1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Zululand
Zululand, a country of south east Africa, forming the N.E. part of the province of Natal in the Union of South Africa. The “Province of Zululand,” as it was officially styled from 1898 to 1910, lies between 26° 50′ and 29° 15′ S. and 30° 40′ and 33° E, and has an area of 10,450 sq. m. It includes in the north the country of the Ama Tonga, Zaambanland, and other small territories not part of the former Zulu kingdom and stretches north from the lower Tugela to the southern frontier of Portuguese East Africa. Bounded S.E. by the Indian Ocean it has a coast line of 210 m. North and north west it is bounded by the Utrecht and Vryheid districts of Natal and by Swaziland. Its greatest length in a direct line is 185 m., its greatest breadth 105 m. (For map see South Africa.)
Physical Features.—Zululand is part of the region of hills and plateaus which descend seaward from the Drakensberg—the great mountain chain which buttresses the vast tableland of inner South Africa. The coast, which curves to the N.E., is marked by a line of sandhills covered with thick bush and rising in places to a height of 500 ft. There are occasional outcrops of rock and low perpendicular cliffs. Behind the sandhills is a low-lying plain in which are a number of shallow lagoons. Of these St Lucia Lake and Kosi Lake are of considerable size and communicate with the sea by estuaries. St Lucia, the larger of the two, is some 35 m. long by 10 m. broad with a depth of 9 to 10 ft. It runs parallel to the ocean, from which it is separated by sandhills. The opening to the sea, St Lucia river is at the south end. Kosi Lake lies further north, in Tongaland. It is not more than half the size of St Lucia and its opening to the sea is northward. Between Kosi and St Lucia lakes lies Lake Sibayi, close to the coast but not communicating with the sea.. The coast plain extends inland from 5 to 30 m., increasing in width northward, the whole of Tongaland being low-lying. The rest of the country is occupied by ranges of hills and plateaus 2000 to 4000 ft. above sea level. Behind Eshowe, in the south, are the Entumeni Hills (3000 ftm), beyond which stretch the Nkandhla uplands (rising to 4500 ft.), densely wooded in parts and abounding in flat-topped hills with precipitous sides. Westward of the uplands are the Kyudeni Hills (5000 ft.), also densely wooded, situated near the junction of the Buffalo and Tugela rivers. Further north, along the S.W. frontier, are Isandhlwana and the Nqutu hills. To the N.W. the Lebombo Mts. (1800 to 2000 ft.) which separate the coast plains from the interior, mark the frontier between Swaziland and Zululand. On their eastern (Zululand) side the slope of the Lebombo mountains is gentle, but on the west they fall abruptly to the plain.
The geological structure of the country is comparatively simple, consisting in the main of plateaus formed of sedimentary rocks, resting on a platform of granitic and metamorphic rocks (see Natal: Geology).
The country is well watered. Rising in the high tablelands or on the slopes of the Drakensberg or Lebombo mountains the rivers in their upper courses have a great slope and a high velocity. In the coast plains they become deep and sluggish. Their mouths are blocked by sand bars, which in the dry season check their flow and produce the lagoons and marshes which characterize the coast. After the rains the rivers usually clear the bars for a time. The following are the chief rivers in part or in whole travering the country.—The Pongola, in its lower course, flows through Tongaland peircing the Lebombo Mts. through a deep, narrow gorge with precipitous sides. Its point of confluence with the Maputa (which empties into Delagoa Bay) marks the parallel along which the frontier between Zululand and Portuguese East Africa is drawn. The Umgavuma which rises in Swaziland and also pierces the Lebombo, joins the Pongola about ten miles above its confluence with the Maputa. The Umkuzi which rises in the Vryheid district of Natal forces its way through the Lebombo Mts. at their southern end and flows into the northern end of St Lucia Lake. The Umfolosi, with two main branches the Black and White Umfolosi, drains the central part of the country and reaches the ocean at St Lucia Bay. In the bed of the White Umfolosi are dangerous quicksands. Farther south the Umhlatuzi empties into a lagoon which communicates with the ocean by Richards Bay. For a considerable part of their course the Blood, Buffalo and Tugela rivers form the S.W. frontier of Zululand (see Tugela). There are numerous other rivers—every valley has its stream for the most part unnavigable.
Climate.—The climate of the coast belt is semi-tropical and malaria is prevalent, that of the highlands temperate. The summer is the rainy season, but in the higher country snow and sleet are not uncommon in the winter months of May, June and July. On the coast about 40 in. of rain fall in the summer months and about 7 in. in the winter months. A fresh S.E. wind is fairly constant in the inland regions during the middle of the day. A hot wind from the N.W. is occasionally experienced in the highlands.
Flora and Fauna.—The coast plain (in large part), the river valleys, and the eastern sides of the lower hills are covered with mimosa and other thorn trees. This is generally known as thornbush and has little undergrowth. “Coast forests” grow in small patches along the lower courses of the rivers, at their mouths, and on the sandhills along the coast. They contain stunted timber trees, palms, mangroves and other tropical and sub-tropical plants and have an almost impenetrable undergrowth. The largest coast forest is that of Dukuduku, some 9 m. by 15 m. in extent, adjacent to St Lucia Bay. The upland regions are those of high timber forests, the trees including the yellow-wood and iron-wood. The most noteworthy timber forests are those of Nkandhla and Kyudeni and that near Ehshowe. Large areas of the plateau are covered with grass and occasional thorn trees. Orchids are among the common flowers.
