TRUSTEES P.M.C. Croeser (Chairman) Dr C.E. Merrett Ms G. Richmond S.N. Roberts Ms P.A. Stabbins Mrs S.S. Wallis P.C.G. McKenzie (Secretary) Miss J. Farrer (Honorary Curator of the Special Collections)

EDITORIAL COMMITTEE OF NATALIA T.B. Frost (Editor) Dr W.H. Bizley M.H. Comrie P.M.C. Croeser J.M. Deane Professor W.R. Guest Professor E.R. Jenkins Professor A. Koopman P.C.G. McKenzie (Secretary) Mrs S.P.M. Spencer M.H. Steele MP Dr S. Vietzen

Natalia 39 (2009) Copyright © Natal Society Foundation 2010

Journal of The Natal Society
No. 39 (December 2009)

Published by Natal Society Foundation Trust P.O. Box 11093, Dorpspruit 3206, South Africa

SA ISSN 0085-3674

Cover illustration Our cover illustration, taken from Salt on the Sails: 150 Years of the Royal Natal Yacht Club reviewed in this issue, shows the Armadale Castle entering Durban harbour on 25 June 1904. It is an oil on canvas by harbour engineer and talented artist Cathcart William Methven (1849 – 1925) and belongs in the Nigel Hughes Collection in Johannesburg. The painting is a tribute to the conquest of the sandbar that had plagued the development of Durban harbour for over half a century. The arrival of the Armadale Castle prompted the adjournment of the Natal Parliament, while 20 000 people paid her a visit.

Page design by M.J. Marwick Printed by Intrepid Printers (Pty) Ltd Pietermaritzburg

UNDER the heading ‘A valuable recording of the history of KwaZulu-Natal’, a feature article in The Witness written by Stephen Coan and timed to coincide with Heritage Week began: ‘Anyone interested in the heritage and history of this province cannot afford to ignore the annual publication of Natalia, the journal of the Natal Society.’ It is the fostering of interest in this history and heritage which has been, and will continue to be, the raison d’être of this journal. This issue brings Natalia to the end of its thirties; next year it will reach 40, certainly a milestone in the life of any individual, one which marks reaching middle-aged maturity and one to be celebrated or mourned according to temperament. And this journal complete its thirties with a bang: a bumper edition featuring six full articles, a short unpublished piece as well as a brief reprint, some substantial items in our Notes and Queries section as well as obituaries, book reviews and the annual list of publications relevant to KwaZulu-Natal. Since the mid-nineties, John Deane, a member of the Natalia editorial committee, has chaired the Colenso Homestead Conservation Project which has sought to preserve what remains of Bishop John William Colenso’s homestead at Bishopstowe, to expose and exhibit the early foundations and to utilise part of the property for an appropriate community project. Just as the grand missionary vision of the first Bishop of Natal was never fully realised, so in this project the original vision of the restored building being maintained by the diocese as day-conference centre has not been realised because of changing priorities and financial realities. By the time Natalia appears, the Colenso Homestead Conservation Project will have been wound up. However, Professor Brian Kearney, the architectural consultant on the project, has written an important article recording its endeavours and achievements. In January 2009 a one-day conference was held in Dundee to mark the 130th anniversary of the Anglo-Zulu War. We are fortunate in being able to publish two papers given on that occasion: by Dr Damian O’Connor which re-examines the causes of that conflict in the widest possible context of Imperial policy, and by Professor John Laband, no stranger to Natalia, on the war-readiness and military effectiveness of the Zulu forces engaged.

It is now 60 years since the University of Natal received its charter as a university in 1949. Next year will mark a century since the Natal University College was established. So far as we are aware, neither anniversary has been or will be marked in any way by the present authorities of the successor institution, the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Indeed, their wish would seem to airbrush the University of Natal into oblivion in much the same fashion as later Soviet historians airbrushed out of group photographs individuals no longer regarded as politically acceptable. However, the University of Natal cannot just be photoshopped away and the article ‘Stella Aurorae: establishing KwaZulu-Natal’s first university’ by Professor Bill Guest ensures that, so far as this journal is concerned (all of whose editorial committee members are alumni of the University of Natal) that will not happen. Debbie Whelan is engaged in doctoral research on trading stores and we are pleased to be able to publish her article on what is now a bygone institution but one which played a significant part in the economic life of Zululand, while Christopher Merrett, whose recent book Sport, Space and Recreation: politics and society in Pietermaritzburg is reviewed in this issue, has written a Soccer World Cup 2010-inspired article on African football in Pietermaritzburg between 1920 and 1974 based on his own doctoral research. Natalia has never before had a front cover illustration taken from a book reviewed therein. Salt on the Sails:150 years of the Royal Natal Yacht Club, however, is far more than its title suggests and is sumptuously illustrated thanks to the remarkable generosity of Nigel Hughes in placing his extensive art collection at the disposal of the author. It would have been a pity not to have made use of one or other of the beautiful paintings thus available, many of them by Cathcart William Methven. Hence the Armadale Castle crossing the harbour bar. Natalia 34 was edited by Mark Steele before his increasing involvement in local government required him to relinquish the editorial chair. He has continued on the editorial committee and after the 2009 General Election was made a Member of Parliament, a move which has meant that we see even less of him than formerly. We have been joined, however, by Elwyn Jenkins and Peter Croeser. The latter is chairman of the Natal Society Foundation which funds the publication of Natalia. He is also the driving force behind plans to give Natalia a presence on the Internet, a development which we hope will, in due course, bring the journal to a much wider readership. JACK FROST

Visits to the dentist – 1873 style
Extracts from the diary of Nelly Shire

Introductory Note
The family Nelly (Elina) was the youngest child of Lyster Henry (1800–1866) and Elizabeth Maillot (1809–1876) who arrived in Natal in mid-1846 from Mauritius via the Cape, with their first child, Joseph who had been born at sea. In 1896 Joseph provided information for Christopher Bird’s project on the history of the early settlers. He related that his father was an Irishman of German extraction who had joined the British Army in his youth, and had landed up in Mauritius with his regiment. He bought his discharge after 14 years’ service, married, and for seven years ran an ‘academy for girls’ on the island. It did not prosper, so towards the end of 1845 he gave it up and sailed for the Cape, and ultimately Natal. Elizabeth, born on the island of Bourbon, is said to have had pirate ancestry. They settled on the Little Umhlanga river on the farm Melkhout Kraal (later Milkwood Kraal) where Henry was the first in the colony to cultivate sweet potatoes, and by 1850 was also growing cotton. Sugar became his main crop in later years. Joseph maintained that their home was the first substantial house to be built in Victoria County. Family information also has it that the flamboyant tree near the house was the first in Natal, grown from seed brought from Mauritius. It appears that Nelly’s mother was the one with the money, and Melkhout Kraal (4 280 acres) was originally registered in her name, viz. Marie Elizabeth Chéerie Maillot and that of co-buyer, William Wilson (c.1813–1868). In 1854 something happened which changed their circumstances completely. The first inkling comes in a letter to
Natalia 39 (2009), pp. 1 – 6
Natalia 39 (2009) Copyright © Natal Society Foundation 2010

Visits to the dentist – 1873 style Henry from the Colonial Secretary dated 15 June, recording that the Lt.-Governor had no objection to Lyster Henry assuming his own name, Henry Shire. There is no incoming correspondence in the Colonial Secretary’s papers, but there is a letter from Lyster Henry dated 14 June, superscribed ‘Crown Hotel, Pietermaritzburg’, about the title deeds for Elizabeth’s farm Mount Elias in the Noodsberg. From the SurveyorGeneral’s papers one sees that also on the 14th, in Pietermaritzburg, Henry received and signed for the titles to Mount Elias. From the fact that he was in the capital at this time, it is probable that he had a personal interview with the Lt.-Governor explaining his reasons for wanting to drop his alias. Just over a week later an advertisement appeared in the press giving notice that he had resumed the name Henry Shire. On 8 July he and Elizabeth made an ante-nuptial contract. This particularly excluded community of property in regard to any possessions in Mauritius to which Elizabeth was entitled, or to which she might in the future become entitled. They were married at ‘the Umhlanga’ on about 31st July. An explanation could be that his wife Catherine Barrett had died in Mauritius, leaving him free to marry Elizabeth. A Mauritius resident, M. Bourbon, came to Natal in the late 1840s, where he remained two years, afterwards writing Deux ans á Natal: souvenirs d’un voyageur1 which appeared in Mauritius in 1850. Some of his statements are farfetched or incorrect. However, it seems as though he is referring to Henry Shire when he writes:
Ten miles from Port Natal I met a man well known in Mauritius, who, under a charge of bigamy, married for a third time (so they say) to escape from the severity of English law which, as everyone knows, 2 does not punish trigamy at all, although bigamy is a capital offence. This man, whom I will not name, arrived in Natal with the first immigrants and, in return for 6 000 shillings, became the owner of 6 000 acres of more or less arable land. Today (that is to say four or five years later) this same property, not yet cleared, but enhanced by a fine house, extensive outbuildings and huge cattle paddocks, is valued at 20 000 piasters 2, not including the numerous herds which are fattening at no cost in the pastures, and which represent a considerable asset. It is generally reckoned that cattle sent to Port Natal in the condition required for export are worth a minimum of 15 piasters2 a head…

In March 1859 Henry Shire’s sister Mary Ann Doyle (c.1804–1871), the widow of Anthony Holmes Doyle, and a teacher at the Littleton Parochial School in Thurles, County Tipperary, Ireland, arrived in Natal with her family, Anna Maria (c.1839–1867), Anthony Gideon (born c.1841) and Caroline (born c.1843). Shire had stood surety for the repayment of the fares. Mrs Doyle taught for a time, but was the pound-mistress at the Umhlanga when she died. Anna Maria in 1860 married Thomas Duff (1825–1905)3. Shire was much loved by his family as is revealed in Nelly’s diary, and was a prominent member of his community. In 1854, although at this time it was only through his wife that he could aspire to be a landowner, he was elected a member of the Victoria County Council, while a neighbour, William Lister, even went as far as to describe him as the ‘squire’ of the district. Although his obituary described him as ‘a true Christian’ – his Indian indentured labourers (some of whom might also have been Christian), saw another side of him. The Verulam Resident Magistrate’s letter books record that a commission was appointed by the Lt.-Governor to enquire

Visits to the dentist – 1873 style into complaints against Shire by his Indian labourers, the first sitting being set for 19 March 1862. Then in November the magistrate, Dr Benjamin Blaine, informed the Indian Immigration Agent that the Indians refused to return to their master ‘in any case’, alleging as the reason ‘their dislike to his service’. On hearing Blaine’s decision re their complaint they said they could not trust their master to carry it out. When Blaine promised that at the next branch court in their area he would have them and Shire before him, and see that justice was done, they still refused. He then sent them off to Shire in the care of two policemen, but they all absconded en route4. Shire died in 1866, ‘after a long trial of bitter afflictions’5, according to his gravestone, and Elizabeth died ten years later, both at Milkwood Kraal. Their only son Joseph Elias carried on with sugar cultivation after his mother’s death, but by 1877, while still farming, had a contract from the Durban Corporation for road works. As late as August 1881 he described himself as a planter and contractor, but by September 1882 he was contracting only. In this year he constructed pumps and wells for the Corporation. He also worked in the OFS and Transvaal. Shire Construction (although no longer in the family) is a reminder of his influence on the construction industry. The diary This forms part of the Natal Society collection, housed in the Alan Paton Centre at the University of KwaZuluNatal in Pietermaritzburg. It can really only be described as scraps of a diary, on paper which over the years has become torn in places. Two of the three fragments are dated and run from 18 February–16 March 1873, and 4–21 April 1873 and end abruptly as Nelly was travelling to Pretoria. The third was written in October (possibly also in 1873) and is very short. It is all that has survived of her description of a wagon journey back to Natal. The patient Elina, commonly known as Nelly, the fourth daughter and youngest child, was born in about 1854, and was 19 when she wrote the diary. In July 1874, at St Paul’s, Durban, she married a mining engineer, George Edward Fewcus, a native of Northumberland. Possibly she had met him during her sojourn in the Transvaal the previous year. She died in Durban on 12 September 1876. The dentist Little has come to light about George William Baylis. He married Josephine Ruth Hill in 1886, part of their marriage settlement being a piece of land in Scott Street, Addington, with Baylis’ relation, Leighton Baylis, being the trustee. The marriage was dissolved on 17 June 1890. On 20 June, being about to leave for England and because Leighton refused to accept the trust, Josephine gave her power of attorney to Dr H.A. Dumat to recover monies due to her under the court judgment and to apply for the appointment of a trustee to receive transfer of the Scott Street property. George was still practising in Durban in 1895. More is known of Leighton Baylis (c.1850, Gloucestershire – 20 Apr. 1904, Pietermaritzburg), also a dentist and probably his brother. His parents were George Lawrence Woodroffe Baylis and Anne Baylis. The evidence points to Leighton Street, between Loop (now Jabu Ndlovu) and Burger Streets, being named after him. His wife was Louisa Martha, the daughter of a land surveyor, Robert Anderson (c.1818–1878) who lived at Park View

Visits to the dentist – 1873 style on Erf 14 Burger Street 6 (today’s 146 Jabu Ndlovu Street). Louisa inherited the property from her widowed mother, and in 1899 she and the owner of Erf 13 Burger Street, John Mortimer of Bale & Mortimer, land and house agents, each donated land to create the street. SHELAGH SPENCER

  
Wednesday 19 [February] We have to go to Durban today… [from Milkwood Kraal] Friday 21 … I went to the dentist yesterday and both Henrietta7 & Jeannette8…. assure me I was exceedingly ‘impudent’? to him – He extracted a tooth for me & I wanted him to put in a false one in its place – but he said he did not know how it was to be managed & he would a great deal rather not do it – I then insisted upon having it all my own way – & he replied ‘very well then, but I won’t be responsible for its coming down; I can only do my best’ – After that he came into the next room and gave us such a scolding – He knew that people used to call him independent and disobliging – but he also knew he consulted his patients’ good & not his own – ‘& she’ pointing to me and speaking to Henrietta ‘came here fully expecting that I would not do anything for her – & that she would ask me to do it.’ He said a great more in the same strain which I can in no way remember – At any rate his lecture had a beneficial effect upon me for today when I went to him I had given up the false teeth – greatly to his relief – He was exceedingly agreeable to me today he stopped 3 teeth for me and bade me return next Tuesday – I must not forget to say that he hurt my mouth at the side a good bit & it has been smarting very considerably ever since – When Mr Baylis had nearly done all he intended to he told me I had a great deal of pluck – a great many people had they been undergoing what I was would have told him he was choking them – All I gave for answer to

that speech was that I thought I would make a very good martyr. Saturday 22 Oh! I have passed a miserable night I had tooth ache last night worse than I have ever had it – I dare say I did sleep – but it seems to me like as if I had not slept a wink – I was so glad when daylight made its appearance for I then wrote a note to Mr Raw9 for some Antimonial wine & when it came I emptied the bottle in teaspoonfuls every five minutes but I am afraid the wine was not strong enough as it had hardly no effect upon me at all – at any rate – the very acute pain went away & I had a small nap – but ever since I have been feeling miserable – I still feel a pain in my tooth but not half so bad as it was last night – But anyway in case I may be wakeful again tonight I shall provide myself with candle, matches & a book… Sunday 23 …My valentine is an ugly little thing costing about 6d with forget me not in front & such terribly love sick lines in original (?) poetry – all about ‘thy beauty’ … – what nonsense … Henrietta…decides… it must be Mr Baylis – what an imagining – to go and accuse a poor unfortunate man who does not so much as know my name of sending me a valentine – this is even worse that the romances mother used to invent…. Tuesday 25 … I went to Mr Baylis today according to arrangement & was agreeably surprised to find that for once he condescended to know my surname but of course I don’t

Visits to the dentist – 1873 style suppose for one moment that he knows me – I dare say he thinks I am Jemima10, Rosie11 & myself in one – It was in this wise I discovered that he knew my name – Henrietta who was in the next room happened to have fixed her attention upon a book of Vignette for gentlemen & Mr Baylis rather objected to such a proceeding but at any rate that little circumstance set him talking about the books on his table & he says – ‘I put a Bible on my table but I have never seen a patient reading it yet.’ His fingers were in my mouth & so I could not say anything so presently he proceeded with ‘Oh yes! Once I saw your mother reading it – you see I notice what people do’ my mouth was brimful of table napkin instruments & gold so perforce I was dumb. He stopped one of my side front teeth with gold, this is the first time – although scarcely a tooth in my head is without stopping – that gold had been put in my teeth & consequently I consider myself tremendously ill-used – it hurt me very much indeed to have that tooth stopped with gold but it hurt me a great deal more when Mr Baylis made an enormous hole in one of my back teeth and touched the nerve – this is a tooth which up till now I have thought only a little decayed & about a year ago when I went to Mr Baylis to have my other teeth attended to he said that one was not sufficiently decayed for him to meddle with & now he thinks it would be more advisable to pull it out than do anything else – but out (I believe) of compassion for my empty mouth he has decided that the nerve shall be killed & then put a dressing so as to make the poor old tooth last a little longer I had expected to pay Mr Baylis today & so I begged William12 to lend me £3 10s on the strength of what Joe13 is going to give me on the first of next month – but Nose OO14 said ‘no’ he had not got any money [but] my lady15 put me up to the trick of asking him again down at the store – & so I did with good kind my lady’s assistance & after a few ‘nos’ asked for money was in my purse & I was saying ‘I am so, so, so very much obliged’ – but all this need never have been said perhaps for the dentist says I must go back again twice more he thinks… Wednesday 26th …I went again to Mr Baylis & he took the nerve out of my tooth & stopped it – Amongst the other things he said to me was this – ‘I would so much like to have a pupil I would take so much pains to teach him’ a long pause ‘If I liked him’ another long pause – ‘I refused two boys because I did not like their appearance’ all this time I was longing to say something only his fingers….[paper torn]
NOTES 1 Reprinted in Natalia, vols. 18 and 19. 2 By Bourbon’s reckoning a piaster was then worth 4/-, i.e. five to the £. 3 Author of First impressions of Natal by a Perthshire Ploughman which was reprinted in Natalia 7, 1977. The Duff property was a subdivision of Milkwood Kraal, named Woodlands, but became more familiarly known as Duff’s Road, a name perpetuated as a station name when the railway was built. It is now part of KwaMashu. 4 Shire was not the only one who maltreated his indentured labour. 5 His obituary records his labour shortage, his losses from fire and a stroke which left him partly paralysed. 6 The erf-naming pattern is that the erfs on the Town Hill side of the street take their name from the street, while those on the Msunduzi side take the name from the street behind them, e.g. the Anglican Cathedral is on Erf 17 Longmarket (now Langalibalele) Street, while the erf opposite it in Church Street is Erf 17 Church Street. 7 Her sister Henrietta (born 1847) who in 1865 had married William Arbuckle (1839–1915), at this time a Durban storekeeper. He later became Mayor of Durban four times during the period 1877–1882, then a member of the Legislative Council 1897–1902. He was knighted in 1902. 8 Her sister Jeannette (1849–1887), otherwise known as Jemima.


Visits to the dentist – 1873 style
9 Robert Raw (1810–1876) of Durban – an ‘apothecary and chemist’ according to the 1853 Directory of D’Urban and Pietermaritzburg. 10 Jeannette above – referred to in the diary interchangeably as Jemima or Jeannette. 11 Her sister Rosette (1852–1911) who married William Wilson (1849–1934) in 1877. They farmed at Sterling in the Underberg district. William was the son of the William Wilson who was part-owner of Milkwood Kraal. Her Arbuckle brother-in-law. Her brother Joseph Elias (1846–1919). Nose OO, her diary name for Arbuckle. Henrietta.

12 13 14 15

A modern dental surgeon comments: In the process of making some deductions from Nelly’s diary entries concerning her visit to the dentist, it seems very apparent that the basic principles of excavation, repair and replacement have not changed much. Indeed, these would not be far removed from those practised by at least the Estruscans in c.800 BC. What has improved since the industrial revolution is the advanced means of rotary excavation. I am sure that Dr Baylis would have used standard amalgam mixed with a pestle and mortar apart from the gold filling mentioned. Research is still trying very hard to find a material to match amalgam as a good functional tooth filling material. Dr Burger D. Wessels


From metropolis to village

ur Notes and Queries section (page 95) records the interment of the remains of Italian soldiers and civilians who had died during World War 2 within the grounds of the Pietermaritzburg Italian Prisoner of War church in what is now the suburb of Epworth. In 1944 the prisoners published a booklet titled In Attesa (Waiting) which describes the life of the camp with all its activities, including the building and finally the consecration of the little church. One section headed “From metropolis to village”, written by Renato Resasco, records his experience of the train journey from the huge prison camp at Zonderwater near Pretoria to the Pietermaritzburg camp, where the church was already a landmark, and where his impression was very positive, even though it was another prisoner-of-war camp. The following translation captures something of the poetic quality of the original Italian.


When the train moves away leaving behind the trail of smoke at Zonderwater, one has the feeling of detaching oneself from a big city. A confusion of memories, recent and remote, gallop in one’s mind, and circulate incoherently. From the train window one’s eyes catch sight once more of the last row of the immense city of tents, with here and there barracks, separated by sportsfields, graced by the pointed spire of the little church and extending along the gentle slope of the hill. The train gathers speed, everything diminishes and then disappears. That piece of land at Zonderwater, that knew tears and sorrow, gives place to a sterile countryside dotted here and there with small primitive huts, followed by flimsy houses, streets and gardens, which suggest the proximity of a large town. Pretoria! The active life we feel at the railway station gives us a heady sensation. A thousand sensations swirl in the mind, and a thousand other railway 7

Natalia 39 (2009), pp. 7 – 8
Natalia 39 (2009) Copyright © Natal Society Foundation 2010

From metropolis to village
stations add themselves to the memory, but it’s only a minute, and here we are again, insignificant beings cast on the shiny parallel iron rails, heading towards the unknown, which by now, one must say, no longer causes fear. The darkness of the night hides from us the view of this unknown land. At last, one more stop. The scents of flowers, of tea, of coffee, of smoke. Mist bathes and covers everything, but all the same, we can guess at, if not see, the life of Pietermaritzburg. A short stop here, and we leave. A powerful and mysterious wind has dispersed the humid vapour of the earth, and so, like the opening of a curtain, a sweet, undulating and peaceful valley welcomes us, smiling and colourful in the sunshine. In the middle of this, on a hump of green velvet, a small encampment seems to breathe healthily, and at the centre (as in a dream) emerges a humble and modest church tower. It is our destination, and the train leaves us. A small, short street separates us from the camp, which we find full of different coloured flowers, as though for a celebration. The pointed tops of the tents emerge almost shyly from the green, seem to smile a welcome to our tired limbs. Next to the church, which we never tire of admiring, and looking almost like a toy put down at whim, there emerges, small and gracious, the little building housing the post office. More in the centre are clean and spotless tennis and volleyball courts and an athletics track, whose boundaries are marked with lines of blond sunflower heads, graciously inclined into a welcoming gesture. One breathes a tranquil and serene air, while the stomach is made happy seeing the word “Refectory”, which looks beautiful in itself, on the façade of the large building used for this purpose. The people in this small square village attack us with questions: one is searching for a friend, another for a fellow-villager (the eternal villager!), for relatives – in a confusion of dialects and names. It is always like this, and it always will be so, but we like this, it’s part of our programme, and serves to characterise the ambience and make it typically Italian. And when we have finished all the necessary preliminaries, we can walk at ease along the pathways, fresh, cool, if not shady. It makes us believe we have arrived at a peaceful Zonderwater, transported in a twenty-hour rail journey – but not exactly like Zonderwater. There’s something else that doesn’t escape us, something which is there … which has no name, but it is … One could call it a restful atmosphere. It is a sensation which, not exaggerating, can be compared to that which the city dweller experiences when he leaves the city and finally, tired and breathless, arrives at the little village where his eyes, his spirit and his body find, far away from the noises, from the crowds and from conventions, the quiet and tranquil nest of an ideal homecoming.


‘The general appearance of things is as of old’: The Colenso homestead at Bishopstowe

A significant historical site Given the considerable significance of Bishop John William Colenso and his family in the history of Natal and Zululand, the homestead and mission which they occupied at Bishopstowe and Ekukhanyeni until 1910 is an historical site of major local and national significance. After the property at Bishopstowe passed into other hands, a surviving house and some outbuildings were used as a farmstead throughout the twentieth century. Only a small plaque on the front veranda which had been placed there by the National Monuments Council on 16 February 1949 provided any link with Bishop Colenso and his family. 1 The following is an account of the development of the homestead and the way in which the surviving structures have been rescued and partially restored.

The Restoration Committee When the owner of the farm on which Bishopstowe stood died in the early 1990s, the new owner, who knew nothing of the history of the property, planned to demolish the surviving buildings and extend his sugar cane fields across the site. The existing structures were in a poor state and numerous inappropriate additions and alterations had been made to them over the previous eighty years. Diane Scogings, at that time working in the archives of the Diocese of Natal, was alerted to the potential demolition and brought the matter to the attention of the Diocesan Trustees. As a result they decided to enter into a one-year lease with the owner in order to undertake a feasibility study of how the property could be suitably used, rescued and restored. An exploratory committee of interested per9

Natalia 39 (2009), Brian Kearney pp. 9 – 27
Natalia 39 (2009) Copyright © Natal Society Foundation 2010

‘The general appearance of things is as of old’ sons met on 2 August 1995 under the direction of Dean John Forbes of the Cathedral of the Holy Nativity in Pietermaritzburg. There was unanimous agreement about the desirability of protecting the property as a memorial to early Natal’s greatest champion of justice and peace, and a clear recognition that the ‘present mood of contrition, forgiveness and reconciliation was in a large measure the consequence of the process begun by Bishop Colenso’. The meeting also recorded that ‘the preservation of his home and place of work would be both a contribution to the re-education of young people of all races, and a fitting tribute to his memory’. Thus the initial idea was that the property would be ideally suited as a place ‘available to the church and the wider community as a venue for day conferences, retreats, training courses and seminars’.2 At this time the focus was naturally on the Bishop himself and as he had built the first structures and lived there from 1856 until his death in 1883, the property was seen to be ‘Bishop Colenso’s House’. But it soon became apparent that it had as much to do with his family, especially his daughters Harriette and Agnes, who built another house after the fire of 1884 and continued to live there until their eviction in 1910. So it appeared more appropriate to describe the site as the Colenso homestead. There were also extensive discussions about the need for careful historical, architectural and archaeological surveys; a clarification of the future use of the buildings; the possible involvement of members of nearby communities in skillstraining programmes and the obvious need for funds and fundraising. At this meeting John Deane was appointed as chairman of a committee which was elected to oversee the project, an onerous duty which he has continued to the present day. The author undertook to conduct an initial historical

and architectural survey and various other persons offered their assistance for a range of tasks. One of the first actions of the Colenso Homestead Restoration Project Committee was to arrange a long lease of 49 years at a nominal rental. This included the buildings and 6 118 square metres of surrounding land. The Diocese of Natal allocated R10 000 to get the project started but it was clearly understood that this was not to be a diocesan project and that funds would have to be found elsewhere. Initially a grant of R100 000 was made by the Tourism Committee of the uMgungundlovu Regional Council; and £1 000 (about R8 000) was donated by Bishop Colenso’s college, St John’s Cambridge, and smaller, though generous, donations came from many individuals. A caretaker was installed and the property was ‘provisionally proclaimed’ in May 1996 for five years as a National Monument by the National Monuments Council.3 Four houses Much discussion initially revolved around the status of the existing buildings on the site and their possible relationship to the houses which had been built by Bishop Colenso and his daughters. Since much of the Bishop’s fine house had been destroyed by the disastrous fire of 1884 it was not at all clear as to where this had been sited and whether any portions had been re-used. A preliminary survey of September 1995 of the surviving buildings and historical evidence in the form of drawings and photographs presented a complex picture of four houses having existed on the site. A comprehensive analysis of the surviving house showed many alterations and additions but nevertheless revealed an outline of an earlier structure which in itself was complex in that it embodied different types and thicknesses of walls. [Fig. 1] At this

‘The general appearance of things is as of old’ stage consideration was given to the way the house could be subdivided to provide suitable accommodation for a caretaker and for meetings. Attention was also given to addressing problems with the roof, the restoration of doors and windows; repairs to serious cracks; the removal of certain incompatible walls; remedial work to electrical services and drainage and the possible restoration of the garden. Bishopstowe and Ekukhanyeni During his first exploratory ten weeks to visit his new diocese in 1854, Colenso was granted 8 500 acres of Crown land just outside Pietermaritzburg. On this property he would develop a home for himself, his family and for the various retainers, fellow missionaries and teachers he needed to assist with the mission – Ekukhanyeni, ‘the place of light’ – which would be established a short distance away. It is noteworthy that he chose to build within riding distance from Pietermaritzburg indicating that right from the commencement of his office he saw himself as being both a missionary bishop as well as serving the colonist residents of the capital of Natal, where his cathedral was located. From Bishopstowe he could both plan the missionary work and oversee the normal parochial work of the diocese. His original intention was a grand one and the mission was to have a ‘native’ village with a hospital, school and chapel; a hall to serve as a community centre; an orphanage and a theological college.4
The mission at Ekukhanyeni appears to have been a well planned and well equipped one. The Bishop imported a considerable quantity of farm and school apparatus from Britain, and acquired livestock from the local market. In 1857 he imported £147 worth of ploughs and iron, and the next year twelve more ploughs and six cotton gins. He received, in 1856, £151 worth of ‘philosophical apparatus’ for the institution, and at various times a corn mill, washing machine, lathe, chaffcutter, harness and, quaintly enough, an Indian rubber boat. The most costly of all the equipment was

Fig 1. Plan of the surviving house in 1995, showing various wall thicknesses.

‘The general appearance of things is as of old’
the printing press and accessories which cost him £361. 5

Very little of this was ultimately realised.6 Colenso was also especially taken with the distant view of Table Mountain (Emkhambathini) which Mrs Colenso later described as ‘that majestic altar, always peaceful and benignant’. The site was a magnificent one as his daughter, Frances Ellen described:
…upon a long sweep of hill, surmounted by other lower rises on each side, but over-topped to the north at right angles by a higher range into which one end of its own ascends. Upwards to the north, downwards to the east and west, swept wide the plantation of trees, grown by ourselves, those to the west bounded by a sluggish stream, white with lilies every autumn, across which a low long bridge with heavy weeping willows led to the steep and winding drive, bordered on either side by choice and foreign shrubs, which brought the traveller at length to my father’s ever open doors.7

mission structures, which included a blacksmith’s forge and carpenter’s shop. All the bricks for the walls were made and burnt on the site. The house was a rudimentary veranda house of the type built throughout Natal by early British colonists. [Fig. 2] This had a parasol, hipped roof of thatch which continued over a front veranda with simple pole supports. French doors led from the front rooms onto this veranda. At least two chimneys told of fireplaces in two rooms. This then was the first pragmatic statement of home. Between the arrangement of the three front rooms a hallway led to another veranda at the rear which gave access to a row of rooms which were initially used by the members of the mission party.
Both house and chapel were thatched, the long thatching grass (tambootie) and the finer kind (umcele) growing luxuriantly around, a convenience in one respect, but a source of danger in another. Alarms and accidents from grass fires were not wanting in those days. Half of the farm buildings were once burnt down. At a later terrible time, when the very climbing plants on the veranda were scorched, and the window panes hot to the touch, the Bishop came up pale and lame from a critical corner, where as he told us, he had found himself quite cut off by the fire, and suffocated by the thick smoke…9

The first house of 1854 The author’s second report to the committee of October 1995 presented a pattern drawn from both the physical reality and documentary and photographic records. The first house was commenced in 1854 and described as:
…a four-roomed house facing the Mountain, with a row of small rooms behind it, into which after about a twelve-months’ stay in Pietermaritzburg, the Bishop’s family (now numbering two little sons and three daughters…), with numerous members of the mission party, were at first crowded. Not half a mile down the slope to the south, another cottage gave accommodation to others of the party. 8

The earliest descriptions included details of this first house as well as the earliest

Records from the mid 1850s also describe how Bishop Colenso needed ‘to take off his coat and lay some courses of bricks himself, to prove by demonstration that the occupation was not degrading for a catechist’.10 The lower walls of the first two houses were built of local shale and other farm buildings of stone were also constructed at this time by James Button, his sons and a man named Moss. Young Frederick Button supervised African labourers in the stone quarry. 11

‘The general appearance of things is as of old’ While Colenso was in Britain in 1855 Reverend R. Robertson and farmer Benjamin Balcomb began farming operations, stocking the farm with animals and planting fruit trees. They also began work on the foundations of the second house. By 1855 some £1 116 had been spent on the buildings.12 In 1855 Colenso asked the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (SPG) for £5 000 to £6 000 to be able ‘to complete the design’. He also expressed the need for help and advice on the next phase of building.13 (Some 140 years later the SPG contributed R24 000 to the restoration project). In addition to the houses, a small octagonal ‘tabernacle’ was built in the form of a summer house. This was constructed of laths and plaster and lined with rough bookshelves. Colenso used this as his first study and the room was later used by Dr R.J. Mann, who had been appointed the ‘Lay Head’ of the mission, for his meteorological instruments. Eventually there were two such pavilions in the garden. The second house of 1858 Despite a temporary setback when a fire destroyed half the farm buildings in 1856, work progressed on the mission station and on building the larger second house. This was very likely from the hand of an architect friend of the Colensos, perhaps even someone like William Butterfield, since the building had all the hallmarks of a refined mid-nineteenth century Gothic Revival house. The new two-storeyed building was skilfully grafted onto the 1854 one with an entrance hallway joining their respective sets of accommodation. The steeply pitched thatched roof embodied two large gables built of timber, three smaller dormer projections and two dormer windows to the upper floor. [Figs. 2–5] There were also two dormers to the courtyard side of the roof. These over-sailed the lower walls

Fig 2. View of the east front of the house of 1854 to the right and the conjoined one of 1858 on the left. and so ingeniously provided a ground floor veranda thus continuing the original veranda of the first house fully along the front of the building. Large French windows led from the front rooms onto this veranda providing views of the landscape and Table Mountain to the east. The ornate fretwork to the verandas, dormers and the pointed arched fanlight over the front door provided the necessary Victorian Gothic character. At the south end of the new house was a brick gable with a shuttered bay window. Curiously, unlike the East front which was plastered with imitation ashlar joints, this side of the house was in face brick. [Fig. 6] Altogether this was a much more imposing house for a bishop. However we are left with something of a paradox. If Colenso’s beliefs set him steadfastly against the Tractarians, who maintained that to revive old forms of worship you need to revive Gothic architecture, how did he come to take a stand against the revival of medieval liturgy and yet accept a house and chapel designed with many Gothic Revival characteristics? Paintings and photographs inform us of other parts of the house which now took the form of a large U surrounding a court. The front of the house naturally contained the principal bedrooms, drawing room and the Bishop’s study. More bedrooms for the

‘The general appearance of things is as of old’ Colenso children were located on the first floor. On the south side there were singlestoreyed bedrooms which linked the house to a large room used at various times as a school room, dining room for the mission community and then as a chapel. Other bedrooms and the printing office, some of which dated from the first house occupied the north wing while a free-standing kitchen probably stood at the centre of the court. While the evidence is scanty, it is possible that a veranda ran continuously around the inside of the U-shaped house providing covered access to all its parts. Initially the drawing room was not used by the family as it served for ‘classes of men’ until after Colenso returned from a visit to Britain in 1865. While the house was being built ‘a section of thatched roof and gable collapsed…the weight of the thatch pulling the wall out of perpendicular…[the] roof and all upon their heads…the whole wing [is] now a ruin’.14 The accident meant that the completion of the house was delayed until 1858.15 The bishop was one of the first individuals in Natal to possess a camera and he sent ‘a few photographs’ of the house under construction to Allnutt of the SPG in February 1858.16 He also noted that some of the front rooms were temporarily occupied by Dr and Mrs Mann. Colenso had been determined to involve as many of the local community as possible in the buildings and infrastructure for the farm and from 1855 a process of industrial training commenced. Reverend Walter Baugh, who supervised the industrial school, reported to Colenso in June 1858:
…A mission house was immediately commenced and all the force of the Mechanics on the ground was applied in hastening its completion…even from the laying of the first stone of the cottages, natives had been employed and instructed in quarrying and building; and as proof of their handiwork we now have a strong stone building on the mission ground which was walled entirely by natives. This building is now used as a smithy and storehouse…the force of the workmen was employed in erecting a Chapel or School Room and a Mill and Joiner’s Workshop…In the autumn of 1856 a large brick shed was completed and a brick machine kept at work which produced thousands of bricks daily… the new wing to your Lordship’s being completed, two rooms of the opposite

Figs 3–5. Various views of the 1854 and 1858 houses from the east.

