James Stuart.

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

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The formal interview with the Commandant took place
at 3 p.m. on the following day. Mankulumana, Mgwaqo
and Ncapayi (his secretary) were allowed to be present.
Dinuzulu, who was well dressed in European costume, and
wore a military helmet, walked with ease from the gaol
to the court-house, a distance of about 150 yards. ^ As,
by this time, many of the troops had arrived, there was
a large gathering of spectators when the interview took
place. The Commandant said he was glad Dinuzulu had
had the good sense to surrender because, had he not done
so, it would have been necessary to enforce the orders of
the Government, when many innocent people might have
been injured. There had been various murders of black
as well as white people going on in the country. The
Government was determined to put a stop to such crimes.
Dinuzulu had evidently been exercising an evil influence
in the country, and had become a menace to law and
order. The three columns then in Zululand and Vryheid
district had, he was told, entered Zululand to put an end
to the disorder, and would not leave until all the prevail-
ing unrest had disappeared.

The Chief replied that he could not imagine what offence
he had committed. That he should be charged with high
treason, as he had been informed was the case, was
ridiculous. How could a man like himself think of taking
up arms against the Government ? Where was he to
procure the men wherewith to oppose his father ? He
requested to be informed of the specific accusations that
had been made against him. These, said the Commandant,
were known to the Government, and would be communi-
cated in due course by the proper authorities. It was on
these that the warrant for his arrest had been issued. The
Government would, no doubt, arrange for a fair and

1 And this in spite of having so ' bad a knee ' three days before as to
be unable to proceed to the magistracy as directed !


impartial trial by civil tribunal, and ample time would
be afforded within wliich to prepare a defence.

Dinuzulu maintained that, ever since his return from
St. Helena, he had conducted himself in a proper manner.
He was surprised to learn that he was regarded as exerting
a harmful influence. Moreover, it was strange that he,
who was nothing more than a Chief, with jurisdiction con-
fined to a limited and definite area, could be said to have
exerted an influence throughout the entire country.

Neither Mankulumana nor the other two Natives made
any remarks at the interview, which lasted about forty

No sooner was it noised abroad in the tribe that their
Chief had been put under arrest than the principal men
collected and proceeded in a body, on the 10th, to the
magistracy. There were between 200 and 300 present.
They said they had come to ask why Dinuzulu had been
arrested. After the foregoing interview, they were called
up. They sat in a semi-circle as Sir Duncan McKenzie
addressed them from the verandah of the court-house.
His remarks were similar to those he had just made to
the Chief himself. The Government, he said, was tired
of the murders that had been and were still going on, and
its determination to put a stop thereto was apparent from
the fact of troops having been sent into the country. Full
powers had been given him to act as he saw fit, and he
intended to exercise them should necessity arise. Martial
law had been proclaimed, hence it was very lucky that the
event, of which they all knew,^ had taken place, for had
the troops been obliged to go into the field, many innocent
people might have lost their lives. Many of those present
were no doubt averse to being dragged into matters of
that kind. All who were loyal to the Government would
be supported. Some eighteen months before, when in
command at Nkandhla, he had dealt somewhat leniently
with the insurgents. Had a single shot been fired at
Nongoma, and had there been a recrudescence of rebellion,
he would have been obliged to act in a far more drastic

^ That is, Dinuzulu's siirrender.



manner, hence it was extremely fortunate things had
turned out as they had done. He concluded by advising
all to go back to their homes and live there quietly and

Whilst negotiations for the surrender were in progress,
intelUgence was received that Dinuzulu was either for-
warding, or had already forwarded, his guns to certain
Chiefs of Vryheid and Ngotshe districts for concealment.
There was, moreover, ground for believing that certain
Natives in the same districts had recently taken up arms
at his request. For these reasons, the Northern Districts,
with the exception of Utrecht, were, on the appHcation
of the Commandant, also placed under martial law on the
9th, to enable him to deal with all Natives concerned.

With the object of obtaining full information of what
was occurring in Vryheid district and Usutu kraal, the
Minister of Justice (Hon. T. F. Carter, K.C.), proceeded to
Nongoma, reaching there on the 12th.

