within which to prepare a defence.

Dinuzulu maintained that, ever since his return from St. Helena, he
had conducted himself in a proper manner. He was surprised to learn
that he was regarded as exerting a harmful influence. Moreover, it was
strange that he, who was nothing more than a Chief, with jurisdiction
confined to a limited and definite area, could be said to have exerted
an influence throughout the entire country.

Neither Mankulumana nor the other two Natives made any remarks at the
interview, which lasted about forty minutes.

No sooner was it noised abroad in the tribe that their Chief had been
put under arrest than the principal men collected and proceeded in a
body, on the 10th, to the magistracy. There were between 200 and 300
present. They said they had come to ask why Dinuzulu had been arrested.
After the foregoing interview, they were called up. They sat in a
semi-circle as Sir Duncan McKenzie addressed them from the verandah of
the court-house. His remarks were similar to those he had just made to
the Chief himself. The Government, he said, was tired of the murders
that had been and were still going on, and its determination to put a
stop thereto was apparent from the fact of troops having been sent into
the country. Full powers had been given him to act as he saw fit, and
he intended to exercise them should necessity arise. Martial law had
been proclaimed, hence it was very lucky that the event, of which they
all knew,[324] had taken place, for had the troops been obliged to go
into the field, many innocent people might have lost their lives. Many
of those present were no doubt averse to being dragged into matters of
that kind. All who were loyal to the Government would be supported.
Some eighteen months before, when in command at Nkandhla, he had
dealt somewhat leniently with the insurgents. Had a single shot been
fired at Nongoma, and had there been a recrudescence of rebellion, he
would have been obliged to act in a far more drastic manner, hence
it was extremely fortunate things had turned out as they had done. He
concluded by advising all to go back to their homes and live there
quietly and peaceably.

Whilst negotiations for the surrender were in progress, intelligence
was received that Dinuzulu was either forwarding, or had already
forwarded, his guns to certain Chiefs of Vryheid and Ngotshe districts
for concealment. There was, moreover, ground for believing that certain
Natives in the same districts had recently taken up arms at his
request. For these reasons, the Northern Districts, with the exception
of Utrecht, were, on the application of the Commandant, also placed
under martial law on the 9th, to enable him to deal with all Natives

With the object of obtaining full information of what was occurring in
Vryheid district and Usutu kraal, the Minister of Justice (Hon. T.F.
Carter, K.C.), proceeded to Nongoma, reaching there on the 12th.

As it was not unlikely that a few of the rebels of 1906 were still in
hiding at or near Usutu, and that firearms were also concealed there,
arrangements were made for a surprise visit to the notorious kraal.
McKenzie arranged to converge thereon from different directions. The
three columns employed, under Lieut.-Cols. Arnott, Weighton and Mackay,
left Nongoma at different times on the night of the 12th. The night was
misty and dark, especially as the grass of much of the area traversed
had been recently burnt. The intention was that the columns should
arrive simultaneously at the kraal, viz. at daybreak. The only one,
however, that arrived in time, was that which took the nearest, though
not the easiest, route. The reason for the delay on the part of two of
the columns was the steep, rugged and trackless country through which
they had had to march.

It was soon manifest that every care had been taken to remove as many
traces of incriminating evidence as possible.



Dinuzulu's quarters are behind the trees on the left.]

The kraal, which was situated on a small hill in a long, well-watered
and fertile valley, was roughly divided into three parts: (_a_)
Dinuzulu's private dwelling-houses, visitors' house, secretary's
hut, etc.; (_b_) his mother's hut, and the harem; (_c_) the indunas'
huts and military barracks. Apart from these, were small kraals
and isolated huts within a radius of three hundred yards of, and
immediately connected with, Usutu. On a high hill, nearly a mile from
and overlooking Usutu, was a small fort erected by Dinuzulu some years
before, but which, owing to having been recently struck by lightning,
had apparently been abandoned. A considerable number of trees had
been planted, but it was clear the establishment had, on the whole,
been sadly neglected; it was overgrown with weeds, not so numerous
as to be beyond the powers of one or two boys to have kept down. The
buildings, too, were out of repair. None, except the round brick hut,
known as the secretary's office, seemed to have been well constructed,
whilst not much more than the foundations of what once promised to be a
more commodious and imposing structure had been built. The other huts
about the grounds were small, of ordinary wattles and thatch, and also
required attention. Those belonging to the 'regiments' stood on the
eastern slopes of the hill, and were probably not as many as sixty in

The occupants of the huts, as well as about a score in the harem, were
semi-civilized and, for the most part, poorly clad. This refers to the
men, as well as the women and children. Altogether the kraal, if kraal
it could be called, and its inmates, gave one the impression more of
indolence than of health and activity. Briefly, Dinuzulu's residence
fell far short of what might have been expected of one who had acquired
so great a reputation amongst the Natives of Natal, Zululand and

After the people had been made to collect at one place, Dinuzulu's
apartments were entered and thoroughly searched. Such articles as
letters, also some small and large shields, were removed for purposes
of evidence. The barracks, too, were searched, though not the Chief's
mother's hut or the harem.

As it was supposed that rebels might still be living at Usutu,
Bambata's son, Ndabayake, accompanied the troops. Opportunities
were afforded him of examining those present, about 200 in number.
No rebels, however, could be detected. Nor, in spite of thorough
investigation, could any firearms be found, except two shot guns and a
rifle, all evidently lawfully held. The residents were all exceedingly
reticent. Although pressed, Dinuzulu's wives even denied that Bambata's
wife and children had ever been or lived at Usutu, or that they knew
anything whatever of Bambata, Cakijana or any other rebel having been
harboured there.

It was carefully explained to the occupants, including others who
arrived during the day, why the troops had come into the country, many
of the former not having been present at the magistracy on the 10th.
They and the rest of the tribe were directed to bring all their guns
and assegais to Nongoma on the following Sunday, failing which, the
troops would come and look for them. Dinuzulu, the Commandant went on
to say, would be sent out of the country for trial, and would never
return. Shortly after the meeting, the columns returned to Nongoma.

During the Chief's detention at Nongoma, his secretary attempted to
pass a letter out of the gaol to his lawyer, Mr. Renaud. Although,
with the assistance of Native warders, who happened to be members of
Dinuzulu's tribe, it succeeded in getting outside, it was intercepted
by the authorities, upon which the warders concerned were severely
punished. It can be seen from this incident that the influence exerted
by Dinuzulu on people of his own race was remarkably subtle and
far-reaching, and this was afterwards found to be the case whatever
tribe they belonged to and wherever he happened to be confined.