‘The general appearance of things is as of old’ view of Table Mountain to the east. [Fig. 8] In between his numerous travels this was where Bishop Colenso worked and lived, often in his study with its fine view of a Natal landscape:
…the Bishop loved it from first to last, not that he talked about it, – but he would not be without it. His study was without a fireplace, but he could never be persuaded to change it for an equally convenient and quieter room, because there he ‘could not see the mountain’: and the same reason met us when we wanted to put his writing table in what we thought a better light.19

Fig 6. A painting by Clarke of 1883 showing the south and east sides of the 1858 house.
wing were devoted to a Printing Office… Another detachment of six boys have for some time past been under regular daily instruction in Carpentry…These young carpenters have rendered considerable assistance in advancing the completion of your Lordship’s residence, by preparing the boards, planks etc for the skilled workmen.17

At about the same time a chapel was also built of yellowwood to the north of the house: ‘Many months were spent building the chapel…It was constructed of native yellowwood, which endures almost all weathers, the buttresses and gables being painted white…’ This extraordinary structure was correctly built in the Gothic Revival style with pointed arches, buttresses, a steeply pitched roof; entrance porch on the west and an elaborate spire. It was thus a translation of a stone structure into timber. [Fig. 7] Is it possible that it was designed by the same architect who had provided Colenso with plans for the house? Unfortunately there is no surviving physical evidence of this building or of the numerous other farm structures and cottages built in the 1850s.18 A painting of the completed house by Clarke made in 1883, and which illustrates the south side, verifies that the front of the house faced the

This house was also where his wife Sarah Frances and their children resided for close on 30 years. Harriette, the eldest, was only six years old when they first arrived. We know of three events concerning the house during this period. Firstly the ‘top end of the dining room’, presumably the gable of what was also used as a school and chapel, was blown in during a ‘tempest’ on 16 October 1867, suggesting that some of the workmanship was faulty. Secondly in 1875 fairly extensive improvements and some extensions were carried out. This included re-thatching and new timber ceilings to the four bedrooms between the dining room and the drawing room and the enlargement of the dining room itself. Most of this work was done by Chinese carpenters from Mauritius. 20 Bishop Colenso died on 20 June 1883 and just over a year later, at about 3 pm on 3 September 1884, a disastrous fire destroyed most of the house. The cause was a veld fire which was fanned by a strong berg wind from the north west. Colenso’s daughter, Frances Ellen, described the conflagration:
The buildings, composed to a great extent of wood and thatch, were tossed up in flame like a child’s cardboard house, and the dense driving masses of smoke prevented any chance of saving aught 15

‘The general appearance of things is as of old’ confirms the existence of a veranda along the court side of the house, but the long passage is not easy to determine. Harriette’s letter to Frank and his wife Sophie of 8 September provided vivid images of how she had rescued Bishop Colenso’s most important documents and the destruction by fire of various artefacts, items of furniture in the main rooms and paintings. ‘…The heat was so intense that the glass, windows, bottles, inkstands, everything is run together and twisted…’ [Fig.9] After the fire the family moved to one of the early farm cottages which the daughters called ‘Whitehall’’. Harriette said that ‘There is only a three-roomed cottage, tolerably habitable, but there are other rooms needing flooring, whitewash, glass and doors, which will do to keep some of our salvage in…’ 23 The sisters also observed how shortly after the fire the property became an object of intense public interest with ‘relic hunters and sightseers’, a favourite relic being ‘glass from the study window’. The third and fourth houses At some time before 1900, Harriette and Agnes bravely built a new house at Bish-

Fig 7. The yellowwood chapel from the north with the 1858 house in the background.
from destruction except the lives of the inmates and a few cherished articles snatched from the study… 21

Further correspondence with their brother Frank, who had been in England from 1869, reveals other details about the fire and the house.22 Harriette had taken over much of the daily responsibilities for the property, and on 9 September Frances Ellen (Nelly) noted how ‘destructive fires have been unusually frequent’ and that Harriette had been burning fire breaks around the house for three months. On one occasion she had her ‘eyelashes and front hair singed off’. When they became aware that the fire was rapidly approaching Bishopstowe, Harriette actually tried to back-burn but without any success because of the strength of the gale. With the arrival of the fire, leaping wildy across burnt veld, the horses were cut loose from the stables and taken ‘beyond the old kitchen’. She described her room upstairs and having to hastily abandon all her treasured possessions, and told how during the course of escape they ran back into the house ‘along the back veranda and down the long passage, looking for the others’’. There had thus been two kitchens, both being detached from the main house. This also

Fig 8. A painting by Clarke of 1883 looking past the south side with Table Mountain in the distance.

‘The general appearance of things is as of old’ opstowe. Reflecting the difficult times and their own delicate political situation, this was a much more austere house with a small front veranda flanked by two gables which would have been described in the Cape as a stoep-kamer house.24 It also stood facing the same view of the garden and the distant landscape. [Fig. 10]
The old Mission House was burnt down the year after my father’s death. Then we shifted into a little cottage about a quarter of a mile off. it was in a very poor state of repair then. It is now dropping to pieces, so two years ago we made up our minds to move. The Curators owed us certain monies at that time. They proposed an arrangement by which they would pay that money. We made a counter proposal to them, that if they would go shares with us in rebuilding part of Bishopstowe, we would spend a portion of the money they proposed to pay us, on that building. Getting no reply, we began to build. When half-way through, we got a notice telling us that at any future time they wished to give us notice to quit, we should have no remedy for what we had expended. We had the roof on then, and finished it, and afterwards added the schoolroom… 25 walls to my right…rebuilt portion of premises on my left…£700 to £800…put up on the foundations on the north half of the ruins …All the rest of the rooms are left untouched except that the end of the South wing has been rebuilt. This used to be the dining room, and has been reproduced so as to form a fine large room used as a chapel and school room. From the zinc roof is collected a splendid supply of rain water in tanks. These are carefully guarded and cleaned and nothing could be more delicious than their contents…The grounds are still very much run to wilderness, but some of the most conspicuous trees are old friends and the general appearance of things is as of old…

Harriette and Agnes continued to live there until 1910 when a cruel act of the Natal Parliament forced them off their family property.26 Unfortunately there is only one early photograph of the building but interesting descriptions have survived. One was by their brother Frank who was out from Britain visiting his sisters in 1900. In a letter home to his wife on 13 April he noted some useful points:
I am astonished at what my dear sisters have done. they have expended £700 to £800, and put up on the foundations on the northern half of the ruins, a neat zinc roofed dwelling which reproduces not a few of the features of the old habitation… Seated on the front veranda…ruined

Referring to a photograph he said: ‘… restored portion is on your right and extends up to and including the middle hall… rebuilt as a very charming room…French windows onto veranda…measures 18 ft by 12 ft…length of front veranda exactly fifty of my strides – 101 ft 4 in…next my room is the drawing room’. Though his description is confusing in the way he superimposed his memory of the earlier houses onto this new one, it eventually provided an important set of clues about the houses.27 On 22 October 1910, just before she and Harriette moved into Pietermaritzburg, Agnes Mary wrote to a friend Bessie, saying:
It is very nice to get letters from old friends who remember Bishopstowe in its real old days when Papa was here – it is very lonely now, the trees and flowers have grown very much since then and birds – shy bush birds some – and some domestic little swallows (who will drag threads out of the coconut matting door mat on the veranda for their own mats in their nest) abound. I am writing to you in what you will remember as “the little study” opening out of Mother’s bedroom (now our drawing room). Many years after the fire which burnt the whole place 17

‘The general appearance of things is as of old’ a fairly typical rambling farmhouse. This was what the Restoration Committee was faced with and which became the object of an interesting ‘forensic’ study. [Fig. 12] Finding the relationship between the four houses If a photograph is converted into a line drawing by tracing an outline, it closely resembles a perspective. When an architect constructs a perspective, a plan is used as the basis, together with details of elevations and dimensions. It is therefore possible to reverse the process and work backwards from a line drawing perspective to a plan. The present author had just used the same technique in re-constructing drawings of the first aircraft to fly in Natal in 1910. That was the Voison Type III bi-plane flown by Albert Kimmerling at Jacobs between 26 April and 12 May.29 Fortunately a series of photographs were taken of the Bishopstowe ruins shortly after the 1884 fire. [Figs.13–16] These provided not only a clear outline of the skeleton of the conjoined houses of 1854 and 1858, but also useful details of interiors, masonry courses, fireplaces and doors and windows. Using photographs which showed both the skeletal east and south faces and converting this into a line

Fig 9. Harriette and Agnes Colenso outside the ruined east front of the 1858 house.
down Harry and I rebuilt the old part of the house, just taking in the front steps (not the new part, i.e. study, drawing and the bed rooms in that wing) and quite separate by itself the dining room which we use as church and school. When it is too hot and the congregation is over 300 and can’t get into the building we carry forms and harmonium down to the oak grove, which makes a lovely church for Xmas and Easter etc…28 [Fig. 11]

During the remainder of the twentieth century this house was used by a number of owners as a farmhouse and underwent many changes, sufficient to constitute it as the fourth house. A large veranda was built on the north side and then enclosed. Several rooms were subdivided and the original timber sliding sash windows were replaced with steel casements. Many details were also altered. The original chapel-cum-school room, the lower walls of which had survived the fire, had been rebuilt by Harriette and Agnes and became a barn and a number of lean-to structures were built around it. Most of these building alterations were carried out without any regard for the character or integrity of the original late nineteenth century building, yet nevertheless represented in a crude way

Fig 10. The house built by Harriette and Agnes shortly before 1900.

‘The general appearance of things is as of old’ drawing allowed a rudimentary plan to be developed. Further photographs from different viewpoints were also converted into line drawings and provided more information about the plan. [Figs.17–18] Together with the physical evidence from house number four, such as an analysis of wall thicknesses, and the descriptions of Frank and Agnes, it was then possible to superimpose the plan of house four over the perspective plan and search for possible coincidences. This showed that Harriette and Agnes had built their house over the footprint of the 1854 house and incorporated old walls which had withstood the fire as explained in Agnes’ letter of 1910. [Figs. 19–20] Though their building extended slightly southwards beyond the 1854 one, the procedure provided strong evidence that old foundations and walls of the 1858 house ought therefore to be below ground level to the south of the existing building. Furthermore the position of the reconstructed chapel correlated with the plan which had emerged. Late in 1996 Gavin Whitelaw, an archaeologist from the Natal Museum and a member of the Colenso Homestead Restoration Committee, together with assistants Treasure Shata and Israel Madishe, began the excavation of ten trenches in the area to the south of the existing house and found foundations and lower walls of the drawing room, study and adjacent bedroom wing. Gavin’s report of 12 March 1997 confirmed that the developed plan of houses one and two produced by the perspective technique was ‘for the most part’ substantially accurate but that there were minor differences such as the position of the drawing room fireplace and the width of some bedrooms. [Fig. 21] The excavations also revealed artefacts such as broken plates and bowls from the drawing room. Unfortunately it was necessary to re-cover the exposed foundations and walls with

Fig 11. Harriette and Agnes at the west end of the reconstructed brick chapel. earth again to prevent any further decay. The results of this analysis then revealed the plans of each of the four houses and their relationship to each other. [Figs. 22–25 on pages 24–27] Restoration work Much rescue work was undertaken by architect-engineer Michael Dyer between 1995 and 1997. This included major works to the roof, repairs to walls and stormwater drains. Long discussions took place at committee meetings about what should be restored and the present writer was able to persuade the members that it would not be at all practical to attempt to reconstruct the earliest houses one and two, but that the existing house should be restored back to a condition which reflected its late nineteenth century character while retaining some elements from the twentieth century. [Fig. 26] This argument was based on the fact that this was a Colenso homestead which contained fragments from the first two houses and that in 1997 the house had been used as a farmhouse for longer than it had been in use as a Colenso family home. Thus what would be evident would be an historical process rather than something frozen in time.

‘The general appearance of things is as of old’ When he left Pietermaritzburg the Committee appointed Norton dos Santos as architect and in 2005 he prepared the first comprehensive programme for full restoration work, including entrance, parking, pathways and gardens, interpretation of the old foundations, meeting rooms and the chapel. Unfortunately through the severe limitation of funds not all of this could be

Fig 12. A view of the house from the north in 1995. In the interim, the committee, especially the chairman John Deane, had to attend to a number of regular issues. These included regular fundraising; the establishment of a Friends of Colenso group; installing suitable tenants as reliable caretakers; burning fire breaks to prevent a reccurrence of history; insurances; mowing the grass; fixing fences; setting up signage; purchasing furniture; arranging for a new commemorative plaque; arranging tours of the property for overseas visitors and a myriad of other day-to-day administrative tasks. When Michael Dyer fell ill Brian Summerton of Interplan Architects took over and began work on the restoration phase, including installing sliding sash windows, returning the front veranda to its original length, removing some internal walls, and attending to many details and services. By this time a decision had been taken that the caretaker’s accommodation was a priority though no clarity had been received from the Diocese about other future uses. Much discussion also took place with respect to the possible way in which the old chapel could be returned to an appropriate liturgical use and after Brian Summerton’s death Tony Wilson took over briefly and designed an upgraded chapel.

Fig 13. Photographs of the south and east end of the house joined together to show the exterior after the 1884 fire.

Fig 14–15. Two views of the drawing room after the fire.

‘The general appearance of things is as of old’

Fig 16. A view along the east front showing the windows of the principal rooms and the front door, with pointed arch, after the fire. achieved, but once again important remedial work had to be undertaken to the roof, drainage and floors.30 In May 2006 as a response to these difficulties an alternative strategy was pre-

Fig 18. A photograph of the north side and courtyard of the house after the fire. The building on the right, with a corrugated iron roof, was probably the second detached kitchen. sented to the committee. This involved the preservation of the chapel as a ruin, since that is what it had become. The building would be reduced down to its barest condition, the roof and floor would be removed

Fig 17. The reversed perspective demonstrating the development of the plan from an outline of the south-east view of the house after the fire (see Fig 13)

‘The general appearance of things is as of old’

Fig 19. The plan of the existing house (four) superimposed over the plan which resulted from the reversed perspective. (see Fig 17)

Fig 20. A line drawing of the east front of the 1858 house used to determine more detailed dimensions of the windows and dormers.

‘The general appearance of things is as of old’

Fig 21. A plan of the foundations and walls uncovered by Gavin Whitelaw’s 1996 archaeological study shown superimposed over the plans of the existing house. and it would be treated as an outdoor gathering place or shrine in the form of a simple sunken theatre with seating surrounded by some surviving walls for weather protection. More of the old chapel has since been removed as the roof, floors and some walls had become decidedly unsafe. However, since the committee had not received any directive from the Diocese about the future uses of the property, even this appeared to be a doubtful option and so it was decided to utilise the remaining funds on converting the other half of the house into a small flat so that some income could be provided to offset regular maintenance costs. Conclusions The grand vision of Bishop John Colenso, particularly his ideas for the mission station, were never fully realised for a number of reasons. In a similar manner the ideas of the Project Committee have also not been fully realised, especially the intention to utilise part of the property for some appropriate community purpose; the idea of exposing and exhibiting the early foundations; creating a parking area and entrance and the restoring of the chapel and the garden. It is also unfortunate that work had to be confined to the Bishopstowe site and that no explorations could be undertaken of the Ekukhanyeni mission station. Nevertheless the modest house built by Bishop Colenso’s daughters has been rescued and returned to something like its former state. The significance of this is that the building embodies fragments, such as walls and floors which date back to the earliest Bishopstowe.31 BRIAN KEARNEY
NOTES 1. A decision had been taken by the National Monuments Commission before World War II to mark the house in some way, but this was delayed by the war. 2. Archives of the Diocese of Natal, Minutes of exploratory meeting of persons interested in the Colenso House Project, 2 August 1995 and Chairman’s Report, First annual general meeting of the Colenso Homestead Restoration Project, 23 September 1998. 3. Donations were received over eight years from the


‘The general appearance of things is as of old’
following: 1995, Diocese of Natal, R 10 000; 1996, Indlovu Regional Council, R100 000; 1997, St John’s College, Cambridge, £1 000; 1999, SPG, £2 400; Arts & Culture Trust of the President, R10 000; Dr Charles Swaisland R1 000; 2000, Mrs R Dunne, Mr J Colenso and Mr C Martell, R3 000; Anglo American & De Beers Chairman’s Fund, R50 000; 2001, Mr Nigel Colenso £100; St Mary’s DSG, Kloof, R850; Michaelhouse, Balgowan, R3 000; Mr Gwil Colenso £200; Mrs Lois Croft, R1 000; 2002, Mr Brian Summerton, Interplan Architects, R9 690 (Fees); Mrs Roslyn Davey, R1 000; Dr Charles Swaisland, R1 555; 2003, Dr Charles Swaisland, R1 195; Messrs Gwil & David Colenso R12 244 (in memory of their father Robert John Colenso); Dr Sylvia Vietzen & Mr John Deane, R500 (Honorarium for talks to visitors); Natal Society Foundation Trust, R10 000; Department of Arts and Culture, R200 000; Cathedral Men’s Society, R500. Total – R456 030. 4. Burnett BB, Anglicans in Natal, (Durban: 1955) p. 16. 5. Burnett BB, The Missionary Work of the First Anglican Bishop of Natal, the Rt. Reverend John William Colenso between the years 1852 and 1873, (MA [SA],1940) p. 25. 6. The mission station was active from 1854 until 1861 when the Bishop, his family and a large number of the followers fled into Pietermaritzburg on 17 July in fear that King Cetshwayo, who was conducting hunting parties along theTugela River, was intent on capturing Prince Mkungu, a son of Mpande’s favourite wife and a pupil at

Fig 22. Plan and east elevation of the first (1854) house superimposed over a plan of the 1858 one.

‘The general appearance of things is as of old’
the school. When Colenso returned from England in 1865, Ekukhanyeni was ‘only a shadow of its former self’. His daughters then helped him to run the school and even in the last years of Colenso occupation, Harriette and Agnes continued limited missionary work and religious services. Rees W, Colenso Letters from Natal, (Pietermaritzburg, 1958) p. 127. 7. Colenso FE, The Ruin of Zululand, Vol II, (London, 1884–5) p. x. 8. Cox GW, Life of John William Colenso, Vol 1, (London, 1888) p. 78–79. 9. Cox GW, Vol 1, p. 79–80. 10. Cox GW, Vol 1, p. 79. 11. O’Byrne Spencer S, British Settlers: A Biographical Register, Vol 3, p. 108. 12. Burnett BB, Anglicans in Natal, p. 18. 13. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Campbell Collections, Colenso Ms, File No 6. 14. Campbell Collections, Colenso Ms, File No 6. 15. Pietermaritzburg Archives Repository, Colenso Papers, A 204, Vol 3. George C. Allnutt to Colenso. 16. Campbell Collections, Colenso Ms, File No 6. Evidently the camera had been supplied by a certain Mayall, a well-known London photgrapher, and in a subsequent court case Robert Ryder vs the Bishop of Natal, Ryder, the foreman and ‘mechanical superintendent’, was accused of having stolen it. 17. Campbell Collections, Colenso Ms, File No 6, Report on Industrial Training, Walter Baugh to Bishop Colenso, 30 June 1858. 18. While this appears to have been an omission, the restoration committee was confined to working within the small area around the house which constituted the lease and thus could not embark on a wider survey. 19. Cox GW, Vol 1, p. 78. 20. Rees W, p. 321–322. 21. Colenso FE, The Ruin of Zululand, Vol II, p. xi. 22. Rhodes House Library, Oxford, Colenso Papers. 23. This cottage was also called The Farm, Seven Oaks or Little Bishopstowe and was destroyed by fire in 1964. 24. The ‘stoep-kamer’ house was a climatic response to the use of a front veranda on a house where cold winter winds required that protection was afforded to the veranda by projecting two front rooms on either side. These rooms often enjoyed direct access to the veranda. In the Cape a veranda was often termed a ‘stoep’ though the original meaning of the word implied an uncovered terrace. 25. PAR, Colenso Papers, A 204, Documents relating to church properties. 26. In 1910 the Natal Legislature passed an act to allow the Natal Bishop of the Church of the Province of South Africa to become the trustee of all the

Fig 23. Plan and east elevation of the second (1858) house.

‘The general appearance of things is as of old’
original Colenso properties. Harriette and Agnes were provided with small pensions but were forced to leave the property. Hinchliff P, The Anglican Church in South Africa, p. 106. 27. Rhodes House Library, Oxford, Colenso Papers. 28. PAR, Colenso Papers, A 204, Correspondence, Agnes Colenso. 29. Natal Mercury Pictorial, 28 April, 5 and 19 May 1910. Reconstructed drawings were required for a model as the only available ones proved to be entirely inaccurate. 30. For example the estimated costs of work at May 2006 were R320 398 compared to the total funds available of R275 000. 31. Persons who have served on the Colenso Homestead Restoration Committee include: John Deane (Chairman), Dean John Forbes, Diane Scogings (Secretary), Margery Moberly, Jo Walker, Dr Geoffrey Soni, Dr Audrey Cahill (Secretary), Jack Frost (Treasurer), Gavin Whitelaw, Gilbert Torlage, Val Sterley, Frank and Candy Seymour, Dr Sylvia Vietzen, Bishop Michael Nuttall, Mary Gardner, Rev Fred Pitout, Alister Shaw, Malcolm Draper, Gavin Wisdom, Morag Peden, Merle Prosser and the author.

Acknowledgements The interest and editorial assistance of John Deane is gratefully acknowledged. Illustrations are from the author’s collection, the Campbell Collections of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, the Pietermaritzburg Archives Repository and the Don Africana Library of the Ethekwini Municipality.

Fig 24. Plan of the third (c.1900) house superimposed over a plan of the 1858 house.


‘The general appearance of things is as of old’

Fig 25. Plan of the fourth house as existing in 1995, superimposed over a plan of the 1858 house.

Fig 26. Elevations showing various recommendations for restoration work.


The causes of the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879
Paper given at the Endumeni 130th Anniversary Conference on the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879, Dundee, KwaZulu-Natal, Republic of South Africa. January 2009.


he Anglo-Zulu war is perhaps the most well known colonial campaign of the Victorian or any other era. We know more about it than many other wars and it has generated an enormous amount of excellent scholarship. My particular interest in this subject, however, is driven by the wider context of the Anglo-Zulu war, of why it started and what its results were. It has often been assumed in the popular imagination that this war was little more than an unprincipled land grab driven by greed and instigated by a maverick, but the aim of this paper is to challenge some of these assumptions and to put forward a more radical and, I think, a more plausible answer to the question of why there was an Anglo-Zulu war in 1879.

Economics Let us begin by laying the ghost of capitalist greed. In economic terms, South Africa was simply not worth the effort of conquest; individual fortunes might well have been made in South Africa (but not many), but before the discovery of gold in 1886, the region was poor and unpromising – total Cape imports and exports were valued at £7,5m in 1880 (and that includes the diamonds) while Britain’s exports alone came to £286m. Hopes of future mineral wealth were just that – gold, along with the unicorn, had been regularly reported since the 1790s. The Colony of Natal contained around 18 000 European settlers, not all of whom were British, and its two main towns of Pietermaritzburg and

Natalia 39 (2009), Damian O’Connor pp. 28 – 36
Natalia 39 (2009) Copyright © Natal Society Foundation 2010

The causes of the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 Durban were really only villages of 2 000 European souls – during the 1880 election campaign Gladstone spoke to a crowd of 25 000 people at Waverley Market in Edinburgh on one day alone. The ability of the settlers to shape imperial policy into dispossessing the Zulus of their land was also therefore very limited. Other theorists have argued that Zululand was conquered to turn the Zulu warriors into miners and farm labourers, but again this does not stand close examination – the Zulus had a lucrative business in supplying Tsonga labour to Natal, while it would always be far easier and cheaper to import Indian indentured labour than fight a war. Indeed, farming opportunities throughout Southern Africa in this period were both risky and rare and there are few businessmen who prefer the uncertainties of war as a business strategy. And we should take pains to point out that the major forward moves in southern Africa took place before the discovery of gold on the Witwatersrand in 1886 and into areas that were very marginal economic prospects. What economic interests were at stake were offshore in the £190 million per year’s worth of trade that went around the Cape – and that did not include the shipping it was carried in – but the security of this trade would not be enhanced by the occupation of Zululand. Geopolitics The reality is that Cetshwayo and the Zulu people were unwittingly caught up in a much wider ideological struggle being fought out within the British establishment during the mid-Victorian period over the question of Empire and it really is impossible to understand why there was a Zulu war without placing southern Africa very firmly within a global context. Before 1860, Britain had had no serious rivals for her easy dominance of trade and empire expressed in the idea of Pax Britannica but with the emergence of the USA, the unification of Germany and the expansion of Russia towards the north west frontier of India after 1870, Britain faced several new challenges to her position as an imperial power which could not be ignored. There was also a growing belief among military men that the traditional British war fighting strategy of naval blockade and the ‘Third Campaign’ was no longer a viable one. (The Third Campaign was the idea that Britain could afford to accept reverses in war for two successive years in the sure knowledge that the enemy would collapse under financial strain while Britain could still pay for new armies and fleets.) War fighting strategy was no longer viable as a result of the new Prussian military system which emphasised the rapid mobilisation and deployment of large conscript armies for a pre-planned knockout blow before an enemy could properly respond. It was also the result of the rapid advances in naval design that held out the possibility of the Royal Navy’s command of the seas being fatally undermined. Much commented upon at the time, the Austrian and Italian fleets had met at Lissa in 1866 and battered each other for most of the day without causing significant damage to each other because the guns were simply not powerful enough to defeat the armour carried – a matter of no small concern to naval observers. Similarly, a fictional but rather well informed pamphlet published in 1871 entitled ‘The Battle of Dorking’ held out the serious possibility that a surprise Prussian invasion could succeed in capturing London before Britain could assemble her forces. It sold 80 000 copies at sixpence apiece. In India there was a corresponding increase in anxiety as the Russians got nearer to the north west frontier and in 1873 a tidal wave of alarm over the security of the frontier was caused by a certain

The causes of the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 Sir Bartle Frere and his allies in the Indian establishment. In tandem with these changes a ‘Defence Establishment’ of military, naval, imperial and colonial figures began to emerge with some very particular ideas and attitudes towards what they saw as new, grave challenges. They made up an interlocking network of institutions and thinkers based around particular regiments, like the scientific officers of the RA and the RE, the Institute of Naval Architects, the War Office Intelligence Branch and in India, the Scinde Horse. Probably pre-eminent within this movement was the Royal United Services Institute, which we might identify as the first defence think tank. Many of these often well educated men had extensive experience in the empire and believed themselves both competent and duty bound to act with energy and decision. They also believed that in a dangerous world, Britain and the empire needed to be adequately armed – ‘if you want peace, prepare for war’ was their unfailing motto. They believed that the empire was dangerously ill-prepared for war but also that the empire could provide the platform on which Britain could retain her great power status in the face of the bigger continental powers of Germany, Russia and the USA. They also doubted the ability of politicians, easily swayed by the new democratic public opinion created by the 1867 Reform Act, to conduct an effective foreign policy in a crisis. As Sir Garnet Wolseley put it in 1892:
There is no decline in the manly powers of our soldiers and sailors…it is only the quality of our rulers, the fibre of our ministers that has undergone a change for the worst: they have conformed to the democratic system of the day….We want rulers but are told to look for them in some howling fellow who for the time being is in the front rank of the most ignorant of our people. 30

Lord Lytton was even more forthright; he thought the average MP was an ‘exceedingly foul bird’ while Frere publicly lambasted Gladstone as unfit to be in office for his public campaigning oratory. The net result of all this thought and discussion was a conviction within the defence establishment that a more active approach to imperial defence matters was essential and an increasing distrust of the willingness of politicians to take the necessary steps. More importantly, they believed that they had the right to ignore political direction if they considered it necessary and that forward moves were acceptable if they improved the strategic security of the empire. And at the tip of this iceberg was Lord Carnarvon, whose first act as Colonial Secretary was to order a thoroughgoing imperial defence review. The first visible sign of this review in Natal was the building of Fort Durnford at Estcourt and Fort Amiel at Newcastle. When Disraeli and the Tories came to office in 1874, many of these soldiers and statesmen read the new, more positive approach to the empire as a green light for their own ideas on how the empire should be run. As a result, over the next 15 years there would be repeated instances of disobedience to political authority by members of the defence establishment. In 1875 Governor Andrew Clarke RE disobeyed his instructions and established British paramountcy in Malaysia through armed mediation. Clarke was sacked but his successor, Colonel William Drummond Jervois, went further and started the Perak War without permission. Lord Lytton stretched his instructions to breaking point by starting the 2nd Afghan War in 1878. George Colley did likewise at Majuba in 1881. General Gordon was virtually ordered to disobey his instructions to evacuate the Sudan in 1883. St Lucia Bay in the north of Zululand was annexed in 1886 without the knowledge of the