As it was not unlikely that a few of the rebels of 1906
were still in hiding at or near Usutu, and that firearms
were also concealed there, arrangements were made for a
surprise visit to the notorious kraal. McKenzie arranged
to converge thereon from different directions. The three
columns employed, under Lieut.-Cols. Arnott, Weighton
and Mackay, left Nongoma at different times on the night
of the 12th. The night was misty and dark, especially as
the grass of much of the area traversed had been recently
burnt. The intention was that the columns should arrive
simultaneously at the kraal, viz. at daybreak. The only
one, however, that arrived in time, was that which took
the nearest, though not the easiest, route. The reason for
the delay on the part of two of the columns was the steep,
rugged and trackless country through which they had had
to march.

It was soon manifest that every care had been taken to
remove as many traces of incriminating evidence as

The kraal, which was situated on a small hill in a
long, well-watered and fertile valley, was roughly divided


into three parts : (a) Dinuzulu's private dwelling-houses,
visitors' house, secretary's hut, etc. ; (6) his mother's hut,
and the harem ; (c) the indmias' huts and mihtary
barracks. Apart from these, were small kraals and isolated
huts within a radius of three hundred yards of, and
immediately connected -^ith, Usutu. On a liigh hill,
nearly a mile from and overlooking Usutu, was a small
fort erected by Dinuzulu some years before, but which,
owing to having been recently struck by hghtning, had
apparently been abandoned. A considerable number of
trees had been planted, but it was clear the estabhshment
had, on the whole, been sadly neglected ; it was overgro\^^i
T^dth weeds, not so numerous as to be beyond the powers
of one or two boys to have kept down. The buildings, too,
were out of repair. None, except the round brick hut,
known as the secretary's office, seemed to have been well
constructed, whilst not much more than the foundations
of what once promised to be a more commodious and
imposing structure had been built. The other huts about
the grounds were small, of ordinary wattles and thatch.
and also required attention. Those belonging to the
* regiments ' stood on the eastern slopes of the hill, and
were probably not as many as sixty in number.

The occupants of the huts, as well as about a score in
the harem, were semi-civilized and, for the most part,
poorlj' clad. This refers to the men, as well as the women
and children. Altogether the kraal, if kraal it could be
called, and its inmates, gave one the impression more of
indolence than of health and activity. Briefly, Dinu-
zulu's residence fell far short of what might have been
expected of one who had acquired so great a reputation
amongst the Natives of Natal, Zululand and elsewhere.

After the people had been made to collect at one place,
Dinuzulu's apartments were entered and thoroughly
searched. Such articles as letters, also some small and
large shields, were removed for purposes of evidence. The
barracks, too, were searched, though not the Chief's
mother's hut or the harem.

As it was supposed that rebels might still be living at


Usutu, Bambata's son, Ndabayake, accompanied the
troops. Opportunities were afforded him of examining
those present, about 200 in number. No rebels, however,
could be detected. Nor, in spite of thorough investigation,
could any firearms be found, except two shot guns and a
rifle, all evidently lawfully held. The residents were all
exceedingly reticent. Although pressed, Dinuzulu's wives
even denied that Bambata's wife and children had ever
been or lived at Usutu, or that they knew anything what-
ever of Bambata, Cakijana or any other rebel having been
harboured there.

It was carefully explained to the occupants, including
others who arrived during the day, why the troops had
come into the country, many of the former not having
been present at the magistracy on the 10th. They and
the rest of the tribe were directed to bring all their guns
and assegais to Nongoma on the following Sunday, failing
which, the troops would come and look for them. Dinu-
zulu, the Commandant went on to say, would be sent out
of the country for trial, and would never return. Shortly
after the meeting, the columns returned to Nongoma.

During the Chief's detention at Nongoma, his secretary
attempted to pass a letter out of the gaol to his lawyer,
Mr. Renaud. Although, with the assistance of Native
warders, who happened to be members of Dinuzulu's
tribe, it succeeded in getting outside, it was intercepted
by the authorities, upon which the warders concerned
were severely punished. It can be seen from this incident
that the influence exerted by Dinuzulu on people of his
own race was remarkably subtle and far-reaching, and this
was afterwards found to be the case whatever tribe they
belonged to and wherever he happened to be confined.

There being no necessity for detaining him at Nongoma
beyond a few days, arrangements were made for his
removal to Pietermaritzburg, in order that a preliminary
examination might be begun as soon as possible. Such
examination, which is of a formal character, is in-
variably held in the case of a person charged with a
serious offence. An escort of 100 N.R.R., 100 N.N.C.