There being no necessity for detaining him at Nongoma beyond a few
days, arrangements were made for his removal to Pietermaritzburg,
in order that a preliminary examination might be begun as soon as
possible. Such examination, which is of a formal character, is
invariably held in the case of a person charged with a serious offence.
An escort of 100 N.R.R., 100 N.N.C. (Hoare) and a battery of N.F.A.
(Wilson), under Major J. Fraser, N.R.R., having been provided, Dinuzulu
and his attendants left Nongoma by mule cart and waggons on the 14th
_en route_ for Pietermaritzburg, viâ Hlabisa and Somkele. He reached
his destination a couple of days later, no incident of any importance
having occurred on the way.

With the surrender and removal, the principal object of the
expedition had been accomplished. There remained: (_a_) the securing
of unregistered firearms known to have been secreted by Dinuzulu at
Usutu; (_b_) the calling in of those belonging to other members of the
Usutu tribe, and other tribes closely connected therewith, notably
some of those which lived in Ngotshe and Vryheid districts; and (_c_)
the arrest of various outstanding rebels. Many of the notorious and
other rebels, who had been deliberately harboured by Dinuzulu, had
been obliged, in consequence of his arrest, to disperse in various
directions. It afterwards transpired that, on the 9th, a couple
of hours before his surrender, Dinuzulu had addressed them in the
following terms: "I am going, men; here is a letter from the white
people calling me on account of the ... Chiefs who have been killed....
I now tell you all to scatter and go and hide with your relatives, you
must not be arrested here.... I will send and let you know if the white
people are going to come down to search this place."[325]

As it was considered the foregoing objects could be effected with a
much smaller force than was then in the field, the escort in charge of
Dinuzulu received orders to demobilize on reaching its destination.

The arrangements for dealing with the Zululand situation had included
the locating of a column at Vryheid. This column, formed on the 10th
December, consisted of N.D.M.R. and Utrecht, Newcastle (town and
district), Vryheid and Ladysmith (town) Reserves, with Lieut.-Col. B.
Crompton, D.S.O., in command, and Capt. O. Schuller as Adjutant. As,
however, Dinuzulu's arrest had taken place quietly, the necessity for
the column soon ceased to exist. It was demobilized on the 18th.

On the 15th December, the Natal Carbineers, under Weighton, left
Nongoma and, moving viâ Ngome forest[326] and Louwsburg through Ngotshe
district--dealing _en route_ with allegations against two important
Chiefs of that part, Mapovela and Maboko--reached Vryheid on the 22nd.

As directed by McKenzie at Usutu kraal on the 13th, about 500 members
of Dinuzulu's tribe came during the same day to hand in their guns
and assegais, when, on the advice of Sir Charles Saunders (whose
presence at this time at Nongoma was most opportune), it was arranged
that control of the tribe, until the Government's pleasure had been
ascertained, should be carried on by certain twenty-one headmen, whose
names were publicly announced. Only twenty-four guns were handed in.
Not many assegais were brought, owing to a misunderstanding.

In consequence of Dinuzulu's having been arrested and to their being
subjected to other inconveniences through the arrival of the troops,
members of the Usutu party became much incensed with such rebels as
had been harboured at Usutu and elsewhere in the tribe. It was to them
that they attributed the misfortunes which had come upon Dinuzulu and
themselves. So angry were they that it was commonly reported that any
rebel not leaving forthwith would be stabbed to death. If Dinuzulu had
been a "father" to them, the tribe was not prepared to extend the same

The U.M.R. (Newmarch) and B.M.R. (Arnott) remained at Nongoma on
Weighton's moving to Vryheid, but, after marching out on two occasions
to search for concealed arms, they left the magistracy on the 20th viâ
Somkele to demobilize in Natal.

Instructions were, at the same time, issued for the whole of the
Police force to remain in Zululand, subject to such dispositions as
the Commandant might wish to make. The Chiefs, moreover, were held
responsible for the "maintenance of law and order, for the delivering
up to the authorities of all persons implicated in or suspected of
crime, and for the surrender of all unregistered firearms."

By the 22nd, the Active Militia actually in the field, including
detachments of departmental corps, numbered 1,102 (all ranks), with 156
Militia Reserves, stationed at Weenen, Estcourt and Krantzkop.

One would have thought that the invasion of Zululand by over 2,000
troops would have disturbed the aborigines far more than it did,
especially as the object was to arrest Dinuzulu. The effect produced,
however, was of an exactly opposite character. This can only be
explained in one way, namely, that Dinuzulu was universally known by
Natives to be really harbouring rebels and believed to be secretly
planning the murders of various loyalists. They, in short, had had
enough of Dinuzulu, and were only too glad to see the troops arrive
and carry him off. There had been peace for some years when, in 1889,
he was removed to St. Helena, and a similar prospect seemed once more
to be within view. He had deceived the rebels by not actively and
openly supporting them at Nkandhla, as he had promised to do, or was
understood by them to have promised to do, and now he or his immediate
attendants (presumably on his instructions), were causing loyalists to
be shot down in cold blood. As that was not a rôle that had ever been
played by a Zulu king, it is not surprising that the great majority
were relieved and even rejoiced to get rid of the man.

With Zululand once more in a peaceful and settled condition, the
Commandant left Nongoma with his staff and an escort of Natal Police
(25) for Vryheid, viâ Ngome forest. After reaching Vryheid on the
22nd, simultaneously with the Carbineers, he proceeded by train to
Pietermaritzburg, for the purpose of discussing the situation with the
Government. The intention of the latter was that all firearms belonging
to Chiefs known to be more or less associated with Dinuzulu were to be
called in. For this purpose, as the Active Militia were demobilizing,
it became necessary to form a Militia Composite Regiment. The Natal
Carbineers were the last Militia corps to demobilize. This they did at
Christmas, except about seventy men who had, at Vryheid, joined the
force referred to.

One of the reasons for calling so strong a force into the field at
the beginning of December was, as has already been observed, because
the most powerful Natal Chief, Silwana, was believed to have assumed
a menacing attitude. The evidence against him, though strong, was,
however, much less conclusive than that against Dinuzulu. As the arrest
of the latter Chief, as well as of his brother-in-law, Maboko, and
his indunas, Makulumana and Mgwaqo, immediately created a profound
impression throughout Natal and Zululand, the Government was of opinion
that such incidents were sufficient to serve as a warning, not only to
Silwana but to all similarly disposed Chiefs. The project, therefore,
of invading his district was abandoned.[327]

The M.C.R., 500 strong, was placed under the command of Major Colin
Wilson, N.F.A., with Major J.W.V. Montgomery, N.C., as Adjutant.
Moving from Vryheid on the 2nd January, the force camped near Mr. C.
Birkenstock's residence at Hlobane. Patrols were sent out to Ceza on
the border of Zululand and to Ntabankulu. The Commandant arrived at the
camp on the 7th. Further efforts were made in various directions to
find guns that were unlawfully held. On the 14th, the regiment moved to
Louwsburg in Ngotshe district, and from there, on the 17th, to Nyalisa
police camp. At Louwsburg and Nyalisa (the latter place is some thirty
miles from the Ubombo mountains), the Chiefs were ordered to bring in
all their unregistered guns. The order was immediately complied with.