The causes of the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 Colonial Secretary while Zululand itself was finally annexed in 1887 by Melmoth Osborn on his own initiative. We are used to thinking of Sir Bartle Frere as a maverick but he was not. He was part of a powerful political lobby. Which brings us to the man himself. There is no doubt at all about the immediate responsibility for starting the Zulu war – it was the work of Sir Bartle Frere, British High Commissioner, who ignored repeated orders and warnings to desist from starting the war. Make no mistake – Frere started the war; he could have stopped it or delayed it but chose to go ahead, even though he knew that it was a step too far and beyond any acceptable discretion he could expect to wield. But why? Why did he disobey? And who was this man anyway? He has been stereotyped as ‘a bully in a black hat caught with a smoking gun in his hand’ but even a cursory reading of his career to that point would discount such a judgment. This was a man who rebuilt the cities of Karachi and Bombay, freed slaves, who founded universities, initiated irrigation schemes that put millions of acres of desert under the plough; a man whom Florence Nightingale hailed as ‘the best of men’ for giving Bombay a lower death rate than London through his sanitary reforms. Henry Bartle Edward Frere was born at Bath in 1815, joined the East India Company in 1834 and went to work in the Bombay presidency, where he rose rapidly through the ranks – it helped that he married the governor’s daughter – to become the Chief Commissioner of Sind on the North West frontier, member of the Viceroy’s Council (1859–62) and ultimately, the legendary Governor of Bombay (1862–7). For a short period after the mutiny he was, de facto, Viceroy of India as everyone else on the Council had died or was in England. On his return to England he served on the India Council heading up the Political and Secret Committee (a fact that was carefully omitted from his tombstone biography) and shepherded the Prince of Wales on his tour of India in 1876 – no mean feat, given Bertie the Boundah’s extra-curricular interests. He was also a leading defence thinker who had written on Indian, naval and imperial defence. Indeed he was the first man to write a really comprehensive theory of how the north west frontier should be defended and which proved to be the basis for both Lord Lytton’s and General Colley’s campaigns in Afghanistan. On the face of it he was an ideal candidate for the South African posting, but in reality he had two major flaws in his approach. The first was complete faith in the doctrine of the ‘Man on the Spot’; once a commission was given, the Man on the Spot should not be subject to interference from on high and only judged on his results. The second was that he, along with many others in the defence establishment, had severe reservations about the competence of politicians to conduct effective foreign and imperial policy in the new post-1867 democracy where appeals to popular opinion were becoming more important. The background to the decision to post Frere to South Africa is important. Lord Carnarvon wanted to join together all the weak states and colonies of South Africa into one Confederation in the hope that together they would make up one, large pro-British bastion, like Canada, but up to 1876 the policy had foundered on colonial opposition and Boer hostility. However, between 1876 and 1879 a major international and imperial crisis developed which drove Carnarvon to a renewed and urgent attempt to revitalise the policy. This crisis began with a revolt in the Balkans when the Bulgarians revolted against their Turkish overlords in the Ottoman Empire. The Russians, eager to turn

The causes of the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 this to their own advantage and use it as an excuse to gain their age-old dream of capturing Constantinople, threatened to intervene with their armies. For the British this would mean disaster. The vital imperial lifeline between London and India passed through the Eastern Mediterranean and Suez and if the Russians captured Constantinople then this life-line could be cut by the Russian navy. At the same time, the advancing Russian influence in Afghanistan brought them closer and closer to the North West Frontier of India. To the defence establishment, it looked like Britain would face a major attack on her empire in the very near future and, when the Liberal leader, Gladstone, launched his ‘Bulgarian Horrors’ campaign to prevent Britain threatening war with Russia, they were incensed at the paralysis of foreign policy that had resulted. Every subaltern knew that the vital ground in any scheme of imperial defence was the Cape of Good Hope because it provided the only secure route to India – Suez could be closed or dynamited – but like most of the other colonial ports, the defences of Cape Town had been left to rot. In 1866 the Director of Ordnance reported that ‘the fortifications are generally in bad condition and quite unfit to resist attack by heavily armed ships of war,’ while at Simon’s Town they were in equally ‘bad condition, and quite unfit to resist the projectiles now in use’. The guns available were plentiful but outdated and ‘quite insufficient for defence’; Simon’s Town, lacked a magazine dry enough to store gunpowder in.1 In 1874, the coal stocks were ‘quite open to attack’ 2 and the Admiralty’s Cape and West Africa Station, which consisted of a meagre two corvettes, one sloop and five gun vessels, was two gunboats short of complement. 3 Under Gladstone’s administration the troops in South Africa had been reduced from five battalions in 1867 to two and a

half by 1872,4 while the Cape Mounted Rifles were disbanded by him on grounds of cost in 1870,5 leaving the regular forces to be supported by police units and militia alone. But did this neglect matter? Wouldn’t distance protect the Cape from the Russians? It is a pleasant fact that there wasn’t a hostile shot fired on the Cape Peninsular between 1806–1914. Not through all the Xhosa, Zulu or Boer wars did Cape Town once experience the sound of battle and, given the dominance of the Royal Navy during this century, we might be forgiven for overlooking the possibility of a Russian invasion force disturbing its long peace. However, the military architecture tells a different story. The star fort in Cape Town is the most obvious landmark and the remains of a battery in Hout Bay; scratch around outside the Camps Bay High School and it looks like there may be the remains of another one there. Later insecurities put a warship turret on the North Shore battery outside Simonstown. Look at little closer, however, and, curiously enough, one quickly realises that the foundations of the North Shore battery are very definitely of late Victorian vintage; the Hout Bay battery, too, consists mainly of Victorian buildings. Why? Who were they designed to defend against? Walk down into Simonstown and on the wall of the dockyard there is a clue; a plaque commemorating the visit of the Confederate States Ship Alabama in 1863. The impact of the Confederate States Navy on imperial defence thinkers was profound. The global reach of the Alabama and the Shenandoah indicated to many of them that the easy dominance of the oceans enjoyed by Britain was not as complete as might be supposed. The fact that Britain had built cruisers for the Confederacy had provided a precedent for the USA to build cruisers for the French or Russians in wartime and thus defeat a blockade of French

The causes of the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 ports or the choke points at the entrance to the Baltic or the Straits. Commerce raiding and privateering, outlawed in theory at the Treaty of Paris 1856, was back with a vengeance. Indeed, the first foreigner to address the Whitehall-based defence think tank, the Royal United Services Institute, was a Confederate naval officer. If this wasn’t bad enough, the Russian navy then developed a ‘Volunteer’ Navy which was kept constantly at sea to avoid any chance of a blockade and which included a substantial number of marines. These forces were tasked with raiding British colonial ports in the most audacious fashion possible.6 Cruisers would rob the banks, destroy shipping, coal stocks and dockyard facilities and then disappear into the ocean wastes to attack the food supplies and commerce that Britain depended on. The possibility, therefore, of a Russian cruiser squadron leaving a string of burning ports from ‘Cape Town…to Trincomalie, Singapore and Hong Kong; in fact almost any British port abroad’ 7 behind it was regarded as a very real one.8 If this was rather an alarmist view, it was one that was sincerely held within the ADM, CO, WO, Cape, Canadian and Australian governments and inside the Cabinet. Remedying this situation was, therefore, a high priority for Carnarvon and he thus turned to Sir Bartle Frere, a man at the height of his fame, an imperial big hitter, a troubleshooter, a man who could be relied upon to accomplish difficult things, a good man in a crisis and not least, a leading defence thinker. In short, Frere was sent out to South Africa not to tame the Zulus but to get ready to fight the Russians. When Frere arrived at the Cape in April 1877, he brought with him a blueprint for the defence of the colony that he had worked on between his appointment in October 1876 and February 1877.9 Uppermost in his mind was the question of the cruiser and privateering threat, something that he had given thought to for more than a decade. In October 1866, for example, Frere woke up one morning to find the USS Shenandoah riding at anchor off Bombay which emphasised
rather vividly… that she might have dropped upon us quite as unexpectedly in time of war as of peace; that we have nothing to meet her within a thousand miles distant and not in telegraphic communication. 10

This experience echoed in the weakness of the Cape station where ‘there seems rarely to exceed a single ship at Simon’s Bay, some hours distant from Cape Town, which contains the principal Government buildings and the largest mercantile community in the Colony.’ 11 Simon’s Town was ‘entirely incapable of defence even against…a privateer armed with long range ordnance’, and there were ‘no useful land defences, nor the means of constructing them, except at great cost.’ Frere would spend a great deal of time over the next two years in constructing batteries, organising colonial forces and putting the Cape into a state of defence. The pressure was all the greater because he would get no advanced warning about a raid because he had no telegraph to London, despite his repeated requests for one. And three weeks after he arrived in Cape Town the Russians duly declared war on Turkey and sent their armies into the Balkans. Under these circumstances, the last thing that Frere wanted was a war with the Zulus – indeed, he had started to form plans for an African Imperial army into which Zulus would be actively recruited.12 However, Frere never really got control of the situation all the time that he was in South Africa and a series of frontier crises left him reacting to events rather than controlling them. There was other news waiting for him in Cape Town when he arrived. Without

The causes of the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 his knowledge, Sir Theophilus Shepstone had annexed the Transvaal after it had been defeated in a war with the baPedi. This was important for two reasons. The first was that the Boers of the Transvaal were very unlikely to accept this state of affairs for long and would be very likely to revolt as soon as they felt strong enough. The second reason was that the Zulus and the Transvaal were locked in a border dispute and Shepstone told them that the situation had changed now that the Transvaal was British. Previous to this, the Zulus had looked on the British as allies against the Boers and now, feeling completely betrayed, began to take a much more robust attitude to both the Boers and the British. Frere saw the danger immediately and he began to have nightmares about a Zulu war and a Boer revolt at the same time as having to cope with a Russian naval attack. Putting in hand plans for the upgrading of the defences of Cape Town, he quickly determined to go up to the Transvaal and see what he could do to calm the situation. In the meantime he also put in hand measures to annex any port along the South African coastline that might be used as a toehold either for another European colony or as a Boer outlet to the sea – thus the annexations of Walvis Bay and Port St. Johns. And if this was not bad enough, the Xhosa revolted in August 1877, one of a series of disturbances among African peoples in 1877–80, and Frere was forced to spend most of the next year putting it down. And no sooner had this been done when in July 1878 a series of border incidents occurred near a little mission station on the border with Zululand called Rorke’s Drift that was to seal the fate of the Zulus. There has been some speculation that Frere and Lord Chelmsford spent June and July of 1878 cooking up a dastardly plot to attack the Zulus and circumvent the findings of Bulwer’s boundary commission; in fact they were engaged on a survey of

the possible measures for the defence of the Cape peninsular from a Russian attack.13 Furthermore, Hicks-Beach did not reply to Frere’s query about the Boundary Commission report for the whole of July, August, September and October. He finally got a reply on 3rd November. With organised banditry on the Orange river, a digger revolt at Kimberley, Boer encroachment in Bechuanaland, a collapsing Basutoland, disturbances among the Mpondo of the eastern Cape and in Griqualand East continuing, discontent in the Transvaal, and a still unresolved Pedi war, the border violations committed by Mehlokazulu in July 1878 came as a final straw for Sir Bartle. The Empire in South Africa could never be safe if Cetshwayo was unable to prevent his warriors – and there were 40 000 of them – from violating its borders whenever they chose. If Britain was to hold South Africa in the event of a Russian war then it was time that she made her intention plain to everyone in the region. ‘The essence of the whole business,’ [of empire building] he had written in 1865, ‘is first to put down all violence with a strong hand; then, your force being known, felt and respected, endeavour to excite men’s better nature, till all men seeing that your object is good and of the greatest general benefit to the community, join heart and hand to aid in putting down or preventing violence.’ Frere felt that it was now time for Cetshwayo, King of the Zulus, to feel the strong hand and he began making preparations for war. Were the Zulus a danger to the British? The issue has been hotly debated and it is fair to point out that there was a strong pro-war party among the younger Zulu warriors. At the same time, however, Cetshwayo was definitely against going to war with the British and hoped to maintain his friendship with them as an ally against the

The causes of the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 Boers. We can probably say that the Zulus as a nation had no intention of going to war with Britain in 1879 but that they were a potential threat for the future. However, the war happened in 1879 because Sir Bartle Frere made it happen. But Frere could not start a war without soldiers and for this he had to send a request back to the Colonial Office in London, to the Colonial Secretary, Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, who had replaced Lord Carnarvon in January 1878. Hicks-Beach was to become a very powerful politician in the future but in 1878 he was young, inexperienced in colonial affairs and this was the first time he had been a minister. His attitude to Sir Bartle and South Africa was simple: you are a famous and experienced man and I will back any decisions you make in South Africa. Frere was given a free hand. Hicks-Beach did, however, need the permission of Prime Minister Disraeli and the Cabinet to give Frere the troops he wanted, but when he asked for them on 12th October 1878, the Cabinet refused. Although in July1878 a peace conference, the Berlin Congress, had ended the Balkan crisis and ordered the Russians to leave the Balkans, the Russian army had refused to leave and were still within striking distance of Constantinople until August 1879 – for every gung-ho, forward school officer with a cavalier attitude to orders in Britain and India, there was a corresponding empire builder in St.Petersburg. It is, therefore, impossible to ignore the fact that the Russian army was within a day’s march of Constantinople throughout the period of the Anglo-Zulu war. And Frere was the old India hand par excellence. At the same time – in September 1878 – a Russian diplomatic mission had arrived in Afghanistan and it looked like there would be war with the Russians there soon. Faced with the possibility of war on two fronts, Disraeli was doubtful as to the wisdom of diverting troops to a third theatre of war. This turn of events immediately sent Hicks-Beach into a panic as he realised that Disraeli and Salisbury, the leading men of the party, did not share Frere’s fears that the immediate global nature of the Russian threat extended to an immediate threat to South Africa, and that he was thus dangerously out of political step. He had so far agreed ‘with all that was said and done by Frere’ but, despite his inexperience in colonial affairs, he was an experienced enough politician to know when to tack with the prevailing wind and immediately changed his mind and ordered Frere not to attack the Zulus – although he still sent the troops. But for Frere, these orders came too late. He only got a definitive ‘no’ on 13th December, although a partial telegram had arrived on 30th November. He did not manipulate the communications; for this to happen the communications system would need to be predictable and this was absolutely not the case. He was the Man on the Spot and it was up to him to make the decisions; how could Whitehall possibly know what was going on here? If the war with Russia that he confidently expected was going to happen broke out, then it would begin in April or May 1879 when the Balkan passes opened; that left him a very tight time frame to bring the Zulus to battle before he would need to be back on the vital ground at the Cape; he had to fight soon or he could not fight at all. He had ordered that an ultimatum be presented to the Zulus on 11th December 1878 to disband their army or the British army would come and disband it for them. To pull back from a confrontation now would simply convince the Zulus that the British were afraid of them, he thought, and that would encourage them to solve their border dispute with the Transvaal by sending their armies in. He guessed that Hicks-Beach had changed his mind out

The causes of the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 of political expediency. Going through the options Frere thought that the best way to resolve the situation was to ignore Hicks-Beach and rely on the British army to deliver a quick victory, which no doubt, Hicks-Beach would be happy to claim the credit for. A quick success would make British control of South Africa certain and secure the Imperial lifeline and everyone (except the defeated Zulus) would be happy. And so he took the fateful decision to disobey the government and invade Zululand in the reasonable hope of a quick victory that would establish British paramountcy. What he got was Isandlwana and a war that should have lasted a month stretched out into six. What the Zulus got was eight years of war, civil war and eventual ruin. So, to sum up. The Anglo-Zulu war was not the work of a maverick, hoodwinked into a land grab by wily colonists but a by-product of the imperial insecurities of a defence establishment doubtful of the ability of a democracy to run policy in a crisis. His patience stretched to breaking point and beyond by a series of border crises, Frere started the Anglo-Zulu war because he feared that the alternative would be much worse – Boer revolt, widespread African rebellion, perhaps a new mfecane, and the severing of the imperial lifeline by a Russian attack. And he did not trust the ability of the politicians of the new democracy to avoid this. As Lord Salisbury said, Frere thought he had a mission to save a short-sighted government from the consequences of its own folly and acted accordingly. DAMIAN O’CONNOR
NOTES 1 WO 33/19 General report of Director of Ordnance 1866–7. 2 PRO 30/6/115 Carnarvon papers. Remarks by Admiral Sir A Milne, 18 April 1874. 3 Ibid. Her Majesty’s Fleet. November 1875 [by] GWH (Hornby?). 4 G.M.Theal, History of South Africa Vol. VIII, (Cape Town, 1964), p. 148. 5 Ibid.p. 149. 6 Frere to Hicks Beach 30 April 1878: reproduced in W. B. Worsfold, Sir Bartle Frere (London, 1923), pp. 72–4. Also PRO 30/6/122 Defence of commercial harbours and coaling stations. Defence Committee meeting 18 May 1877. Acta of Defence Committee and Memoranda with reference to the defence of commercial harbours and coaling stations. J.L.A. Simmons InspectorGeneral of Fortifications’ report, 1877. 7 Ibid. See also J.C.R. Colomb (ed), The defence of Great and Greater Britain (London, 1880), p. 58. 8 PRO CO 30/6/33 Correspondence with Governors: Cape: Sir Bartle Frere 1876–7. Frere to Carnarvon 24 August 1877, Frere to Carnarvon, June 1877. See also ADM 1/8869 General outline of possible naval operations against Russia, Admiralty Foreign Intelligence committee 14 March 1885 pp. 31–3. See also CAB11/81 Report on the general scheme of coast defence for India, November, 1879. Also PRO30/6/122 Defence of commercial harbours and coaling stations. 9 PRO 30/6/33 Correspondence with Governors: Cape: Sir Bartle Frere 1876–7. Frere to Carnarvon 8 March 1877. Carnarvon papers. 10 Frere to Lord Cranbourne, Secretary of State for India, 2 October 1866. Cited in J. Martineau, The Life and correspondence of the Rt. Hon. Sir Bartle Frere, (London, 1895) Vol. 1 p. 464. 11 British Library Miscellaneous public documents CSD 1/5. 24h February 1877. On the military defences of South Africa. A Memorandum addressed to the government of the United Kingdom by Sir Bartle Frere, (London, 1877). 12 Carnarvon Commission. 13 PRO CO 885/4 Sir Frederic Thesiger, Memorandum on defence of Table Bay, 7th July 1878.


The war-readiness and military effectiveness of the Zulu forces in the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War


he stunning and unexpected success of the Zulu army over the British at the battle of Isandlwana on 22 January 1879 forced the invading British drastically to reassess Zulu military capability and brought Zulu military prowess dramatically to the attention of the British public. The death of the ill-fated Prince Imperial of France in Zululand on 1 June 1879 while out on patrol further cemented internationally the reputation the Zulu already enjoyed in southern Africa as a warrior people who were a constant threat to the security of their neighbours. More than that, it ensured that their reputation has survived to this day as the quintessential warrior race. Yet is this military reputation entirely deserved? So often a commonly held perception turns out to be essentially a

myth created (whether unconsciously or by design) and nurtured until it is accepted as fact. With regard to the Anglo-Zulu War, have assumptions about the war-readiness of Zulu fighting-men been sufficiently questioned, and has the effectiveness of the Zulu army been considered critically enough? In south-eastern Africa the reputation of the victorious Zulu army goes back to the 1820s when King Shaka kaSenzangakhona was consolidating the Zulu kingdom by incorporating or displacing his enemies, and was sending raiding armies far to the north and south. Already in the Eastern Cape the British authorities where aware that Zulu raids close to their borders might destabilise the region, and that the Zulu kingdom was a power to be reckoned with. The Portuguese came to the same conclu37

Natalia 39 (2009), John Laband pp. 37 – 46
Natalia 39 (2009) Copyright © Natal Society Foundation 2010

The war-readiness and military effectiveness of the Zulu forces in the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War sion when in 1833 King Dingane kaSenzangakhona sent an army to Delagoa Bay to assert his dominance over the traders there. When the Voortrekkers invaded the Zulu kingdom in late 1837 seeking land on which to settle, they were very wary of the power of the Zulu state and initially sought to negotiate a territorial grant. The subsequent hard-fought war of 1838 between the Voortrekkers and the Zulu made the Zulu far more widely known across southern Africa. The Zulu destruction of many of the Boer encampments in the foothills of the Drakensberg on 16 – 17 February 1838 and the rout of Boer commandos at eThaleni on 10 April 1838 and the White Mfolozi on 27 December 1838 confirmed the reputation of the Zulu as warriors to be greatly feared, as did their crushing of the Port Natal settlers allied to the Boers at the battle of the Thukela on 17 April 1838 and their sacking of their trading settlement at Port Natal (Durban) between 24 April and 3 March 1838. Thereafter, Zulu campaigns against the Pedi in 1851 and the Swazi until the early 1850s kept apprehension among their neighbours alive, as did the civil war of 1856 and its destabilising repercussions for both the kingdom’s settler neighbours, Natal and the South African Republic (SAR). Genuine British concern about Zulu military potential only surfaced in the mid-1870s when the imperial drive for the confederation of South Africa under the Crown gathered pace. The continued existence of an independent and belligerent Zulu kingdom was seen as stumbling block to the process not only because of the existing territorial dispute between the SAR and the Zulu kingdom that the British inherited when they annexed the Transvaal Territory (formerly the SAR) in 1877, but also because the Cape Colony (the most important piece in the confederation puzzle) was wary of becoming part of

a confederation that might involve it in an unwelcome Zulu war. Consequently, the High Commissioner, Sir Bartle Frere, who was driving the confederation process, decided that he must break Zulu military capacity. To persuade the British government that it was necessary to risk war to do so, he made it his determined business to exaggerate and hammer home the threat the Zulu military system posed to the security of the neighbouring colonies of Natal and the Transvaal, and to claim that the Zulu were putting themselves at the head of a ‘black conspiracy’ aimed at driving the British out of South Africa. As a result, for the first time the British government and public consciously conceived of the Zulu as a dangerous military nation, and Frere’s lurid characterisation of the Zulus as a ‘frightfully efficient man-slaying warmachine’ caught the British imagination. Yet the commander of the British troops preparing in late 1878 for the invasion of Zululand, Lieutenant-General Lord Chelmsford, as well as his staff, entertained a rather different view of the enemy they were to fight. On the one hand, Chelmsford employed the Natal Border Agent, Frederick Fynney, to prepare for distribution to his officers his detailed booklet called The Zulu Army and Zulu Headmen outlining the sophisticated Zulu military organisation and capability the British were about to face; while on the other, the general and his staff remained caught up by their recent experiences fighting the Gceleka and Ngqika Xhosa in the Ninth Cape Frontier War and presumed (despite Fynney’s booklet) that they would defeat the Zulu as handily as they had the Xhosa. It was because Isandlwana so unexpectedly overthrew this fatal but pervasive under-estimation of the Zulu army, and because it was highly unusual and deeply shocking for British troops to be routed and massacred in one of Queen

The war-readiness and military effectiveness of the Zulu forces in the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War Victoria’s routine ‘small wars’ of imperial conquest, that Zulu military ability became so notorious. After all, only the very best warriors in the world could have defeated a British army, so their military skills simply had to be astounding. That is what made the British defence of Rorke’s Drift so magnificent, and warranted the award of eleven Victoria Crosses. The subsequent Zulu defeat in the Anglo-Zulu War once the British had adjusted their tactics appropriately to make proper use of their overwhelming fire-power in all-round defensive positions like laagers and infantry squares, was consequently cried up as a hazardous and laudable achievement by British arms over a truly formidable foe. Disastrous Zulu defeats such as at Khambula on 29 March 1879 and Gingindlovu on 2 April 1879 were not therefore presented as Zulu strategic and tactical failures so much as noteworthy British successes against heavy odds. And this is the position that has endured in much of the literature of the Anglo-Zulu War, for where would the drama be if the war was really nothing but a predictable British military promenade through Zululand, punctuated by a few careless lapses that gave the Zulu some unexpected and undeserved victories? It is not the intention here to detract in any way from the undoubted courage of Zulu fighting-men or the skill of their commanders. Nevertheless, by probing the conventional wisdom regarding the Zulu military performance in 1879, problems with Zulu battle-preparedness will be brought to light, and it will be suggested that Zulu irregulars were more successful in facing the British than were the amabutho (age-grade regiments) of the conventional military system. Consider first Zulu battle-preparedness. In early January 1879 the amabutho mobilised fully in the Mahlabathini plain in order to repel the British invasion that began on 11 January once Frere’s ultimatum with its impossibly stringent demands expired. Prior to that, in September 1878, several amabutho had been mobilised to stage mock hunts along the Natal-Zululand border as a show of strength during the escalating crisis that culminated in the delivery of the British ultimatum on 11 December 1878. In October 1878 King Cetshwayo kaMpande had mobilised much of the Zulu army believing that war was imminent, but had let it disperse again in November when the British took no action. Seventeen years prior to that, in mid-1861, the Zulu army had partially mobilised against the Transvaal Boers who were making incursions into north-western Zululand, and these military precautions had set off the so-called Zulu ‘Invasion Scare’ in Natal. Yet not one of these three mobilisations before the final one in January 1879 preceded actual hostilities against either the Boers or the British. In that sense, they were no different from the annual mustering of the amabutho in the Mahlabathini plain for the umKhosi (first-fruits ceremony) when the army was ritually strengthened. In fact, the last mobilisation that had resulted in an actual campaign against whites had been in December 1838 during the VoortrekkerZulu War, 40 years before. And what was the Zulu military record in wars against other African polities in the 40 years between the VoortrekkerZulu War and the Anglo-Zulu War? Taking advantage of the Voortrekker defeat of the Ndebele on the highveld in 1836 – 1837, the Zulu raided the Ndebele between June and September 1837, although with disappointingly limited success. After the Boer victory at Ncome on 16 December 1838 in the Voortrekker-Zulu War, King Dingane attempted to carve out a new kingdom north across the Phongolo to put space between him and the Voortrekkers. In the

The war-readiness and military effectiveness of the Zulu forces in the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War winter of 1839 he made a serious attempt to conquer the southern half of the Swazi kingdom, but the Swazi defeated four of his amabutho at the battle of Lubuye and forced him to abandon the project. A dynastic dispute in Swaziland in the mid-1840s gave King Mpande kaSenzangakhona a fresh opportunity for Zulu intervention. One claimant, Prince Mswati waSobhuza, who in July 1846 had secured the military assistance of the Ohrigstad Boers (in what would later be part of the SAR) defeated Prince Malambule waSobhuza, the claimant supported by Mpande, and pursued him into northwestern Zululand. This gave Mpande his casus belli and his amabutho invaded Swaziland in early 1847. Baffled by Swazi irregular warfare and Boer firepower, the Zulu withdrew in July 1847. In 1848 Mpande invaded again. This time Mswati had no Boer support because they had switched it to another royal claimant, Prince Somcuba waSobhuza, and expediently submitted to Mpande, paying tribute for a while. But Mpande had to stop short of outright conquest because the British in Natal were concerned at the growth of Zulu power and threatened military intervention. In 1852 Mswati rose up against Zulu control, and Mpande responded with a major raid that swept the country clean of cattle. Fearing a massive influx of Swazi refugees, the Natal government put pressure on Mpande to withdraw, and Mswati was able to start consolidating his hold over his kingdom. Mpande contemplated new raids in 1858 and 1862, but internal unrest in Zululand and British disapproval prevented him. On his accession in 1872 King Cetshwayo was ardent for a fresh Swazi campaign to blood his younger amabutho and to acquire booty to reward their loyalty. But Swazi power had grown in the 20 years since the last Zulu invasion, and many of his councillors advised against a new

attempt. Most importantly, they were concerned that the British were consistently opposed to wars that might destabilise the region, and they hoped to secure British support in the longstanding standoff over the Disputed Territory with the Boers of the SAR. Consequently, when Cetshwayo planned Swazi campaigns in 1874, 1875 and 1876, his council dissuaded him on every occasion. Self-destructively, the Zulu fought each other too. In the First Zulu Civil War of 1840 Prince Mpande, who in September 1839 had fled with his adherents to the Boers of the Republic of Natalia for fear of being liquidated by his half-brother, King Dingane, returned in January 1840 and defeated Dingane’s army at the Maqongqo Hills. Each side at the Maqongqo Hills fielded about 5 000 men who faced each other armed with spears and shields and arrayed in traditional chest and horns formation. The Second Zulu Civil War was fought in 1856 when Prince Cetshwayo and his half-brother Prince Mbuyazi kaMpande fought for the right to succeed their father, King Mpande. On 2 December between 15 000 and 20 000 uSuthu (as Cetshwayo’s adherents were known) routed 7 000 of Mbuyzi’s iziGqoza at the battle of Ndondakusuka, killing 5 000 warriors and slaughtering some three-quarters of the thousands of non-combatants sheltering with them. Ndondakusuka thus saw the heaviest casualties in any one battle ever fought by the Zulu. The two sides were again arrayed in traditional formation, but what was new at Ndondakusuka was a contingent of 35 Natal frontier police and 100 African hunters and some white hunter-traders under John Dunn placed on the iziGqoza left horn. With their firearms these iziNqobo, or ‘Crushers’, did considerable execution before the collapse of the iziGqoza’s right

The war-readiness and military effectiveness of the Zulu forces in the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War horn precipitated the rout that engulfed the iziNqobo. If we discount the incident at the umKhosi on 25 December 1877 when a fracas between jealous amabutho, primarily the uThulwana and iNgobamakhosi, resulted in some 60 deaths, Ndondakusuka was the last time the Zulu fought a battle before Isandlwana, some 23 years later – a gap (to put it into familiar perspective) two years longer that that between the First and Second World Wars, or three years longer than the gap between the Anglo-Zulu War and the Anglo-Boer South African War. Rather a long hiatus in active service, one might say, for such an apparently ferocious warrior nation. Naturally, a gap of 20 years between battles does not mean that many individuals who had fought in earlier campaigns did not do so again in 1879. Of the Zulu commanders at Isandlwana, for example, Chief Ntshingwayo kaMahole Khosa, who was born in about 1823, had probably fought in some of the Swazi campaigns; Chief Mavumengwana kaNdlela Ntuli, born in about 1830, definitely took part in the invasion of Swaziland in 1847 and probably fought at Ndondakusuka – as had King Cetshwayo himself. Prince Dabulamanzi kaMpande, who commanded at Rorke’s Drift, was born in 1839 and likely was present at Ndondakusuka. Four of the amabutho who fought in the Anglo-Zulu War (namely the iSangqu, uThulwana, iNdlondlo and uDloko) were aged between 41 and 47. They had been formed before the Second Zulu Civil War of 1856 and all had fought at Ndondakusuka. It was the practice to incorporate newly formed amabutho with favoured aging ones such as the 33-year-old iNdluyengwe with the 45-year-old uThulwana to keep up their strength, but during the Anglo-Zulu War other veterans of Ndondakusuka like the iNdabakawombe and uDlambedlu (who were aged 58 and 56 respectively) were mainly kept in reserve in the Mahlabathini plain to protect the king. Small, local contingents of superannuated amabutho might still take the field as did the uDlambedlu and the 55-year-old izinGulube at the battle of Nyezane on 22 January 1879, but their contribution was a minor one. Otherwise, not one of the remaining twelve amabutho who fought in the AngloZulu War had seen the field of battle: this was to be their very first campaign. Even the most prominent amabutho in the war – the uMbonambi, uMcijo, uMxhapho, iNgobamakhosi and uNokhenke – were previously unblooded warriors between their mid-20s and mid-30s. This is not to deny that they were desperately eager to face the British in battle and were completely confident in their ability to beat them. But that is precisely the problem. Who among them had any experience in facing disciplined soldiers armed with modern breech-loading rifles? It is true that the four amabutho who had fought at Ndondakusuka had all been on the right horn and had faced the firepower of the iziNqobo, and some had probably been fired upon by Boers in the Swazi campaign of 1847. Yet those firearms were flint-lock muskets, not nearly as effective as breech-loading Martini-Henry rifles. Moreover, they were fired by men in open skirmishing order. Now it is true that at Isandlwana the British, relying on their experience in the Ninth Frontier War, were also deployed in skirmishing order, but only one of the four veteran amabutho of Ndondkusuka (the iSangqu) formed part of the Zulu attack on the British camp when they advanced as part of the outflanking right horn. The other three veteran amabutho (the uThulwana, iNdlondlo and uDloko, plus the iNdluyengwe incorporated with the uThulwana) were part of the uncommitted reserve at Isandlwana

The war-readiness and military effectiveness of the Zulu forces in the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War and went on to attack Rorke’s Drift. And here they fought the sort of battle no Zulu had faced since their fathers were broken before the Voortrekker laagers at Veglaer (emaGebeni) on 13 – 15 August 1838 and Blood River (Ncome) on 16 December 1838, and no veteran amabutho of that war were with the Zulu army in January 1879. Attacking an all-round defensive position at Rorke’s drift defended by desperate men armed with modern rifles and bayonets was therefore an entirely novel experience for all elements of the Zulu army operating in 1879. It was an encounter in which remarkable courage and tenacity could not make up for the inadequacies of tactics based on traditional hand-to-hand combat. And here we encounter the intractable problem of the paralysis in Zulu tactical thinking. Isandlwana had been a victory because the British were in an extended linear formation with flanks that could be turned in accordance with traditional Zulu tactics that depended on swift manoeuvre and envelopment in the open field. At the battles of Khambula, Gingindlovu and Ulundi the fort, laagers and infantry square put the Zulu in the same disadvantageous situation they had encountered at Rorke’s Drift: they had to throw themselves in waves against prepared, all-round defences bristling not only with rifles and artillery but, at Ulundi, with Gatling guns as well. What had not succeeded at Rorke’s Drift in considerably more favourable circumstances in terms of numerical odds and surprise had even less chance of doing so in these later set-piece battles. Yet the

Men of the uNokhenke ibutho photographed in c. 1879. Photo courtesy of the Cecil Renaud Library, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg.