The fauna includes the lion and elephant, found in the neighbourhood of the Portuguese frontier (the lion was also found as late as 1895 in the Ndwandwe district), the white and the black rhinoceros, the leopard, panther, jackal, spotted hyena, aard-wolf, buffalo, zebra, gnu, impala, inyala, oribi, hartebeeste, kudu, springbok, waterbuck, eland, roan antelope, duiker, &c., hares and rabbits. Hippopotami are found on the coast, and alligators are common in the rivers and lagoons of the low country. Venomous snakes abound. The great kori bustard, the koorhan, turkey buzzards (known as insingisi), wild duck, and paauw are among the game birds. The ostrich and secretary bird are also found. Of domestic animals the Zulus possess a dwarf breed of smooth-skinned humped cattle. Locusts are an occasional pest.
Inhabitants.—The population in 1904 was estimated at 230,000. Of these only 5635 lived outside the area devoted to native locations. The white population numbered 1693. The vast majority of the natives are Zulu (see Kaffirs), but there is a settlement of some 2000 Basutos in the Nqutu district. After the establishment of the Zulu military ascendancy early in the 19th century various Zulu hordes successively invaded and overran a great part of east-central Africa, as far as and even beyond the Lake Nyasa district. Throughout these regions they are variously known as Ma Zitu, Ma Ravi, Wa-Ngoni (Angoni), Matabele (Ama Ndebeli), Ma Viti, and Aba-Zanzi. Such was the terror insprred by these fierce warriors that many of the tribes, such as the Wa Nindi of Mozambique, adopted the name of their conquerors or oppressors. Hence the impression that the true Zulu are far more numerous north of the Limpopo than has ever been the case. In most places they have become extinct or absorbed in the surrounding populations owing to their habit of incorporating prisoners in the tribe. But they still hold their ground as the ruling element in the region between the Limpopo and the middle Zambezi, which from them takes the name of Matabeleland. The circumstances and history of the two chief migrations of Zulu peoples northward are well known, the Matabele were led by Mosilikatze (Umsiligazi), and the Angoni by Sungandaba, both chiefs of Chaka who revolted from him in the early 19th century.
The Zulu possess an elaborate system of laws regulating the inheritance of personal property (which consists chiefly of cattle), the complexity arising from the practice of polygamy and the exchange of cattle made upon marriage. The giving of cattle in the latter case is generally referred to as a barter and sale of the bride from which indeed it is not easily distinguishable. But it is regarded in a different light by the natives. The kraal is under the immediate rule of its headman, who is a patriarch responsible for the good behaviour of all its members. Over the headman, whose authority may extend to more than one kraal, is the tribal chief, and above the tribal chief was the king, whose authority is now exercised by a British commissioner. By the custom of hlompa a woman carefully avoids meeting her husband’s parents or the utterance of any word which occurs in the names of the principal members of her husband’s family, e.g. if she have a brother-in-law named U’Nkomo, she would not use the Zulu for “cow,” inkomo, but would invent some other word for it. The husband observes the same custom with regard to his mother-in-law. The employment of “witch doctors” for “smelling out” criminals or abatagati (usually translated “wizards,” but meaning evildoers of any kind, such as poisoners) once common in Zululand as in neighbouring countries, was discouraged by Cetywayo, who established “kraals of refuge” for the reception of persons rescued by him from condemnation as abatagati. “Smelling out” was finally suppressed by the British in the early years of the 20th century. (For the Zulu speech see Bantu Languages.)
Towns.—The Zulus live in kraals, circular enclosures with, generally, a ring fence inside forming a cattle pen. Between this fence and the outer fencing are the huts of the inhabitants. The royal kraal for a considerable period was at Ulundi, in the valley of the White Umfolosi. The last king to occupy it was Cetywayo. Dinizulu’s kraal was farther north near the Ndwandwe magistracy. The chief white settlements are Eshowe and Melmoth. Eshowe (pop. 1904, 1855 of whom 570 were whites) is about 95 m. N.E. of Durban, lies 15 m. inland and some 1800 ft. above the sea. Eshowe is 2 m. W. of the mission station of the same name in which Col. Pearson was besieged by the Zulus in 1879, and was laid out in 1883. It is picturesquely situated on a well-wooded plateau and has a bracing climate. Two hundred acres of forest land in the centre of the town have been reserved as a natural park. Melmoth, 25 m. N.N.E. of Eshowe, lies in the centre of a district farmed by Boers. Somkele is the headquarters of the St Lucia coal fields district. Nkandhla is a small settlement in the south-west of the country.
Communications.—Notwithstanding its 210 m. of coast-line Zululand possesses no harbours. Thirty-six miles N.E. of the mouth of the Tugela there is, however, fairly safe anchorage, except in S.S.W. or W. winds, about 1500 yds. from the shore. The landing-place is on the open sandy beach, where a small stream enters the sea. This landing-place is dignified with the name of Port Durnford. It was used to land stores in the war of 1879. Well-made roads connect all the magistracies. The Tugela is crossed by well-known drifts, to which roads from Natal and Zululand converge. Two, the Lower Tugela and Bond’s Drift, are both near the mouth of the river. The Middle Drift is 36 m. in a direct line above the mouth of the Tugela. Rorke’s Drift, 48 m., also in a direct line above the Middle Drift, is a crossing of the Buffalo river a little above the Tugela confluence. A railway, completed in 1904, which begins at Durban and crosses into Zululand by a bridge over the Tugela near the Lower Drift, runs along the coast belt over nearly level country to the St Lucia coal-fields in Hlabisa magistracy—167 m. from Durban of which 98 are in Zululand. There is telegraphic communication between the magistracies and townships and with Natal.