In addition to disarmament, useful work was done in these and other
parts of the country in tracing rebels, cautioning those who had
harboured them, as well as generally restoring public confidence. The
troops received every encouragement and hospitality from the various
Boer farms visited. The same occurred in Paulpietersburg and Luneberg
districts during January and February. The determination that had been
shown in calling in the firearms produced a salutary effect in every
tribe, with the result that the weapons were promptly handed in by
those from whom, at the conclusion of the Boer War, it was supposed
they had all been taken. On no occasion was the slightest opposition
met with, although, of course, there was sometimes considerable
reluctance. This was no doubt due to the firmness, perseverance and
discretion displayed by Sir Duncan McKenzie. The work, was, however,
put a stop to before half of it had been completed. An opportunity
more favourable to such enterprise will probably not again present
itself for years. Illicit possession of firearms by barbarians is most
effectively and satisfactorily coped with during the operation of
martial law.

By the 17th February, some 130 unregistered firearms of various
patterns had been handed in to the M.C.R. in Vryheid and Ngotshe
districts alone, whilst the general aggregate for the Northern
Districts and Zululand was over 400. Had the same policy been quietly
and yet firmly pursued in parts of Zululand other than Nongoma
district, it is certain better results would have been obtained than by
leaving the matter to be dealt with by ordinary police methods. It was
because the police were thought capable of carrying out this difficult
duty under the common law, that the M.C.R. was disbanded at the end
of February. And yet, on the 12th of that month, the total number of
unregistered guns that had been collected without the direct assistance
of the Militia, from the whole of Zululand, minus Nongoma, was but
twenty-two. That result alone was sufficient to condemn the adoption of
a policy of leniency. As it is, the uncollected arms remain for use on
other occasions! It was to the unregistered firearms in possession of
the Natives that all our gun-shot casualties during the Rebellion, and
the various murders thereafter, were due.[328]

A very smart piece of work was carried out by the Police Reserves on
the 1st January, 1908. Intelligence had been received at Nongoma that
a number of rebel desperadoes were living in broken country at the
junction of the Black Umfolozi and Mbekamuzi rivers. Dimmick took the
N.P. Reserves out at 1.15 a.m. on the day in question. Fairlie, after
the waggon drift had been reached (soon after 5 a.m.), was sent with
a couple of troops down the left bank of the former river, whilst
Dimmick, joined by Lindsay with a detachment from Mahlabatini, took
up positions along the road between the two streams. Fairlie's report
is: "Having crossed the Ivuna, near the junction of that river, and
reached some high ground, I noticed some fires some three miles to my
right front, on the north side of the Umfolozi, where it takes a big
bend to the south. I sent to inform you (_i.e._ Dimmick) of this, also
stating that Mciteki's men had not arrived as had been arranged,[329]
and asking for reinforcements, as I concluded from the amount of smoke
from the fires mentioned that the people we were in search of were
in the vicinity. At 8.15 a.m. my messenger returned, but I waited
until 9 a.m. for reinforcements; longer delay I considered would be
inadvisable. I, therefore, proceeded with the men I had with me in
the direction of the fires.... After going some distance, I linked
the horses and went on foot, with about twenty-five men, and having
traversed about two miles, sighted some shelters, which I advanced on
in a half-circle. We were then sighted by the inmates, of whom I saw
six. I called on them to stand in the Native language. This order was
repeated by several Natives with me, and also by the Europeans who had
a knowledge of the language. The inhabitants referred to made a bolt
for it. Two were shot, and I am bound to conclude that the other four
were wounded. We pursued some considerable distance without result, and
then returned to the shelters and found two dead bodies. By the side of
each was a magazine rifle, magazines charged and cut-offs open.[330]
One had a cartridge half in the breech, and both appeared to have been
fired recently." The killed turned out to be notorious rebels, for whom
search had long been made. One of them, Mqumbeyana, was, it turned
out, the man who was in command of the _impi_ that attacked Royston's
Horse at Manzipambana on the 3rd June, 1906. He is said to have killed
a trooper on that occasion and seized his magazine rifle, possibly the
very one in his possession when shot by Fairlie's party.

Other important miscellaneous work connected with the Rebellion or
Dinuzulu's case was done by the Police during the year. They were,
for instance, remarkably successful in capturing at Johannesburg and
elsewhere, and bringing to justice, the murderers of Sitshitshili,
Mpumela and two or three others previously referred to. These arrests
were effected before the end of February, and prior to the withdrawal
of martial law.

By the middle of March, so many of the outstanding rebels had either
surrendered or been captured, that the Governor was advised to release
about 2,000 of those still in gaol, leaving only 116, that is, men who
had been convicted of serious offences.


[Footnote 321: This referred to the bags of earth and barbed-wire
that had been placed by N.P. along the verandah of the court-house.
As Dinuzulu was known to be calling up an indefinite number of young
men from neighbouring Chiefs, on the pretext of hoeing his gardens,
it is not surprising the police, being a small military body, felt
it necessary to entrench themselves. One of the Chiefs appealed to
by Dinuzulu, Maboko by name, who had two years previously married a
sister of Dinuzulu, deposed as follows (24th Jan., 1908): "Just after
the first body of troops (_i.e._ the Police Reserves) had arrived
and camped at Nongoma, Dinuzulu sent me ... the following message:
That the Amakosi (meaning troops, not the main body) had arrived at
Nongoma, and he, therefore, asked me to send boys of my tribe to him
to do hoeing. These boys were to bring their weapons (_izikali_) with
them. They were to come stealthily (_nyenya_) by twos and threes. The
boys of the Mavalana and Hayelwengwenya regiments were said to be the
ones required.... In reply, I said: 'I cannot comply with Dinuzulu's
request, having regard to the fact that European forces have just
arrived at Nongoma, and seeing that Dinuzulu requires these boys to go
to him armed.'"--Cd. 3,998, p. 69.]

[Footnote 322: As seen from the foregoing note, the calling up was not
done _in the usual way_, as far as one Chief at any rate was concerned.]

[Footnote 323: And this in spite of having so 'bad a knee' three days
before as to be unable to proceed to the magistracy as directed!]

[Footnote 324: That is, Dinuzulu's surrender.]