(Hoare) and a battery of N.F.A. (Wilson), under Major J.
Eraser, N.R.R., ha^^.ng been provided, Dinuzulu and his
attendants left Xongoma by mule cart and waggons on the
14th en route for Pietermaritzburg, via Hlabisa and Som-
kele. He reached his destination a couple of days later,
no incident of any importance having occurred on the wa}'.
With the surrender and removal, the principal object
of the expedition had been accompKshed. There remained :
(a) the securing of unregistered firearms 1-mown to have
been secreted by Dinuzulu at Usutu ; {h) the calhng in of
those belonging to other members of the Usutu tribe, and
other tribes closely connected therewith, notabh' some of
those which Uved in Ngotshe and Vryheid districts ; and
(c) the arrest of various outstanding rebels. Many of the
notorious and other rebels, who had been dehberately
harboured hj Dinuzulu, had been obhged, in consequence
of his arrest, to disperse in various directions. It after-
wards transpired that, on the 9th. a couple of hours before
his surrender, Dinuzulu had addressed them in the follow-
ing terms : "I am going, men ; here is a letter from the
white people calhng me on account of the . . . Chiefs
who have been killed. ... I now tell you all to scatter
and go and hide with your relatives, you must not be
arrested here. ... I T^ill send and let 3'ou know if the
wliite people are going to come down to search this
place." ^

1 Cd. 3,998, p. 14. As far back as March, 1907, Dinuzulu's friend,
Miss Harriette Colenso, had ad\-ised him in these terms : " If I could
advise those who are being sought after, I would say that anyone who
is aware that a serious charge is laid against liim, had better take a long
leap until he reaches a safer place . . . but any and exery person of
no importance, who is merely panic-stricken, let liim betake himself
to Sir C. Saunders at Eshowe, and perhaps (if you see fit) present himself
as having been advised by you, for thus they may be but Httle con-
denuied. For those who are in hiding are not only hui'ting themselves,
but they are the key that locks up the many who are in gaol, and who
are dying there. If onh- the matter of those who are in hiding could be
ended, we might venture to beseech the Governor, and you might join
us in oiu- petition, for we (you and I) are not alone, there are others,
but we are stopped by the position of those who are in hiding."" — Cd.
4,328, p. 24. This edifying coimsel was not followed by Dinuziilu. The
spirit, however, of the advice, was followed exactly-, i.e. do anj-tliing
rather than loyally surrender those who have dehberately broken the
law ; it was just that ad\-ice that led to his ruin.


As it was considered the foregoing objects could be
effected with a much smaller force than was then in the
field, the escort in charge of Dinuzulu received orders to
demobiHze on reaching its destination.

The arrangements for dealing with the Zululand situa-
tion had included the locating of a column at Vryheid.
This column, formed on the 10th December, consisted of
N.D.M.R. and Utrecht, Newcastle (town and district),
Vryheid and Ladysmith (town) Reserves, with Lieut.-Col.
B. Crompton, D.S.O., in command, and Capt. 0. Schuller
as Adjutant. As, however, Dinuzulu's arrest had taken
place quietly, the necessity for the column soon ceased to
exist. It was demobilized on the 18th.

On the 15th December, the Natal Carbineers, under
Weighton, left Nongoma and, moving via Ngome forest ^
and Louwsburg through Ngotshe district — dealing en
route with allegations against two important Chiefs of
that part, Mapovela and Maboko — reached Vryheid on
the 22nd.

As directed by McKenzie at Usutu kraal on the 13th,
about 500 members of Dinuzulu's tribe came during the
same day to hand in their guns and assegais, when, on the
advice of Sir Charles Saunders (whose presence at this
time at Nongoma was most opportune), it was arranged
that control of the tribe, until the Government's pleasure
had been ascertained, should be carried on by certain
twenty-one headmen, whose names were publicly
announced. Only twenty-four guns were handed in. Not
many assegais were brought, owing to a misunderstanding.

In consequence of Dinuzulu's having been arrested and
to their being subjected to other inconveniences through
the arrival of the troops, members of the Usutu party
became much incensed with such rebels as had been har-
boured at Usutu and elsewhere in the tribe. It was to
them that they attributed the misfortunes which had come
upon Dinuzulu and themselves. So angry were they that
it was commonly reported that any rebel not leaving forth-
with would be stabbed to death. If Dinuzulu had been

1 Where Cetshwayo was captured in 1879.


a '' father " to them, the tribe was not prepared to extend
the same consideration.