Industries.—The Zulu gives little attention to the cultivation of the soil. Their main wealth consists in their herds of cattle and flocks of sheep. They raise, however, crops of maize, millet, sweet potatoes and tobacco. Sugar, tea and coffee are grown in the coast belt by whites. Anthracite is mined in the St Lucia Bay district, and bituminous coal is found in the Nqutu and Kyudeni hills. Gold, iron, copper and other minerals have also been found, but the mineral wealth of the country is undeveloped. There is a considerable trade with the natives in cotton goods &c. and numbers of Zulu seek service in Natal. (Trade statistics are included in those of Natal.)
Administration.—Zululand for provincial purposes is governed by the provnncial council of Natal, otherwise it is subject to the Union parliament, to which it returns one member of the House of Assembly. It was formerly represented in the Natal legislature by three members, one member sitting in the Legislative Council and two being elected to the Legislative Assembly, one each for the districts of Eshowe and Melmoth. Their selection and election were governed by the same laws as in Natal proper, and on the establishment of the Union the franchise qualifications—which practically exclude natives—remained unaltered. The parliamentary voters in 1910 numbered 1442. The executive power is in the hands of a civil commissioner whose residence is at Eshowe. Zululand is divided into eleven magistracies and the district of Tongaland (also called Mputa or Amaputaland). In the magistracies the authority of the chiefs and indumas (headmen) is exercised under the control of resident magistrates. The Ama-Tonga enjoy a larger measure of home rule, but are under the general supervision of the civil commissioner. The Ingwavuma magistracy, like Tongaland, formed no part of the dominions of the Zulu kings, but was ruled by independent chiefs until its annexation by Great Britain in 1895.
With the exception of the townships and a district of Emtonjaneni magistracy known as “Proviso B,” mainly occupied by Boer farmers, all the land was vested in the crown and very little has been parted with to Europeans. The crown lands are, in effect, native reserves. A hut tax of 14s. per annum is levied on all natives. The tax has to be paid for each wife a Zulu may possess, whether or not each wife has a separate hut. Since 1906 a poll tax of £1 a head is also levied on all males over eighteen, European or native.
History.—At what period the Zulu (one of a number of closely allied septs) first reached the country to which they have given their name is uncertain, they were probably settled in the valley of the White Umfolosi river at the beginning of the 17th century, and they take their name from a chief who flourished about that time. The earliest record of contact between Europeans and the Zulu race is believed to be the account of the wreck of the “Doddington” in 1756. The survivors met with hospitable treatment at the hands of the natives of Natal, and afterwards proceeded up the coast to St Lucia Bay. They describe the natives as “very proud and haughty, and not so accommodating as those lately left.” They differed from the other natives in the superior neatness of their method of preparing their food, and were more cleanly in their persons, bathing every morning, apparently as an act of devotion. Their chief pride seemed to be to keep their hair in order. It is added that they watched strictly over their women.
At the close of the 18th century the Zulu were an unimportant tribe numbering a few thousands only. At that time the most powerful of the neighbouring tribes was the Umtetwe (mTetwa or Aba-Tetwa) which dwelt in the country north-east of the Tugela. The ruler of the Umtetwa was a chief who had had in early life an adventurous career and was known as Dingiswayo (the Wanderer). Rise of the Zulu nation.He had lived in Cape Colony, and there, as is supposed, had observed the manner in which the whites formed their soldiers into disciplined regiments. He too divided the young men of his tribe into impis (regiments), and the Umtetwa became a formidable military power. Dingiswayo also encouraged trade and opened relations with the Portuguese at Delagoa Bay, bartering ivory and oxen for brass and beads. In 1805 he was joined by Chaka, otherwise Tshaka (born c. 1783), the son of the Zulu chief Senzangakona, on the latter’s death in 1810 Chaka, through the influence of Dingiswayo, was chosen as ruler of the Ama-Zulu, though not the rightful heir. Chaka joined in his patron’s raids, and in 1812 the Umtetwa and Zulu drove the Amangwana across the Buffalo river. About this time Dingiswayo was captured and put to death by Zwide, chief of the Undwandwe clan, with whom he had waged constant war. The Umtetwa army then placed themselves under Chaka, who not long afterwards conquered the Undwandwe. By the incorporation of these tribes Chaka made of the Zulu a powerful nation. Chaka.He strengthened the regimental system adopted by Dingiswayo and perfected the discipline of his army. A new order of battle was adopted—the troops being massed in crescent formation, with a reserve in the shape of a parallelogram ready to strengthen the weakest point. Probably Chaka’s greatest innovation was the introduction of the stabbing assegai. The breaking short of the shaft of the assegai when the weapon was used at close quarters was already a common practice among the Ama-Zulu, but Chaka had the shaft of the assegais made short, and their blades longer and heavier, so that they could be used for cutting or piercing. At the same time the size of the shield was increased, the more completely to cover the body of the warrior. Military kraals were formed in which the warriors were kept apart. Members of a regiment were of much the same age, and the young warriors were forbidden to marry until they had distinguished themselves in battle.
