James Stuart.

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

. (page 39 of 52)
Online LibraryJames StuartA history of the Zulu Rebellion, 1906 : and of Dinuzulu's arrest, trial, and expatriation → online text (page 39 of 52)
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tion, 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, osten-
sibly brought up from there by Portuguese Natives for
sale amongst the Zulus." ^

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 necessi-
tate 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
SitshitshiH had occurred in August, and the attempted
one of Sergt. Wilkinson early in September. The strongest
representations were made to the Commissioner by many

^ 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.

2 Minute, C.N.A. to Prime Minister, 23rd Aug. 1907.


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 impunitj^ 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 rebellion." ^

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. Every-
where the people were quiet and orderly. The only un-
easiness exhibited was when the force, under Inspector 0.
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 Dinu-
zulu 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.^

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.

^ Administrator (Mr. W. H. Beaumont) to Secretary of State, 29tb
Aug. 1907.

* Minute by Magistrate, Ndwandwe district, 29th Sept. 1907.


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 loyahsts 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

Information also came in that the ringleaders of the
previous year's rebelhon, Mangati and Cakijana, had for
long been harboured by Dinuzulu, although well knowing
that warrants were out for their arrest. The former, cap-
tured 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,^
and to mobilize a large portion of the Militia to reinforce
the PoHce when proceeding to execute the warrants.

1 There was also another warrant, charging him with being in
possession of unregistered firearms.


For other reasons, Dinuzulu became very agitated
about this time. The arrival of the PoKce on the 30th
September, and especially their being stationed at Non-
goma, 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 Non-
goma 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 Govern-
ment 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

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 Mihtia. 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 insignifi-
cant, 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.^ On the same day, martial law was proclaimed,
to operate, however, in Zululand only. Owing to the
sudden, and necessarily sudden, mobilization, no prepara-
tion 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

1 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 Mim"ster to the Governor as having per-
formed ' 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.


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 districts.

As soon as Dinuzulu's message was received, the Govern-
ment, 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

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

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 RebelHon, 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 in-
active," 1

The previous Government had, however, been out of
office for over a year. During such time, the new Govern-
ment had had, and had taken advantage of, opportunities
of amehorating 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 poHcy 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 1 600
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.

1 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.

Dimmick got orders to make it known that the addi-
tional men were considered necessary to effectually patro
the district, then in a disturbed state in consequence of
the recent murders. Lyttle was instructed to pay a visit
b}^ 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 via
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 aug-
ment 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 Non-
goma 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 Com-
missioner 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 ^vith considerable intervals of time between them.

Responsibihty for failure to convey the troops, etc.,
with reasonable rapidity, cannot in any way be regarded
as falhng 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 day.

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 warn-
ing, and hoped every success would be met with in
ascertaining and punishing the wrong-doers.

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 Com-
missioner of PoHce)." 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 con-
siderably surprised to find Sir Duncan McKenzie at
Nongoma, as Dinuzulu's instructions were that Mankulu-
mana should apply through the Magistrate and Com-
missioner 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 Sitshi-
tshili was murdered. He could not understand why
fortifications had been constructed at Nongoma ^ ; 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 1 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. 2 He could not understand how the Government

1 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.

2 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.


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 con-
veyance would be placed at his disposal.

A lawyer (]\Ir. E. Renaud, of Durban), who had been
engaged on behalf of Dinuzulu, and who arrived before
the messengers had left, was allowed to write ad^dsing the
Chief as to the course to pursue. Permission was, more-
over, given him to commmiicate with Dinuzulu at an}^
time, on condition that his letters were produced for

On the 8th and 9th, further messages came from Dinu-
zulu, 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, lea^^ng
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 tiU 7 p.m. He arrived with a smaU following, a
number of whom accompanied the waggon all the way to
the magistrac}^ (fifteen miles). In consequence of Dinu-
zulu's delay, hiUy country, and a dark night, Nongoma
was not reached until 11.15 p.m. As accommodation was
naturally very hmited and as it was drizzhng, 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 Mankulu-
mana 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.

Online LibraryJames StuartA history of the Zulu Rebellion, 1906 : and of Dinuzulu's arrest, trial, and expatriation → online text (page 39 of 52)