The U.M.R. (Newmarch) and B.M.R. (Arnott) remained
at Nongoma on Weighton's moving to Vryheid, but, after
marching out on two occasions to search for concealed
arms, they left the magistracy on the 20th via Somkele to
demobilize in Natal.

Instructions were, at the same time, issued for the whole
of the Pohce force to remain in Zululand, subject to such
dispositions as the Commandant might wish to make.
The Chiefs, moreover, were held responsible for the
" maintenance of law and order, for the dehvering up to
the authorities of aU persons impUcated in or suspected of
crime, and for the surrender of all unregistered firearms."

B}^ the 22nd, the Active ]\Iihtia actually in the field,
including detachments of departmental corps, numbered
1,102 (all ranks), T^ith 156 ^liHtia Reserves, stationed at
Weenen, Estcourt and Krantzkop.

One would have thought that the invasion of Zululand
by over 2,000 troops would have disturbed the aborigines
far more than it did, especiall}^ as the object was to arrest
Dinuzulu. The effect produced, however, was of an
exactly opposite character. This can only be explained
in one way, namely, that Dinuzulu was universally known
by Natives to be really harbouring rebels and beUeved to
be secretly planning the murders of various loyalists.
Thej^, in short, had had enough of Dinuzulu, and were
only too glad to see the troops arrive and carry him off.
There had been peace for some years when, in 1889, he
was removed to St. Helena, and a similar prospect seemed
once more to be within ^dew. He had deceived the rebels
by not actively and openly supporting them at Nkandhla,
as he had promised to do, or was understood by them to
have promised to do, and now he or his immediate
attendants (presumably on his instructions), were causing
loyaHsts to be shot down in cold blood. As that was not a
role that had ever been played by a Zulu kmg, it is not
surprising that the great majority were reheved and even
rejoiced to get rid of the man.


With Zululand once more in a peaceful and settled
condition, the Commandant left Nongoma with his staff
and an escort of Natal Pohce (25) for Vryheid, via Ngome
forest. After reaching Vryheid on the 22nd, simul-
taneously with the Carbineers, he proceeded by train to
Pietermaritzburg, for the purpose of discussing the situa-
tion with the Government. The intention of the latter
was that all firearms belonging to Chiefs known to be
more or less associated with Dinuzulu were to be called in.
For this purpose, as the Active Militia were demobilizing,
it became necessary to form a Militia Composite Regiment.
The Natal Carbineers were the last Militia corps to de-
mobilize. This they did at Christmas, except about
seventy men who had, at Vryheid, joined the force
referred to.

One of the reasons for calling so strong a force into the
field at the beginning of December was, as has already
been observed, because the most powerful Natal Chief,
Silwana, was believed to have assumed a menacing
attitude. The evidence against him, though strong, was,
however, much less conclusive than that against Dinuzulu.
As the arrest of the latter Chief, as well as of his brother-
in-law, Maboko, and his indunas, Makulumana and
Mgwaqo, immediately created a profound impression
throughout Natal and Zululand, the Government was of
opinion that such incidents were sufficient to serve as a
warning, not only to Silwana but to all similarly disposed
Chiefs. The project, therefore, of invading his district
was abandoned.^

The M.C.R., 500 strong, was placed under the command
of Major Colin Wilson, N.F.A., with Major J. W. V.
Montgomery, N.C., as Adjutant. Moving from Vryheid on
the 2nd January, the force camped near Mr. C. Birken-
stock's residence at Hlobane. Patrols were sent out to

^ In the following year, however, chiefly owing to gross misconduct
towards the Magistrate, Greytown, when engaged collecting taxes,
Silwana was summoned by the Supreme Chief and, after inquiry,
deposed from his position and sent to live in another part of the Colony.
Such action rendered it necessary to divide the tribe into parts, placing
each under a separate Chief.


Ceza on the border of Zululand and to Ntabankulu. The
Commandant arrived at the camp on the 7th. Further
efforts were made in various directions to find guns that
were unlawfully held. On the 14th, the regiment moved
to Louwsburg in Ngotshe district, and from there, on the
17th, to Nyalisa poHce camp. At Louwsburg and NyaHsa
(the latter place is some thirty miles from the Ubombo
mountains), the Chiefs were ordered to bring in all their un-
registered guns. The order was immediately comphedwith.