Chaka had but two ways of dealing with the tribes with whom he came in contact, either they received permission to be incorporated in the Zulu nation or they were practically exterminated. In the latter case the only persons spared were young girls and growing lads who could serve as carriers for the army. No tribe against which he waged war was able successfully to oppose the Zulu arms. At first Chaka turned his attention northward. Those who could fled before him, the first of importance so to do being a chief named Swangendaba (Sungandaba), whose tribe, of the same stock as the Zulu, was known as Angoni. He was followed by another tribe, which under Manikusa for many years ravaged the district around and north of Delagoa Bay (see Gazaland). Chaka next attacked the tribes on his southern border, and by 1820 had made himself master of Natal, which he swept almost clear of inhabitants. It was about 1820 that Mosilikatze (properly Umsilikazi), a general in the Zulu army, having incurred Chaka’s wrath by keeping back part of the booty taken in an expedition, fled with a large following across the Drakensberg and began to lay waste a great part of the country between the Vaal and Limpopo rivers. Mosilikatze was not of the Zulu tribe proper, and he and his followers styled themselves Abaka Zulu. Chaka’s own dominions, despite his conquests, were not very extensive. He ruled from the Pongolo river on the north to the Umkomanzi river on the south, and inland his power extended to the foot of the Drakensberg, thus his territory coincided almost exactly with the limits of Zululand and Natal as constituted in 1903. His influence, however, extended from the Limpopo to the borders of Cape Colony, and through the ravages of Swangendaba and Mosilikatze the terror of the Zulu arms was carried far and wide into the interior of the continent.
Arrival of the British.Chaka seems to have first come into contact with Europeans in 1824. In that year (see Natal) he was visited by F. G. Farewell and a few companions, and to them he made a grant of the district of Port Natal. Farewell found the king at Umgungindhlovu, the royal kraal on the White Umfolosi, “surrounded by a large number of chiefs and about 8000 or 9000 armed men, observing a state and ceremony in our introduction little expected.” At this time an attempt was made to murder Chaka, but the wound he received was cured by one of Farewell’s companions, a circumstance which made the king very friendly to Europeans. Anxious to open a political connexion with the Cape and British governments, Chaka entrusted early in 1828 one of his principal chiefs, Sotobi, and a companion to the care of J. S. King, one of the Natal settlers, to be conducted on an embassage to Cape Town, Sotobi being commissioned to proceed to the king of England. But they were not allowed to proceed beyond Port Elizabeth, and three months later were sent back to Zululand. In July of the same year Chaka sent an army westward which laid waste the Pondo country. The Zulu force did not come into contact with the British troops guardrng the Cape frontier, but much alarm was caused by the invasion. In November envoys from Chaka reached Cape Town, and it was determined to send a British officer to Zululand to confer with him. Before this embassy started, news came that Chaka had been murdered (23rd of September 1828) at a military kraal on the Umvote about fifty miles from Port Natal. Chaka was a victim to a conspiracy by his half brothers Dingaan and Umthlangana, while a short time afterwards Dingaan murdered Umthlangana, overcame the opposition of a third brother, and made himself king of the Zulu.
Dingaan.Bloodstained as had been Chaka’s rule, that of Dingaan appears to have exceeded it in wanton cruelty, as is attested by several trustworthy European travellers and merchants who now with some frequency visited Zululand. The British settlers at Port Natal were alternately terrorized and conciliated. In 1835 Dingaan gave permission to the British settlers at Port Natal to establish missionary stations in the country, in return for a promise made by the settlers not to harbour fugitives from his dominions. In 1836 American missionaries were also allowed to open stations, in 1837 he permitted the Rev F. Owen, of the Church Missionary Society, to reside at his great kraal, and Owen was with the king when in November 1837, he received Pieter Retief, the leader of the first party of Boer immigrants to enter Natal.
Arrival of the Boers.Coming over the Drakensberg in considerable numbers during 1837, the Boers found the land stretching south from the mountains almost deserted, and Retief went to Dingaan to obtain a formal cession of the country west of the Tugela, which river the Zulu recognized as the boundary of Zululand proper. After agreeing to Retief’s request Dingaan caused the Boer leader and his companions to be murdered (6th of February 1838), following up his treachery by slaying as many as possible of the other Boers who had entered Natal. After two unsuccessful attempts to avenge their slain, in which the Boers were aided by the British settlers at Port Natal, Dingaan’s army was totally defeated on the 16th of December 1838, by a Boer force under Andries Pretorius. Operating in open country, mounted on horseback, and with rifles in their hands, the Boer farmers were able to inflict fearful losses on their enemy, while their own casualties were few. On “Dingaan’s day” the Boer force received the attack of the Zulu while in laager, the enemy charged in dense masses, being met both by cannon shot and rifle fire, and were presently attacked in the rear by mounted Boers. After the defeat Dingaan set fire to the royal kraal (Umgungindhlovu) and for a time took refuge in the bush, on the Boers recrossing the Tugela he established himself at Ulundi at a little distance from his former capital. His power was greatly weakened and a year later was overthrown, the Boers in Natal (January 1840) supporting his brother Mpande (usually called Panda) in rebellion against him. The movement was completely successful, several of Dingaan’s regiments going over to Panda. Dingaan passed into Swaziland in advance of his retreating forces, and was there murdered, while Panda was crowned king of Zululand by the Boers.