The war-readiness and military effectiveness of the Zulu forces in the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War Zulu command and the rank-and-file of the amabutho could apparently not conceive of any alternative to tactics that had repeatedly failed. As the Duke of Wellington said of the French at Waterloo, they came on in the same old way and were sent back in the same old way. Yet tactical alternatives were available and some Zulu saw that. By 1878 there were about 12 000 inferior, obsolete firearms like muzzle-loading flintlock muskets in Zulu hands, as well as some 7 500 percussion-cap rifles and 500 breech-loading rifles reserved for men of higher status. However, most Zulu tended to employ firearms as secondary weapons in place of throwing-spears, to be cast aside when (in their minds) the hand-to-hand fighting ensued with the iconic stabbing-spear. In any case, amabutho were untrained in the effective use of their mainly inferior firearms and marksmanship was consequently very poor. Yet by the 1870s several hundred Zulu were familiar with modern firearms through contact with white hunters, traders and adventurers in Zululand. The Zulu snipers posted on Shiyane during the battle of Rorke’s Drift posed a genuine threat to the defenders. Once the 800-odd Martini-Henry rifles captured from the British at Isandlwana were distributed into skilled hands they were used effectively at Khambula where Zulu marksmen posted in the rubbish heaps above the camp discomforted the British with enfilading fire and drove back a British sortie. Some of the younger Zulu commanders were more innovative than their very conventional seniors. Zibhebhu kaMaphitha, the ambitious Mandlakazi chief who was born in about 1841, grasped the effectiveness of combining guns and horses in Boer commando style. In the Third Zulu Civil War of 1883 – 1884 that followed the British break-up of the Zulu kingdom, he applied the tactics of mounted infantry with devastating effect against his conventional uSuthu adversaries. During the Anglo-Zulu War he played his part as a senior induna of the uDloko in conventional operations, but the day before Isandlwana his mounted scouts effectively masked the movement of the Zulu army from Siphezi to the Ngwebeni valley from British patrols. On the eve of the battle of Ulundi his mounted men adroitly lured Lieutenant-Colonel Redvers Buller’s reconnaissance-in-force across the Mahlabathini plain into an ambush from which they were fortunate to break free. A war of manoeuvre was the antidote to the conventional set-piece battles conservative commanders, both Zulu and British, preferred. Here Zulu commanders seem to have lost sight of the lessons of the Voortrekker-Zulu War where at eThaleni and at the White Mfolozi the Zulu caught the Boers outside their laagers and defeated them in running fights. Surely Chief Godide kaNdlela Ntuli, who was nearly 70 years old in 1879 and most probably had fought the Voortrekkers in 1838, had this lesson in mind when he attempted to ambush the British at Nyezane (Wombane) while they were strung out on the march. This certainly was the sensible and appropriate tactic and failed largely because he was in command of second-rate troops (all the crack amabutho were with the army fighting at Isandlwana the same day) who could not effectively co-ordinate their movements and had not the stomach to press home the attack. The truly great mystery of the war is why the Zulu never again attacked a British column while vulnerable on the line of march, but waited until they were installed behind their defences as the Boers had been in 1838 at Veglaer and Ncome. It is true that it was Cetshwayo’s

The war-readiness and military effectiveness of the Zulu forces in the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War plan that Colonel Evelyn Wood be lured out of his fortified camp at Khambula by a feint towards Utrecht, and that this sensible strategy was ruined by the younger amabutho who insisted on an immediate, direct attack to prove their mettle. But this does not explain why Chelmsford was not attacked on the march before Gingindlovu and again before Ulundi. Certainly, that is what he expected and feared. Is it sufficient to explain this lack of pragmatic innovation in terms of a conservative Zulu military culture that valued the prowess of hand-to-hand fighting above all things, and put more store on the vindication of individual masculine honour in combat than in victory itself? After all, there would have been much more opportunity for this form of toe-to-toe fighting in ambushing and overwhelming a column on the march than there was in hurling oneself with spear and shield against an impenetrable wall of fire directed from firm defences. After Rorke’s Drift, why replicate tactics that repeatedly failed? Isandlwana had been a victory because of faulty British dispositions that in the dispersal of units and the presentation of vulnerable flanks were reminiscent of an escorted convoy or column on the march. Was not the lesson clear? After all, expert Zulu scouting and intelligence gathering (so superior to the invaders’ fumbling efforts) kept them in close touch with every move the enemy made. Moreover, as Isandlwana and Nyezane demonstrated, they had the capability of bringing up large forces undetected by the British. Undoubtedly, therefore, they had the ability to attack a column on the march before it could form laager? So why was the ambush at Nyezane the only attempt to adopt this obvious line of attack? Interestingly, Zulu lack of tactical flexibility and innovation seems to have been

confined to the regular amabutho and most, but not all, of their usually elderly commanders. It has already been noted how the innovative Zibhebhu broke the conventional mould in his ambush of Buller’s reconnaissance patrol the day before Ulundi; the performance of the unknown commander of the Zulu forces stationed at eZulaneni under Zungeni Mountain was no less adroit. On 5 June 1879 his 300 men, most of them carrying firearms, successively repulsed 300 British irregular horse and then 500 regular cavalry through employing effective skirmishing and enfilading tactics and making the best use of the broken terrain and dense cover. The most successful practitioners of this form of irregular warfare were in north-western Zululand. There Mbilini waMswati, a Swazi prince who had lost a succession dispute in 1865 and had given his allegiance to Cetshwayo with his adherents, emerged as the most successful commander in the region along with Sikhobobo kaMabhabhakazana, an abaQulusi induna. Mbilini swooped down on an unprepared British convoy encamped at the Ntombe River on 12 March and overran it; while on 28 March he and Sikhobobo cut off and routed the British under Colonel Wood raiding Hlobane Mountain, inflicting casualties second only to Isandlwana in their severity. For months the Kubheka people under Manyonyoba kaMaqondo waged a very effective campaign from their caves in the Ntombe valley, bottling up the Luneburg garrison and surviving a series of mounted sorties intended to subdue them. Wood’s forces never succeeded in entirely pacifying the region, and the abaQulusi and Kubheka were the last Zulu units to remain active in the field once the regular amabutho dispersed after Ulundi, the Kubheka only finally surrendering on 8 September 1879, two months after the battle.

The war-readiness and military effectiveness of the Zulu forces in the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War

Chief Zibhebhu kaMaphitha standing centre. Photo C. 740 courtesy of the KwaZulu-Natal Archives (Pietermaritzburg Repository). Perhaps it was precisely because the abaQulusi were not part of the regular ibutho system, and Mbilini’s and Manyonyoba’s adherents were refugees and renegades cobbled together on the furthest margins of the Zulu kingdom that they were so successful in engaging the British in hit-and-run, skirmishing tactics from secure mountain fastnesses. Certainly, Mbilini gained his military apprenticeship in Swaziland where precisely this mode of fighting was the norm. It is no coincidence that African states in the vicinity of Zululand that best resisted white conquest were those of the Pedi and Sotho who relied increasingly on firearms, who used their broken terrain effectively against the invaders and who, in the case of the Sotho, early adopted horses and fought when appropriate like mounted infantry. Those Zulu who resisted most successfully in 1879 did the same. We must not be seduced by the spectacular success of the conventional Zulu army

The war-readiness and military effectiveness of the Zulu forces in the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War at Isandlwana into believing (along with the British public and white settlers at the time) that the regular amabutho best represented the fighting spirit and military skills of the Zulu. Zibhebhu’s mounted scouts drawing the British into an ambush on the Mahlabathini Plain, Mbilini’s irregulars firing from behind the rocks of their stronghold on Hlobane: these skilled and daring combatants were at least as valiant as the regular amabutho and certainly possessed a far better, much more modern notion of how to fight back successfully against the British. JOHN LABAND
RECOMMENDED READING Greaves, Adrian, and Ian Knight. Who’s Who in the Zulu War 1879. Vol. II, Colonials and Zulus. Barnsley, South Yorkshire: Pen & Sword Military, 2007. Jones, Huw M. The Boiling Cauldron: Utrecht District and the Anglo-Zulu War, 1879. Bisley, Gloucestershire: The Shermershill Press, 2006. Knight, Ian. The Anatomy of the Zulu Army from Shaka to Cetshwayo 1818–1879. London: Greenhill Books, 1995. Laband, John. The Rise and Fall of the Zulu Nation. London: Arms and Armour Press, 1997. Laband, John, ed. Historical Dictionary of the Zulu Wars. Lanham, Maryland, Toronto and Oxford: The Scarecrow Press, 2009. Laband, John. ‘Bloodstained Grandeur: Colonial and Imperial Stereotypes of Zulu Warriors and Zulu Warfare.’ In Zulu Identities: Being Zulu, Past and Present, edited by Benedict Carton, John Laband and Jabulani Sithole. Pietermaritzburg: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2008. Laband, John and Paul Thompson. The Illustrated Guide to the Anglo-Zulu War. Pietermaritzburg: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2000. Storey, William Kelleher. Guns, Race and Power in Colonial South Africa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.


Social control and communal resistance: African football in Pietermaritzburg, 1920–74

riving into Pietermaritzburg from the northern suburbs, it is still possible to spot the Tatham Memorial Pavilion amidst surrounding industrial, commercial and residential development. It now looks quaintly anachronistic, its sports ground hemmed in by Manning Road extension and Jika Joe informal settlement. Its dimensions and architecture were always modest, but it is one of the most significant buildings in the history of the city’s African population. Opened on 28 July 1937, it was named after Judge F.S. Tatham. President of the South African Native Football Association Oliver Msimang commented at the opening function that whites had brought light into darkness, and expressed pleasure in being a subject of His Majesty. Previously, he reportedly said, the only sport of


Africans had been fighting. Perhaps he saw this as diplomatic as Governor-General Sir Patrick Duncan was also present. Duncan spoke of the pavilion as ‘testimony to the growing consciousness of the Europeans towards the needs of natives … [allowing them] to enjoy a useful and healthy life’. He went on to add that for ‘too long … had the Europeans forgotten the needs of the native who had come to town to work for him; too long had the natives’ amusements been overlooked. The grounds would enable the native to live like a human being and would provide for him the sport that the Europeans required themselves’. Duncan exuded a sense of noblesse oblige and a clear understanding of the value of social investment in sport, or rational recreation. Mrs Tatham did so as well, speaking of the ground as a place to ‘learn the lessons that

Natalia 39 (2009), Christopher Merrett pp. 47 – 64
Natalia 39 (2009) Copyright © Natal Society Foundation 2010

Social control and communal resistance: African football in Pietermaritzburg, 1920–74 was anxious to use West End while black clubs were not keen to relocate close to the shebeens at Sutherlands. The municipal authorities were clearly intent on relocating black football from the town, in spite of rejection of Mason’s Mill by no less than 15 clubs, and offered £25 to make the move more attractive. The Maritzburg District Native Football Association (MDNFA) compared its treatment unfavourably with that of its equivalents in Durban, Ladysmith and Dundee. However, by April 1923 the ‘Native Football Association had given up the ground used by them near Pine Street’.3 There is evidence to show that African football in Pietermaritzburg in the immediate aftermath of the Great War was strongly influenced by radical politics. Pietermaritzburg refused to join the Natal Native Football Association (NNFA) because Durban had a white president, Douglas Evans. His removal was demanded, but Durban declined and the NNFA was formed with Dundee and Ladysmith to the exclusion of the radicals, although Evans resigned in 1923 and Pietermaritzburg joined the NNFA two years later.4 The acute social problems of Africans living on the margins of urban life in Pietermaritzburg had largely been ignored by whites, although black leisure time was a matter of considerable anxiety. The potential use of African spare time was much feared: it was the only opportunity left for the expression of repressed aspirations. The official objective was an urban African population that was stable, healthy and apolitical; and team sport was an attractive catalyst. A major concern was control of African popular culture that operated outside the discipline of the work place: this included the shebeen, amalaita (stick fighting) gangs, ngoma group dancing, dance halls, church choirs and football.5 Similarly in Rhodesia there was pressure for the regulation of African

Judge F.S. Tatham games teach of goodwill and fair play’.1 The Maritzburg District Bantu Football Association (MDBFA) was later to describe ‘these magnificent grounds [as] a pride to the municipality as well as to the natives … We, natives of Pietermaritzburg are profoundly grateful and indebted to the burgesses of the city’.2 But this tranquil picture had other dimensions and belied the relationship between the white authorities and African sportspersons. The dialogue between the Pietermaritzburg City Council and African football had started in 1920 when a request was made for the use of the West End Park on outspan 3 bordering Pine Street and the polo ground. This was granted in 1922, but by the following year another ground was being requested. Permission was given for a new pitch at West End Park and two grounds were allotted at Mason’s Mill with access by railway. But the white Maritzburg District Football Association (MDFA) based at the Drill Hall

Social control and communal resistance: African football in Pietermaritzburg, 1920–74 recreation, boxing in particular, so as to reduce ‘pandemonium’ and ‘vice’.6 In Uganda and Northern Rhodesia football was encouraged as a ‘moral purgative distraction’ from what was regarded by colonial officials as sexually suggestive dancing.7 In Pietermaritzburg whites feared free time for Africans, imagining that it would lead inevitably to crime, alcoholism, illicit sex and, perhaps most worrying of all, radical political activity. Ngoma dancing was seen by whites as threatening because of its apparent military connotations and its connections with amalaita.8 This led, logically, to the instrumental use of recreation in line with the findings of the Phelps Stokes Commission on Africa of the 1930s, which argued that blacks should be ‘taught to play healthfully’.9 Recreation and labour matters went hand in hand as a political issue. Nowhere was it suggested that, Sobantu apart, Africans had a fundamental right to recreational facilities. The more sophisticated officials argued that sports grounds would improve the health of the labour force, and keep it out of trouble and off the streets. The more robust demanded that whatever was provided for African workers should be situated as far away from white suburbs as possible. Black sports activities in municipal areas often resulted from a desire for social control at a time of militancy, a safety valve for ‘animal instincts’ and ‘superfluous energy’ that would encourage development of a law-abiding and contented, non-political African population.10 Eddie Roux complained that the opportunity to participate in sport was a diversion that lowered attendances at Communist Party of South Africa meetings in the early 1930s. At the time organised physical recreation had distinctly fascist undertones.11 In Johannesburg Graham Ballenden, who had briefly worked in Pietermaritzburg, argued that sport for Africans cost little to organise in relation to its benefit as long as local communities were encouraged to administer their own affairs. Atkinson, reflecting Ballenden’s views in the liberal journal South African Outlook, made the point in 1933 that white dismissiveness of African sport undervalued playing and organisational standards. The value of fencing was emphasised: ‘any large municipality could safely regard the cost of enclosing a ground as a recoverable loan’.12 Recreation was seen in the long term as a potential saving on police and health services as well as a palliative. Liberals hoped that sport would encourage Africans to become better workers and neighbours.13 In Pietermaritzburg, as in Durban, the local state became increasingly involved in controlling the leisure time of Africans in the hope of diverting the spare time of workers and encouraging a middle class. As expressed by the manager of the municipal Native Affairs Department (NAD) to Pretoria in 1934, there was a constant fear of Africans ‘leading idle or disorderly lives’.14 African football, developed ‘in the backyard slums, dusty townships, and squatter camps which were mushrooming on the fringes of the white urban area,’15 had become both a symbol of assimilation and aspiration for the marginalised; and of possible social control for the authorities. In 1935 the Governor-General of South Africa offered a shield for a competition between African football clubs: ‘in the Capitals of each Province there would thus be instituted a perpetual competition amongst the Natives in celebration of the Silver Jubilee … the donation of a Shield would … act as an incentive to more football being played by the Native youth of your city’. This was accepted

Social control and communal resistance: African football in Pietermaritzburg, 1920–74 and the two provincial bodies controlling African football (the Natal Bantu Football Association, NBFA, and the Natal African Football Association, NAFA; which were generally seen respectively as conservative and well-disposed to municipal authority; and inclined to radicalism) formed a joint committee. The first final was played in Pietermaritzburg in 1935 at Edendale Road.16 While there were problems with grounds in Durban arising from organisational schism, the manager of the NAD in Pietermaritzburg noted the friendly rivalry between the two controlling groups and argued that relations amongst African football players had been improved by the competition. By April 1937 it had collapsed in Natal apart from Pietermaritzburg, where a special concession was granted by the NAFA out of respect for the Governor-General. The Pietermaritzburg NAD provided a loan in 1935, but this was not necessary in 1936 when gates improved.17 Alegi argues that the competition ‘sparked excitement … football in urban South Africa created an arena of cultural autonomy and opportunity that relieved the lives of people deeply affected by the drudgery of unemployment and the painful constraints of institutional racism’.18 From 1930 to 1940, sums that varied between £1 186 and £1 643 were set aside each year for native welfare: this covered the Native Ward at Grey’s Hospital, schools, an infant clinic, prisoners’ aid and even the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, plus the bioscope run by the Native Welfare Society. In 1930, the ‘Native Football Association’ was rewarded with £10, but subsequently such expenditure is noted simply as ‘Native recreation’. In 1934, expenditure on recreation amounted to 9% of the welfare vote, but the following year it sank back again to a more typical 2.2%. Indeed, in 1935

expenditure on the bioscope exceeded that on physical recreation by nearly five times, setting a trend for the remainder of the decade. From the mid-1930s onwards whites began officially to express a degree of smug satisfaction about the situation regarding Africans in Pietermaritzburg: ‘the behaviour of Natives in the City during the past year has been good, and compared very favourably with other parts of the Union;’ while ‘visitors to the City who have inspected the Native Village have been loud in their praise of the efforts of the Corporation in the interests of Natives’.19 The main symbol of African sport in the city had become the Tatham Native Sports Ground (NSG), a 9.6 acre site in Fitzsimmons demarcated by the extensions of Prince Alfred and Burger Streets and formerly used by Asians. It consisted of two turf football grounds surrounded by a cycle and running track. In the 1930s there was increased consciousness of the activities of African crowds. The CID observed Sunday meetings on the Market Square and reported that they were orderly, but expressed a preference for the use of the new Native Beer Hall in Retief Street. According to the NAD manager, complaints had been aired in the press about Sunday afternoons in Market Square since 1931. Amongst other problems was the use of the square and Longmarket Street for cycle races, ‘in addition to which the congregating of a large number of Natives in the centre of the town is undesirable’.20 So great was the concern that the idea of selling beer at the Beer Hall on Sundays was debated from 1934 onwards and in 1936 the Council agreed to such a move, referring the matter to the Minister of Native Affairs. It was vehemently opposed by the Bantu Ministers’ Association as likely to stir base passions and lead to the squandering of limited in-

Social control and communal resistance: African football in Pietermaritzburg, 1920–74 come.21 The government may have taken the same view, but in any case rejected the application as it had been refused in both Pinetown and Vryheid. In 1935 the NAD developed a definite policy to close Market Square to black recreational use, although it clearly had misgivings: this ‘might result in the Natives, who usually gather there, drifting into Church Street and other parts of the town. Again there might be efforts by the Native agitators to oppose the regulations by concerted action although the agitators (late ICU) have not a very large or enthusiastic following at present’. It was noted that there were two football grounds available to Africans and that native dancing had venues on vacant ground next to the Berg Street hostel and the power station beer hall. Boxing, which had become an important part of African urban life with potential for official control, also took place at the former. The view was that ‘it might not be considered necessary to set aside any other piece of ground for the exclusive use of Natives’.22 The Council also bore in mind that the Native (Urban Areas) Amendment Act gave it the power to identify public places for sole use by Africans as long as equivalent facilities were available for other communities. On Sunday afternoons in the late 1930s the Superintendent organised dancing on vacant land next to the Berg Street Men’s Hostel and this attracted an audience of up to 500, ‘who otherwise would be scattered about the Market Square or the centre of the town with nothing to do’.23 In 1937 Africans were issued with a pamphlet about behaving themselves on public streets. After several years of prevarication, in February 1938 it was decided to open a Native Recreation Ground (NRG), with children’s equipment and a tennis court, in Berg Street opposite the beer hall. This was accompanied by a pamphlet in Zulu with an English translation that said ‘it has been noticed that the Market Square is no longer suitable as a recreation ground for Natives on Sunday afternoons owing to the numbers of Natives and the kind of sport indulged in there’. Various facilities where they might ‘meet and enjoy themselves in games without being disturbed’ were listed and promoted as ‘beautiful, specially constructed and free of traffic danger’.24 On 23 May the Council approved the regulation of African sports facilities in the following way: ‘no non-Native shall enter those portions of the urban area of Pietermaritzburg known as the Berg Street Native Recreation Ground, Fitzsimmons Road Native Sports Ground and the Edendale Road Native Sports Ground without the permission of the manager, Municipal Native Administration Department’.25 The ruling about Market Square finally came into operation on 5 February 1939 when a group of 50 Africans and a few stragglers were ejected and told to go to Berg Street NRG. This was enforced under a regulation of May 1938 which decreed that ‘no Native shall loiter or take part in any congregation or meeting of Natives on that part of the urban area of Pietermaritzburg … known as Market Square’.26 Officially ‘there was no sign of dissatisfaction amongst the Natives’ at the action taken.27 In February 1939, a sports meeting with dancing held at Tatham NSG was contrasted with the emptiness of the Market Square to the satisfaction of the authorities. Boxing took place at Tatham and gloves were supplied. These measures ‘depriv[ed] the Market Square of its former popularity with the Natives’.28 Tatham NSG was a symbol of the desire for law and order coupled with a liberal belief in the beneficial effect of organised sport. Control was couched in terms of

Social control and communal resistance: African football in Pietermaritzburg, 1920–74

The Tatham Memorial Pavilion was opened on 28 July 1937 and named after Judge Frederic Spenser Tatham. Its total cost was £1 330, of which £525 was provided from the Tatham Memorial Fund. healthy exercise. However, it was not only a symbol of colonial administration, but it also became a factor in power struggles within the African community. It was predominantly used by the conservative Maritzburg District Bantu Football Association (MDBFA), but the NAD withheld the ground in the 1938–9 season, offering an alternative facility at the Native Village (later Sobantu), fearing that W.A.E. Manyoni, president of the MDBFA was trying to take control of the pavilion and the surrounding facilities.29 The secretary of the MDBFA, J.J. Magwaza, claimed ‘gross injustice’ and, in a relatively mild letter, asked that the NAD should receive a delegation from his association. The response of the Town Clerk was one of anger at the ‘improper terms in which you have chosen to address a highly respected officer of the Municipal Service’ and announced that the Mayor was withdrawing his patronage. Magwaza agreed to excise the allegedly improper language, but pointed out that

A.T. Allison had been elected patron as a councillor before becoming mayor.30 The crisis deepened further in late 1939 when the Council released the Tatham ground for three days a year for athletics and for a further day to the rival, radical Maritzburg District African Football Association (MDAFA), even though the MDBFA had a lease, paid £30 annual rent and had an arrangement with the NAD to maintain the ground. The MDBFA was so incensed over the issue of these four days that it obtained legal advice and its lawyers wrote to the Town Clerk. They emphasised that the MDBFA had funded fencing and maintained an adjacent patch of ground at Fitzsimmons since 1926 (Council’s records say 1930), organised 20 clubs and received its first grant in 1937. The MDBFA ‘controll[ed] Bantu football in Pietermaritzburg, and the District, in so far as concerns the schools of the working class of Native’. Various spurious claims about the Tatham NSG were made together

Social control and communal resistance: African football in Pietermaritzburg, 1920–74 with a complaint of ‘unjust treatment’ and the assertion that football should take precedence over all other sports. MDBFA officials claimed that they were keeping the peace in a volatile situation and asked that they be given sole charge of ground and pavilion. The NAD manager responded that the ground was designed for all the Africans of Pietermaritzburg: ‘the Bantu Football Association only represents one portion of the Natives of Pietermaritzburg,’ although it had use of the Tatham NSG on all days of the year bar four.31 A sports day, subsidised by a grant of £10, was duly held on 7 August 193932 and replaced a five-a-side football contest involving 200 players on whose behalf the MDBFA demanded ‘just and fair treatment’ since ‘our soccer football comes first’. The MDBFA argued that football was better supported and that it had to raise £30 annual rent, calling the actions of the municipality ‘a show of superiority uncalled for and unfair’.33 The manager of the NAD pointed out that the MDBFA had already held two tournaments with gates on public holidays and that it was the turn of a general sports day. Tatham NSG, he reiterated, was for the African public in general: ‘a record crowd of Natives attended these sports which went off very smoothly;’ and an annual event was planned.34 Four years later the episode was described by the MDBFA as ‘an unfortunate misunderstanding’. It hoped that the war would encourage better relations.35 Although the emphasis during World War Two was on increased racial segregation, the MDBFA reported that ‘your Council succeeded in bringing about better harmony among the clubs … and non-European inter-racial matches for the first time in the history of Pietermaritzburg’.36 Football had shown itself to be well-tailored to urban African life – in the words of Alegi, ‘the leviathan of black sport’.37 The black press tended to link it with advancement and progress. Of the two football associations in Pietermaritzburg, the MDAFA (one of eleven branches of the South African African Football Association)38 adopted a more independent, radical and sometimes Africanist political stance that brought it into conflict with the NAD and its rival, a pattern that was also evident in Johannesburg. The dispute over Tatham Memorial Ground lingered on during the early years of the war, the MDBFA angry that the body from which it had broken away in 1926 was allowed use of what it regarded as its facilities. In 1943, however, an agreement was reached after a joint meeting in which the MDAFA was awarded the right to use Tatham NSG for two days a year.39 The usual grant (£10 per annum) was denied to the MDAFA, ostensibly because of a promise by the South African Railways compound manager that he would maintain Edendale Road NSG at no charge in exchange for occasional use. There is also evidence that convict labour had been used.40 But it is clear that the MDAFA’s connections with Asian football and their use of Edendale Road NSG were a cause of antagonism from the NAD.41 In 1948 the MDAFA sued NAD manager, R.E. Stevens, and the Mayor over events surrounding the Governor-General’s Shield (GGS), an action that was described as being ‘of a frivolous nature’.42 The football politics of the time were byzantine in their complexity and are now hard to unravel given the limited scope of the surviving correspondence. The GGS Executive Committee (three representatives of each association with the NAD manager as chair) and a Board of Control (five persons) had operated up to 1942, when the President of the MDBFA an53

Social control and communal resistance: African football in Pietermaritzburg, 1920–74 nounced that he had lost confidence in the Board and asked the manager to assume control. At the same time the MDAFA was prevented from participation by its provincial body. There was an attempt to revive the Board in 1943, but the two parties remained antagonistic.43 In 1945 and 1946, at the instigation and under the control of the municipality, the two associations agreed to contribute two teams each to an effective KO cup from the semi-final stage. But in 1947, ‘we had two sets of officials purporting to speak on behalf of the [MD] African Football Association’.44 MDBFA nominated Callies and Winter Roses, while MDAFA put forward the names of Assegai and Standard. However, Harry Gwala’s faction of the MDAFA favoured Stars of Hope rather than Standard and the semi-final due to be played in November 1947 was postponed pending a legal outcome. In 1947 the MDAFA brought an interdict against R.E. Stevens as the GGS administrator, but this was dismissed with costs (which remained unpaid). The aim was to prevent Standard and Assegai competing in the GGSC and T.A. Nene and H.A. Mkize operating as officials of the MDAFA. Nene and Mkize had been ousted at meetings of 9 August and 13 September, but their expulsion had been reversed by the Natal African Football Association (a decision applauded by the municipality) and had gone to appeal. The new executive included Gwala who appealed to the South African African Football Association (SAAFA) and was in turn rejected at a special general meeting on 20 October 1947, to be replaced by H.A. Mkize. A further interdict requiring the Administrator of the GGS to repudiate Standard, Nene and Mkize was brought by Samson Radebe, manager, Stars of Hope and the MDAFA on 29 November 1947. The NAD manager had attempted to organise the semi-final involving Standard not realising

that an interim interdict was in force, but the match ‘did not take place owing to the fact that Gwala and his supporters turned up at the ground and threatened violence if the teams who were there attempted to play, so no match took place’.45 Ostensibly the dispute was about competition rules, but it clearly contained evidence of fissures within the African community. The Mayor in a counter affidavit of 3 December 1947 argued that the authorities had the right to determine competing teams and that the dispute was internal to the MDAFA. Strictly speaking he was correct, but this ignored the realities of African urban life. George Tshezi, a member of the original MDAFA Executive put it thus in his affidavit of 3 December 1947: ‘S. Mazibuko, P. Kumalo and T.H. Gwala are leading a portion of the members of the Association against the lawful authority of Nene … and the attitude of these men in preventing the completion of Governor-General’s Shield Competition is causing annoyance and unrest among the Bantu Native population of Maritzburg’. The municipality’s legal adviser, F.B. Burchell recommended redrafting of the GGS rules to prevent ‘disputes between the natives themselves’. The semi-final match was eventually played at Edendale Road NSG on 13 December and Standard beat Winter Roses 2-1. The authorities, fearing a breach of the peace, stationed 20 police and a pick up nearby, but ‘when the opposition Natives saw this show of force they disappeared from the ground and the match was played without any further incident’.46 The final was held at Tatham NSG on 20 December between Standard (MDAFA) and Callies (MDBFA) and won by the former. This did not, however, bring an end to the dispute, which Gwala described as one ‘that threatens bloodshed’. He subsequently claimed that he had been properly

Social control and communal resistance: African football in Pietermaritzburg, 1920–74 elected secretary of the MDAFA on 8 February 1948, but his opponents set up a separate meeting and elected Raymond Kuzwayo instead. Gwala claimed that the NAD manager was acting unfairly towards his faction and excluding it from Edendale Road NSG. Football had in fact been suspended. In July 1948, the President of NAFA dismissed the authority of SAAFA and declared that ‘the association under Mazibuko and T. Gwala is not recognised by my Association and is considered a rebel Association’.47 The 24 December 1949 final of the Governor-General’s silver Jubilee Shield was contested by Zebra and Rebellions, both of the MDBFA.48 A study of African football in Bulawayo in the 1940s identifies characteristics readily recognisable in Pietermaritzburg during the same period: political manoeuvring, personal disputes and squabbling, accompanied by accusations of fraud. The specific issue was a transfer of authority over football from the African Welfare Society to the City Council, unwelcome control that resulted in a lengthy boycott. Stuart concludes in the case of Bulawayo that the assertion of identity in uncertain and often hostile surroundings was a significant factor. The stakes were high as football gave meaning to urban life and was ‘a symbolic arena for the making of African identity’.49 Urban life was hostile and poverty-stricken, the football team a place of support, advice and the remaking of tradition and identity. Some of the critical figures, as with Gwala in Pietermaritzburg, had a political role or were to become politicians, consonant with the fact that in the late 1940s football was being identified with African political advance and progress.50 The similarities between Bulawayo and Pietermaritzburg are striking. During the 1940s African facilities for physical recreation thus consisted of Tatham NSG in Fitzsimmons Road, Edendale Road NSG, Berg Street NRG and temporary facilities at Sobantu. Edendale Road was well used by South African Railways, which had two teams in the MDAFA league and therefore benefited from municipal investment in recreational facilities. In 1948 it was announced that any thought of expansion at Tatham must be shelved because of plans for a Pietermaritzburg by-pass and national road.51 The history of African football during the 1940s illustrates the extent to which the governance of sport became a surrogate for meaningful political activity. Football was used as a weapon against the white establishment, but also as a vehicle for struggle within different strands of African society, conservative and radical. Accompanying this growing politicisation were distinct undertones of violence. Most Africans lived on domestic property on low wages with a short life expectancy. Yet their spare time was regarded by whites as a public nuisance. Attempts were made to provide suburban recreational space, but this was bitterly opposed by householders. In 1945 Wilfred Msimang was appointed the first municipal African social worker with responsibility for organising Sunday afternoon sport at Tatham. The Bantu sports held there on high days and holidays were viewed with complacent self congratulation by the authorities in the early 1950s and directly related by them to a lack of open political activity and protest. The Governor General’s Silver Jubilee Shield, now under the control of the City Council, was won in 1950–1 by Shamrocks of the MDBFA. Meanwhile the controlling body of the MDAFA remained in turmoil in spite of attempts at reconciliation. The Gwala/Mazibuko faction was in control in 1950, although this was contested. Its aims were described as ‘the winning of national

Social control and communal resistance: African football in Pietermaritzburg, 1920–74 freedom for the African people and the inauguration of a people’s free society where racial oppression and persecution will be outlawed and the African freed from white domination’. In mid 1950 it would appear that the Gwala/Mazibuko group had taken legitimate control, was recognised by NAFA and was asking for its Edendale Road grounds back. The NAD manager was unhappy about this, arguing that the City Council had never recognised Gwala (now apparently living in Durban and publicly identifying himself as the local Communist Party secretary) or the remit of the NAFA or South African African Football Association (SAAFA) regarding use of local grounds. The Council had awarded the ground to the loyal section which had, it believed, more than double the number of clubs as Gwala’s group (seven opposed to three). The NAD manager suggested an alternative: election of new office bearers under the authority of the Mayor, an extraordinarily paternalistic idea for an independent sports body and indicative of the times.52 The case against Gwala was tightened by the NAD manager: ‘according to my records Gwala has no authority to be in this City. If he is not a Native citizen of this City, it is submitted that he has no locus standi to represent local natives’. Both MDAFA factions argued for return of the ground, possibly because clubs were defecting to Gwala’s group. The NAD somewhat inconsistently argued that it was not interested in groups but only in the Association, whose rights over space existed at the pleasure of the Council; but it did admit that Gwala had rights of exemption dating back to 1945 as a trade union organiser, and could not be ordered out of the city.53 The Governor-General’s Shield competition for 1951 was not completed until 1952 for reasons that obliquely implicated the MDAFA: ‘this association will always

cause trouble while it has Gwala as a Secretary and, as I have grave doubts as to whether it is a fit and proper association to compete in this competition, I am making further inquiries. The Bantu Football Association is very well run, and controls the vast majority of clubs, and it too has given up all hope of ever being able to work with the African Association’. The competition, it was argued by the NAD manager, needed a proper board of control and more stringent rules. The MDBFA with 45 clubs as opposed to the MDAFA’s eleven was consistently complimented by the manager, who complained that Gwala’s association rendered ‘never a word of appreciation’. When the 1951 competition was concluded it was boycotted by MDAFA officials as its representative, Shooting Stars (which lost 4-1 to Shamrocks of the MDBFA) had defected. Each would normally have received 42.5% of the takings, but it was even suggested that MDBFA should get 85%, as it had ‘over the past seven years proved most co-operative and sound’. The NAD manager was unimpressed by MDAFA accounting for 1951 and suggested that ‘an accurate statement will prove both interesting and illuminating’. He limited MDAFA access to facilities to Sobantu only until adequate administration could be proven.54 In 1952 the Coloured Sports Ground in East Street (Maqeleni) was transferred to African use and maintained by the NAD with help from the hostel superintendent. The NAD manager continued to make his views clear: ‘football is such a popular game with the Natives, and as it keeps so many Natives off the streets on Saturday afternoons and public holidays it is felt that this department should encourage the game by meeting the expenditure of maintaining the grounds’.55 As the MDAFA ‘has shown that it is unable to run its financial affairs satisfactorily,’ the ground was

