James Stuart.

A history of the Zulu Rebellion, 1906 : and of Dinuzulu's arrest, trial, and expatriation online

. (page 30 of 52)
Online LibraryJames StuartA history of the Zulu Rebellion, 1906 : and of Dinuzulu's arrest, trial, and expatriation → online text (page 30 of 52)
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Lieut.-Col. Thomas Peakman, C.M.G., with Capt. G. H.
Helbert, as Adjutant, actually presented itself for in-
spection at 3 p.m. on the 3rd,^ 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 required.

The greatest pains had been taken to select only the most
efficient out of the 1,500 applications handed in. The

^ That is, the lager, consisting chiefly of wire entanglements, erected
about two miles from Helpmakaar.

2 By the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, South Africa.


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.

LiteUigence 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 expe-
dition 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 Krantz-
kop 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 volun-
tarily mobihzed his men, crossed at Ngubevu and pro-
ceeded 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 moun-
tain during a three days' armistice which was proclaimed
at the same time, to afford rebels an opportunity of sur-
rendering. Captive women were utihzed to make the
proclamation known to those who were in hiding.

The U.F.F. marched via 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
stiU 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.^ 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

1 Only, as will appear later, to proceed at once to Stanger.


another wounded. He thereupon caused his forces to
concentrate at Mapumulo as speedily as possible.

Before describing the position at Mapumulo, a thickly-
populated district which now became the principal focus
of rebellion, it will be necessar^^ 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.



Reference was made towards the close of the preceding
chapter to a combined move by Leuchars, Mackay and a
cohimn 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.^

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 via 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

1 Nkandhla column : C squadron N.C. ; N.D.M.R. ; Z.M.R. ; 150
N.P. ; pompom section, N.F.A, ; and 3 com.panies 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.


gorge and ridge en route. Ofeni ^ 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 Titles tad's
store, at Ntingwe, where they bivouacked for the

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 day-
break 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 accom-
panied the column, was instructed to drive the bush,

1 From Ufa or ulufa, a crack.


whilst being supported by the troops. During this opera-
tion, a rebel, who was concealed under the rocks, stabbed
one of the levy in the leg. On the drive, which was par-
tially 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 Jok-
wana, 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

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 vaUey 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 invahd, as,
of course, the only person competent to announce the
terms of surrender was the 0,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 accom-
panied 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

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, how-
ever, 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 dis-
covered. 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, rehable 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 Grey town 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 inspec-
tion 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 pecuHarities 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 aa
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 ring-
leader in a serious rebellion, a man then still beheved 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 identifica-
tion. 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


As soon as identification had been completed, the head
was taken back to the gorge and there buried along with
the body.^

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, via Pietermaritzburg.

Before proceeding with his chief staff officer and body-
guard 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 bring-
ing 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 com-
mand of by Royston, moved to Ndikwe stream, north-east
of and below Ensingabantu store.

With the Rebelhon 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 unwiUing to come in. WooUs-Sampson,
having returned from his visit to Pietermaritzburg, ^ was,

^ 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 imdoubtedly have been an important
criterion, but the conditions were clearly very abnormal.

2 This officer had been to explain more thoroughly than could be done
on paper the particular problems that confronted the troops at Nkandhla.


on the 20th, given command of a column. ^ He was
instructed to form a depot at Ensingabantu and to
operate in that part of the country.

It was at this stage that news of the outbreak at Mapu-
mulo on the 19th was received. In addition to instructing
Leuchars to push forward the U.F.F. to the scene of dis-
turbance, Mansel was ordered by the O.C. Troops to camp
at Middle Drift, from which place patrols were to be
thrown out in aU directions, particularly up and down
Tugela valley, so as to intercept movements towards Zulu-
land 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 pecuharly-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 Empan-
dhleni, 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 Em-

1 It was composed as follows : N.D.M.R. (with one Maxim), 198 ;
Z.M.R. (with three Rexer gims), 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).


pangeni 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 rebelHous
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 Mciteki 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 in-
dunas, 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 rephed 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 beheved,


that many of the false rumours of which the Chief com-
plained 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

On account of ill-health, Dinuzulu did not proceed to
the telephone office at Nongoma, as desired by the

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 where.

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. ^
Royston's brigade remained at Ndikwe, with orders to
operate through Mehlokazulu's ward towards Nqutu,

^ 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 WooUs-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 possible.

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.

Online LibraryJames StuartA history of the Zulu Rebellion, 1906 : and of Dinuzulu's arrest, trial, and expatriation → online text (page 30 of 52)