Panda.When in 1843 the British succeeded the Boers as masters of Natal they entered into a treaty with Panda, who gave up to the British the country between the upper Tugela and the Buffalo rivers, and also the district of St Lucia Bay. (The bay was not then occupied by the British, whose object in obtaining the cession was to prevent its acquisition by the Boers. Long afterwards the treaty with Panda was successfully invoked to prevent a German occupation of the bay.) No sooner had the British become possessed of Natal than there was a large immigration into it of Zulu fleeing from the misgovernment of Panda. That chief was not, however, as warlike as his brothers Chaka and Dingaan, and he remained throughout his reign at peace with the government of Natal. With the Boers who had settled in the Transvaal, however, he was involved in various frontier disputes. He had wars with the Swazis, who in 1855 ceded to the Boers of Lydenburg a tract of land on the north side of the Pongolo in order to place Europeans between themselves and the Zulu. In 1856 a civil war broke out between two of Panda’s sons, Cetywayo and Umbulazi, who were rival claimants for the succession. A battle was fought between them on the banks of the Tugela in December 1856, in which Umbulazi and many of his followers were slain. The Zulu country continued, however, excited and disturbed until the government of Natal in 1861 obtained the formal nomination of a successor to Panda, and Cetywayo was appointed. The agent chosen to preside at the nomination ceremony was Mr (afterwards Sir) Theophilus Shepstone, who was in charge of native affairs in Natal and had won in a remarkable degree the respect and liking of the Zulu. Panda died in October 1872, but practically the government of Zululand had been in Cetywayo’s hands since the victory of 1856, owing both to political circumstances and the failing health of his father. In 1873 the Zulu nation appealed to the Natal government to preside over the installation of Cetywayo as king, and this request was acceded to, Shepstone being again chosen as British representative. During the whole of Panda’s reign the condition of Zululand showed little improvement. Bishop Colenso visited him in 1857 and obtained a grant of land for a mission station, which was opened in 1860, by the Rev. R. Robertson, who laboured in the country for many years gaining the confidence both of Panda and Cetywayo. German, Norwegian and other missions were also founded. The number of converts was few, but the missionaries exercised a very wholesome influence and to them in measure was due the comparative mildness of Panda’s later years.
Disputes with the Transvaal.The frontier disputes between the Zulu and the Transvaal Boers ultimately involved the British government and were one of the causes of the war which broke out in 1879. They concerned, chiefly, territory which in 1854 was proclaimed the republic of Utrecht, the Boers who had settled there having in that year obtained a deed of cession from Panda. In 1860 a Boer commission was appointed to beacon the boundary, and to obtain, if possible, from the Zulu a road to the sea at St Lucia Bay. The commission, however, effected nothing. In 1861 Umtonga, a brother of Cetywayo, fled to the Utrecht district, and Cetywayo assembled an army on that frontier. According to evidence brought forward later by the Boers, Cetywayo offered the farmers a strip of land along the border if they would surrender his brother. This they did on the condition that Umtonga’s life was spared, and in 1861 Panda signed a deed making over the land to the Boers. The southern boundary of the strip added to Utrecht ran from Rorke’s Drift on the Buffalo to a point on the Pongolo. The boundary was beaconed in 1864, but when in 1865 Umtonga fled from Zululand to Natal, Cetywayo, seeing that he had lost his part of the bargain (for he feared that Umtonga might be used to supplant him as Panda had been used to supplant Dingaan), caused the beacon to be removed, the Zulu claiming also the land ceded by the Swazis to Lydenburg. The Zulu asserted that the Swazis were their vassals and denied their right to part with the territory. During the year a Boer commando under Paul Kruger and an army under Cetywayo were posted along the Utrecht border. Hostilities were avoided, but the Zulu occupied the land north of the Pongolo. Questions were also raised as to the validity of the documents signed by the Zulu concerning the Utrecht strip. In 1869 the services of the lieut.-governor of Natal were accepted by both parties as arbitrator, but the attempt then made to settle the difficulty proved unsuccessful.
Such was the position when by his father’s death Cetywayo (q.v.) became absolute ruler of the Zulu. Cetywayo king.As far as possible he revived the military methods of his uncle Chaka, and even succeeded in equipping his regiments with firearms. It is believed that he instigated the Kaffirs in the Transkei to revolt, and he aided Sikukuni in his struggle with the Transvaal. His rule over his own people was tyrannous. By Bishop Schreuder he was described as “an able man, but for cold, selfish pride, cruelty and untruthfulness worse than any of his predecessors.” In September 1876 the massacre of a large number of girls (who had married men of their own age instead of the men of an older regiment, for whom Cetywayo had designed them) provoked a strong remonstrance from the government of Natal, inclined as that government was to look leniently on the doings of the Zulu. The tension between Cetywayo and the Transvaal over border disputes continued, and when in 1877 Britain annexed the Transvaal the dispute was transferred to the new owners of the country. A commission was appointed by the lieut.-governor of Natal in February 1878 to report on the boundary question. The commission reported in July, and found almost entirely in favour of the contention of the Zulu. Sir Bartle Frere, then High Commissioner, who thought the award “one sided and unfair to the Boers” (Martineau, Life of Frere, ii. xix.), stipulated that, on the land being given to the Zulu, the Boers living on it should be compensated if they left, or protected if they remained. Cetywayo (who now found no defender in Natal save Bishop Colenso) was in a defiant humour, and permitted outrages by Zulu both on the Transvaal and Natal borders. Frere’s ultimatum. The war of 1879.Frere was convinced that the peace of South Africa could be preserved only if the power of Cetywayo was curtailed. Therefore in forwarding his award on the boundary dispute the High Commissioner demanded that the military system should be remodelled. The youths were to be allowed to marry as they came to man’s estate, and the regiments were not to be called up except with the consent of the council of the nation and also of the British government. Moreover, the missionaries were to be unmolested and a British resident was to be accepted. These demands were made to Zulu deputies on the 11th of December 1878, a definite reply being required by the 31st of that month.