Social control and communal resistance: African football in Pietermaritzburg, 1920–74 leased to the ‘business-like’ MDBFA at £1 per month, subject to limited access by the nearby hostel.56 The less palatable side of the game was reflected in some remarkable disciplinary cases: a Naughty Boys player had stabbed a spectator; a linesman from Shamrocks had knifed a player from Zebras; and a Railway Eagles player had sjambokked a referee from Crocodiles. The penalties were expulsion in the first two cases and a fine of ten guineas in the third. The MDBFA thanked the City Council for ‘providing the African people with such magnificent recreation grounds, centrally situated and within easy reach of transport’. There is also reference to the use of grounds at Fort Napier and Coronation Brick Works.57 In the meantime the NAD had withheld from the MDAFA takings from the Governor-General’s Shield Competition because its finances were in such poor shape. Co-operation would be dependent upon presentation of an audited balance sheet. The deficit, in the eyes of the NAD, was caused by ‘frivolous litigation’ and ‘questionable refunds’. The Native Administration Committee argued that ‘it was absurd for the City Council to pay out monies which did not directly go towards the advancing of sport’. In 1954 the MDAFA ‘again experienced a turbulent year involving civil and criminal actions instigated by the machinations of the recalcitrant element,’ which had apparently exhausted the patience of NAFA. The Native Administration Committee demanded evidence that it could run itself properly for a year. By 1956 this seems to have been provided, although the City Council remained highly suspicious of the MDAFA: ‘knowing the men who are actually supporting this group, though they are not listed amongst the office bearers, it is recommended that caution be exercised’. This was demonstrated when the MDAFA asked for use of the Maqeleni ground, a request that dated back to 1952, and the City Council asked NAFA for references. The 1956 MDAFA annual report thanks the NAD manager for access to grounds, but by 1957 they were again restricted to facilities at Sobantu.58 The MDBFA continued to dominate African soccer in Pietermaritzburg and was favoured by the authorities. It was later affiliated to the white Football Association of South Africa in accordance with policy dictated from Pretoria and thus able to maintain a toehold on Tatham. In Pietermaritzburg in the 1950s there was a great deal of municipal self congratulation about the socio-cultural condition of Africans. This included the issue of recreation and manifested itself most obviously at annual sports jamborees and other celebrations. In 1950 the municipal authorities noted that ‘the behaviour of the Natives had been exceptionally good’ and attributed this not only to tighter administrative controls over labour through influx control that prevented the ‘drift’ of Africans; but also to the fact that ‘sport and other social amenities are encouraged amongst the Natives during their leisure hours’.59 On 7 August 1950, for instance, all-day sports had been held at the Tatham ground: ‘the Sobantu Village Advisory Board took charge … and the events were very well controlled. All the preliminary work was carried out by [the NAD], and excepting for the lunch break two European members of my staff were on duty at the grounds. There was a large attendance and the meeting was an unqualified success’.60 By way of contrast, the African National Congress, Natal Indian Congress and Communist Party of South Africa had received little support for a stayaway call on 26 June 1950 and the official view was that the ‘Natives of Pietermaritzburg

Social control and communal resistance: African football in Pietermaritzburg, 1920–74 showed very good sense’.61 Similar sentiments were echoed the following year: behaviour was described as ‘exemplary,’ with no ‘instances of racial disharmony’. This was directly linked to the provision of ‘wholesome recreation for the Natives during their leisure hours’. Football, boxing, tennis, table tennis and films were listed, while ‘for the raw type of native wardancing is encouraged’. A constant stream of visitors was shown around Sobantu, including the Minister of Native Affairs Hendrik Verwoerd in October 1951.62 To official eyes Pietermaritzburg’s African population was content because it was treated fairly. At the time of the Defiance Campaign, the Council was keen to ‘give its full support to sport to entertain the Natives in their leisure hours, and so keep them drifting to political meetings’.63 Nonetheless, there remained a fear of educated Africans: ‘although the behaviour of the Natives in the City has been excellent one can sense a strained atmosphere, particularly among the educated and semieducated group of Natives who have of late taken to reading both European and Native papers avidly’.64 By 1953 the official view was slightly less confident, possibly because there had been tension about the payment of economic rents at Sobantu. However, in the opinion of D.N. Bang, NAD manager, good relations were restored, in part through funds provided to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. This involved all-day children’s sports and a five-a-side football tournament at Tatham, together with baseball and senior athletics, attracting thousands of spectators. The following year it was felt that the ‘loyalty of the Natives was secured’.65 Tatham NSG, and the Berg Street and Maqeleni grounds were important toeholds on central urban space. Uncertainty surrounding the Group Areas Act (GAA)

inhibited development of facilities both at Sobantu and elsewhere. In 1959 the Secretary for Bantu Administration and Development wrote to all local authorities stressing the importance of recreational facilities ‘to ensure a healthy and contented community’. His requirements were that their users should be members of African-run sports bodies and that ‘sports grounds … must be situated within Bantu residential areas’.66 The Berg Street NRG, bounded by Retief, Berg and Boom Streets, was the only proclaimed African area in the city. As a result there was a bizarre debate about the source of funding for lavatories: whether it should be the Native Revenue Account, since they would be situated in a proclaimed area; or the City Fund Account, as they would probably be used by non-African blacks. Provision was ultimately made in the 1956–7 capital estimates.67 The MDBFA continued to enjoy regular use of Tatham NSG and was commended in 1961 for conducting its affairs in ‘a very orderly manner’.68 This was a sensitive issue for the municipality because of the potential for interference from Pretoria. In 1969 the Bantu Affairs Department wrote to all urban local authorities deploring the ‘chaotic and undesirable conditions [that] arise from time to time’ in African football. An instruction was given that fields under municipal control were to be used only by clubs, like the local MDBFA, affiliated to the white Football Association of South Africa, described as ‘the overhead European body’. The response from the local Director of Bantu Administration was that ‘there is no difficulty over Bantu Soccer in the Urban Area of Pietermaritzburg’.69 The Maqeleni ground at the rear of the East Street Hostel was about to be swallowed by the new freeway. With no possibility of significant new development at Sobantu because of the moratorium on urban black

Social control and communal resistance: African football in Pietermaritzburg, 1920–74 housing, the temporary sports facilities begun at Imbali in 1965 represented the first new initiative for Africans since before World War Two.70 Apart from a temporary hall, the first facilities were a football field, accommodating nine teams in 1966, and a netball court. The tradition of municipal sports festivals lived on: in 1962 they took place on New Year’s Day. In 1966 there were festivities to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Republic and sports were held at Tatham NSG. Most of the 4 000 present were children and cash prizes were handed out. Three to four thousand children returned on 31 May 1967, probably attracted by cash prizes and refreshments, and the same pattern was repeated in 1968 and 1969. On 9 June 1972, 3 120 children attended an all day sports festival at Tatham.71 During the 1960s there began a more active process of moving activities associated with African recreational time out of the city, while interaction with other black groups was discouraged by the permit system, associated in particular with proclamation R26 of 1965. The Maqeleni ground fell victim in 1963 to the national road and on 31 December of the same year, the Berg Street hall bioscope was discontinued. The four night schools for Africans in Pietermaritzburg – Buchanan Street, Topham Road, Burger Street and on the Salvation Army premises – were closed down in December 1967 and transferred to Imbali. During 1968 both Ohrtmann Road and Havelock Road beerhalls were closed and replaced by facilities at Imbali. The Tatham, described by the Sobantu Village Advisory Board as ‘the most central and suitable venue,’72 was under permanent threat in terms of the GAA. The main problem was use of the pavilion rather than the ground itself and in 1963 permission was sought for temporary use of the Royal Agricultural Showgrounds for African football.73 At the same time, upgrading of Sobantu’s sports ground was recommended and a budget allocated, ironic in view of that township’s uncertain future. The lack of stability in black sport in general may be explained in terms of a process of relocation away from urban centres and a paucity of capital investment. Black sportspersons, Africans in particular, were often little more than squatters, and where facilities were developed these often had to be abandoned as a series of expulsions took place. Black facilities were most frequently taken over by whites under the GAA, or by industry. The disadvantage of dependence upon municipal goodwill was compounded by increasing racism in local government policy.74 Nonetheless, weekend sport within black communities was an important institution, not least as a context for social and political discussion, ‘cushion[ing] the effects of the sociopsychological onslaught of entrenched racism, discrimination and the toll of daily life’.75 All African social activity, whether sport, night schools or beer halls and eating places, was systematically removed from the borough as part of the bantustan policy, although this resulted in the construction at Imbali of the first, albeit rudimentary, sports facilities for this community since the 1937 completion of Tatham NSG. Imbali was a typical soulless dormitory for the provision of African labour to the white city. While beer profits remained remarkably high, little of this found its way into social welfare projects such as recreation. Most was spent on the infrastructure and administration of bantustan policy. The major African sports, football and boxing, maintained only a tenuous hold on municipal space and were tightly constrained by white interests. Racial definition of space remained an obsession amongst white officials, now

Social control and communal resistance: African football in Pietermaritzburg, 1920–74 encouraged by central government policy. Most of Pietermaritzburg’s recreation and sports grounds were to be found on marginal land. The location of white facilities on the banks of the Umsindusi River made them vulnerable to flood, but this was gradually curtailed through canalisation. Black facilities, on the other hand, were terminally threatened by expropriation for industrial development, railway sidings and new roads, including the Durban to Johannesburg freeway. The official reaction was that this was of no long-term account – brand new facilities were being constructed in the townships of Northdale, Woodlands and Imbali. An alternative possibility was revived in 1969 with the idea that the Maritzburg Indian Sports Association (MISA) should take over the Tatham NSG: as long ago as 1963 the City Engineer had passed the opinion that ‘the life of these grounds, as Bantu sportsfields, is now extremely limited under the provisions of the Group Areas Act’. 76 While the City Council recognised Northdale as the premier sports ground for the Asian community, it conceded that other ‘suburban’ grounds with basic facilities could be provided. In the early 1970s Brookside was also used by African football players.77 The axe fell in November 1973: ironically Tatham was transferred to MISA. The pavilion was restored, a two-pitch cricket table laid and sightscreens, nets, covers and a ticket office built. With the collapse of so-called normal cricket in 1977, the ground was now used by the non-racial Maritzburg District Cricket Union and entered a new phase in its history that lasted until 1991 and cricket unity. Before the Khan Road ground was opened in the mid 1980s, Tatham provided the city’s non-racial cricketers with their only turf wicket. Two three-day inter-provincial matches (against Transvaal and Eastern

Province) were played here in 1981–2 and they are now recognised as first class. Many inter-district and numerous club matches took place at Tatham. And during the intense days of anti-apartheid struggle in the mid 1980s, political meetings were held under the cover of cricket – Sunday morning was the favoured time. When the Pietermaritzburg Council on Sport held a fun run, security police were at the ground noting the names of the participants. The Maritzburg Bantu Football Association complained in June 1975 that it had been allocated no grounds in Pietermaritzburg, but the Council simply passed on the correspondence to the Drakensberg Bantu Administration Board for consideration. With non-racial sport taking place at Tatham NSG under permit the question of the establishment of an appropriate group area arose. However, the government ‘did not favour protuberances of this sort … particularly in a case such as this, where the land immediately abutted another Group Area, the land to the south-western side of the Dorpspruit being within a proclaimed white area’.78 The Indian Local Affairs Committee continued to pursue the issue, however, and the area was rezoned in 1978.79 Tatham NSG, always a modest facility, is slowly falling into disrepair. But it is a memorial to the struggles of African people to establish a presence in the city to which they made such an enormous, and often disparaged, contribution. Football was an instrument in the hands of white authority concerned about law and order, health issues and radical politics. The significance of football is captured by Alegi: ‘[it] was a meaningful counterpoint to the destruction and pain experienced with the onset of “petty apartheid” ’. It played a consolatory role, but this was not limited just to escapism – it conferred identity through a combination of popular culture

Social control and communal resistance: African football in Pietermaritzburg, 1920–74 and political resistance.80 At the same time, football was also an example of internal struggles around differing approaches to white dominance: in effect for many years there were three contesting organisations The history of all African sport in Pietermaritzburg was one of marginalisation, impermanence and displacement. And from a later era Tatham is the major remaining physical symbol, a place of nostalgic memory, for those who worked in the anti-apartheid movement in the name of cricket. As a feature of Pietermaritzburg’s complex history, Tatham ground deserves greater respect than it appears to be receiving by way of preservation. CHRISTOPHER MERRETT
NOTES AND REFERENCES 1 Natal Witness [hereafter NW] 29 July 1937, 9




pp. 1, 9.
2 MDBFA. Annual report and financial

statement 1943, p. 13. The pavilion cost £1 330, of which £525 came from the memorial fund (Pietermaritzburg Corporation Year Book [hereafter CYB 1936, p. 31). Work had begun on the ground in 1936 with £250 from the City Fund Revenue Account. Its total cost was £2283/9/2d. 3 Letters from W.M. Zondi, Sec., MDNFA 17 Mar. 1920; A.J. Sililo, Pres., MDNFA 14 Mar. 1921; E.O. Msimang, Sec., MDNFA 23 Feb. 1922; P. Dube, Sec., MDNFA 9 Mar. 1923 & 6 Feb. 1924; Sec., PSA, 31 Mar. 1924 all to Town Treasurer. Town Treasurer to MDNFA, 25 May 1923. P.J. Dube, Sec., MDNFA to Finance & General (sic) Comm., 9 Apr. 1924. Town Clerk to P.J. Dube, Sec., MDNFA, 29 Apr. 1924. P. Dube, Sec., MDNFA to Town Clerk, 11 Apr. 1923; Finance, Etc. Comm., 12 Apr. and 29 May 1923 in PMA 3/PMB 4/3/307, file 311/1923 (Maritzburg District Native Football Association). 4 P. Alegi, Laduma!: soccer, politics and society in South Africa (Pietermaritzburg: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2004), pp. 26–7. 5 C. Ambler, Alcohol, racial segregation and popular politics in Northern Rhodesia.





Journal of African History 31 (1990), pp. 290–4. T. Ranger, Pugilism and pathology: African boxing and the black urban experience in Southern Rhodesia in W.J. Baker and J.A. Mangan (eds). Sport in Africa: essays in social history (New York: Africana, 1987), pp. 198 and 203. J.A. Mangan, Ethics and ethnocentricity: imperial education in British tropical Africa in W.J. Baker and J.A. Mangan (eds). Sport in Africa, p. 152. L. Torr, Providing for the ‘better class native’: the creation of Lamontville. South African geographical journal 69(1) 1987, p. 34. V. Erlmann, But hope does not kill: black popular music in Durban, 1913–1939 in P. Maylam and I. Edwards (eds). The people’s city: African life in twentieth-century Durban. (Pietermaritzburg: University of Natal Press, 1996), pp. 84, 86–7. R.E. Phillips, The bantu are coming: phases of South Africa’s race problems (London: SCM Press, 2nd ed., 1930), p. 130. The Chief Constable of Durban, W.A. Alexander, supported the provision of sports fields to counter the ‘evil influence’ and ‘vicious examples’ of Cartwright Flats, the venue for black political gatherings and scene on 16 December 1930 of the police killing of Johannes Nkosi and three other members of the CPSA (P. la Hausse, ‘The dispersal of the regiments: African popular protest in Durban, 1930’. Journal of Natal and Zulu History 19 (1987), pp. 94, 96). P. Maylam, ‘Shackled by the contradictions: the municipal response to African urbanisation in Durban, 1920–1950’. African urban studies 14 (1982), p. 12. E. Koch, ‘Without visible means of subsistence: slumyard culture in Johannesburg 1918–1940’ in B. Bozzoli, (ed.). Town and countryside in the Transvaal: capitalist penetration and popular response (Johannesburg: Ravan, 1983), p. 168. T. Atkinson, ‘Recreation for urban natives’. South African outlook 63(749) 1933, p. 197. C. Badenhorst and C. Mathee, ‘Tribal recreation and recreating tribalism: culture, leisure and social control on South Africa’s gold mines’. Journal of Southern African Studies 23(3) 1997, p. 473. C. Badenhorst and C. Rogerson, ‘Teach the native to 61

Social control and communal resistance: African football in Pietermaritzburg, 1920–74
play: social control and organised black sport on the Witwatersrand, 1920–1939’. GeoJournal 12(2) 1986, p. 201. Pietermaritzburg City Council Minutes [hereafter CCM) 9 Oct. 1934. A.G. Cobley, The rules of the game: struggles in black recreation and social welfare policy in South Africa (Westport, Conn: Greenwood, 1997), p. 20. Lord Hyde, Comptroller, Government House to Mayor, 12 Mar. 1935; manager of NAD to Town Clerk, 13 May, 16 Aug., 25 Nov. 1935 & 10 Nov. 1936 in PMA 3/ PMB C batch 356–7, file 199/14 (GovernorGeneral’s Shield: native football clubs). C. Badenhorst, ‘Mines, missionaries and the municipality: organised African sport and recreation in Johannesburg, c.1920–1950’ (Kingston: Queen’s University, 1992 – PhD thesis), pp. 296, 298–9, 301. Sec., DDFA to Sec., Governor-General’s Shield Committee, 26 Aug. 1936; S.T. Khumalo, Sec., NAFA to Sec., GovernorGeneral’s Shield Committee, 10 Apr. 1937; Sec., Governor-General’s Shield Committee to manager, NAD, 17 May 1937 in PMA 3/ PMB C batch 356–7, file 199/14 (GovernorGeneral’s Shield: native football clubs). The city was one of the few places in the Union where the competition did not go into decline. P. Alegi, ‘Playing to the gallery: sport, cultural performance, and social identity in South Africa, 1920s–1945’. International Journal of African Historical Studies 35(1) 2002, p. 26. CYB 1936, pp. 23–4. Native Administration, Etc. Comm, 3 June 1935; manager, NAD to Town Clerk, 7 June 1935 in PMA 3/PMB/4/2/133, file 250/1938 (Natives congregating on Market Square). CCM 24 Nov. 1936. Manager, NAD to Town Clerk, 26 Sep. 1935 in PMA 3/PMB 4/2/133, file 250/1938 (Natives congregating on Market Square). CYB 1936, p.109. Manager, NAD to Town Clerk, 12 May 1938 in PMA 3/PMB 4/2/133, file 250/1938 (Natives congregating on Market Square). CCM 23 May 1938. Ibid. Manager, NAD to Town Clerk, 6 Feb. 1939 in PMA 3/PMB 4/2/133, file 250/1938 (Natives congregating on Market Square).
28 CYB 1940, p. 108. 29 Manager, NAD to Town Clerk, 27 July 1938

14 15









35 36 37 38

19 20

21 22

23 24


25 26 27

in PMA 3/PMB 4/3/322, file 1047/1938 (Maritzburg Bantu Football Association re Native Recreation Ground, Fitzsimmons Road). J.J. Magwaza, Sec., MDBFA to manager, NAD, 16, 23 Oct. 1939; Town Clerk to J.J. Magwaza, Sec., MDBFA, 16 Oct. 1939 in PMA 3/PMB 4/3/322, file 1047/1938 (Maritzburg Bantu Football Association re Native Recreation Ground, Fitzsimmons Road). Native Administration, Etc. Committee, 8 Nov. 1939; McGibbon and Brokensha [lawyers] to Town Clerk, 8 Dec. 1939; manager, NAD to Town Clerk, 21 Dec. 1939 in PMA 3/PMB 4/3/322, file 1047/1938 (Maritzburg Bantu Football Association re Native Recreation Ground, Fitzsimmons Road). A pamphlet advertised foot, bicycle, sack, hurdle and obstacle races, a tug-of-war, a bucket race for women and a dancing competition, with children’s events in the morning. J.J. Magwaza, Sec., MDBFA to Mayor, 7 July 1939; J.J. Magwaza to Town Clerk, 7 July 1939 in PMA 3/PMB 4/3/355, file 1886/39 (Native sports meeting at Fitzsimmons Road). Manager, NAD to Town Clerk, 11 Aug. 1939 in PMA 3/PMB 4/3/355, file 1886/39 (Native sports meeting at Fitzsimmons Road). The day also included rickshaw racing (NW 8 Aug. 1939, p. 9). MDBFA Annual report and financial statement 1943, pp.13, 14. MDBFA. Annual report and financial statement 1943, pp.4–5. P. Alegi, P. ‘Playing to the gallery’, p. 38. C. Badenhorst, ‘Mines, missionaries and the municipality’, pp. 289–90. T. Couzens, ‘An introduction to the history of football in South Africa’ in B. Bozzoli (ed.), Town and countryside in the Transvaal: capitalist penetration and popular response (Johannesburg: Ravan, 1983), p. 210. A.G. Cobley, The rules of the game, p. 25. Manager, NAD to Town Clerk, 11 Feb. 1943. Native Administration, Etc. Comm., 14 Feb. 1943 in 3/PMB 4/3/322, file 1047/1938 (Maritzburg Bantu Football Association re Native Recreation Ground, Fitzsimmons Road).


Social control and communal resistance: African football in Pietermaritzburg, 1920–74
40 R.S. Mthembu, Sec., MDAFA, 13 Feb.





45 46


48 49

50 51

1946; manager, NAD to Town Clerk, 14 Feb. 1946 in 3/PMB 4/4/2/140, file 242/3 (Edendale Road Native Sports Ground). Manager, NAD to Town Clerk, 29 Feb., 29 Mar. 1940; 15 Feb. 1945 in 3/PMB C batch 374, file 242/4 (Native Sports Ground, Edendale Road). Native Administration, Etc. Comm., 10 Mar. 1949 in 3/PMB 4/4/2/140, file 242/3 (Edendale Road Native Sports Ground). CCM, 29 Mar. 1949 MDBFA. Annual report and financial statement 1943, pp. 14–15. John Zulu, Pres., MDBFA, 16 Apr. 1942. Manager, NAD, ‘Memorandum regarding GovernorGeneral’s Shield’, [undated] in 3/PMB C batch 356–357, file 199/14 (GovernorGeneral’s Shield: native football clubs). Much of the detail that follows is taken from: Interdict, case 2280/1947, 14 Nov. 1947 with affidavits. Interim interdict, case 2366/47 with affidavits, 29 Nov. 1947. Counter affidavits, 3 Dec. 1947, also in 3/PMB C batch 356–357, file 199/14 (Governor-General’s Shield: native football clubs). CYB 1950, p. 91. F.B. Burchell, ‘Litigation re football matches GG’s Shield’, 30 July 1948 in 3/PMB C batch 356–357, file 199/14 (GovernorGeneral’s Shield: native football clubs). Ibid. Counter affidavits, 3 Dec. 1947; Memo by F.B. Burchell, Legal Adviser to the City Council, 24 Nov. 1947; manager, NAD to Town Clerk, 9 Jan. 1948 in 3/PMB C batch 356–357, file 199/14 (Governor-General’s Shield: native football clubs). T.H. Gwala to Town Clerk, 14 Apr. 1948; H.M. Molife, Pres, NAFA to manager, NAD, 6 July 1948 in 3/PMB C batch 356–357, file 199/14 (Governor-General’s Shield: Native football clubs). CYB 1950, p. 91. O. Stuart, Players, workers, protestors: social change and soccer in colonial Zimbabwe in J. MacClancey (ed.). Sport, identity and ethnicity (Oxford: Berg, 1996), pp. 168–9, 177. T. Couzens, ‘An introduction to the history of football in South Africa’, p. 210. Manager, NAD to Town Clerk, 29 Feb. 1940 in 3/PMB C batch 374, file 242/4 (Native Sports Ground, Edendale Road). Manager,








NAD to Town Clerk, 15 Jan. 1940 in 3/ PMB 4/3/307, file 754/1938 (Proposed use of railway land on Edendale Road for Native Sports Ground). Manager, NAD to Town Clerk, 16 Mar. 1950; Native Administration, Etc. Comm, 15 May 1950; J.D. Stalker (lawyer) to manager, NAD, 10 May 1950; H.M. Molife, Sec, NAFA to Town Clerk, 13 May 1950; Notes on a meeting between the manager, NAD and the Native Administration Comm., 7 June 1950; O.A. Nkwanyana, Assistant Secretary, NAFA to Town Clerk, 8 June 1950 in PMA 3/PMB 4/4/2/140, file 242/3 (Edendale Road Native Sports Ground). Manager, NAD to Town Clerk, 15 May 1950; Native Administration, Etc. Comm, 15 May 1950; manager, NAD to Town Clerk, 15 June 1950 in PMA 3/PMB 4/4/2/140, file 242/3 (Edendale Road Native Sports Ground). Manager, NAD to Town Clerk, 22 and 24 Mar., 12 Aug., 13 Nov. 1952 in PMA 3/ PMB C batch 356–7, file 199/14 (GovernorGeneral’s Shield: native football clubs). Native Administration Comm., 28 Apr. 1952; manager, NAD to Town Clerk, 28 Apr. 1952 in PMA 3/PMB C batch 623, file 242/115 (East Street Native Sports Grounds). Native Administration Comm., 16 Mar. 1953; manager, NAD to Town Clerk, 14 Mar. 1953 in PMA 3/PMB C batch 623, file 242/115 (East Street Native Sports Grounds). In 1953 the BFA had 31 affiliated clubs, 50 teams and 763 registered players, some of them from as far away as Himeville, Ladysmith and Richmond (the Red Army FC) but most of them representing areas of Pietermaritzburg: Hollingwood (Kangaroos), Purification Water Works (Naughty Boys), New Scotland (Royal Engineers), Ockert’s Kraal (United Tigers), Retief Street (Unities); or businesses such as Oxenham’s Bakery and Reid’s cabinet works. MBFA Annual report and financial statement, 28, 1953 in PMA 3/PMB C batch 623, file 242/115 (East Street Native Sports Grounds). CYB 1953, p. 30. manager, NAD to Town Clerk, 13 Nov. 1952; Native Administration, Etc. Comm., 14 Nov. 1952; manager, NAD to Town Clerk, 23 Mar 1954; Native 63

Social control and communal resistance: African football in Pietermaritzburg, 1920–74
Administration, Etc. Comm., 25 Mar. 1954; manager, NAD to Town Clerk, 6 June 1956; Native Administration, Etc. Comm., 8 June 1956; manager, NAD to Town Clerk, 13 Mar. 1957; MDAFA Secretary’s report 1956 in PMA 3/PMB C batch 658, file 199/109 (African Football Association: application for grant and playing facilities). CYB 1950, pp. 24–5. Manager, NAD to Town Clerk, 16 Aug. 1950 in PMA 3/PMB C batch 353, file 197/10 (Annual sports at Fitzsimmons Road grounds). CYB 1950, p. 91. This view was not universally held: G.F. Khumalo of the Sobantu Village Advisory Board regarded the sports day as a flop and urged its replacement by football contests between the two controlling associations (Minutes of the Sobantu Advisory Board, 16 Aug. 1950 in PMA 3/PMB C batch 354, file 198/3 (Sobantu Village Advisory Board – minutes of monthly meetings)). CYB 1951, pp. 26, 79; 1952, pp. 29, 31. CYB 1952, p. 92. Native Affairs Department report CYB 1956, p. 74. CYB 1954, p. 40. Sec. for Bantu Administration and Development document, 18 Nov. 1959 in PMA 3/PMB 4/5/551, file 199/215 (‘Recreational facilities for the Bantu in urban residential areas’). But the marginal status of Africans regarding sport is indicated by a contemporary text on the history of Natal sport in which there are but three references to blacks: a caption to a picture of horse racing reads ‘notice the boys at the heads of several of the horses’ (L. Cox (ed.), Fifty years of sport in Natal (Durban: Roberts for Durban City Memorial Club, [195–], p. 10). Manager, NAD to Town Clerk, 20 Apr. 1955 and 9 Feb. 1956; Native Administration Comm., 22 and 26 Apr. 1955 and 20 Feb. and 18 Apr. 1956; City Treasurer to Town Clerk, 14 Mar. 1956 in PMA 3/PMB 4/4/2/133, file 242/8 (Retief Street Native Recreation Ground). CYB 1961, p. 132. Director, Bantu Administration Dept., Pretoria to Town Clerk, 4 Nov. 1969; Director, Bantu Administration Dept, Pietermaritzburg to Town Clerk, 12 Nov. 1969 in PMA 3/PMB 4/4/2/133, file 242/8 (Retief Street Native Recreation Ground). CYB 1965, p. 147. Sobantu Village Advisory Board, 23 Apr. 1963 and 26 Mar. 1965 in PMA 3/PMB 4/5/545, file 198/204 (Minutes of Sobantu Village and Imbali Advisory Boards). CYB 1962, p. 145; 1966, pp. 153–4; 1967, p. 26; 1968, p. 153; 1971, p. 20; 1972, p. 28. CYB 1964, p. 49. Sobantu Village Advisory Board, 27 Feb. 1963 and 20 May 1966 in PMA 3/PMB 4/5/545, file 198/204 (Minutes of Sobantu Village and Imbali Advisory Boards). Director, Bantu Affairs to Town Clerk, 16 July 1964 in PMA 3/PMB 4/5/551, file 199/215 (Recreational facilities for the Bantu in urban residential areas). Combined Advisory Board, 23 June 1967 in PMA 3/PMB 4/5/545, file 198/204 (Minutes of Sobantu Village and Imbali Advisory Boards). However, black communities were not always disadvantaged. In 1969 an application for land by Old Alexandrians was turned down as it was in use by the Asian and Coloured communities (Housing and Town Planning Comm., 1 Apr. 1969 in PMA 3/ PMB 441–442, file 162/245 (Application by Old Alexandrians Association for land for erection of sporting facilities and clubhouse)). Booley, A. Forgotten heroes: a history of black rugby 1882–1992 (Cape Town: Manie Booley, 1998), p. 11. Town Clerk to Director of Parks, 5 Aug. 1969 in PMA 3/PMB 4/5/610, file 242/207 (‘Brookside sporting area for Indians’). City Engineer to Town Clerk, 18 Oct. 1963 in PMA 3/PMB 4/4/2/210, file 242/2 (Fitzsimmons Road Sports Ground). CYB 1972, p. 195. A.M. Moleko (attorneys) to Town Clerk, 25 June 1975; Town Clerk to A.M. Moleko, 3 July 1975; Housing and Town Planning Comm., 17 Jan. 1975 in PMA 3/PMB 4/4/2/210, file 242/2 (Fitzsimmons Road Sports Ground). ILAC, 22 Apr. 1975 in PMA 3/PMB 4/5/674, file 265/202 (MISA). P. Alegi, ‘Amathe nolimi (it is saliva and the tongue): contracts of joy in South African football, c.1940–76’. International Journal of the History of Sport 17(4) 2000, pp. 9–10, 16–17.