[Footnote 325: Cd. 3,998, p. 14. As far back as March, 1907, Dinuzulu's
friend, Miss Harriette Colenso, had advised him in these terms: "If I
could advise those who are being sought after, I would say that anyone
who is aware that a serious charge is laid against him, had better take
a long leap until he reaches a safer place ... but any and every person
of no importance, who is merely panic-stricken, let him betake himself
to Sir C. Saunders at Eshowe, and perhaps (if you see fit) present
himself as having been advised by you, for thus they may be but little
condemned. For those who are in hiding are not only hurting themselves,
but they are the key that locks up the many who are in gaol, and who
are dying there. If only the matter of those who are in hiding could be
ended, we might venture to beseech the Governor, and you might join us
in our petition, for we (you and I) are not alone, there are others,
but we are stopped by the position of those who are in hiding."--Cd.
4,328, p. 24. This edifying counsel was not followed by Dinuzulu.
The spirit, however, of the advice, was followed exactly, _i.e._ do
anything rather than loyally surrender those who have deliberately
broken the law; it was just that advice that led to his ruin.]

[Footnote 326: Where Cetshwayo was captured in 1879.]

[Footnote 327: In the following year, however, chiefly owing to gross
misconduct towards the Magistrate, Greytown, when engaged collecting
taxes, Silwana was summoned by the Supreme Chief and, after inquiry,
deposed from his position and sent to live in another part of the
Colony. Such action rendered it necessary to divide the tribe into
parts, placing each under a separate Chief.]

[Footnote 328: Many of the unregistered guns were of the Martini-Henry,
Mauser, or Lee-Metford types.]

[Footnote 329: This Chief and his men were present, as also some 200
of Mpikanina's, though late in moving towards the road and drift; the
delay arose through having to search _dongas_, etc., for firearms.]

[Footnote 330: The guns were unlawfully in the possession of these
Natives, as was conclusively proved by letters and figures stamped



Within ten days of Dinuzulu's removal from Nongoma, a beginning was
made with the preliminary examination. Mr. T.R. Bennett, one of the
senior Magistrates, was appointed, by virtue of being a Justice of
the Peace for the Colony, to hold the inquiry, under the authority
of Ordinance No. 18, 1845. Mr. W.S. Bigby, an advocate of the Law
Department, appeared for the Crown, and Messrs. E. Renaud and R.C.A.
Samuelson for the accused. The examination was held at the Central
Gaol, Pietermaritzburg. The gaol rather than the Magistrate's
court-room was chosen so as to obviate the necessity of escorting the
prisoner twice daily through the streets of the town for the whole time
the examination lasted, viz. seven months. Numerous witnesses, mainly
Natives (of both sexes) gave evidence, much of it very lengthy. The
longer the inquiry continued, the better the understanding obtained
by those concerned of the case in all its bearings. Charges, at
first somewhat vague, soon began to assume definite shape, thereby
facilitating the labours of the prosecution, whilst confining the
efforts of the defence to specific issues. At the same time, much
evidence of a loose, general and hearsay character was given,
inevitable with Native witnesses, which, though it may have prejudiced,
and perhaps did prejudice, Dinuzulu to some extent in one way, often
benefited him in another; and the longer the inquiry lasted, the more
numerous were the opportunities of the evidence for the Crown being
weakened or deliberately undermined.

Ever since the beginning of the Rebellion, Dinuzulu's name had been
freely referred to in all parts of Natal and Zululand as associated
therewith. The great majority of Europeans regarded him as having
exerted a distinctly evil influence, whilst a few held he was rather
sinned against than sinning. The opportunity had at last come for
sifting things to the bottom. Of this the Government resolved to take
full advantage. It is, therefore, not surprising that the scope of the
inquiry was wide; that European and Native witnesses were exceptionally
numerous; that they had to be procured from all parts of Zululand,
Natal and the Transvaal; and that the investigation was as rigorous and
protracted as it was. At the same time, probably better results, from a
judicial as well as political point of view, would have been attained
by concluding it sooner.

Among the means available to Dinuzulu for meeting the expenses of his
defence was his salary of £500 per annum. This he had been in the habit
of drawing regularly from the Natal Government ever since his return
from St. Helena in 1898. As soon as he was arrested, however, the Natal
Government suspended payment, on the ground that he was no longer
discharging the functions in virtue of which it had been granted. As
the Imperial Government was concerned in his appointment as Chief, its
approval was sought, but, owing to a difference of opinion, this was

In order to appreciate the situation that then arose, it would be well
to refer to the conditions under which the Chief was repatriated,
quoted at length on p. 478.

The Natal Government's view was that: (i) Suspension of salary was in
accordance with universal practice, and the Imperial Colonial Service
rules; (ii) only so long as the Chief behaved well and obeyed the
laws laid down for his guidance would the salary not be withdrawn,
except with the approval of the Secretary of State; (iii) arrest
and detention carried with them suspension from the service of the
Government,--there was a clear distinction between _suspension_ from
office and salary, and _withdrawal_ of an office and salary. It was,
moreover, feared that the attitude of the Imperial Government would
prejudice the merits of the criminal proceedings being taken against
Dinuzulu, as well as embarrass the Natal Government in connection with
the demand that had already been made by Dinuzulu's legal advisers for
payment of the salary.

The Secretary of State consented neither to suspension nor to
withdrawal, and for these, among other, reasons: (i) According to
Imperial Colonial Service rules, proceedings for suspension are
not taken against a public officer pending criminal proceedings;
(ii) the case could not be dealt with as an ordinary civil service
appointment,--being without precedent, it should be dealt with on its
own merits; (iii) Dinuzulu's position, as Government Induna, could not,
even temporarily, be taken away without the approval of the Secretary
of State, and, before signifying such approval, it would be necessary
for the Natal Government to show satisfactorily that the Chief had
contravened the laws laid down for his guidance; suspension, therefore,
should follow and not precede the trial; (iv) Dinuzulu must be assumed
to be innocent until proved guilty; (v) it was most important, in
giving a fair trial, to leave him in possession of means to arrange for
his defence.

After several months' correspondence, with no prospect of a solution
being arrived at, the Imperial Government decided, on the 21st July,
"to pay the amount of Dinuzulu's salary, so far as it had accrued to
date," viz. £333 6s. 8d. This decision was at once taken the strongest
exception to in Natal and discussed at length a few days later in
Parliament, when the Attorney-General (The Hon. T.F. Carter) reviewed
the position at length. As, however, the Natal Ministry were equally
anxious with His Majesty's Government that the defence should not
be prejudiced for lack of funds, the Secretary of State was advised
that "whilst maintaining that their (Natal Ministers') contention is
correct on question of suspension, ... they are prepared, if approached
by Dinuzulu, to provide a sum of money to assist him in his defence."
Further discussion thereupon became unnecessary. On the 1st October
following, a sum of £500 was paid by the Natal Government to Dinuzulu's
agents for the purpose named.