Cetywayo returned no answer, and in January 1879 a British force under General Thesiger (Lord Chelmsford) invaded Zululand. Lord Chelmsford had under him a force of 5000 Europeans and 8200 natives, 3000 of the latter were employed in guarding the frontier of Natal; another force of 1400 Europeans and 400 natives were stationed in the Utrecht district. Three columns were to invade Zululand from the Lower Tugela, Rorke’s Drift, and Utrecht respectively, their objective being Ulundi, the royal kraal. Cetywayo’s army numbered fully 40,000 men. The entry of all three columns was unopposed. Isandhlwana.On the 22nd of January the centre column (1600 Europeans, 2500 natives), which had advanced from Rorke’s Drift, was encamped near Isandhlwana; on the morning of that day Lord Chelmsford moved out with a small force to support a reconnoitring party. After he had left, the camp, in charge of Col. Durnford, was surprised by a Zulu army nearly 10,000 strong. The British were overwhelmed and almost every man killed, the casualties being 806 Europeans (more than half belonging to the 24th regiment) and 471 natives. All the transport was also lost. Lord Chelmsford and the reconnoitring party returned to find the camp deserted, next day they retreated to Rorke’s Drift, which had been the scene of an heroic and successful defence. Rorke’s Drift.After the victory at Isandhlwana several impis of the Zulu army had mowed to the Drift. The garrison stationed there, under Lieuts. Chard and Bromhead, numbered about 80 men of the 24th regiment, and they had in hospital 30 and 40 men. Late in the afternoon they were attacked by about 4000 Zulu. On six occasions, the Zulu got within the entrenchments, to be driven back each time at the bayonet’s point. At dawn the Zulu withdrew, leaving 350 dead. The British loss was 17 killed and 10 wounded.
In the meantirme the right column under Colonel Pearson had reached Eshowe from the Tugela, on receipt of the news of Isandhlwana most of the mounted men and the native troops were sent back to the Natal, leaving at Eshowe a garrison of 1300 Europeans and 65 natives. This force was hemmed in by the enemy. The left column under Colonel (afterwards Sir) Evelyn Wood, which had done excellent work, found itself obliged to act on the defensive after the disaster to the centre column. For a time an invasion of Natal was feared. The Zulu, however, made no attempt to enter Natal, while Lord Chelmsford awaited reinforcements before resuming his advance. During this time (March the 12th) an escort of stores marching to Luneberg, the headquarters of the Utrecht force, was attacked when encamped on both sides of the Intombe river. The camp was surprised, 62 out of 106 men were killed, and all the stores were lost. News of Isandhlwana reached England on the 11th of February, and on the same day about 10,000 men were ordered out to South Africa. The first troops arrived at Durban on the 17th of March. On the 29th a column, under Lord Chelmsford, consisting of 3400 Europeans and 2300 natives, marched to the relief of Eshowe, entrenched camps being formed each night. On the 2nd of April the camp was attacked at Ginginhlovo, the Zulu being repulsed. Their loss was estimated at 1200 while the British had only two killed and 52 wounded. The next day Eshowe was relieved. Wood, who had been given leave to make a diversion in northern Zululand, on the 28th of March occupied Hlobane (Inhlobane) mountain. The force was, however, compelled to retreat owing to the unexpected appearance of the main Zulu army, which nearly outflanked the British. Besides the loss of the native contingent (those not killed deserted) there were 100 casualties among the 400 Europeans engaged. At mid day next day the Zulu army made a desperate attack, lasting over four hours, on Wood’s camp at Kambula, the enemy—over 20,000 strong—was driven off, losing fully 1000 men, while the British casualties were 18 killed and 65 wounded.
By the middle of April nearly all the reinforcements had reached Natal, and Lord Chelmsford reorganized his forces. The 1st division, under major general Crealock, advanced along the coast belt and was destined to act as a support to the 2nd division, under major general Newdigate, which with Wood’s flying column, an independent unit, was to march on Ulundi from Rorke’s Drift and Kambula. Owing to difficulties of transport it was the beginning of June before Newdigate was ready to advance. On the 1st of that month the prince imperial of France (Louis Napoleon), who had been allowed to accompany the British troops, was killed while out with a reconnoitring party. On the 1st of July Newdigate and Wood had reached the White Umfolosi, in the heart of the enemy’s country. Ulundi.During their advance messengers were sent by Cetywayo to treat for peace, but he did not accept the terms offered. Meantime Sir Garnet (afterwards Lord) Wolseley had been sent out to supersede Lord Chelmsford, and on the 7th of July he reached Crealock’s headquarters at Port Durnford. But by that time the campaign was practically over. The 2nd division (with which was Lord Chelmsford) and Wood’s column crossed the White Umfolosi on the 4th of July—the force numbering 4200 Europeans and 1000 natives. Within a mile of Ulundi the British force, formed in a hollow square, was attacked by a Zulu army numbering 12,000 to 15,0O0. The battle ended in a decisive victory for the British, whose losses were about 100, while of the Zulu some 1500 men were killed (see Ulundi).