In addition to disarmament, useful work was done in
these and other parts of the country in tracing rebels,
cautioning those who had harboured them, as well as
generally restoring pubUc confidence. The troops received
every encouragement and hospitality from the various
Boer farms visited. The same occurred in Paulpietersburg
and Luneberg districts during January and February.
The determination that had been shown in calHng in the
firearms produced a salutary effect in every tribe, with
the result that the weapons were promptly handed in by
those from whom, at the conclusion of the Boer War, it
was supposed they had all been taken. On no occasion
was the sHghtest opposition met with, although, of course,
there was sometimes considerable reluctance. This was
no doubt due to the firmness, perseverance and discretion
displayed by Sir Duncan McKenzie. The work, was, how-
ever, put a stop to before half of it had been completed.
An opportunity more favourable to such enterprise will
probably not again present itself for years. Illicit pos-
session of firearms by barbarians is most effectively and
satisfactorily coped with during the operation of martial

By the 17th February, some 130 unregistered firearms
of various patterns had been handed in to the M.C.R. in
Vryheid and Ngotshe districts alone, whilst the general
aggregate for the Northern Districts and Zululand was
over 400. Had the same poHcy been quietly and yet
firmly pursued in parts of Zululand other than Nongoma
district, it is certain better results would have been
obtained than by leaving the matter to be dealt with by


ordinary police methods. It was because the poHce were
thought capable of carrying out this difficult duty under
the common law, that the M.C.R. was disbanded at the
end of February. And yet, on the 12th of that month,
the total number of unregistered guns that had been
collected without the direct assistance of the Militia, from
the whole of Zululand, minus Nongoma, was but twenty-
two. That result alone was sufficient to condemn the
adoption of a policy of leniency. As it is, the uncollected
arms remain for use on other occasions ! It was to the
unregistered firearms in possession of the Natives that all
our gun-shot casualties during the Rebellion, and the
various murders thereafter, were due.^

A very smart piece of work was carried out by the
Police Reserves on the 1st January, 1908. Intelligence had
been received at Nongoma that a number of rebel des-
peradoes were living in broken country at the junction of
the Black Umfolozi and Mbekamuzi rivers. Dimmick
took the N.P. Reserves out at 1.15 a.m. on the day in
question. Fairlie, after the waggon drift had been reached
(soon after 5 a.m.), was sent with a couple of troops down
the left bank of the former river, whilst Dimmick, joined
by Lindsay with a detachment from Mahlabatini, took up
positions along the road between the two streams.
FairHe's report is : " Having crossed the Ivuna, near the
junction of that river, and reached some high ground, I
noticed some fires some three miles to my right front, on
the north side of the Umfolozi, where it takes a big bend
to the south. I sent to inform you {i.e. Dimmick) of this,
also stating that Mciteki's men had not arrived as had
been arranged,^ and asking for reinforcements, as I con-
cluded from the amount of smoke from the fires mentioned
that the people we were in search of were in the vicinity.
At 8.15 a.m. my messenger returned, but I waited until
9 a.m. for reinforcements ; longer delay I considered

^ Many of the unregistered guns were of the Martini-Henry, Mauser,
or Lee-Metford types.

2 This Chief and his men were present, as also some 200 of Mpikanina's,
though late in moving towards the road and drift ; the delay arose
through having to search dongas, etc., for firearms.


would be inadvisable. I, therefore, proceeded with the
men I had with me in the direction of the fires. . . .
xlfter going some distance, I Hnked the horses and went
on foot, with about twenty-five men, and having traversed
about two miles, sighted some shelters, which I advanced
on in a half-circle. We were then sighted by the inmates,
of whom I saw six. I caUed on them to stand in the Native
language. This order was repeated by several Natives
%\ith me, and also b}^ the Europeans who had a knowledge
of the language. The inhabitants referred to made a bolt
for it. Two were shot, and I am bound to conclude that
the other four were wounded. We pursued some con-

Online LibraryJames StuartA history of the Zulu Rebellion, 1906 : and of Dinuzulu's arrest, trial, and expatriation → online text (page 40 of 52)