The preliminary examination was finally closed on the 30th July, the
prisoner being formally committed for trial before such court as
might be directed by the Attorney-General, on the following charges:
High treason; public violence; sedition and rebellion; murder of, or
being accessory to murder of, or conspiring to murder, Gence; inciting
to murder Gence and Mapoyisa; contravening the Firearms Act, 1905.
Dinuzulu emphatically declared his innocence. He complained of an
opportunity not having been given him of "arranging" his defence. "A
selection of criminals," he added, "and of my personal enemies has been
made, to testify to deliberate untruths." His indunas Mankulumana and
Mgwaqo were committed at the same time, on charges of high treason. The
three examinations had extended over the period 23rd December, 1907, to
30th July, 1908.

Early steps were taken by Dinuzulu's friends to obtain the services of
one of the ablest lawyers in South Africa. The brief was offered to and
accepted by the Hon. W.P. Schreiner, K.C., formerly Premier of the Cape
Colony, though Mr. Schreiner did not proceed to Natal until a few days
before the trial began.[331]

The notorious rebel Cakijana, after evading the police in Zululand
and Natal, proceeded direct to Dinuzulu's friend, Miss Colenso, at
Bishopstowe. This took place on the 9th March, during the continuance
of martial law, and serves to show how necessary it was to maintain
such law in Zululand. Instead of promptly handing him and his companion
over to the police, Miss Colenso instructed an attorney at 10 p.m. to
take their statements at length. Only by working through the night
could this be done, and not till the day following were the rebels
put into a cab and conveyed by Miss Colenso to the Chief Commissioner
of Police. There is reason to suppose that Dinuzulu or his friends
in Pietermaritzburg had directed Cakijana to proceed to Bishopstowe
in connection with the defence. Thus, even principal rebels seem to
have been acting under the Chief's orders, and this whilst his own
preliminary examination on charges of high treason, sedition, murder,
etc., was actually in progress.

       *       *       *       *       *

The question has sometimes been discussed as to the advisability of
holding examinations, such as that of Dinuzulu, under the ordinary
law, even though, as in this instance, the trial takes place before a
specially-constituted court.

In the first place, the offences were of an unusual nature. As they did
not fall within the category of ordinary crimes, it would seem they
ought to have been treated abnormally. Special procedure was followed
in the cases of Langalibalele (in 1874) and Dinuzulu himself (in 1888),
whilst, during the Boer War, special courts were again appointed to
deal with European prisoners charged with high treason, sedition, etc.
Legislative authority under which this could have been done was wanting.

Owing to Dinuzulu's enormous influence in Natal and Zululand, witnesses
could be got to give evidence against him only with the greatest
difficulty, especially at the outset. Such influence was a most serious
obstacle to the Crown. The circumstances were exceptional. Particularly
those able to give the most incriminating evidence were in a chronic
state of fear, for they knew that a number of loyalists of high and
low rank had already been murdered at different times (presumably by
the order of Dinuzulu), at any rate it was generally so supposed. In
the act of giving evidence unreservedly in open court on behalf of the
Crown, they, too, became transformed into "loyalists" and "prominent
loyalists," and therefore marked men. Although most of the murderers
had, by the time the trial began, been apprehended, none had been tried
and punished. There was, therefore, in the eyes of the witnesses,
no guarantee that they would not, in some way or other, lose their
lives, seeing the friends of Dinuzulu had the right, under the law,
of having interviews with him from time to time. As for the witnesses
for the defence, they spoke without that peculiar sense of dread which
oppressed Native witnesses for the Crown, although every assurance
and visible means of protection were afforded the latter by the
Government. The spectacle, moreover, of these witnesses being liable
to the menacing influences of Dinuzulu and his friends, was extremely
detrimental to the prestige of the Government, especially in a country
occupied by over a million warlike savages.

To counteract this state of affairs, it became necessary, in
the absence of explicit provision in the law, to take certain
administrative action which, however, was at once strongly objected
to by counsel for the defence. For instance, martial law, proclaimed
on the 3rd December, was maintained without a break until the 11th
of August, 1908, although the primary reason on account of which it
had been promulgated, had ceased to exist within ten or twelve days
of such promulgation. The effect of this law, operating as it did
in Zululand alone, was to confer on the Crown the right of vetoing
entry of any and all persons into that territory, whose actions,
however well-intentioned, might have had the effect, in the opinion
of Government, of keeping alive the unrest and once again endangering
the peace, besides emboldening outstanding ringleaders to remain
still longer at large. That a number of Dinuzulu's legal advisers,
whilst vigorously procuring evidence in Zululand, would have promoted
unrest, quite apart from tending seriously to defeat the ends of
justice, needs only to be stated to be accepted by those who do not
happen to belong to that admirable but sometimes rather indiscreet

It was not until the beginning of March that the murderers had all been
arrested, and not till the 10th of the same month that Cakijana had

Whilst the examination was proceeding, the Magistrates at Nkandhla (B.
Colenbrander), Nongoma (G.W. Armstrong), and elsewhere, were actively
engaged accumulating evidence on behalf of the Crown, most of which,
of course, was given under martial law, though not on that account
improperly obtained. It is on record that such prominent witnesses as
Mangati, Cakijana, Rolela, Mayatana, Mgunguluzo and others all gave
their evidence voluntarily.

Another complaint was that a number of witnesses, whose evidence had
been taken, were not called at the preparatory examination. It was
consequently felt that the Crown was in possession of information,
possibly of vital importance, which was being withheld, with the object
of in some way injuring the prisoner. This is seen at once, by anyone
acquainted with criminal procedure, to be futile if not frivolous,
because, under the Ordinance of 1845, under which the preparatory
examination was held, the greatest latitude is given to the Crown,
particularly where crimes are only _supposed_ to have been committed.
It must be remembered that, although there was reason for believing
that Dinuzulu had committed two, three or more specific acts of high
treason, there was also ground for supposing that a number of other
similar offences had been committed. Such inference, to anyone who
has read the foregoing pages, especially those describing the state
of affairs at Usutu, is a perfectly legitimate one, especially as
Dinuzulu was known to have been surreptitiously communicating with the
Chiefs of various other tribes throughout Natal and Zululand ever
since the proclamation of the Poll Tax Act in 1905. Nothing, then, was
more imperative from the point of view of the Crown, than not only to
confine attention to such overt acts as had already come to notice, but
to make special, persevering, and exhaustive efforts to probe to the
bottom Dinuzulu's conduct throughout the whole period of unrest. The
Attorney-General and the Justice of the Peace, and all those working
under these officers, were within their rights in doing what they did,
as reference to the Ordinance would show. Indeed, when one comes to go
into this side of the case, he cannot but wonder that the prosecution
was, in some respects, as lenient and considerate as it was.