71 72

59 60




62 63 64 65 66



77 78


79 80

68 69


Stella Aurorae: Establishing KwaZulu-Natal’s First University

The early quest for university education KwaZulu-Natal’s first fully-fledged university, the University of Natal, was established sixty years ago, on 15 March 1949. The Natal University College from which it developed came into existence a century ago, on 11 December 1909. Such an institution had first been envisaged as early as the mid-nineteenth century, though from the beginning, given the colonial time and place, the intention was to advance white (and initially male) education. The issue of contention was where the university should be sited – in Durban or Pietermaritzburg. In September 1853 a group of prominent citizens launched the Durban Mechanics’ Institute and, within three years, there were expectations that

it might develop into a ‘young men’s university’. By the 1850s there were already more than 500 such Institutes in Britain, originating in Glasgow for the purpose of providing working men with part-time adult education. Like so many of them, their Durban counterpart became no more than a literary, recreational and social club before its subsequent closure. It did, however, provide the basis for the city’s first public library.1 In 1858 the more established and affluent Cape Colony took the first meaningful step towards the creation of a university in southern Africa when it set up a Board of Public Examiners. Its function was to examine and issue certificates to candidates prepared by secondary schools in the fields of Literature and Science, Law

Natalia 39 (2009), Bill Guest pp. 65 – 78
Natalia 39 (2009) Copyright © Natal Society Foundation 2010

Stella Aurorae: Establishing KwaZulu-Natal’s First University

Main Building, NUC, Pietermaritzburg and Jurisprudence, and in Land Surveying, Engineering and Navigation. This was followed in 1873 by the establishment of the University of the Cape of Good Hope. In common with institutions in other parts of Britain’s Empire, it was modelled on the University of London with no teaching facilities of its own. It was essentially an examining body, like the earlier Board of Public Examiners, prescribing syllabi and evaluating students prepared at secondary institutions such as the South African College (1829) in Cape Town and the Victoria College (1866) in Stellenbosch. In 1877 Queen Victoria granted the University a Royal Charter, theoretically endowing its degrees with the same status as those conferred by British universities.2 In the same year, acting on the recommendations of an 1873 commission of enquiry, Natal’s Lieutenant-Governor, Sir Henry Bulwer, took time off from the looming crisis culminating in the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War to draft legislation intended to launch a ‘Royal College of Natal’. His hope was that this would eventually provide local access to university-level ed66

ucation but the Colony’s money-conscious white elected representatives rejected the proposal as premature. They did at least agree to finance a ‘home university exhibition’ to send a Natal scholar for tertiary training in Britain. Less fortunate aspiring graduates could still take advantage of the 1875 Cape University Extension Act which enabled the University of the Cape of Good Hope to hold examinations outside that Colony. The subsequent 1896 Cape University Incorporation Amendment Act extended membership of the University’s Council to Natal, Free State and South African Republic nominees, in exchange for annual contributions to its expenses. From 1897 Natal took up the offer, by which stage several of its high schools were providing post-matriculation tuition for local Cape of Good Hope candidates. These included the Durban Ladies’ College and Durban High School, Michaelhouse, Girls’ Collegiate in Pietermaritzburg and Maritzburg College. It was the latter institution which was to provide the Natal University College with its first modest accommodation.3

Stella Aurorae: Establishing KwaZulu-Natal’s First University The Natal University College established When the Colony of Natal’s Government at last, in its twilight years, recognised the need for locally-based tertiary education its immediate concern was to provide appropriate technical training. What Brookes has described as ‘a surprisingly utilitarian bias’ was really quite understandable in view of the efforts which had been made in that direction since the 1850s and the practical needs of a colonial economy struggling to emerge from a severe post-Anglo-Boer war (1899-1902) recession. The Natal Technical Education Commission appointed late in 1904 was, predictably, dominated by members with technical interests, not least its chairman, Sir David Hunter, Manager of the Natal Government Railways. Notable exceptions were W.J. O’Brien, who was later to feature prominently in university development, and C.J. Mudie, Natal’s Superintendent of Education. His liberal arts background induced him to withdraw from the Commission before it had completed its deliberations and subsequently to submit a minority report. This reinforced the dualism which had already characterised the debate about university development in the region. There was unanimity that a University College should be established in Pietermaritzburg but the Commission’s Report of May 1905 recommended that the teaching staff based there should also meet ‘the requirements of Durban’ and that there should be an administrative complement in both centres. Mudie disagreed, firmly advocating one university campus, with bursaries for promising Durban matriculants to attend there. In his view, Maritzburg College, with its current crop of eleven post-matriculation scholars and six masters serving as ‘lecturers’, could provide the obvious nucleus for such an institution.4 The two Reports were simply shelved without being discussed in Parliament, possibly due to indecision as to how the expectations of the two centres might be reconciled. It was more likely attributable to a severe shortage of government funds in the wake of ambitious expenditure on public works during the earlier war-time boom, the heavy cost of re-organising colonial defences under the 1903 Militia Act and the additional financial burden of counteracting a major outbreak of east coast fever in 1904. In April 1907, while officialdom prevaricated, Dr S.G. (Sam) Campbell convened an enthusiastic meeting of Durban citizens in his Berea home to discuss the establishment of a ‘Technical Institute’. Chaired by local businessman Sir Benjamin Greenacre and including Sir

Colin Webb Hall as Library, NUC, Pietermaritzburg

Stella Aurorae: Establishing KwaZulu-Natal’s First University

Mechanical Engineering Lab, NUC, Durban David Hunter, this gathering was a clear expression of the port city’s perceived need for practical tertiary education. In July 1907 the Durban Technical Institute came into existence, in 1915 renamed the Durban Technical College and in 1922 the Natal Technical College. In 1912 this new institution also began to produce candidates for examination by the University of the Cape of Good Hope, though it is evident that as early as 1907 Campbell and several of his associates hoped eventually to establish a university of its own for Durban.5 Instead, the resolute C.J. Mudie seized the initiative by persuading his friend and superior, Natal’s Minister of Education, Dr C. O’Grady Gubbins, to appoint yet another education commission in January 1909. Seven months later, after Mudie had fed it detailed proposals, this body reported in favour of establishing a university college in Pietermaritzburg, with no mention of extending similar facilities to the port. In the same year a teachers’ training college was established in the colonial capital. By then, there were clear indications of an economic upswing in the region, to the

extent that the Colony’s Government had ₤30,000 to spend on the university project. On 11 December 1909 it promulgated the Natal University College Act, shortly before ceasing to exist in favour of Union on 31 May 1910. In this way the Natal University College was formally established, exclusively for the admission of white matriculants. It joined seven other colleges in presenting candidates for examination by the University of the Cape of Good Hope. These were the South African College in Cape Town, the Victoria College in Stellenbosch, the Huguenot Seminary (1874) in Wellington, Rhodes University College (1904) in Grahamstown, Grey University College (1907) in Bloemfontein, the Transvaal University College (1906) in Johannesburg (in 1910 renamed the South African School of Mines and Technology) and the Transvaal University College (1910) in Pretoria.6 From College To University It took the Natal University College nearly forty years to achieve full university status. In 1916 the Universities of Stellenbosch

Stella Aurorae: Establishing KwaZulu-Natal’s First University (formerly Victoria College) and of Cape Town (formerly the South African College) were granted that distinction, both having been strengthened by substantial endowments. In the same year a new examining body, the University of South Africa based in Pretoria, was established to replace the University of the Cape of Good Hope. The new Natal University College was placed under its federal control, along with the Huguenot, Rhodes, Grey and Transvaal University Colleges, as well as the South African School of Mines and Technology. In 1921 a new Potchefstroom University College became affiliated but the South African Native College which opened in 1916 remained outside the federal structure and in 1953 was renamed the University College of Fort Hare.7 By then all of the constituent colleges which comprised the University of South Africa had attained full autonomy, except for Huguenot College which closed in 1950. For some, like the university college of Natal, that goal was not easily achieved. It did participate in the administration of the new University of South Africa, whose Council included a representative from the council and the senate of each constituent college. It also enjoyed some measure of independence in that, unlike the previous dispensation, its own teaching staff now participated in constructing the syllabi and examined their own students, with the advice of external examiners, instead of assisting them in ‘spotting’ questions that were set and marked by remote strangers. In addition, within a few years it was authorised to conduct graduation ceremonies in Pietermaritzburg instead of dispatching graduands to Pretoria. The College was fortunate in the quality of the inaugural staff that it attracted, primarily from Britain, to take over lecturing duties from the Maritzburg College masters in the wood-and-iron building on school property set aside for this purpose. Professors Alexander Petrie (Classics) and R.B. Denison (Physics and Chemistry) arrived in April 1910. They were joined in August by other soon-to-be local legends in J.W. Bews (Botany and Geology), Osborn Waterhouse (English and Philosophy), W.N. Roseveare (Pure and Applied Mathematics), Ernest Warren (Zoology and already Director of the Natal Museum), Gerrit Besselaar (Modern Languages and History) and Robert Inchbold (Law). These

Senior Physics Lab, NUC, Pietermaritzburg

Stella Aurorae: Establishing KwaZulu-Natal’s First University

University Hall, NUC, Pietermaritzburg appointments established a careful balance between the arts and sciences in the courses that were initially offered. The Pietermaritzburg City Council provided the College with an imposing site for a home of its own in the form of 18 hectares in Scottsville. Classes continued to be conducted at Maritzburg College, but also at the Natal Museum (Zoology) and upstairs in the City Hall, while the ₤30,000 allocated by the Natal Government shortly before its demise was used to construct the first building on the highest point of the Scottsville campus. In August 1912 the ‘Clock Tower’ or ‘Old Main’ Building, designed by local architect J.C. Tully, was officially opened. Initially there were insufficient funds to furnish it adequately and no accommodation was provided for a caretaker, cleaners or laboratory assistants. Students had to lodge in the private dwellings that were being built in the campus neighbourhood. Finance proved to be a recurring nightmare for the College as state funding was almost always in short supply, student numbers (57 in1910) and the fees they paid were uneconomically low and other sources of income almost non-existent. Notable exceptions were

the contribution made by the Natal Law Society towards the salary of the Professor of Law and the donation of books and of funds towards a Librarian’s salary with which to start a Library by the family of Peter Davis junior.8 The Natal University College suffered even more severe financial hardship during World War I (1914-18.) Student enrolments declined to 36 in 1916, the ‘Clock Tower’ Building, except for its science laboratories, became a military hospital, and its Arts classes were transferred to the former Natal Government Railways offices in town. This was followed by a post-war phase of significant expansion, with student enrolments rising to 115 in 1919, a Department of Fine Arts and a women’s residence being added in 1922 and another for men in 1929. In Durban closer relations were developed with the Technical College, where from 1922 full-time classes in Engineering and Commerce were held. The following year new chairs in Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Commerce, together with a lectureship in Auditing, were filled by appointees who were employees of both Colleges. In the same year, with total student enrolments up

Stella Aurorae: Establishing KwaZulu-Natal’s First University to 232, the cause of university education in Durban enjoyed a decisive financial boost. T.B. Davis, owner of a local stevedoring company (no relation to Peter Davis), donated ₤50,000 for the construction of what became known as ‘Howard College’ in memory of his son Howard who was killed on the Somme front during World War I. In 1927 part-time classes in Commerce were started at the Technical College but in 1931 the link between it and the University was weakened with the opening of the ‘Howard College’ building. Situated on an imposing 20-hectare site in the ‘Stella Bush’, donated by the Durban City Council, full-time university classes were firmly launched there. In 1936 part-time classes were transferred to what became known as the Oldham Building (named after the first head of Commerce and Administration) or ‘City Building’ in Warwick Avenue.9 By then dualism had been fully embraced as official policy, and clearly espoused by the University College’s Principal, J.W. Bews (1928-38) the former Professor of Botany and Geology. In 1930 there were 337 students enrolled in Pietermaritzburg and only 143 in Durban. But in 1928 at Inchanga, when Bews persuaded a wavering meeting of representatives from both centres that a dual-campus university was indeed viable, it was already obvious that the harbour city was the region’s major population and commercial growth point and therefore the most likely future source of students and private donations. In 1932, with the latter in mind, Bews launched the Natal University Development Foundation (NUDF) and tried to strengthen ties with the local business community. He had no personal difficulty with the notion of dual campuses, having seen such structures functioning effectively at St Andrew’s and Durham University. His vision for the future included incorporating the existing Adams College (for Africans) and Sastri College (for Indians) into a federal structure as well as the establishment of a Faculty of Agriculture in Pietermaritzburg (realised in 1949) and of a Medical School in Durban (opened in 1951 for black students only). Bews also gave his support to the indefatigable Mabel Palmer when she proposed part-time classes for what were termed ‘non-European’ students in Durban. The University College’s conserva-

Howard College, NUC, Durban

Stella Aurorae: Establishing KwaZulu-Natal’s First University

Howard College Hall, NUC, Durban tive Council and Senate reluctantly agreed to separate classes for such students, off-campus. From 1936 Palmer offered them in the belief that ‘separate’ was an improvement on none at all. They were held on Friday evenings and on Saturdays and Sundays at the nearby Sastri College, supplemented by an annual winter vacation course at Adams College south of Durban. The courses offered were primarily those leading to an Arts degree, then a novelty in Durban, and the students were mainly Indian teachers seeking to improve their qualifications and promotion prospects. Enrolments increased from an initial 19 to 130 by the mid-1940s and nearly 900 in 1960, the largest black university enrolment in South Africa, when the Nationalist Government forced its closure.10 Developments on the Natal University College’s Pietermaritzburg campus were more modest, with student numbers actually declining during the conservative principalship of R.B. Denison (the former Physics and Chemistry Professor) between 1938 and 1941. In 1939, for the first time, there were fewer students registered in Pietermaritzburg than in Durban – 418 compared with 440, including 49 ‘nonEuropeans’. The impact of the Second World War (1939–45) on the College was far less severe than the First had been, though all universities were officially warned against undertaking expansionary programmes and no provision was made for bricks and mortar to accommodate the anticipated post-war influx of ex-servicemen. In 1944, for example, the State spent an average of ₤37-5s per university student compared with ₤55 in 1930. Denison’s cautious stewardship was appropriate for the cash-strapped times, but unfortunately there was little in the way of forward planning that envisaged the College’s future as a dual or possibly even multi-campus institution. It needed the arrival of a new, more dynamic Principal from elsewhere to address the increasing, if uneasy, realisation that Durban’s rapid population growth demanded a full suite of university courses which extended far beyond the technical and part-time options currently offered there.11


Stella Aurorae: Establishing KwaZulu-Natal’s First University E.G. Malherbe – the final push On his arrival the new Principal, E.G. Malherbe (1945–65), was astounded by the Natal University College’s financial weakness considering the obvious wealth in Durban and the surrounding sugarfarming region. He concluded that Natal was ‘the least university-minded’ of South Africa’s then four provinces and attributed this primarily to the harbour city’s ‘backwardness’ in recognising the importance of broad higher education. In his view, it substantiated Prime Minister Smuts’s observation that Natal was ‘still fallow land as far as university training is concerned’. Other ethnic groups did not, as yet, come into the reckoning when Malherbe pointed out that the province currently had only one in every 300 of its white population studying at a university, compared with 230 in the Orange Free State, 215 in the Transvaal and 150 in the Cape. But, he declared, the magnificent Howard College site donated by the Durban City Council and then valued at ₤177 000 could, with adequate funding, ‘be developed into one of the most beautiful campuses in the world.’ Malherbe was determined to change the prevailing local mindset. Within a month of assuming office and attending his first Senate meeting, he announced his intention to secure independent status for the Natal University College. In an interview he declared ‘I will do my utmost to build up this place to a University of Natal which will serve not only the people of this Province but the whole of South Africa.’ He expressed the hope that the quality and range of options offered would soon be such that the flow of students out of the province to other institutions would be reversed and that applicants would be attracted from elsewhere in the country. But, he cautioned, ‘Natal will get as good a University as it deserves – as it is prepared to exercise its own generosity in building up.’ In his first graduation address in May 1945, Malherbe declared it anomalous that Durban, South Africa’s third most important city with the highest taxable income per head amongst whites, did not have an independent university. It raised fears in Pietermaritzburg that he intended to move the Natal University College in its entirety to the port. Coupled with rumours

Chemistry Lab, NUC, Pietermaritzburg

Stella Aurorae: Establishing KwaZulu-Natal’s First University

University Lodge – Men’s Res, NUC, Pietermaritzburg that the Natal Supreme Court might soon follow local Defence Headquarters to Durban, there was concern that the former colonial capital would ‘sink to the status of a dorp’. It was, nevertheless, recognised that by the mid-1940s four-fifths of the province’s white matriculants resided in or around Durban.12 In 1946 the Council of Natal University College formally advised the Department of Education and the University of South Africa that it would petition Parliament for full university status. The decisions taken in 1946 and 1947 to duplicate full-time Arts and Social Science classes in Durban clearly reflected Malherbe’s commitment to the principle of dualism. In support of this the Council declared that ‘Durban has too long been fed education on the cafeteria method of part-time education in the arts and sciences. …These really constitute the core of university education and must be studied full-time as far as possible….’ In support of its claim to full university status, the Council pointed out that the College currently had 1 800 students compared with less than 500 at UCT and Stellenbosch when they were incorporated as universities in 1916,

while Wits and Pretoria had less than 900 each when they became independent in 1921 and 1930 respectively. Malherbe added that Rhodes currently had 1 100, the University of the Orange Free State 800, Potchefstroom 700 and Huguenot College 130.13 He coupled these developments with a vigorous campaign to raise ₤1.2 million worth of financial support over the next ten years in order to fund large-scale building programmes in both centres. Malherbe’s personal connections with the post-war Smuts Government, his war-time service as Director of Census and Statistics as well as in Army Educational Services and Military Intelligence, and his earlier Directorship of Educational and Social Research, made him well aware of current policy to provide ex-servicemen with a full range of training opportunities to generate the skills so desperately needed for future economic development. He pointed out that the Natal University College was expecting to cater for at least 400 of the 3 200 ex-servicemen anticipating admission to South African universities. By mid-1947 they actually numbered 650 in a total of 1 808 registrations and by 1948 overall student numbers had climbed

Stella Aurorae: Establishing KwaZulu-Natal’s First University to 2 031 – 660 in Pietermaritzburg and 1 371 in Durban (including 342 ‘nonEuropeans’).14 Malherbe addressed numerous gatherings of businessmen, tapped the local sugar and wattle industries and made frequent weekend trips to rural centres in the effort to raise funds. At a meeting in Estcourt he suggested that a hundred communities in the province should try to raise ₤1 000 a year in memory of the fallen of World War II. His efforts were boosted by the announcement in February 1946 that Government had approved the establishment of a Faculty of Agriculture at the Natal University College but that a ₤55 000 shortfall would have to be met by public donations. After some dissension, the Pietermaritzburg City Council made a ₤10 000 grant, not specifically for the new Faculty, with the prospect of as much to follow in 1947. In November 1945 the City Council had already granted an additional 18 hectares east of Golf Road, near Epworth Girls’ School, where the new Faculty of Agriculture was to be situated. On 26 February 1946 male students began moving into the converted facilities at Oribi Military Hospital, on the outskirts of town, which Smuts had agreed to set aside as a university residence for between 200 and 300 ex-servicemen. In the Durban City Council there were objections to a proposed grant of ₤100 000 on the grounds that the Natal University College was not ‘a municipal institution’. In any event, the proposal was stymied by the Provincial Council’s decision to abolish the motor registration fee, which had been expected to provide the municipality with ₤67 000. By mid-1947 the Natal University College could rely on regular annual grants of ₤4 000 from the Durban City Council and ₤1 250 from Pietermaritzburg.15 Malherbe’s fund-raising successes (initially in excess of ₤150 000) ensured that the Natal University College’s petition for university status more than adequately met at least one of the criteria which had been recommended for such elevation by the University of South Africa Commission, appointed in December 1946 to consider such applications. It also met the requirements in terms of student enrolments (nearly 2 000 compared with the stipulated 1 000), staff complement (163, including 26 professors), a now wide variety of faculties and departments generating good quality research, 116 post-graduate students, an impressive building programme in both centres and library and laboratory facilities that were at least considered ‘satisfactory’. The University of Natal (Private) Bill, which had been carefully drafted by Professor of Law, F.B. Burchell, the Registrar P.G. Leeb-du-Toit, Malherbe and others, passed through the necessary parliamentary stages early in 1948 and came into effect on 15 March 1949.16 Within six weeks the various faculty boards had been formally re-constituted and in Pietermaritzburg the Faculty of Agriculture was firmly launched. On the Howard College campus in Durban the facade, tower and south wing of the ‘Memorial Tower Building’ were completed. So too was the Principal’s residence, appropriately named ‘Campbell House’ after Sam Campbell who had done so much to promote the provision of University facilities in the harbour city. Before the end of the year the Hon. Denis G. Shepstone had been installed as the University’s first Chancellor.17 Campbell and Shepstone were both eminent individuals, deserving of such recognition. Their names were also reminders of the University’s deep colonial roots, the former a member of a distinguished settler family, the latter Administrator of Natal (1948–1958) and grandson of Sir Theophilus. Indeed, it was one of several such institutions which, for

Stella Aurorae: Establishing KwaZulu-Natal’s First University

Tennis courts where the Admin Building (formerly the library) now stands. The early date of this photograph is suggested by the absence of the large jacaranda tree in front of the building. all its initial limitations and narrow ethnic focus, nevertheless provided invaluable foundations which subsequent generations might develop, or erode. Within a decade it was to find itself struggling to defend its hard-won, if incomplete, autonomy. The Nationalist Government’s 1959 paradoxically-named Extension of University Education Act eventually deprived it of its small contingent of so-called ‘non-European’ students. It also nearly lost its ‘blacks-only’ Medical School, but for protests by all sectors of the University and the threat of the School’s staff to resign. Authority to admit persons of colour to fully-integrated, full-time classes on the University’s non-medical campuses required another long struggle, which was to make the notion of academic freedom all the more precious to its institutional memory.18 BILL GUEST

1 University of KwaZulu-Natal Archive (hereafter UKZNA) Malherbe Papers STP 6/10/4 A.F. Hattersley ‘The early years of the Natal University College’ (Unpublished Typescript, 1948) p. 1; The Natal Star, 5 March 1856; W. Rees The Natal Technical College, 1907–1957 (Pietermartizburg, University of Natal Press, 1957) pp. 11/12; Jubilee historical sketch of the Durban Public Library and Reading Room (Durban, Josiah James, 1903) p. 12; E.H. Brookes A History of the University of Natal (Pietermaritzburg, University of Natal Press, 1966) p. 1. Some of the information in this article appears in Brookes’s groundbreaking History which, surprisingly, is unsubstantiated by footnote references or even a Bibliography. The sources have had to be tracked down and his account of the university’s origins has been fleshed out with additional information from elsewhere. 2 Statutes of the Cape of Good Hope passed by the first Parliament, sessions 1854–1858, see Act No. 4 of 1858 (Cape Town, Saul Solomon, 1863) p325; Statutes of the Cape of Good Hope 1652–1905, see Higher


Stella Aurorae: Establishing KwaZulu-Natal’s First University
Education Act No. 16 of 1873; M. Boucher Spes in Arduus; A History of the University of South Africa (Pretoria, University of South Africa, 1973) pp. 40, 43; Brookes University of Natal p1. Hattersley ‘The early years of the Natal University College’ p. 1; Statutes of the Cape of Good Hope, 1652–1905, see University Extension Act No. 9 of 1875 Vol 1, p1362 and University Incorporation Amendment Act No. 6 of 1896; Brookes University of Natal p. 2. Rees Natal Technical College p5; Brookes University of Natal pp. 3–6; Bill Guest ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times: Natal and the Anglo-Boer War of 1899–1902’, Natalia 29, 1999, pp. 23–49. Rees Natal Technical College pp. 5, 34; Brookes University of Natal pp. 6/7; Guest ‘Natal and the Anglo-Boer War’ p. 46; B.M. Narbeth ‘From a very small beginning’, The Natal Mercury, 27 July 1931. Natal University College Act No. 18 of 1909; University of Natal Calendar1910 p. 1; UKZNA: File H 1/3/1–17 Gys Dubbeld ‘A Chronology of the University of Natal’ (Unpublished Typescript, nd); Brookes University of Natal pp. 8–11; F.C. Metrovich The Development of Higher Education in South Africa, 1873–1927 (Cape Town, Maskew Miller, 1929) p. 13; Hattersley, ‘The early years of the Natal University College’ p. 2. South African Parliament: University of South Africa Act, University of Stellenbosch Act and University of Cape Town Act, Nos. 12, 13 & 14 of 1916 (See also Schedule No. 1 of Act No. 12); Boucher Spes in Arduus; Stellenbosch 1866–1966 (Cape Town, Nasionale Boekhandel, 1966); R.F. Curry Rhodes University, 1904–1990: a chronicle (Grahamstown, S.N., 1970); From Grey to gold: The first hundred years of the University of the Free State (Bloemfontein, University of the Orange Free State, 2006); Bruce K. Murray Wits:The Early Years (Johannesburg, Witwatersrand University Press, 1982); A Short Pictorial History of the University College of Fort Hare,1916–1959 (Lovedale Press, 1961); Brookes History of Natal, pp. 23/24. 8 A.F. Hattersley ‘The University of Natal, 1909–1960’ (unpublished manuscript) p. 15; A. Petrie ‘NUC 1910’ in NUX, 15 September 1945 p. 2; ‘Natal University College: Description of the Building’ in The African Architect, September 1912 p. 60; UKZNA Malherbe Papers SPP 6/10/8 Memorandum ‘University Land Requirements: Provision for Future Expansion – Pietermaritzburg’ 10 April 1962; UKZNA File H 1/3/1–17, containing The Natal Witness ‘Learn with Echo’ Supplement No. 231, 6 April 1995; Brookes History of Natal pp. 12–16; for an account of Library development at the NUC see Nora Buchanan ‘A history of the University of Natal Libraries, 1910–2003’ (PhD, UKZNA,PMB, 2009). 9 UKZNA File H1/3/1–17 Dubbeld ‘Chronology of the University of Natal’; Hattersley ‘University of Natal, 1909–1960’ p. 3; Rees Natal Technical College, p. 130; Narbeth ‘From a very small beginning’ p. 2; Brookes History of Natal, pp. 17/18, 26–31. 10 UKZNA File H1/3/1–17 Dubbeld ‘Chronology of the University of Natal’; George W. Gale John William Bews (Pietermaritzburg, University of Natal Press, 1954); William Bizley ‘John William Bews: a commemorative note’ Natalia 14, 1984 pp. 17–21; University of Natal Gazette, November 1955 p. 36 – Retirement of Dr Mabel Palmer; M. Palmer ‘How non-European classes began at Natal University’ letter in The Natal Daily News, 15 March 1957 p. 15; S. Marks (ed) Not Either an Experimental Doll (Pietermaritzburg, University of Natal Press, 1987) p. 5; UKZNA Natal University College Students’ Union ‘Memorandum submitted to the Natal Indian Judicial Commission’ (Unpublished Report, n.d.) p. 3; Brookes University of Natal pp. 38,40–7. 11 UKZNA Malherbe Papers BIO–P3/2/1 The Natal Witness 4 April and 11 September 1944, 16 April 1945 ‘University of Natal’, The Natal Mercury 11 August 1944 and 15 May 1945 (Editorials); Dubbeld ‘A Chronology of the University of Natal’ p. 3; Brookes University of Natal pp. 48–51. 12 UKZNA Malherbe Papers BIO–P3/2/1 The Natal Witness, 29 December 1944, 77






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16 April 1945, Natal Mercury, 6 July 1945; E.G. Malherbe Never a Dull Moment (Cape Town, Howard Timmins, 1981), pp. 290, 293; Brookes University of Natal, p. 66. 13 UKZNA Malherbe Papers BIO–P3/2/1 The Natal Daily News, 1 August 1946, The Natal Witness, 18 July and 3 August 1946; South African Parliament Universities Act No.12 of 1946; Dubbeld ‘Chronology of the University of Natal’; Brookes University of Natal, pp. 57,59. 14 UKZNA Malherbe Papers BIO–P3/2/1 The Natal Mercury, 3 June 1947, The Natal Daily News, 6 March 1954; Dubbeld ‘Chronology of the University of Natal’; Brookes University of Natal, p. 58. 15 UKZNA Malherbe Papers BIO–P3/2/1 The Natal Witness, 13, 16, 20, 22 February and 26 March 1946; The Natal Mercury, 18 September 1945, 13, 19, 20 February 1946, 3 June 1947; Malherbe Papers Press Cuttings 1942–48 SP 6/12/1–15 The Farmer, 22 February and 15 March 1946; Bill Guest ‘The Establishment of a Faculty of Agriculture in Pietermaritzburg 1934–1949’ The Journal of Natal and Zulu History 26, 2008 pp. 60–80. 16 UKZNA Malherbe Papers BIO–P3/2/1 The Natal Witness, 2 July 1947; South African Parliament, University of Natal (Private) Act No.4 of 1948; Malherbe Never a Dull Moment p. 305; Brookes University of Natal, pp. 66–73. 17 UKZNA Senex Minutes 28 April 1949, pp. 8/9; Senate Minutes 24 June 1949; Dubbeld ‘Chronology of the University of Natal.’ 18 T.R.H. Davenport and Christopher Saunders South Africa: A Modern History (London, MacMillan Press Ltd, Fifth Edition, 2000), pp. 398, 680/1; Brookes University of Natal pp. 87–92.


Memory, identity and inheritance amongst Zululand traders
Much of the contemporary lives of Zululand traders is reliant on memory and nostalgia, and the legacy of their past perpetuates not only orally and in written form, but also in practice. Their past thus bleeds through to their contemporary lives. History and anthropology merge in the assimilation of interpreting how people see their lives and understand their legacy. It is thus that these ‘voorloper’ histories construct who they are and the manner in which they approach their worlds. This paper is part of a greater investigation which melds the architecture of the trading store, the social histories of the Zululand traders and their various networks, and anthropology in the creation of identity through memory and nostalgia.

Introduction The Zululand traders identify themselves as such, even if they are no longer trading. Jean Aadnesgaard is one of many informants who say that ‘trading is in the blood’, yet she has not effectively traded for thirty years. Besides being experiential, much of this comes from the generational responsibilities that being ‘in trade’ has inculcated, and the stories of trade, located within the social remoteness of Zululand are reinforced by stories and memories of close-knit ties. The focus of this paper is the manner in which memory and stories of some of the white traders in Zululand

assisted in the creation of their identity, and contributes to a larger study that synthesises social and material culture and history. The reality and non-reality of nostalgia and memory ‘We had a good time’ is a phrase constantly reiterated by the traders still trading, and by those who stopped many years ago. It is a statement about their pasts which are generally perceived as difficult times, and is located in relative contrast to the comfortable, affluent lives that they are living today. For many, trading is the stuff of

Natalia 39 (2009), Debbie Whelan pp. 79 – 93
Natalia 39 (2009) Copyright © Natal Society Foundation 2010

Memory, identity and inheritance amongst Zululand traders

Mahommed’s Store at Ahrens memory, so strong that it creates identity. The good times of trading are remembered, and nostalgia is, on the surface, a primary response to their pasts.1 Given that most of these people no longer trade, nostalgia is the vehicle for these traders’ presentation of their lives. At the same time nostalgia is that which causes other people to remember minute details of the trading stores without pictographic reference. In The imagined past – history and nostalgia Christopher Shaw notes that ‘Of all the ways of using history, nostalgia is the most general, looks the most innocent, and is perhaps the most dangerous.’ (Shaw in Shaw & Chase 1989: 1) Nostalgia alludes to the romanticisation of elements of the past, embracing a comfort blanket which forgets the personal, economic, social and political challenges which were faced at the time. ‘The sick man of Europe had taken to his bed, dreaming of a childhood that he had never had, regressing into a series of fictitious and cloudless infantile summers.’ (Ibid 1989: 1). The authors prefer to address nostalgia in a

‘combatative’ manner rather than challenging, interrogating what they perceive as a cultural phenomenon that chooses to represent the present through ‘falsification of the past’. Nostalgia, they established, was something rooted in the medieval period, and a large part of the ethos behind Victorian landscapes.2 Memory has different roots. Given that much memory is in narrative or narrative textual form, the difficulties of capturing the senses of memories form contentious discussion.3 A malleable personal memory is described by Julian Thomas as
Memory is not the true record of past events but a kind of text which is worked upon in the creation of meaning. Identities are continually crafted and re-crafted out of memory, rather than being fixed by the real course of past events… (Thomas 1996 in Bender & Winer 2001: 4)

Identity is therefore, for Thomas, contextually legitimated by the reconstitution of memories. Maurice Bloch expands on this, in part as a means to understand how memory and

Memory, identity and inheritance amongst Zululand traders time may be constructed from a variety of different types or remembering. (Bloch 1998) He says simply, that we use stories to make sense of the world we live in and that it is the characteristics of these stories that define and construct our worlds and how we perceive ourselves in them. Time and space he uses specifically, as examining the representations of both the past and the present reveals the parameters of considered experience. (Bloch 1998: 100) Bloch also states strongly that narratives within which people consider themselves to act are bound to that person and questioning the participation within that narrative is both arrogant and imposing, what he calls, an ‘intellectual imperialism’. (Bloch 1998: 101) Thus, a distanced view has to be employed in reading these texts, as events that precipitated the memory have hooks on which the memory is pegged. These individual memories or ways of creating memory are then extended to a greater social interpretation by Paul Connerton in his monograph ‘How Societies Remember’. Here he notes that in the case of social/ collective memory
images of the past commonly legitimate the present social order. It is an implicit rule that participants in any social order must presuppose a shared memory. To the extent that their memories of a society’s past diverge, to that extent its members can share neither experiences nor assumptions. (Connerton 1991: 3)

However, at the same time, he is critical of singular interpretations of group practice, finding it ‘totally unacceptable’ that the examination of narratives reveals a generalised concept of the mechanisms of the functioning of other people’s worlds. (Bloch 1998: 102) Narratives, then, in the interpreting and presenting of the primary sources of Zululand traders, are potentially malleable in the direction of the topic, and exist on both personal and group/communal levels. It is not the nature of the memory that is important here, nor a deep investigation into the source of the memory, but rather that stand-alone memories have their own tales which contribute to the construction of identity and define the lives of the Zululand traders. I remember when…. In her beautiful home overlooking indigenous bush and the Indian Ocean, Ursula Morrison puts the jam tin of roses that I have bought for her into water, and introduces her husband Jimmy, wheelchair bound and mute after a massive stroke some time before. She tells a much told story, reinforced in the iteration and relation of other’s histories and memories. In 1918, she says, David Brodie, a partner in a trading firm named G.A. Challis & Co. was looking for a young man to take over from Challis. The latter had returned from war with bad shell-shock and was not able to continue running the shop which they owned at Makakatana, known as ‘Lake Store’. Both Challis and Brodie were ex-Natal Government Policemen. In addition, Brodie travelled a lot and needed a reliable person to look after the shop in his absence. At the time, ‘Jock’ Morrison, Jimmy’s father, was eighteen and working in Mtubatuba, and had to borrow money from a family friend to be able to enter into this partnership. Trading suited him

In the collective sense Bloch, too, maintains that this has unifying creativity in that ‘the phenomenological maintenance or otherwise of past states is, in real circumstances, largely determined by history and people’s view of themselves in history and hence, via notions of persons and places and various views of ethics and intentions (Bloch 1998: 69).