Wolseley’s settlement.After this battle the Zulu army dispersed, most of the leading chiefs tendered their submission, and Cetywayo became a fugitive. On the 27th of August the king was captured and sent to Cape Town. His depositron was formally announced to the Zulu, and Wolseley drew up a new scheme for the government of the country. The Chaka dynasty was deposed, and the Zulu country portioned among eleven Zulu chreis, John Dunn, a white adventurer, and Hlubi, a Basuto chief who had done good service in the war. A Resident was appointed who was to be the channel of communication between the chiefs and the British government. This arrangement was productive of much bloodshed and disturbance, and in 1882 the British government determined to restore Cetywayo to power. In the meantime, however, blood feuds had been engendered between the chiefs Usibepu (Zibebu) and Hamu on the one side and the tribes who supported the ex-king and his family on the other. Cetywayo’s party (who now became known as Usutus) suffered severely at the hands of the two cheifs who were aided by a band of white freebooters. When Cetywayo was restored Usibepu was left in possession of his territory, while Dunn’s land and that of the Basuto chief (the country between the Tugela and the Umhlatuzi, i.e. adjoining Natal) was constituted a reserve, in which locations were to be provided for Zulu unwilling to serve the restored king. This new arrangement proved as futile as had Wolseley’s. Usibepu having created a formidable force of well-armed and trained warriors, and being left in independence on the borders of Cetywayo’s territory, viewed with displeasure the re-installation of his former king, and Cetywayo was desirous of humbling his relative. A collision very soon took place, Usibepu’s forces were victorious, and on the 22nd of July 1883, led by a troop of mounted whites, he made a sudden descent upon Cetywayo’s kraal at Ulundi, which he destroyed, massacring such of the inmates of both sexes as could not save themselves by flight. The king escaped, though wounded, into the Reserve, there he died in February 1884.
Cetywayo left a son, Dinizulu, who sought the assistance of some of the Transvaal Boers against Usibepu, whom he defeated and drove into the Reserve. These Boers, led by Lukas Meyer (1846–1902), claimed as a stipulated reward for their services the cession of the greater and more valuable part of central Zululand. The New Republic.On the 21st of May the Boer adventurers had proclaimed Dinizulu king of Zululand, in August following they founded the “New Republic,” carved out of Zululand, and sought its recognition by the British government. The Usutu party now repented of their bad bargain, for by the end of 1885 they found the Boers claiming some three-fourths of their country. The British government intervened, took formal possession of St Lucia Bay (to which Germany as well as the Transvaal advanced claims), caused the Boers to reduce their demands, and within boundaries agreed to recognize the New Republic—whose territory was in 1888 incorporated in the Transvaal and has since 1903 formed the Vryheid division of Natal.
Zululand annexed by Great Britain.Seeing that peace could be maintained between the Zulu chiefs only by the direct exercise of authority, the British government annexed Zululand (minus the New Republic) in 1887, and placed it under a commissioner responsible to the governor of Natal. In the following year Dinizulu, who continued his feud with Usibepu, rebelled against the British. After a sharp campaign (June to August 1888), the Usutu losing 300 killed in one encounter. Dinizulu fled into the Transvaal. He surrendered himself to the British in November, in April 1889 he and two of his uncles (under whose influence he chiefly acted) were found guilty of high treason and were exiled to St Helena.
Under the wise administration of Sir Melmoth Osborn, the commissioner, whose headquarters were at Eshowe, and the district magistrates, the Zulu became reconciled to British rule, especially as European settlers were excluded from the greater part of the country. Large numbers of natives sought employment in Natal and at the Rand gold mines, and Zululand enjoyed a period of prosperity hitherto unknown. Order was maintained by a mounted native police force.
The Boer road to the sea blocked.At the end of 1888 and at the beginning of 1890 some small tracts of territory lying between Zululand and Tongaland, under the rule of petty semi-independent chiefs, were added to Zululand, and in 1895 the territories of the chiefs Zambaan (Sambana) and Umtegiza, 688 sq. m. in extent, lying between the Portuguese territories, Swaziland, Zululand and Tongaland, were also added. In the same year a British protectorate was declared over Tongaland. The coast line was thus secured for Great Britain up to the boundary of the Portuguese territory at Delagoa Bay. At that time the Transvaal government—which had been the first to reap the benefit of Great Britain’s defeat of the Zulu by acquiring the “New Republic”—was endeavouring to obtain the territories of Zambaan and Umtegiza, hoping also to secure a route through Tongaland to Kosi Bay. President Kruger protested in vain against this annexation, Great Britain being determined to prevent another Power establishing itself on the south-east African seaboard.