The appointment of a special officer to hold the inquiry was necessary,
as, for political reasons, it was desirable to remove the prisoner from
the district in which the various alleged offences had been committed
to another. The case, being an extraordinary one, of far greater
gravity than the one that occurred in 1888, it is not surprising
the Government did not foresee that the various difficulties above
referred to were likely to arise. Nor, for the same reason, could they
anticipate, except in a vague way, the profound effect that would be
created by Dinuzulu on Native witnesses of Zululand and Natal, even
when he was in custody.[333] In attempting resolutely, though not
illegally, to secure all rights and privileges, the impression was
given to the Defence that the endeavours of the Crown were dictated
more by bias and prejudice, than by a desire to ensure justice being
done. As the Crown was so active, and quite properly so, it is not to
be surprised at that the Defence displayed a like degree of energy.

Ever since the arrest, it was the intention of the Government that
the Zulu Chief should be tried by a civil tribunal. It would,
indeed, have been possible to have arraigned him before a general
or special court-martial. Such procedure, however, was not at any
time contemplated. In view of the great length of the case, it was
impossible to bring it before the Supreme Court, firstly, because
that court had quite as much work to do as it could manage, secondly,
because, under the law constituting it, it would have been necessary
to empanel a jury, and, with a jury of Europeans in a purely Native
case and one which had already excited so much animus against Dinuzulu,
the prisoner might have incurred serious risk. Instances had already
occurred in preceding years of miscarriages of justice, just as they
have arisen in other parts of South Africa, owing to jurymen allowing
their feelings to get the better of them. In these circumstances, it
was decided to create a new court consisting of three judges, similar
to the one which, in 1888, tried the same man and his uncles--a court
which, as far as could be seen, gave every satisfaction both to the
Crown and to the defence.

The Bill creating this court[334] was brought before Parliament in
July, _i.e._ shortly before the conclusion of Dinuzulu's examination.
It became law[335] on the 15th August. The judges appointed were:
Sir William Smith, Kt., Puisne Judge, Transvaal Supreme Court; Henri
G. Boshoff, Puisne Judge, Native High Court, Natal; and Henrique C.
Shepstone, C.M.G., ex-Secretary for Native Affairs, Natal.

It may not be out of place here to call attention to machinery in
another part of the Empire provided to meet contingencies similar in
some respects to those which confronted Natal in 1907. It is common
knowledge that political offences occur from time to time within the
Indian Empire. Only a few months ago, the world was startled to hear
of a bomb being thrown at His Majesty's representative, with severe
bodily injury to himself and fatal results to one of his attendants. In
regard to such crimes, delay of a year in bringing the accused to trial
could not occur. The procedure is governed by Act of India, No. 14,
1908, which provides for the Magistrate who has taken cognizance of the
offence, or any other Magistrate to whom the case may be transferred,
holding an inquiry on receipt of an order in writing to that effect
from the Governor-General-in-Council or the Local Government. Such
inquiry is for the object of seeing if "the evidence offered upon the
part of the prosecution is sufficient to put the accused upon his
trial" for the offence, and the Magistrate "shall, for that purpose,
record on oath the evidence of all such persons as may be produced
in support of the prosecution, and may record any statement of the
accused, if voluntarily tendered by him." The Act goes on to provide
that "_the accused shall not be present during the inquiry ... unless
the magistrate so directs, nor shall he be represented by a pleader
during any such inquiry, nor shall any person have any right of access
to the court of the magistrate while he is holding such inquiry_." If
the Magistrate is satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to put
accused upon his trial for the offence specified, he frames a charge,
makes an order directing the latter to be sent to the High Court for
trial, and causes him to be supplied with a copy of the order, of the
charge, and of the evidence taken. The Magistrate, moreover, has the
power of examining supplementary witnesses after the order for trial,
and before the commencement thereof.

Thus, we see, the Indian legislation governs, not only the trial, but
the whole of the preliminary examination, and accords the Crown far
greater facilities than were enjoyed by the Attorney-General in Natal
under the Ordinance. Provision, such as this, would go a long way
towards removing the various obstacles encountered by the Crown in
the Dinuzulu affair. Under the Indian law, no martial law is required
to exclude the accused or his lawyer from being present during the
inquiry.[336] There is not a word in the Indian Act about the existence
of martial law, and yet the procedure provided is of a far more rigid,
exclusive and seemingly unjust character than what counsel for the
defence took exception to in Natal. The Indian Act further stipulates
that all persons sent for trial shall be tried by a special bench of
the High Court, consisting of three judges, and that "no trial before
the special bench shall be by jury."

The Indian Court, although a special one, is always composed of judges
of the High Court, and, therefore, prepared to come automatically into
existence as soon as the occasion arises. In the case of the Natal
Act, the court ceased to exist when the objects for which it had been
appointed had been served, consequently, should similar offences arise
in the future, a fresh Act would be required.

It would seem, then, that the Union Government would be well-advised
to pass an Act similar in principle to the one above referred to. By
so doing, the disagreeable position Natal found herself in during
the trial of Dinuzulu would be largely mitigated by eliminating, _ab
initio_, elements of discord and all appearance of injustice.

       *       *       *       *       *

An Act indemnifying all authorities and persons acting under them, in
regard to acts during the existence of martial law, similar to that of
1906, was passed by the Legislature and assented to by the Governor
in August, immediately after which martial law was revoked (11th). A
decision was come to at the same time to appoint Mr. R.H. Addison,
acting Magistrate at Nongoma, Chief over the Usutu (Zulu) tribe, until
the result of Dinuzulu's trial had been made known. "The appointment
of a European Magistrate as Chief over a Native tribe, though not
frequent, is occasionally resorted to as a temporary measure when, in
circumstances like the present, it is considered desirable to keep in
close communication with the tribe, and there is no Native headman
through whom this can satisfactorily be done."[337]

After Dinuzulu's counsel had collected all the evidence they were able
and wished to do in Zululand, and their client's case had otherwise
been sufficiently prepared, arrangements were made for the Special
Court to begin its session at Greytown, viz. on the 3rd November.
The Town Hall was suitably fitted up for the purpose. The venue was
appropriate, seeing it was in the district in which the Rebellion
had started. Besides Dinuzulu, there were five other Natives to be
indicted. A beginning was made with the case of Cakijana, charged
with high treason. After a trial extending over a week, the prisoner
was found guilty and sentenced to seven years' imprisonment with hard
labour. Jombolwana, charged with the murder of Chief Sitshitshili, was
next tried. The sentence of death passed on him was carried out in

The trial of Dinuzulu, the most important event that had ever occurred
in Greytown, began on the 19th of November. The accused had, however,
already pleaded on the 10th to an indictment of high treason,
consisting of twenty-three counts. His plea was 'not guilty' to
each. The Attorney-General (The Hon. T.F. Carter, K.C.) with Messrs.
D. Calder, W.S. Bigby and G.E. Robinson, appeared for the Crown,
whilst the Hon. W.P. Schreiner, K.C., with Messrs. E. Renaud and
R.C.A. Samuelson, were for the defence. Among those specially, though
unofficially, concerned were Misses Harriette E. and Agnes M. Colenso.