Memory, identity and inheritance amongst Zululand traders and it was not long before he opened a store at Maphosa when he got married, as well as at the railhead at Nyalazi and at Hluhluwe. Jock Morrison died at the end of the 1930s. His son Jimmy had gone off to war, serving in the South African Air Force, whilst his mother, characteristically, continued to run the family store at St Lucia. Maphosa Store was being run by an uncle who had built it into a viable concern whilst keeping the other stores at Makakatana, Nyalazi and Hluhluwe running. Jimmy Morrison was demobbed and returned to South Africa, studying accountancy before returning to Zululand and re-entering the store business. Ursula Morrison takes up the story.
The businesses were not in good shape, only one of the three shops showing a fair return, and the buildings, which were built of wood and iron, needing replacement. There were shortages of goods for a number of years after the end of World War 2 and customers would queue for their daily rations of brown sugar as this item was necessary for the brewing of home-made liquor. Black people were not permitted to buy ‘white liquor’ at that time so concocted and sold their own version of moonshine as well as tapping the ilala palm to make palm wine, a potent liquor.

James married Ursula in 1949. She had grown up on a farm at Ballito, and had attended boarding school at Eshowe. Thus she was not really thrown into a totally foreign environment when she moved up to the wild, remote Makakatana in the 1950s where, she tells, the only drinkable water came from rainwater tanks and there was no electricity and no telephone.4 Light came from paraffin-fired Coleman lamps. The railhead may have reached Somkhele by 1903, meaning that one could catch the train, but nevertheless it was still quite a trip to get to the siding at Nyalazi.

Esikeni Store past Riverside

Memory, identity and inheritance amongst Zululand traders She remembers that fresh milk was provided originally by a local man named Mncube at the time when they took over the running of the store, but as the store allotment provided for a grazing area they soon got their own cows.5 She paled when asked whether they slaughtered for meat, and replied that they had slaughtered only once. An old man named Maphosa would walk from Makakatana Store to Nyalazi Store at the railhead every morning to collect two sacks of bread. These stores, she says, stocked everything from a ‘pin to a plough’. She remembers the complexity of the relationship between the customer and the storekeeper as being totally different from other trading relationships and over the counter service was particularly important. They also served as a postal agency. The post arrived three times a week, she says, and was collected from Nyalazi by an African man on foot, carrying the canvas post bag on a stick on one shoulder and a knobkerrie and an assegai in the other hand. In operating this postal service, they had to send telegrams for customers, and receive registered mail for families of migrant workers. This meant that they had to identify officially every recipient of the registered letters, which meant knowing your customers by face and name. She also remembers that traders, operating within a telephone exchange system, and a party line (which they had until the late 1980s), had to dial the numbers for their customers, most of whom could not read or write, as well as facilitate some phone calls. In addition, she remembers offering legal advice, as well as holding and managing accounts. Her son Hugh and his family live next door to the old store at Makakatana.
Leanne’s father was a rep for Spar or OK or something and he always asks to look at the store, with fond memories. All of this is exactly how it was. I am afraid it is my storeroom at the moment, but I try and keep it tidy. Those bins over there are actually ration bins which were dropped out of DC 10s when we were in Angola.

Shelves are piled high with all of Jimmy Morrison’s records. There are the boxes of papers dealing with staffing at the stores, others documenting Morrison’s involvement with the Rural Licensing Boards and the Zululand Chamber of Commerce and files and ledgers containing all the company’s accounts. A perfect incarceration of memory.
All is exactly how it was when we closed. Here are the rods that we hung cloth from, look at these fish hooks – they are the original ones, all for five cents each. I don’t think that I would do anything about the store, but the roof does need a good fix.

We peer up through the gloom to the ceiling where tell-tale signs of water and rot show lack of maintenance. Hugh and Leanne’s house is set in a large garden, with remote control and electrified fence in the middle of the forest with a view out across Lake St Lucia. Outside the gates you see warthogs, and, if you are lucky, a rhino or two. Hugh and Leanne run the luxury Makakatana Lodge, some kilometres through the thickly forested sand dunes. Through the vagaries of fortune in the 1930s, Jimmy Morrison’s father acquired the land freehold, an unusual situation for traders on trading allotments, especially in Zululand. Hugh declares: ‘We keep way out of the goings on at the Lodge – foreign visitors just have no respect for personal space’. Hugh Morrison is a child of a different period of trading.
In February 1949, James married Ursula Rogers and their first son John was born in December of that year to be followed by four more sons and a daughter6 – 83

Memory, identity and inheritance amongst Zululand traders and the family history, Ursula Morrison creates a linear story from a collection of different happenings. Bloch elaborates, suggesting ‘that a narrative is not stored as a narrative but as a complex re-representation of a sequence of events like the sequence of events that happen to oneself.’ (Bloch 1998: 122) Adding inference, such as Pamela crying into her porridge, fleshes out the story and it is this which aids memory – making sense of the narrative includes being able to contextualise it in a greater picture. (Bloch 1998: 123) Some voices and memories are immortalised, and their endurance is largely due to the written word. The late Roy Rutherfoord’s memories are captured in his memoirs. He remembered as a boy driving in a Willys Overland motorcar with his parents to take up the Ndumu Store.
From Othobothini we travelled on an ill defined old wagon track that led to Ndumu. At times we had to get out to walk to higher ground in order to see where the track continued. We proceeded on, and duly arrived at the banks of the Ingwavuma River, a spot approximately two kilometres from Ndumu store. The river was flowing strongly and was quite impossible to cross by car. There was a small pont which the natives managed to pole backwards and forwards, and onto which our belongings were loaded. (Rutherfoord 2000: 3–4)

Map of Zululand showing some trading sites discussed (Author)
Barry, Pamela, Bruce, Keith and Hugh. Fortunately they were a reasonably healthy bunch because the nearest doctor was 23 miles away over rough dirt roads. All the children grew up speaking English and Zulu and Hugh spoke only Zulu until he was three. Makakatana is a lovely place for children, especially the boys, who started fishing at a young age but the one big drawback, is the distance from schools. There was no boarding facility at Mtubatuba so all ended up at Eshowe School7 which is about a twohour journey away. Pamela still tells of crying into her porridge when she was sent away at the age of five-and-a-half years!8

Ursula Morrison presents an inscrutable and distant history, devoid of personal involvement and perfected through reiteration. Her memories are verbatim and captured. Hugh Morrison’s memories are locked up in the store, the physical repository that created them. From the litany-like presentation of her personal

During this trip, Roy and his sister suffered from bad bouts of malaria and had to be carried the final two kilometres to their new home. When he was a child his parents were farming at Mfolozi. The legendary flood of 1918 washed away their sugar crop, so

Memory, identity and inheritance amongst Zululand traders on moving north to Ndumu, his father, ‘RH’ Rutherfoord (known to the locals as Mthwazi or ‘monkey ropes’ and everyone else as ‘RH’) together with a consortium of Mfolozi sugar farmers, formed the Ndumu Group9 and took over a store owned by the Von Wissels10. Peter Rutherfoord says of his grandfather ‘RH’ that he had traded in the Transkei before coming to Zululand to ‘do sugar’, and says that ‘the trading spirit was in the blood’. Rutherfoord continues with a small child’s memories.
The first few years at Ndumu were pretty tough going. My mother did not see a single white woman for the whole of the first year. The Ndumu residents consisted of our family, the shop assistant and one white police sergeant. The assistant was a Goanese and he ran the shop. (Rutherfoord 2000: 6)

Rutherfoord speaks often in his stories of Goanese traders in northern Zululand and southern Mozambique. Given the remoteness, some had evidently managed to cross the border to trade in South Africa despite the restrictions on Asians trading in Zululand. He describes them as anomalies, being brought up in British India and fiercely loyal to the Crown, but at the same time speaking fluent Portuguese. Hazel Ueckerman, the only living informant who traded through this period, has just turned 100. I sit with Hazel Ueckerman, her son David Irons and his wife Dawn as she conflates two different stories of two different events. Whilst they were trading at Hlabisa, during the war, ‘all these Zulus arrived at the store naked!’…we raised our eyebrows until she elaborated that they were actually wearing their ibheshus and isinenes, traditional loin cloth and rear covering. The reason for this dress, Hazel Ueckerman explains, was that they were protesting – a local farmer named De Wet was charging people to dip their cattle, an action not regarded

lightly by local people. Anyway, a local Hlabisa man was then stabbed to death, ‘Remember David, he was such a nice man’, and all he was doing was trying to mediate in this chaos. His five children were then to be looked after by his eldest daughter, who at the time was in her midteens. David pipes up that she later became the postmistress in Hlabisa. David Irons, it must be recalled, was still a small child at the time. Then Hazel Ueckerman tells of African women arriving at the store laden with bundles of reeds on their heads, in which are concealed assegais. Dawn Irons chips in, ‘Ja, that was a common way of doing it’. So then they get a missive from Nongoma about this uprising. There are few men around (white men, that is) due to the war, and they go speeding off to Nongoma to find assistance in quelling the uprising. At the same time, De Wet the farmer speeds past in a cloud of dust. The story somehow shifts to Nongoma, where a Zulu man riding a donkey declares he is Jesus and promptly gets shot through the stomach by another Zulu brandishing a Martini Henry rifle. David describes how his innards were spewing out all over the neck of the donkey. Hazel tells how all the women at Nongoma came to stay in her rondavel, and how a man named Mabaso (‘he was such a sweet and caring man’) patrolled their rondavel all night, looking after the women. The magistrate Braatvedt tells this story in a more coherent light. For him it was October in 1942. Serving at Maphumulo at the time, he was ordered to Nongoma where there was a report of an uprising in which a number of people had been killed.
A certain religious fanatic had succeeded in organising a gang of about fourteen men and several women. Not much notice had been taken of this man’s activities, either by the chiefs or government officials until one day, when he marched into the 85

Memory, identity and inheritance amongst Zululand traders
court house grounds, accompanied by his adherents. The men were all clothed in various animal skins, and had a peculiar bundle with them, resembling a large telescope holster about eight feet long.’ This bundle contained the assegais. Eventually four of the attackers were killed using ‘an ancient muzzle-loader. (Braatvedt 1949: 129)

His story continues without the gory memories of Hazel Ueckerman which were passed on to her son, David, with the guts of the fanatic spilling all over the donkey. Both she and David discuss those brief years in Hlabisa fondly, intertwining family folklore with fact in the telling of the stories. She tells, particularly of an incident when she had just moved to trading in remote Hlabisa with her first husband Jack, of an elderly Zulu man coming into the store whilst she was serving at the counter. He wanted a prepuce cover and pointed to them.11 She had no idea what these unusual grass constructed things which were hanging up in bunches were. Getting them down, she handed them to the old kehla who solemnly inspected each one and measured it for size. He then chose the appropriate item, which was then paid for in pennies. She had no idea why her husband was doubled up with laughter, until he revealed all after that particular shopping episode was completed and the old man had left. She recalls with a laugh that she was absolutely mortified with embarrassment! The Irons family traded at Hlabisa from 1942 to 1945, when Hazel’s younger brother was discharged from the army, and they opted to move to Nongoma. Relatively urbane Nongoma was a far cry from the remote Hlabisa. The store at Nongoma was more lucrative and bigger than the Hlabisa one, and instead of a series of collapsing rondavels with flattened paraffin tin roofs which had served as their ac86

commodation, there was a chemist’s shop situated next to the store, which became the family’s home until they could afford to move. Thus, for some time they lived in the chemist’s shop and traded from the store next door. Hazel Ueckerman would have still been living in Hlabisa at the time of the uprising, and David Irons, her son, would have been two years old. Yet both remember it vividly, reinforced in family legend. Maurice Bloch speaks of reiterative narrative amongst the Madagascan Zafinmaniry as being important in the ‘re-establishment of order’ as a particular incident such as his seemingly random arrival is situated within an order of narrative explanation, and with the repeated telling becomes a ‘prototypical present’. (Bloch 1998: 105) In addition, ‘the characteristic of the individual’s memory of what she has experienced during her lifetime – her autobiographical memory – is not all that different from her knowledge of more distant historical events which she cannot possibly have lived through.’ (Bloch 1998: 115) Bloch distinguishes between autobiographical memory and semantic memory, quoting Courtois (1993) and Todorov (1995) by saying that its mutating, multi-dimensional and organic nature can render study problematic. (Bloch 1998: 116) In investigating recollections of the 1947 anti-colonial revolt which killed 80 000 people in Madagascar, Bloch collected narratives as told by people in the Zafinmaniry community. He describes the narrative as a ‘private account’ as it relates to the people of the village, but in the telling it becomes the authoritative one assisting in the reduction of the arbitrariness of the memory. Bloch then describes a separate incident when talking with his ‘adoptive’ father, who relates a totally different story. He then suggests that the ‘same’ narratives have different contexts and different purposes. One is a

Memory, identity and inheritance amongst Zululand traders ritual narrative related to community and the other is an ad hoc narrative which is produced in one-on-one conversations. (Bloch 1998: 108) This leads to two different ways of presenting history amongst the Zafinmaniry, where Tantara is a collective history that aims to ‘reduce events to exemplary tales’ which are couched in ‘moral value’, (Bloch 1998: 108) whereas the Anaganon, has the purpose of relating legendary events that have no temporal location. Bloch’s approaches to telling ‘fact’, exists in the same framework as the relation of events of the 1947 uprising in Nongoma. Hazel Ueckerman has these events as both Tantara and Anaganon, whereas Braatvedt presents them in a more empirical fashion. Written sources such as memoirs have value in presenting a voice of opinions and ideas. The notes of the magistrates, some of the richer written oral histories surviving, are peppered with anecdotes and tales of man and beast. They are also valuable manuscripts in the telling of stories, of the relationships between the man that was meant to be in authority and the people that he served on the ground.

Umfolozi Store owned by Otto Anderson 1914 (Photo: Errol Harrison)
That smell that characterised the rural trading store was something mercurial, a mixture of scents and textures that were not always discernable but at the same time were recognisably comfortable. And there was the inside of the store, jam-packed with items hanging from the roof in colourful array – blankets, umbrellas, clothes on hangers, and others such as ploughshares, Zulu pots, medicaments, beads, and cloth which crammed the floor and wall space behind the wide, polished counter where you related with the storekeeper eyeball-to-eyeball and by name. People remember leaf tobacco, and sugar sold in twists of paper, and paraffin lamps. And on the counter would be a jar of sherbetty Zulu mottoes, proclaiming a variety of amorous declarations. 87

Memory, identity and inheritance amongst Zululand traders Some of the Native Commissioners, particularly, speak with a deep understanding of the culture of the people that they served, and often these works are themselves mini-anthropologies. They can be valuable and understated repositories of information collected over years of intimate dealings, and speak of ceremonies long disappeared. H. Braatvedt, the magistrate and Native Commissioner, was stationed for a time at Ubombo. He arrived there in 1921, and makes mention of JD Smythe as being the trader at the time12.
It was a wilderness of a place in those days. Our goods and chattels had to be transported the eighty-odd miles from Mahlabathini, by donkey-wagon. One load was sent on ahead, and we were therefore, able to manage until the second installment arrived. One wagon, unfortunately, had capsised into a donga, and practically all the furniture had been badly damaged. Not a single chair was fit to use…..The European population consisted of two constables and a bachelor storekeeper. Later, conditions improved somewhat with the arrival of another storekeeper and his wife. (Braatvedt 1949: 69)

for him in the new Afrikaner-dominated administration, and that his time was limited.
He had been thinking of his early adventures in Zululand trading with Africans, when he had seen Europeans – including quite unbusinesslike English gentlemen – making their own living at it, an adequate and honest living, while remaining their own masters… to take over a ‘native trading-station’, colloquially known as a ‘Kaffir store’, with some land attached, where I could live with my mother and him, our combined energies being given to a happy blend of agriculture, commerce and home life. The main flaw in this plan was that it did not allow for the amount of continuous hard work that it would involve. (Plomer 1985: 149)

Fundamentally, much of this experience influenced his writing what was at the time a contentious novel titled Turbott Wolfe. This was published in 1925 and dealt with inter-racial intercourse and marriage, predating the first Immorality Act (No 5 of 1927) by two years. Positioning oneself and the creation of identity Memory and memoir encapsulate that trader’s version of their past. The original storekeepers left a recognisable world behind them for a variety of reasons, and stepped, mostly unwittingly, into a new and strange life, where one had to be constantly on guard for wild animals, sometimes hunt for food, and operate with resilience and large doses of creativity. Isaiah Bowman reinforces this in words written in the 1930s America saying that the early pioneers usually left very little behind them, thus the quality of life in his new home was not of prime importance. (Bowman 1931: 12–13) Hazel Ueckerman left an economically depressed Durban, RH Rutherfoord a desolate sugar enterprise but an experience

Other voices also have value. The author William Plomer describes his family’s move to Entumeni near Eshowe to trade, as well as the situation of the trading store and its micro-relationships. The decision to move was made by his father based, as Plomer notes, on nostalgia and a romantic view of trade in Zululand. In 1922, having completed the administration involved in winding up the affairs of the Africans who had been serving in France in the war, and serving a couple more years in the Native Affairs Department, Plomer’s father took the decision to move to Zululand. Plomer notes that at the time his father was aware that there was little space left

Memory, identity and inheritance amongst Zululand traders of trading in the Transkei. Geoff Johnson’s father, the son of Archdeacon Charles Johnson, too, began to trade as farming in the 1930s was difficult. ‘The end of a new railway line at the frontier of settlement is one of the most engaging places in the world. As a focus of interest for the settler, it is far more important, as a rule, than any of the stations along the way. That is because a railway line once built, temporarily settles certain things about land values and transport that “freeze” the economic situation’. (Bowman 1931: 64) This was certainly the case for people in Zululand when the railhead reached Somkhele at the beginning of the twentieth century. Its arrival in 1903 has reached the annals of legend. Ursula Morrison says in her introduction to her short history of Makakatana:
Can you imagine what it meant to live here 80 years ago! There was no reliable transport, the railway line ended at Somkele which is kilometres from Mtubatuba and all the goods for the shop had to be transported by ox wagon over rough tracks from that point. When there was much rain the track was often waterlogged and another way had to be found wandering around the pans which formed during the rainy season. Malaria was simply a nuisance to be endured if one wished to live on the Zululand coast – just a fact of life. Everyone kept a supply of quinine and although there were sprays which were usually diluted with paraffin and sprayed from a pump action can, this had a very limited effect. This was long before the advent of DDT and aerosols which did much to eradicate malaria13. The customers came from round about the shop, where their grass huts were widely scattered at the edge of the forest. Some of the men may have worked at the sugar mill or on the sugar farms but many simply stayed at home with cattle in a kraal and their wives planting crops such as mealies, sweet potatoes, sugar beans, peanuts etc. The soil is poor so I do not imagine the crops would have been good. (Ibid)

The European storekeeper arriving in Zululand broke personal, notional and physical frontiers, moving into a landscape populated by mainly Zulu-speaking people who were their potential source of income.

The life of the trader was characterised by living and trading in the spaces of people with different cultures, languages and needs. Despite the maintenance of some ‘English’ practices, such as the social rounds of tennis, and gymkhana balls, which involved much logistical arrangement, this isolation from urban society sometimes became too much, and together with other pressures, often forced traders to move to urban centres. Florence Bateman who ran the store at Dlolwana recalls that dealing with eight small children whilst living on a remote trading station was problematic and the major consideration in their decision to move closer to town. Dee Hay too, from Phindu Store at Magogo, realised when her children went off to school that she could not stand the separation and boarding school was not an option. ‘…after about nine years in the small house behind the old shop and a baby No. 5 on the way, the present home was built in 1958. Electricity was generated by a Lister Motor and it was many years before Eskom electricity was installed.’ Ursula Morrison is speaking here of the frontier that she encountered moving to Makakatana as a bride. Coming from a farming family, with a country boarding school education, she was no stranger to hardship and the wilderness when she moved to Makakatana after she and Jimmy Morrison were married. She tells of the early times not with nos89

Memory, identity and inheritance amongst Zululand traders

The Mfolozi railway station, photographed 1914 talgia, but more of a matter of fact ‘this is how it was’ approach. Although her lounge is frilly, she is not. Florence Bateman and Jean Aadnesgaard, both Calverley girls, tell snippets of their life and experience which today seem far-fetched in comparison, but they relate them with the wonder of retrospect – the Calverley (Sutton) girls were already third generation traders by this time, and any nuances of pioneering were beaten out of them. They often started from scratch – Jean Aadnesgaard speaks of building their store at Qudeni, and living and trading in the same space and Florence Bateman describes leaving iNtikwe where her parents had run the store and arriving at Dlolwana, their new venture as a young married couple, to find it in flames – it had been torched by the previous owner. This was merely disastrous information that one took in one’s stride and becomes part of a cornucopia of tales almost wondrous. Sue and Peter Rutherfoord missed the pioneering boat, only getting to Mkuze in 1970, but descriptions by Roy Rutherfoord, Peter’s father, tell of tall tales and battles fought against the odds – disease, wild animals and eccentric personalities.

(Rutherfoord c2000) At the same time, in an epilogue to his memoirs, Roy Rutherfoord tells that
On reading through these memoirs, I realise how very lucky I have been to have been through all these experiences – some difficult, some amusing, some exciting, and am sure there are not many people who have lived through such times. It is also with pride that I can look back and think what my folks started. The hardships and the difficulties they endured, especially my mother who was cook, nurse, mother and who played so many different roles…. I feel very proud to have been part of a company which, through hard work and honesty, has grown to what it is today. (Rutherfoord 2000: 100)

As oft reminded, traders are often wont to say, ‘We had good times’ or ‘We had fun’ or ‘It was a good life’. In many instances, nostalgia is measured against current comfort (Shaw & Chase 1989: 1) but unlike the endless balmy summers that Shaw and Chase refer to, these traders relate their discomforts with pride. It is also important to relate nostalgia to the creation of identity. Common to

Memory, identity and inheritance amongst Zululand traders

A group of Mfolozi settlers in front of the store most traders, the KwaZulu Government closed their family stores (which were on a 99-year lease) or took away their family farmlands which, in some instances, had been worked for seven decades. Although people do not complain unduly or dwell upon this, they do remember feeling aggrieved that the government had removed totally viable businesses and placed them in the hands of new traders without any training. Traders recognise the lack of institutional support in this transfer, and the loss of holdings is a theme. The discourse of dispossession in apartheid years concentrates on people of colour, and little is said of Europeans who also received little or no compensation for expropriated property. This theme then becomes a collective memory, an experience shared, which adds to group discourse and identity and possibly contributes in large part to the formation of identity as trader, and elucidates the type of nostalgia that they express. Similarities exist with people dispossessed through the Group Areas Act in the 1960s who were moved from Kalk Bay to the Cape Flats. They view their time living at Kalk Bay through rose-tinted spectacles, and then use this origin in their construction of identity on the Cape Flats. ‘The sea is in our blood’ they say. Anna Bohlin sees that the sea is constructed as a levelling factor: ‘There is no apartheid here, ou pellie (old friend), the fish don’t mind who catches them’. (Bender & Winer 2001: 280) ‘Trading is in our blood’ echoes this where the space of the trading store is a similar primordial functioning space: apartheid may have materially separated some of the trading store floors, but the traders didn’t care where the money came from. Zululand traders are bound by retrospect, common rules and shared experience. Bohlin suggests, too, that the
fluidity of the sea is metaphorically brought into the sphere of social relations, and a collectivised, idealised identity is constructed that draws on, and is negotiated through, images of land- and seascapes. (Bender & Winer 2001: 280)

Identity is constructed through belonging within the exiled Kalk Bay community in that the memory of the place left is portrayed through the presentation of a

Memory, identity and inheritance amongst Zululand traders

The small store and Post Office at Mfolozi, photographed 1914. A plough and mealie planter can be seen on the verandah, together with a waggon wheel, cases of beer and a paraffin tin. cohesive and ‘intact’ community. But this, as Bohlin motivates, is important in the provision of a ‘constructive self-image.’ In the conceptualisation as the Kalk Bay that they left, their current place of residence is then thrown into opposition, constructing delineation which entrenches who they are and why they don’t belong there. (Ibid: 280) The traders who left their Zululand stores present also a mythical landscape, where life was good. And in the same way that the Kalk Bay residents of old today view Kalk Bay as changed and ‘the Kalk Bay of the present as damaged’ (Bender & Winer 2001: 281) so too is the Zululand landscape of their memory much changed. It’s not like it was before … even Johnson, still implicated and actively trading, living in Natal and travelling daily to Zululand says ‘trading is very different. There was no crime.’ As Bohlin refers, Kalk Bay, as a real place which is authentic in the minds of

the people who left, is a ‘landscape of the past.’ Conclusion In Zululand even today, to a large degree the traders still operating occupy a social, economic and cultural interface which resonates with the pioneer and frontier lifestyle that their progenitors found. However, at the same time, the positioning of oneself, and creating the identity of ‘trader’ still situates one as an ‘other’. Thus memory, for the Zululand traders, is much of what their ‘trade’ is today. When considering long term and autobiographic memories, and interpreting them it becomes problematic in that the ‘memory’ of a person is extended beyond that of what happened.
Such recalling defines the person in relation to time by invoking, or not invoking, notions of a past interaction with an external world which contains truth and falsehoods, permanent and impermanent elements, which is, or not, in a state of continual creative dialectical

Memory, identity and inheritance amongst Zululand traders
flux. These ways of remembering the past not only create the imagined external world but they create the imagined nature of the actor in the past which, in so far as this actor is seen as a predecessor, refers also to those living in the present. (Bloch 1998: 81)

The traders have a view of themselves as actors in the drama of the past, and continue to play those roles in contemporary times. DEBBIE WHELAN

Bloch, M. 1989. How we think they think: anthropological approaches to cognition, memory and literacy. Boulder: Westview Press Bender, B & Winer (eds.) 2001. Contested Landscapes: movement, exile and place. Oxford: Berg Publishers Bowman, I. 1931. The Pioneer Fringe – Special Publication no 13. New York: American Geographical Society Braatvedt, H. 1949. Roaming Zululand with a Native Commissioner. Pietermaritzburg: Shuter & Shooter Connerton, P. 1991. How societies remember. Cambridge: Press Syndicate, University of Cambridge Papworth, J. 1818. Rural residences consisting of a series of designs for cottages, decorated cottages, small villas and other ornamental buildings accompanied by hints on situation, construction, arrangement and decoration, in the theory & practice of rural architecture; interspersed with some observations on landscape gardening. London: R Ackerman. Plomer, W. 1993 [1926] Turbott Wolfe. Parklands: A.D Donker (Pty) Ltd. Plomer, W. 1984. The South African autobiography. Cape Town: David Philip. Shaw, C. & Chase, M. 1989. The imagined past: history and nostalgia. Manchester: Manchester University Press. Rutherfoord, R. c2000. Beyond where the dirt road ends. Hluhluwe: Ndumu Group

1 Anna Bohlin in investigating the Kalk Bay community says after Tonkin that ‘Any account of the past must be understood as being in part a “social portrait”, expressing ideas and sentiments concerning identity, morality and cosmology.’ (Bohlin in Bender & Winer 2001: 274) 2 See Papworth’s 1818 volume which recreated architectural tropes within romantic landscapes of a past and glorious England. (Papworth: 1818) 3 See Thomas (1996), Connerton (1991) and Bloch (1998). 4 Telephones were still problematic in the 1980s as Jimmy Morrison’s letters testify. 5 Alfred Tembe, now working as the maitre’d at the Durban Club, was the herder for these cattle, whilst his sisters all looked after the Morrison children. 6 The closest hospital was in Empangeni, but the children were all born in Durban. 7 James and the children all went to the government boarding school at Eshowe High, and then the grandchildren went on to private schooling at Hilton College and St Anne’s, both in Hilton, near Pietermaritzburg. This is a common feature of these Zululand stores, where the level of schooling increased with the wealthier generations. 8 This extract is from notes on Makakatana History, by Ursula Morrison on the Makakatana Lodge website http://www.makakatana. (8.04.08) 9 The Ndumu Group actually started on a labour hunt. The initial visit to Ndumu was made with the purpose of setting up a labour recruiting agency for the Mtubatuba Mill Group. 10 Von Wissel was trading in the area at the time of the Zululand Lands Delimitation Commission and family members are apparently still trading in Swaziland. 11 (KCM 1996: 142) umNcedo, a penis cover made from iLala palm leaf, iNcema grass and string ‘A full loin-covering was not complete without the wearing of a prepuce cover.’ 12 JD Smythe was trading before Jack Irons took over the Ubombo Store. 13 htm#why July 22 2008 93

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LIFE IN THE SLOW LANE Contributed by Jewel Koopman The Alan Paton Centre celebrated its 20th Anniversary by organising a conference, which took place from 15 to 17 July 2009. This conference was a great success, in that it attracted a group of Alan Paton scholars, researchers and academics who gave some very interesting papers. The atmosphere at the conference was good, with much interaction and useful discussion after most of the papers. The venue was the Council Chamber of the UKZN Pietermaritzburg Campus. The conference, and the 16th Alan Paton Lecture, which formed part of the conference, was organised by the staff of the APC, Jewel Koopman and Estelle Liebenberg-Barkhuizen. The conference was opened by Prof. Ijumba, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research at UKZN, and by Mrs Anne Paton, Alan Paton’s widow, and major donor of material to the Alan Paton Centre, who travelled from England in order to attend.
Natalia 39 (2009) Copyright © Natal Society Foundation 2010

The keynote speaker was Professor Peter Alexander of the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. He is a Paton scholar of renown, and the author of Alan Paton: A Biography. His new publication, Alan Paton: Selected Letters, where he has edited a large number of previously unpublished letters for the Van Riebeeck Society, was launched at the conference. His keynote speech was entitled ‘I will give you the man: Paton’s Spirituality’, which took a fresh look at Paton’s religious background and thought processes. Peter Alexander also gave the 16th Alan Paton Lecture, which was entitled ‘The Examined Life: Alan Paton as Autobiographer’. This excellent paper gave new insights into Alan Paton’s writing of biographies, including the one on Roy Campbell, which he had decided not to write, but instead had handed over to Peter Alexander. At this function, speeches of welcome were made by Professor Donal

Notes and Queries McCracken, Councillor Zanele Hlatshwayo, the Mayor of Pietermaritzburg, and Dr David Paton, Alan Paton’s son. The introduction was given by Dr David Levey, a Paton scholar who lectures at UNISA. Two of the other delegates were from the USA: Prof Bernth Lindfors, Emeritus Professor of the University of Texas, and Anne Reef, of the University of Memphis, Tennessee. Prof. M.Z. Malaba came from the University of Namibia, and another delegate came from Nigeria. There were 24 papers altogether, 19 of which were presented by delegates from various South African universities. A second book written by a delegate was also launched: The Imagination of Freedom: Critical Texts and Times in Contemporary Liberalism, written by Andrew Foley, and published by the Witwatersrand University Press. A cocktail party was held on the first evening in the Hexagon Dive, where Paul Datlen, Mbo Mtshali, Ntokozo Madlala and Diana Wilson read a selection of Alan Paton’s poetry from Songs of Africa. A snack supper and birthday party was held on the second evening, after the Lecture. The conference ended with a ‘Paton’s Pietermaritzburg’ literary tour, which was conducted by Prof Lindy Stiebel and Jewel Koopman. A video of the conference is being made by Roger O’Neill, and the intention is to publish conference proceedings. The conference was sponsored by the Faculty of Humanities, Development and Social Sciences, and Corporate Relations. The Alan Paton Lecture was sponsored by the Liberal Democratic Association.

SHADOW GAME Contributed by Shelagh Spencer Last year saw the re-publication in the Penguin Modern Classics series of Shadow game by Pietermaritzburg resident Michael St George Power. First published in London by Michael Joseph in 1972 under the pseudonym Laurence Eben, it was reprinted as a Panther paperback two years later. Treating as it does, with homosexual sex across the colour line, both editions were banned by the South African government. Power’s earlier books were Holiday (1962) and Gathering of golden angels (1963).

ITALIAN GRAVES IN PIETERMARITZBURG Contributed by Jack Frost Previous issues of Natalia (Natalia 16, 1986 and Natalia 18, 1988) have published accounts of the presence of Italian prisoners of war in Pietermaritzburg during the 1940s. The POW camp stood beside the road to Durban in what was then virgin veld, where the suburb of Epworth has subsequently developed. The most tangible relic of their presence is the stone church which they built in 1943-4, dedicated to Madonna delle Grazie (Our Lady of Graces). After the war, the camp was closed and the church stood abandoned and neglected by the side of the Durban road. Vagrants on their way between the interior and the coast used it as an overnight shelter. Fires were lit in the nave and vandals removed the doors and smashed the stained glass windows. Mercifully, in the 1960s it was

Notes and Queries

The Mass is celebrated in the well-filled, beautifully restored church built by Italian prisoners of war. rescued from ruin, restored and offered a measure of protection by being declared a national monument. In 2008 it took on a new role as a military cemetery when the remains of Italian soldiers and civilians who had died during World War 2 and who had been buried in a cemetery in Hillary, Durban, were exhumed and re-interred in the grounds of the church. Along with the remains of prisoners of war who did not return to their homeland, now rest those of the many unknown individuals who perished following the sinking of the Nova Scotia off Cape St Lucia in 1942, an incident which resulted in the greatest loss of life in South African maritime history. The Nova Scotia, a hired transport, was carrying not only returning South African servicemen, but 765 Italians, mostly civil internees from Eritrea, when she was struck by three torpedoes fired by U-177. The German captain was appalled when he discovered that he had sunk a ship carry96

ing his Italian allies and radioed for help, which resulted in a Portuguese ship rescuing 192 survivors, but some 750 lives were lost. Many of the bodies were later washed up on the beaches of Natal, unidentifiable and mutilated by sharks. They were presumed to be Italians and buried with other POWs in Hillary. It is these remains which have been brought to Pietermaritzburg to rest, appropriately, in the precincts of a church built by their fellow-countrymen. In October 2008 a Requiem Mass was con-celebrated in Italian by three priests. Not only was the little church packed to capacity with invited dignitaries, including the newly-appointed Italian ambassador to South Africa, but the overflow congregation filled a marquee in the grounds. Wreaths were then laid in memory of those who had died far from their homeland by representatives of many organisations after the grave had been blessed and sprinkled with holy water.