In 1893 Sir M. Osborn was succeeded as resident commissioner by Sir Marshal Clarke who gained the confidence and good will of the Zulu. Zululand made part of Natal.At the close of 1897 Zululand, in which Tongaland had been incorporated, was handed over by the Imperial government to Natal, and Sir (then Mr) C. J. R. Saunders was appointed civil commissioner of the province, with whose government he had been associated since 1887. In 1898 Dinizulu was allowed to return and was made a “government induna.” Officially one of several chiefs subject to the control of the resident magistrate, he was, in fact, regarded by most of the Zulu as the head of their nation. His influence appeared to be in the main exercised on the side of order. During the war of 1899–1902 there was some fighting between the Zulu and the Boers, provoked by the Boers entering Zulu territory. A Zulu kraal having been raided, the Zulu retaliated and, surrounding a small Boer commando, succeeded in killing every member of it. Boer raids.In September 1901 Louis Botha made an attempt to invade Natal by way of Zululand, but the stubborn defence made by the small posts at Itala and Prospect Hill, both within the Zulu border, caused him to give up the project. Throughout the war the Zulu showed marked partiality for the British side.
At the close of the war the Natal government decided to allow white settlers in certain districts of Zululand, and a Lands Delimitation Commission was appointed. The commission, however, reported (1905) that four-fifths of Zululand was unfit for European habitation, and the remaining fifth already densely populated. The commissioners urged that the tribal system should be maintained. Meantime the coal mines near St. Lucia Bay were opened up and connected with Durban by railway. At this time rumours were current of disaffection among the Zulu, but this was regarded as the effervescence natural after the war. The Revolt of 1906. Dinizulu’s trial.In 1905 a poll tax of £1 on all adult males was imposed by the Natal legislature, this tax was the ostensible cause of a revolt in 1906 among the natives of Natal, who were largely of Zulu origin. Bambaata, the leader of the revolt, fled to Zululand. He took refuge in the dense bush in the Nkandhla highlands, where Cetywayo’s grave became the rallying point of the rebels, who in April were joined by an aged chief named Sigananda and his tribe. After an arduous campaign, the Natal force (about 5000 strong) being commanded by Col. Sir Duncan McKenzie, the rebellion was crushed by July 1906, without the aid of imperial troops. Bambaata was killed in battle (June 10th), his head was cut off for purposes of identification, but afterwards buried with the body. Sigananda surrendered. In all some 3500 Zulus were killed and about 3000 taken prisoners, the majority of the prisoners being released in 1907 (see further Natal: History). Zululand remained, however, in a disturbed condition, and a number of white traders and officials were murdered. Dinizulu had been accused of harbouring Bambaata, and in December 1907 the Natal government felt justified in charging him with high treason, murder and other crimes. A military force entered Zululand, and Dinizulu surrendered without opposition. He was brought to trial in November 1908, and in March 1909 was found guilty of harbouring rebels. The more serious charges against him were not proved. He was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment and deprived of his position as a government induna. Other Zulu chiefs were convicted of various offences and sentenced to imprisonment. At his trial Dinizulu was defended by W. P. Schreiner, ex-premier of Cape Colony, while Miss H. E. Colenso (a daughter of Bishop Colenso) constituted herself his champion in the press of Natal and Great Britain. On the day that the Union of South Africa was established (31st of May 1910), the Botha ministry released Dinizulu from prison. He was subsequently settled on a farm in the Transvaal and given a pension of £500 a year.
- The Boers obtained the right to settle in this district in virtue of Proviso B of an agreement made, on the 22nd of October 1886, between the settlers in the “New Republic” and Sir A. E. Havelock, governor of Natal.
- Dr G. McCall Theal states that the ancestors of the tribes living in what is now Natal and Zululand were acquainted with the regimental system and the method of attack in crescent shape formation in the 17th century. Memories of these customs lingered even if the practice had died out. Among the Ama Xosa section of Kaffirs they appear to have been quite unknown.
- Bishop Schreuder, a Norwegian missionary long resident in Zululand, gave Sir Bartle Frere the following estimate ot the three brothers who successively reigned over the Zulu—“Chaka was a really great man, cruel and unscrupulous, but with many great qualities. Dingaan was simply a beast on two legs. Panda was a weaker and less able man, but kindly and really grateful, a very rare quality among Zulus. He used to kill sometimes, but never wantonly or continuously.”
- Umtonga had been originally designated by Panda as his successor. He afterwards served in the Zulu war with Wood’s column.
- With the column were 40 Boers, the Uys clan, under Piet Uis, whose father had been killed in 1838 in the wars with Dingaan.
- For his action on this occasion Colonel (afterwards General Sir) Redvers Buller, who was Wood’s principal assistant, received the VC. Piet Uys was among the slain.
- Dunn was a son of one of the early settlers in Natal and had largely identified himself with the Zulu. In 1856 he fought for Umbulazi against Cetywayo, but was high in that monarch’s favour at the time of his coronation in 1873. When Frere’s ultimatum was delivered to Cetywayo, Dunn, with 2000 followers, crossed the Tugela into Natal (10th of January 1879). In 1888 he fought against Dinizulu.
- Both these chiefs were members of the royal family.
- Lieut. Col. Sir Marshal James Clarke, R.A. (1841–1909) was A.D.C. to Sir Theophilus Shepstone when the Transvaal was annexed in 1877. He served in the Boer war of 1880–81, was resident commissioner of Basutoland from 1884 to 1893, and after leaving Zululand became resident commissioner in Southern Rhodesia (1898). He was made a K.C.M.G. in 1886.