Although a large number of European witnesses gave evidence, the case
was purely a Native one. The proceedings were conducted in English and
Zulu, the principal interpreter being Mr. J.W. Cross, J.P., one of the
senior Magistrates of the Colony, and Magistrate at Greytown, as will
be remembered, when the Rebellion broke out.

In view of the large numbers of witnesses required by the prosecution
and the defence, and the long duration of the trial, it became
necessary for separate camps to be erected for them.

At the beginning of the trials, considerable interest was taken in the
proceedings by residents of Greytown and neighbourhood. This, however,
soon began to wear off until Dinuzulu himself gave evidence and, later
on, when counsel for the Crown and for the Defence were addressing.

The Court adjourned on the 22nd December, and resumed on the 4th
January, 1909. The prosecution closed on the 18th. Beginning on the
following day, the defence terminated on the 23rd February. By this
time, the Court had sat sixty-seven days; ninety-five witnesses had
been examined for the Crown, and sixty-eight for the Defence.

Of the witnesses called for the prosecution, forty-seven were Europeans
and forty-eight Natives. Of those for the defence, sixty-four were
Natives, including Dinuzulu (who took no less than ten and a half days
to give his evidence), and four Europeans. The evidence amounted to no
less than 6,148 typed folio pages.

Mr. Carter addressed on the 24th and 25th, and Mr. Schreiner, beginning
on the 25th, concluded on the 2nd March.

Judgment was delivered on the 3rd, that is, on the seventy-third day's
sitting. The prisoner was found guilty of high treason: (_a_) by
harbouring and concealing Bambata's wife and children for over fifteen
months; (_b_) by harbouring and assisting the ringleaders Bambata and
Mangati during the actual progress of the Rebellion; and (_c_) by
harbouring and concealing 125 named and other rebels at various times
between May, 1906 (when the Rebellion was at its height), and the date
of his arrest.

With regard to the most serious count of which he was found not guilty,
one of the judges felt it necessary to say: "The matter has given me a
great deal of concern, and, up to this very morning, the thought has
occurred to me again and again whether it would not be my duty to stand
out from the majority of the Court in the conclusion to which they have
arrived on this point." There "certainly is evidence which makes one
hesitate very much, as far as I am concerned, in giving the prisoner a
clean bill."


 K.C., M.LA.,            Advocate.                     Attorney.
Senior Counsel for
the Defence.


The Attorney-General had already withdrawn two counts whilst some
of the others unavoidably overlapped, consequently it was felt
unnecessary to consider them. In respect of one, the Judge President
said as "two of the alleged conspirators are to be tried before this
court ... I think it better that we should give no finding." Dinuzulu,
after admitting a previous conviction for high treason in April, 1889,
(his age then being between twenty-one and twenty-two) was sentenced to
four years' imprisonment in respect of (_b_) and (_c_) "to date from
the 9th day of December, 1907" (_i.e._ the date of his surrender), and
a fine of £100 or twelve months' imprisonment in respect of (_a_), the
"twelve months to be cumulative, not concurrent."

Thus ended a State trial which will long be remembered in South Africa.
Remarkable for its intricacy and duration, it was even more so for the
deep and sustained interest aroused by its various issues among all
sections of the community, in Natal and Zululand, throughout South
Africa, and in England and elsewhere. Although practically the whole
of the evidence for the Crown and the Defence was laid by the press
before the public, attention tended to become more and more focussed on
the judgment of the court, a judgment from which there was no appeal.
And it was generally anticipated and hoped that such judgment would
supply a complete and decisive answer to the question as to the exact
extent to which Dinuzulu was implicated in the Rebellion of 1906. It
is, however, impossible to deny that the judgment, notwithstanding
the honest, persevering and exhaustive efforts of the Bench and the
Bar, failed to carry conviction home to many who, having followed
the proceedings, were at least familiar with the principal features.
Convicted on but three counts (and these not including the most
important) out of twenty-three, Dinuzulu was commonly believed to
have escaped far more lightly than he deserved, or than the evidence
appeared to permit. But, owing to the extreme length and complexity
of the case, people felt they had to be content with the result, as
there was neither opportunity nor inclination to examine the masses of
evidence for themselves in detail.

The result of the conviction, as anticipated by the President when
passing sentence, was that Dinuzulu not only forfeited the position of
Government Induna, but was formally deposed from his chieftainship.

To have left standing the Usutu kraal or the house constructed for him
at Eshowe, would have been but to perpetuate an impression amongst
a credulous people, that a Chief, convicted for the second time
of high treason, was returning to the country. It was because the
Natal Government could not for a moment contemplate such contingency
that the establishments were either removed or dismantled. Other
action, moreover, had to be taken. When the ex-Chief was arrested, as
previously pointed out, headmen were appointed to take charge of the
tribe. The arrangement, however, was purely temporary. But with the
deposition of the Chief, it became necessary to introduce some more
permanent and final arrangement. It was decided to break the tribe
up into three parts, and attach a section to each of three adjoining
tribes. Under the circumstances, the settlement gave satisfaction to
all concerned, and has continued to work well from that day to this.

       *       *       *       *       *

On the conclusion of the trial, the President of the Court (Sir William
Smith) returned to the Transvaal, his place being taken by Mr. Justice
Dove Wilson of the Natal Supreme Court; Mr. Schreiner, too, went back
to Cape Town. Dinuzulu was removed to Pietermaritzburg.

It is but right here to call attention to the fact that notwithstanding
the consummate ability with which Mr. Schreiner had defended Dinuzulu,
necessitating absence from his practice at Cape Town for a period of
over four months--thereby, no doubt, involving him in considerable
pecuniary loss--the whole of his services in connection with the trial
were given gratis, an act which cannot but redound to his credit,
especially when one considers the inability of the prisoner or his
friends to pay such heavy charges as Mr. Schreiner might very properly
have made.

Instead of Greytown, the venue for the remaining cases became
Pietermaritzburg. Dinuzulu's indunas Mankulumana and Mgwaqo, also
charged with high treason, were tried on the 9th and 10th of March, the
Attorney-General prosecuting and Mr. Renaud appearing on behalf of the
accused. Both were found guilty of three counts in the indictment. The
former was sentenced to nine, and the latter to fifteen, months--in
respect of two counts--whilst both were sentenced to a fine of £50 or
eight months' imprisonment in respect of the third. In passing the
sentences, account was taken of the fact that they had already been
fifteen months in gaol.

As soon as the Union of the South African Colonies became imminent, and
shortly after the conclusion of Dinuzulu's trial, the Natal Ministry
proposed to the future Prime Minister the desirability of removing
Dinuzulu to some suitable part of South Africa, beyond the borders of
Natal. It was recommended that such portion of the sentence as remained
unexpired on the advent of Union should be remitted on condition that
the foregoing settlement was agreed to by the prisoner. The suggestion
at once met with the approval of General Botha. Dinuzulu was thereupon
taken from Pietermaritzburg to Newcastle, so as to be in readiness to
conform to the terms of his proposed release. He, however, was not
made acquainted with the reasons for his removal to Newcastle, except
that that place was regarded as more beneficial for his health than
Pietermaritzburg had appeared to be. Union came into force on the 31st
May, 1910. Towards the end of that month, Mr. J.C. Krogh, one of the
senior Magistrates of the Transvaal and formerly Special Commissioner
in Swaziland, was instructed by General Botha to proceed to Newcastle
and there, assisted by the Magistrate, Mr. B. Colenbrander, interview
Dinuzulu with the object of placing before him, and securing his
acceptance of, the following proposition, which the ex-Chief was told
General Botha was prepared to recommend to the Governor-General:

That he should be released from prison and the remainder of his
sentence remitted on the following conditions:

(_a_) Acceptance of domicile in the Transvaal at a place to be put at
his disposal by the Government.

(_b_) That, as from the date of release, his salary of £500 per annum
be again paid to him during good behaviour.

The result of the interview was that Dinuzulu unreservedly accepted
the conditions, and signed a formal document to that effect. On the
31st, the authority of the Governor-General-in-Council having been
obtained, and with the knowledge of Dinuzulu's friends (Miss Colenso
and the Hon. W.P. Schreiner), Dinuzulu was released and left Newcastle
by the afternoon train for Pretoria. At Pretoria, he came under the
Native Affairs Department of the Union, it being arranged that all
instructions would, in future, be received by him from or through that

Steps were taken to secure a farm on which he, his family and immediate
dependants could reside, with sufficient ground for agriculture,
grazing, etc. Some difficulty was at first experienced in finding land
suitable for one who, like Dinuzulu, had lived most of his life in the
mild climate of northern Zululand. The farm Rietfontein, seven or eight
miles from Middleburg, was eventually selected. To this he proceeded
early in 1911, accompanied by certain members of his family; his induna
Mankulumana was also permitted to join him.

The release, prior to expiration of the sentence and on the terms above
set forth, was generally approved in Natal, as also throughout South
Africa, and in England.

Almost simultaneously with Dinuzulu's expatriation, those Native
rebels who were still in prison, including the ones at St. Helena,
were released and allowed to return to their districts, except such
ex-Chiefs as Ndhlovu and Meseni, who were obliged to take up their
residence in districts other than their own.


[Footnote 331: Ten days after Dinuzulu's arrest, Mr. E.G. Jellicoe,
K.C., an English barrister, was selected to assist Mr. Renaud in the
defence. He arrived in Pietermaritzburg on the 19th January, attended
the examination on two or three occasions, after which, because unable
to make the Government conform to his wishes in various particulars, he
threw up the brief and, on the 7th February, returned to England.]

[Footnote 332: As soon as martial law was withdrawn, counsel for the
defence proceeded to Zululand to work up their case, a period of two
months being allowed before the accused was brought to trial.]

[Footnote 333: In 1888, although preliminary examinations were held,
the same difficulties were not experienced. The reason for this was
that the issues were far simpler than those of 1907.]

[Footnote 334: For trying, not only Dinuzulu, but other Native
political prisoners.]

[Footnote 335: Act No. 8, 1908.]

[Footnote 336: Many of the depositions in Dinuzulu's case were taken in
Nkandhla district whilst the country was still under martial law.]

[Footnote 337: Cd. 4328, p. 92.]



The amount of misunderstanding that has arisen in connection with
Dinuzulu, both in England and South Africa, is astonishing. Probably
no other case in South Africa has called forth quite such volumes of
criticism and vituperation. Natal has been accused of following towards
him a policy of petty injustice and malice--either because of refusal
to hold a non-judicial inquiry; or because, when the ex-Chief was
arrested, it suspended his salary without the consent of the Imperial
Government; or for deferring release of the rank and file of the
rebels; or maintaining martial law longer than appeared necessary, or
for some other reason. In these and other connections, the Colony and
its public officers have been reviled and held up to scorn by those who
did not know the facts, or did not care to know them. As Natal is still
held by various persons, chiefly such as live outside her borders,
to have been mistaken, and Dinuzulu nothing but a martyr to official
spleen and vindictiveness, it is perhaps not unfitting, in a work of
this kind, that an attempt should be made to examine the position from
a somewhat wider point of view than was possible during the trial or,
indeed, on any other occasion.

       *       *       *       *       *

The history of the Zulus has already been dealt with briefly in the
Introduction, whilst the earlier events in Dinuzulu's life have also
been touched on here and there. It is necessary now to consider the
position he assumed on his return from St. Helena in 1898.

During the latter portion of his imprisonment, a great deal of
agitation arose among the colonists in favour of Zululand being annexed
to Natal, largely because land was required for growing sugar. As the
Imperial Government had, since 1887, been directly responsible for the
management of Zululand; as the cost of that territory's administration
was constantly increasing; and because of the agitation referred
to, a settlement was necessary under which Natal would assume the
administration and become responsible for Native affairs.

So anxious was the Imperial Government to repatriate the prisoners,
that negotiations with Natal began in the year following that in
which responsible government was granted. The desire was that they
should return as soon as possible. The Natal Government, however,
repeatedly urged postponement of the execution of such decision. But,
as the Imperial Government was wholly responsible for sending Dinuzulu
to St. Helena, and as his stay there depended on the length of his
sentence, it was essential to bear in mind that repatriation was later
on inevitable. It was accordingly resolved to make this one of the
conditions of annexation. The agreement finally arrived at between the
Governments was that, although Dinuzulu was to be restored, he should
not return until Zululand had been actually annexed, and then only on
condition that he agreed to become a servant of the Natal Government
at a salary of £500 per annum, and to serve in the capacities of
Induna and Chief on clearly defined terms. These terms, being of
great importance in appreciating the position and difficulties that
subsequently arose, are set forth _in extenso_:

"Dinuzulu will be taken into the service of the Government of Zululand,
his position being that of Government