Notes and Queries

The Italian consul lays the first wreath on the grave of Italian POWs who died during World War 2. CHURCH RECORDS A break-in and fire in April 2009 drew attention to the Natal Diocesan Archives in Pietermaritzburg. Many people do not know of its existence, and Natalia asked the present Archivist, Mary Gardner, to contribute a Note. She provided the following information. The Archives of the Anglican Diocese of Natal began in the secretary’s cupboard at the Old Deanery in Pietermaritzburg when St Saviour’s Cathedral was demolished in 1981 after the parishes of St Saviour’s and St Peter’s had combined. Diane and Tim Scogings were asked by the new dean, John Forbes, to collect the registers and documents from both parishes and those from disused churches stored at St Saviour’s, and to sort and pack them into the office accommodation. The Archives had a nomadic existence to begin with, moving from the cupboard to Bishop Alfred Mkhize’s office (to which Diane had access when the Bishop was not using it), to the house ironically named Buckingham Palace because of its very many rooms (where the Care Shop now is), to various halls and rooms in the new Cathedral Centre and eventually to the room at the end of the passage on the first floor. To some people’s amusement this was provided with a red light outside the substantial metal door to indicate that the Archives staff are present. Diane, with her interest in genealogy, and, with advice and help from various people, set about creating a well-organised archives from which it was easy to access

Notes and Queries information. Elaine Pechey, retired headmistress of Longmarket Girls’ School, joined her in 1981 in Buckingham Palace. They created a parish archives for the new Cathedral of the Holy Nativity, but its reputation soon spread and it was decided to convert it into a diocesan archives. This change was discussed at meetings during the ensuing years and in 1985 it became a reality. The Archives continued to flourish under the enthusiastic and able (but unpaid) care of Diane and Elaine, helped by many voluntary workers, mainly retired women and men, parishioners of local Anglican churches, one of whom, Elaine Peel, is now (2009) busy creating a similar archive in the Diocese of George. They rescued registers and other documents from belfries, dusty cupboards, floors of vestries, as well as from well-organised collections. A collection came down from Ladysmith after floods, and had to be dried. They had registers indexed and micro-fiched and drove to Johannesburg to hand copies of the microfiches to the William Cullen Library at the University of the Witwatersrand, which stores Anglican records. They sorted and filed documents. They visited parishes as far afield as Stanger, collecting information and documents, photographing church vessels, furniture, stained glass windows, memorials and graves. A most comprehensive collection was built up. Volunteers combed through back numbers of the Natal Witness for relevant hatched, matched and dispatched notices and relevant reports, articles and social information. In the late 1800s and the early 1900s, particularly in Pietermaritzburg, the Bishop was often at the centre of social engagements, holding regular garden parties, which the officers of the regiments quartered at Fort Napier attended, and at which regimental bands often played. In 1968 Bishop Inman moved

his office and residence to Durban, though Pietermaritzburg remained the cathedral city. In 2001 Diane and Tim Scogings went to live in New Zealand but Elaine Pechey continued to work in the Archives until 2006 and remains a consultant. In 1997 Mary Gardner became the first paid parttime worker, in 1999 Mary Mullinos was employed on a similar basis, and in 2006 Canon Dr Ian Darby was employed as researcher. Volunteers continue to come in regularly to assist. The collection was constantly added to until further rooms were required, one for the registers, then another for documents from the diocesan office in Durban office. A fourth room became necessary as more documents came in from the Don Africana Library and the university’s Killie Campbell Africana Library, both in Durban. The registers and documents date from 1849, when the Colonial Chaplain, Revd W.H.C.Lloyd, was appointed by the Colonial Secretary and was based in Durban. Documentation of various kinds continues to arrive, sometimes consisting of one sheet of paper or one photograph, sometimes boxes of documents or books, and albums of photographs. There is a collection of Bishop Colenso’s papers and of the papers of all the Bishops who have succeeded him. Most bishops, particularly during the apartheid years, were involved to a greater or lesser extent in political matters, and this was specially true of Bishop Michael Nuttall who played a role in various crucial negotiations in the province. (This is also true of the present bishop, Rubin Phillip, but his papers are not yet available.) All documentation relating to the Anglican Church in Natal, and sometimes that from further afield, is stored here, as are the records of all the ecumenical and non-church organisations in which Anglican clergy or prominent lay

Notes and Queries people have been involved. These records include both formal documents, such as reports and minutes of various meetings, and informal ones such as letters, memoirs, and articles, from parishes or individuals. Among many other things, the difficult lives of the early clergy, the large areas covered by some parishes, the circumstances of catechists, are often startling and eye-opening. As the Archives is largely dependent on what is supplied to it, there is far more information about some parishes than about others. There is, for example, a great deal about Springvale Mission near Highflats and St James, Morningside, but almost nothing about some parishes, large and small, rural and urban. These documents are available to researchers, and have been used in the writing of histories, articles, theses, long essays. Researchers are asked to donate a copy of their writings to the Archives. The bound copies of church magazines are fascinating sources of religious, social and personal information about what happened in the past. For many years St Peter’s published its own magazine, St Peter’s Bells, while the St Saviour’s equivalent was named, variously, St Saviour’s Journal, Natal Diocesan Magazine, St Saviour’s and the Midlands Church Chronicle. St Peter’s Bells limited itself to the doings of St Peter’s and its daughter churches in Maritzburg, while the St Saviour’s magazines drew reports from churches throughout the Diocese. Churches in other areas also published magazines. The longest-lasting was The Vineyard, a diocesan magazine, which continued until 1969. These are invaluable sources for researchers. In addition to their other responsibilities, the Archives staff conduct tours of St Peter’s and the Cathedral of the Holy Nativity. Reactions to the latter building are often very strong, people either liking the very modern design or hating it! The staff are also responsible for setting up displays when a parish has either a centenary or another significant anniversary and asks for the display, or for events such as Heritage Week. The most recent display was at St Christopher’s Church in Sobantu for its 70th anniversary. For displays, of course, anecdotes and photographs are very necessary, so relevant contributions are always welcome. The tsunami of paper work coming in to be sorted, recorded and filed has been made more difficult to handle by a recent burglary and fire. The Archives had installed a new computer, and this became the object of burglars, who stole it and spread chaos in the work room during the night of Monday 20th April 2009. The chaos was sorted out, and the room locked up on the Tuesday evening, but the old computer, rejected by the burglars, had been left and the Uninterrupted Power Supply box knocked over. Here a slow fire quietly developed over Wednesday, which was Election Day and a public holiday. On Thursday morning the staff were confronted by billows of smoke and foulsmelling soot. Luckily the metal security door (which had come from the firm of Accountants, James Craib, Winterton and Turner, previously occupying Buckingham Palace) which was designed to protect the main Archives room from burglary and fire, had in fact kept air out so that the fire, starved of oxygen, burnt itself out, and no documents were lost. The window above the computer was cracked but not broken: otherwise the devastation would have been enormous and many irreplaceable documents would have been lost. So there is no lasting damage, but every book, every document, in fact almost every page or sheet of paper was smothered in soot, and these have all to be cleaned painstakingly by being vacuumed, brushed

Notes and Queries and dabbed with special sponges before they can be put back into the repainted rooms. It is an enormous job. Two of the once-a-week volunteers, Pixie Griffin and Brian Spencer, came almost daily for some weeks to help. We donned our oldest clothes, medical masks and plastic goggles, and faced the task. Its effect on our appearance can be judged by the fact that Pixie was asked by a neighbour if she had been to the hairdresser and had her hair darkened! It is impossible to list everything that is in the Archives. Anyone who is interested may come in to see what there is. Researchers are welcome; and there are many subjects which warrant research. The Archives welcomes anything that might be of interest as people clear out attics or trunks or search through papers and books left by those who have died. Some copies of magazines are missing and might be lurking in some forgotten trunk. We hope that in 2050 researchers at the Archives TWENTY-FIVE YEARS OF MACS Moray Comrie writes: The Midlands Arts and Crafts Society, better known as MACS, was constituted in 1984. Its declared mission was ‘to enrich the life of the community by providing a creative environment for art and craft appreciation and development’, and the founders identified a number of objectives. First amongst them was ‘to encourage art and craft of a high standard, with strong emphasis on originality and creativity’. Interaction between artists and craftspeople in various disciplines, including the performing arts, was to be facilitated and there should be co-operation with other organisations with similar interests. Regular exhibitions would give exposure to the work of local artists and craftspeople and help to ‘promote public awareness

will be able to find valuable information not only about what we regard as the past but about our current activities, including experiences that are sometimes tragic, sometimes entertaining. We get requests from all over the world for help with copies of certificates. For example: ‘I was baptised sometime in the 1930s but I don’t know exactly when, nor do I know which church. I think it may have been somewhere in Durban’. Or: ‘I have to give a speech about the wood-and-iron church kits that were used in the 1800s. Can you give me any information?’ We are usually able to respond to such requests. There is no need for anyone to crawl under the stage in a church hall and wade through unsorted cardboard boxes of documents. We can go to the computer, the micro-fiche, the box-files, the filing cabinets, the bound volumes and usually find what is being sought.

and appreciation of artistic quality’. The support of children’s work was mentioned, and there was to be a catalogue listing local artists and craftspeople for the information of the public and other interested parties. From an early stage MACS was provided with premises at a nominal rental by the Msunduzi municipality, first in a small house on Prince Alfred Street above what is now the Camps Drift canal, and then at 173 Alexandra Road. These premises provided accommodation for many of the activities organised by the society. There have been regular programmes of classes, courses in workshops covering the techniques of such skills as drawing, painting, creative knitting, beadwork, felting, mosaic-making and the like, and MACS has indeed

Notes and Queries provided a focal point for gatherings of a diversity of creative people. There have also been monthly exhibitions, lunchtime talks, poetry readings and shows of ‘wearable art’, a year-end sale of products and so on. Under the leadership of internationally respected craftsperson Jutta Faulds as its seemingly perennial president, MACS steadfastly maintained its commitment to high standards, its rejection of the commonplace and kitsch, and an originality verging on quirkiness. In many ways, MACS has achieved its objectives and made a significant contribution to fostering the creative arts and crafts in the community, although many of the people active in the Midlands proper gradually have fallen away and the membership has largely been made up of middle to upper class ’Maritzburg suburbanites. Apart from the periodic organisation of a ‘teachers’ forum’, not much attention has been given to children’s art, and the register of local artists and craftspeople has not materialised. In fact, beyond a stable core of passive supporters and a small number of regular participants in its activities, instead of expanding over the years MACS has experienced a steady exodus of members. One of the features of the Alexandra Road house was the popular coffee shop that drew many visitors and greatly increased public awareness of the society and its activities. The African Art Centre also found accommodation in MACS house, and there was a second-hand book outlet and small boutique together with the craft outlet. In recent years, however, recurrent thefts and vandalism drained both the energies and the coffers of the society so that closure looked imminent. In late 2008 a decision was made to move to smaller and more secure premises. Declining an offer to retain access to the studio and gallery space and to maintain the coffee shop and a small arts and crafts outlet at Alexandra Road, the executive chose to jettison these appendages and move out completely. MACS marked its 25th anniversary in its new home in Haldane Road in Pelham. With the branch library and other municipal divisions moving into the house, MACS Art House has become Library House. Library Director John Morrison has envisaged a thriving community centre there. The coffee shop has remained, and with new activities coming in and some former MACS groups gravitating back to the studio, together with the holding of an exhibition by local artists in May, perhaps the first steps towards realising that vision have been taken.

A PHOTOGRAPH OF THE WRECKED MINERVA, 1850 Natalia 32 carried a note on the photograph of the wreck of the Minerva. Brian Kearney takes the matter further. 1 A photograph, purportedly of the Minerva (Fig. 1) has been widely published as an illustration of the remains of the vessel which was wrecked on the Bluff rocks on 5 July 1850. However, there are a number of reasons for questioning its authenticity. It appears that it was first used in a newspaper article written by Captain Alex Anderson in the 1920s where he described several early wrecks off Durban. Anderson was a colourful character, the son of Captain William Anderson, a harbour pilot, and he had grown up at the Point

Notes and Queries

Fig. 1: The newspaper photograph purportedly of the wrecked Minerva. in the mid nineteenth century. He went to sea as a young lad and his experiences were vividly told in his delightful book Windjammer Yarns which was published in London in 1923. Towards the end of the nineteenth century he became one of the pioneers in the deep sea fishing industry off the Natal coast. Anderson gave several radio broadcasts in the 1920s about life in early Durban and the Point and transcripts of these and his newspaper interviews are contained in his manuscripts in the Campbell Collections of the University of KwaZulu-Natal. As he grew older his accounts became more quaint, and were laced with much hyperbole. The caption to the photograph read ‘This unique photograph, the property of Captain Anderson, the writer of the accompanying article, is probably the only one in existence showing the wreck of the East India Company’s fine frigate, carrying 300

pioneer colonists. She is seen here on the Bluff rocks’. The Minerva was the largest of the ships chartered by Byrne to carry emigrants to Natal. She had been built in Bombay in 1812 as a frigate and still had gunports on the lower decks and quarter galleries but had been converted by the East India Company to carry passengers. The ship anchored in 12 fathoms of water on Wednesday 3 July 1850, but the situation at the outer anchorage off Durban was not acceptable to Port Captain William Bell and pilot Archer. However, Captain Moir of the Minerva declined to move his vessel. When Bell sent Archer out again on Thursday with instructions to shift the Minerva to another anchorage, this was not possible due to a change in the wind direction. After drifting that night towards the Bluff rocks, the ship was wrecked in the early hours of Friday morning. All the passengers were saved, though they lost

Notes and Queries

Fig. 2: A photograph of the wrecked Defiance, 1871. most of their possessions and they came ashore on Friday. A seaman from another ship, the Henrietta, was drowned in a rescue attempt. All the accounts describe how the ship broke up progressively during that day and the Natal Witness of 12 July claimed that within 24 hours wreckage was strewn for miles along the beaches. George Russell, a young boy at the time, stated that ‘she became a total wreck immediately after all on board had been safely landed’. 2 Anderson was four years old at the time. His photograph required a photographer to have been present in Durban and to have crossed over from the Point to the Bluff, through the distressed crowds of survivors and rescuers, where a camera could be placed above the rocks to record the remains of the vessel. According to Bensusan3 the first studio photographer in South Africa was W. Bing of Grahamstown in 1846. The first photographic studio in Durban was that of Burgess in 1857, followed by Brock’s in 1859 and several other in the 1860s. Their equipment was specifically for studio purposes with cameras needing long exposure times and it is not likely that they could be used outside or easily carried around. The first private individual recorded as possessing a camera in Natal was Bishop Colenso who used one in 1858 to record his house at Bishopstowe. So if the vessel was in an advanced state of collapse and there were no cameras or photographers in Natal in July 1850, how can one explain Anderson’s photograph and one which showed a fairly intact vessel? While I was Acting Director of the Campbell Collections of the University of Natal in 1996, I spent much time browsing through the collections and elsewhere at Muckleneuk. At the back of an old stationery cupboard I found a cardboard box with glass photographic negatives. I recognised most of them as being illustrations which Alex Anderson had used in his book Windjammer Yarns. Four years later when Denzil Bazley’s publication Nil Desperandum: The Bazley Story, appeared, I was struck by something vaguely

Notes and Queries familiar about an illustration which he used on page 82. This was of the wreck of the Defiance, which had run aground near the Umzimkulu River on 6 October 1871. I thought nothing more of it at the time until writing up the stories of the shipwrecks off Durban when I began to question Anderson’s photograph. Scanning the photograph of the Defiance and inverting the image produced a picture remarkably like that of the Minerva. [Fig 2] Is it possible that Anderson had used a glass negative of this photograph and inverted it to produce one of a ship pointing in the right direction, towards the north? Anderson’s daughter Kathleen was an accomplished artist, who had herself produced at least one painting of an event which had happened long before her time. This was of the commencement of the first Natal Railway in 1860. She may have been asked by her father to unwittingly contribute to a forgery by providing figures on the beach and the rocks in the foreground and to change the rigging which was different from that of the Defiance. For this she probably used a painting by Sanderson of the wreck of the Minerva. All of this would be quite easy with a glass negative. McCORD HOSPITAL McCord Hospital – which opened its doors for the first time one hundred years ago – has a fascinating history. It was officially opened in May 1909 by Dr James McCord who, with his wife Margaret, had come to South Africa from the USA, sent by the American Board of Missions to work at Adams Mission in Amanzimtoti. Before opening the hospital they worked from a dispensary in Beatrice Street, with the phenomenal nurse, Katie Makhanya. They performed minor operations, dispensed medicine and spread the faith of non-denominational Christianity.

In addition, comparing Anderson’s photograph with a number of paintings of the Minerva, which would have been painted after the wreck, shows a different ship. I have also been unable to find any earlier use of the photograph before the 1920s, which is most surprising given the significance of the wreck in the lives of many colonists. Finally we have the words of Anderson himself where he described the photograph as ‘unique’ and ‘probably the only one in existence’. If it was a forgery it would certainly have been the only one in existence.
NOTES 1 After I had sent this note to Natalia for inclusion in the journal, a member of the editorial committee contacted me to ask whether I was aware of the piece which had been written by Shelagh O’Byrne Spencer and published in Notes and Queries, Natalia 32, December 2002. I was not aware of Shelagh’s article and thus I imagine that this strengthens the case against the ship in the photograph being the Minerva. It also supports the explanation that a photograph of the Defiance was used to create the picture. 2 Russell, G, The History of Old Durban, p. 80. 3 Bensusan, AD, Nineteenth Century Photographers in South Africa, Africana Notes and News, Vol 15, No 6, pp. 219–252.

Moving onto the Berea was quite an adventure, as in those days it was on the outskirts of the city, where elephants still roamed in the forested environment. The city changed over the years and the emerging white suburbanites were unhappy about having a hospital with mainly black patients on their doorstep. The hospital even attracted the attention of Hendrik Verwoerd, who also tried to close it down in the days of apartheid, but with no success. However, the McCord Hospital (then known as the McCord Zulu Hospital) held

Notes and Queries firm to its vision, which is represented by the cross on the building – a longstanding symbol of Christian witness. The backbone of the hospital has always been the dedicated and caring nurses. This institution was one of the first in the country to have training programmes for black nurses, starting in 1914. Dr Taylor and Dr McCord were also instrumental in the establishment of the Durban Medical School, which is still an important part of the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Dr James McCord was succeeded by superintendents who were as dedicated and committed as he was. These were Dr Alan Taylor, Dr Howard Christofersen, Dr Cecil Orchard, Dr Trevor Anderson and Dr Helga Holst. – With acknowledgements to The Mercury

JOHN MORTIMER Bill Bizley reports on links between a British author and Natal: The death in January 2009 of the British lawyer, author and playwright, John Mortimer – famous as the creator of the ‘Rumpole’ series – will be of particular interest to readers of Natalia, especially as regards the author’s antecedents in Natal. Mortimer’s grandfather, also John, was a partner in the firm Bale and Mortimer, while his father John (about whom Mortimer wrote the prizewinning biography A Voyage Round My Father) won prizes in the 1900s for his literary compositions whilst a scholar at Michaelhouse. At the end of the apartheid era, author Mortimer paid a visit to South Africa in 1992, and his very readable account of his visit makes up Chapter 22 of what was his final autobiographical work, Murderers and Other Friends (Viking, 1994). His satirical eye was as lively as ever, as when he observed the black waitresses at the THE NAMING OF OXEN Submitted by Adrian Koopman
The wagon was one of the Boer’s most cherished possessions. He drove it himself, taking pride in the skill which he attained in the use of the long whip; in the co-ordination of the animals’ strength when confronted with heavy constructions. When the road was good, he sat upon the voor-kist, calling out the names of his beasts as they happened to slacken in exertion or speed. The oxen knew their respective names and instantly responded to the call. 105

Granny Mouse hotel ‘dressed up as Beatrix Potter illustrations’, and wondered at the ‘bewildered teddy bear’ that awaited him there in the lavatory of his bathroom. With a sharp nose for family scandal, he records that his Edwardian aunt Gertrude Pechey – who specialised in cockney accents and sang ‘Twilight’ to the mandolin – may indeed have advertised herself as Mrs Norma Pechey, but (says Mortimer) was in fact mistress to that ‘savage old general’ Sir Duncan McKenzie, of Bhambatha fame. ‘Gertie’ survived into the second half of the twentieth century, holding court on the polished verandah of Dimity Cottage, which readers might remember as a dentist’s consulting room in Pietermaritz Street, (more or less opposite Deanery Lane) and which lasted well into the 1980s. (Ref Mortimer: 1994, 220/1).

Notes and Queries Thus James Young Gibson, writing on ‘The Kap-tent Wagon’ in the July1918 issue of The South African Journal of Science. Many writers of narratives of exploration set in the days of ox-wagon travel devote some pages to the actual niceties of travel in this manner. The point is often made that when the wagon encounters difficulties in the way steep hills, crossing rivers, going over large boulders or through deep mud, it is not the brute strength of the 16 or 18 oxen that eventually gets the wagon through, but the intimate knowledge the driver has of the individual abilities and strengths of each ox in the team. In such cases the driver calls to each ox in turn, perhaps with a deft tap of the long whip on the shoulders of the ox, or, more likely, by calling it by name. Sir Percy Fitzpatrick in his much-loved Jock of the Bushveld, makes similar reference, in talking of an experienced driver attempting to pass another wagon stuck on a hill (1984:133):
We were halfway up when we saw old Charlie coming along steadily and without any fuss at all, He had no second driver to help him and he did no shouting. He walked along heavily and with difficulty beside the span, playing the long whip lightly about as he gave the word to go or called quietly to individual oxen by name, but he did not touch them.

naast voor pair, and behind them the op acht. Behind them again were the op zes pair, behind them the naast achter, and achter referred to the ‘wheel oxen’ nearest the driver. These oxen, like those in voor position had to be particularly strong, as they were also carrying the disselboom, or wagon-shaft. It is interesting to note that four of these positions have entered the Zulu language, with ifolosi, inasifolo, inasitela and itilosi respectively meaning front-ox, next-tofront-ox, next-to-back ox and back-ox respectively. In present times when oxwagon driving is next to non-existent, the terms inasitela and isasifolo have disappeared from common usage, but ifolosi and itilosi are words with new life, referring respectively to front-line players (strikers) and back-line players (defenders) in such team sports as soccer. Fitzpatrick gives the names of six oxen in the narratives of Jock (1918:136):
‘Achmoed and Bakir, the big after-oxen who carried the disselboom contentedly through the trek’, ‘little Zole, contented, sociable and short of breath’, ‘Bantom, the big red ox with the white band, lazy and selfish, with an enduring evil obstinacy’; ‘Rooiland, the light red, with yellow eyeballs and topped horns, a fierce, wild and unapproachable creature’, and ‘then there was old Zwaartland, the coal-black front ox, … the sober, steadfast leader of the span, who knew his work by heart and answered with quickened pace to any call of his name.’

As Gibson points out (1918:5), not only did each ox have a name, each had a fixed place in the team, these positions being guided by characteristics and aptitudes displayed by the oxen when in training. These positions, for a 12-ox team, were named as follows, with hot depicting the near or left side, and haar referring to the off or right side: The front yoke was hot voor and haar voor, and these two oxen were the most experienced, trustworthy and strong members of the team. Behind them were the

Of these six, Achmoed and Bakir with their faintly Muslim-sounding names, and Zole, are individual names which do not occur in any pattern, and (as far as my own research goes) are found in Jock of the Bushveld and no other source. The other three are typical of a pattern, a system of naming which is open-ended and creative, allowing for the compounding of elements which theoretically could

Notes and Queries create more and more ox names. Normally, in this system, a reference is made to the colour or colouring/marking of the ox, to which another element may be added. In Fitzgerald’s list above, ‘Bantom’, more commonly ‘Bandom’, refers to an animal with a band of a different colour around the beast. In Rooiland and Zwartland the colour terms rooi (‘red’) and zwaart (‘black’) are suffixed with land , which could either mean ‘countryside’ or ‘field’. Another two common suffixes are berg (‘mountain’) and man (‘man’). It was accepted that -berg referred to a particularly strong ox, as immovable as a mountain. Blaauw (‘blue, blue-grey, grey’), rooi or roodt (‘red’), bruin (‘brown’), wit (‘white’), vaal (‘pale, tawny’), donker (‘dark, darkbrown’), bont (‘speckled, multi-coloured’) could all in theory be combined with -land, -berg, and -man to produce a number of oxnames like Blaauwberg, Witteberg, Vaalman, Rooiland, Donkerland, Zwaartberg, Zwaartman, and Bruinman. An ox with a bles (‘white blaze’) could be Blesbok, Blesman or, if strong enough, Blesberg. Another, with a cross-like marking on the back could be Kruisland or Kruisman. Gibson (1918:5) gives us Jan Bloed (‘John the blood-coloured’), Vaaltyn or Vaaltuijn (‘tawny garden’), Geelbek (‘yellow muzzle’), Akkerman (‘ploughman’), Opperman (‘labourer’), Bloem (‘flower’), Boekhouder (‘book-keeper’), Dwengeland (‘tyrant’), Engeland (‘England’), Fransman (‘Frenchman’), Jonkman (‘young man’), Landsman (‘rustic’), Makman (‘tame man’) and Koopman (‘merchant’). Burman (1988:30) has given us the names of an authentic 1852 team of 10 oxen: Colesberg, Human, Wildman, Platberg, Vryman, Sausman, Oortman, Kleinveld, Engeland and Koopman. He adds, amusingly enough, that ‘Engeland and Engelsman were usually the most refractory or worst pullers in the team’ and were placed near the back of the team where they could feel more strongly the weight of the whip. Many of these ox-names have been adopted, and phonologised, into the Zulu language, and from modern-day examples of Zulu ox names, we get an even clearer picture. In Zulu, Afrikaans/Dutch -berg become -behe, and it is found in names like uBhulobehe (Blouberg), uTafulibehe (Tafelberg) and uBontibehe (Bontberg). The suffix -man is found in uSoyisimani (Sausman), uAkelimani (Akkerman) and uGopumani (Koopman) all of which we have already noted above, and well as in the additional uLasimani (last man), uDayimani (daai man ‘that man’), uGwayimani (kwaai man ‘angry man’) and uVelemani (vuil man ‘dirty man’). Zulu also uses the suffix -futhi (voet) as in uVitifuthi (Witvoet ‘white foot’), uLefuthi (luivoet ‘lazy foot), and uVelefuthi (vuilvoet ‘dirty foot’). Other Zulu examples from my own research include uKhafalande (Kaffir lande), uSikhohlande (Scotland), uBokvele (Bokvel ‘buckskin’), uLentusi (Lente Oes ‘spring harvest’). uFethiboyi (Fat boy) and uLenkhasi (Ringhals, the Afrikaans word for a species of cobra, but in this case literally ‘ring-collar’, referring to such a marking). Mzamane’s 1962 work on Afrikaans adoptives in Southern Nguni gives just a few more examples to round off the picture: uFalimeyisi (Vaal muis ‘tawny, dun mouse’), uLenkalisi (Rinkhals ‘always indicating a white ring around the neck’), and uLomani (Rooi man ‘red beast’). Mzamane’s inclusion of uKaflani (kaffir lande) in a list of colour terms suggests that this name is used for black or darkcoloured beasts. The Great Trek – that highly emotive historical event in Afrikaner culture – is long since over. Transport riding, for many

Notes and Queries years before the advent of the railways the only way goods from the harbours could reach the inlands, and for many black and white people an important source of income – this too, is long since over. There are possibly, in some impoverished rural areas, where even a single tractor is still beyond the means of the farmer, oxen drawing a plough. Here, in these residual onomastic fields, where the descendants of Blaauwberg and Witteberg, of Ringhals and Bandom, of Daaiman and Kwaaiman, are still asked, by name, to pull a little harder, we may still be able to find the remnants of South Africa’s ox-naming past.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Burman, J. 1988. Towards the Far Horizon: The Story of the Ox-Wagon in South Africa. Cape Town: Human and Rousseau. Gibson, J.Y. 1918. The Kap-tent Wagon. South African Journal of Science, July 1918. Koopman, Adrian. 2002. Zulu Names. Pietermaritzburg: University of Natal Press. Mzamane, G.I.M. 1962. A Comparative Phonetic and Morphological Study of the Dialects of Southern Nguni Including the Lexical Influence of NonBantu Languages. (PhD, UNISA).



Peter Francis (1916 – 2009)
Colonel Peter Francis, Honorary Colonel of the Natal Carbineers, died in the early hours of 15 May. He was 92. As well as being known for his association with the Carbineers, Francis was also a lawyer and long-serving member of the Witness board. Francis was born in 1916 and educated at Michaelhouse and Dundee High School from where he matriculated in 1933. He then studied law at the Natal University College and was admitted as an attorney in March 1939. His long involvement with the Natal Carbineers began when he joined the volunteer regiment in 1935. During World War 2, Francis served with the Royal Natal Carbineers (as the regiment was known from 1935 to 1962) in the East African, Abyssinian, Libyan and Italian Campaigns. For a brief period he was an aide-de-camp to Field-Marshal Alexander, Commander in Chief of the Middle East Forces. Francis was the youngest ever officer to command the Carbineers when ap-

Peter Francis pointed their commanding officer in Italy in October 1944. At 27, he was also the youngest commanding officer in a South African division. During the war, Francis won the Military Cross and was three times mentioned in dispatches. At the end of the war in Italy, the Carbineers garrisoned the Italian Riviera up to the French border and Francis was appointed Military Commander of the Italian Province of Imperia. During this period he

Natalia 39 (2009) Copyright © Natal Society Foundation 2010

Obituaries was invited by the Prince of Monaco to a gala in Monaco and on a subsequent visit met Winston Churchill at the Hotel du Paris where the two men enjoyed a chat over brandy and a cigar. Francis retired as officer commanding in 1955, but his association with the Carbineers continued. He was appointed an Honorary Colonel of the regiment in 1969. ‘The honorary colonel is like the god-father of the regiment,’ says Major John Hall, former regimental RSM. ‘Colonel Francis was a distinguished man and the custodian of the traditions of the regiment.’ Francis was always a keen supporter of Carbineers history, according to regimental historian Mark Coghlan, author of Pro Patria: Another 50 Carbineer Years 1945 – 1995. ‘He made a point of donating all his papers to the Carbineer archive and these were an invaluable addition which greatly informed my work.’ After the war Francis joined Reginald Tomlinson in practice and together they formed the firm, Tomlinson Francis & Company. He became a leading Maritzburg lawyer and was appointed to the boards of a number of local companies. For many years, Francis was a board member of The Witness. ‘He was a good friend of my father’s,’ says Stuart Craib, The Witness CEO. ‘When we were a small organisation he was very much my father’s sounding board.’ Francis was actively involved on the boards of several private schools and became a founding trustee of Cowan House School at the time of its forced relocation from Mountain Rise under apartheid legislation in the early 1960s. He served on the board of St Anne’s Diocesan College for 17 years and was chairman for four years. After his retirement to Balgowan in 1975, he sat on the board of Michaelhouse. Francis was also politically active and was a foundation member of the Progressive Party. He was the party’s candidate for Pietermaritzburg District in 1965 and he remained a staunch supporter of the party and its successors all his life. A keen golfer, Francis was a member of Maritzburg Country Club (now the Victoria Country Club) from the age of 17 until his death. At various times he was its club champion and in later years acted as chairman and thereafter president. He was selected to play for and also captained, the Natal golf team. He later became involved in golf administration and was president of the Natal Golf Union and on the executive of the South African Golf Union. In his mid-80s he recorded two holes-in-one in the space of six weeks. He played his last game at the age of 91. Francis leaves a wife, Priscilla (whom he married in June 1943 when the Carbineers returned briefly from North Africa), four children, Robin, Elizabeth, Simon and Victoria, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The funeral took place at the Michaelhouse chapel, Balgowan and he was subsequently interred in the churchyard of St Matthew’s Church, Lidgetton, with much military ceremony. STEPHEN COAN, courtesy of The Witness



Steven Edward Piper (1945 – 2009)
Ornithologist Dr Steven Piper, wagtail and vulture expert, was one of the most respected members of the South African ornithology community who died suddenly just weeks after celebrating his 64th birthday. Piper was born in Durban on February 28, 1945. He went to school at Westville and Kearsney College and went on to take a B.Sc. in chemical engineering at the then University of Natal, an M.Sc. in applied statistics (awarded cum laude) at the University of the Witwatersrand and a Ph.D. in applied mathematics at the University of Cape Town. Passionate about birds, he pursued his interest in ornithology, both as a pastime and later as a career. Piper was a renaissance man in the range and diversity of his interests and talents. He held teaching posts at three universities, Natal, Wits and Cape Town, in four faculties, Engineering, Humanities, Science and Social Science, and in seven departments, Applied Mathematics, Botany, Environmental Studies, Mathematical Statistics, Psychology, Surveying and Mapping and Zoology and Entomology. He was appointed as an Associate Professor in Zoology in 1997, was promoted to full professor and retired in 2006, after an extension of his contract. He enjoyed teaching, communicating and interacting with students and took on a heavy load willingly. He taught population ecology with a strong numerical content in addition to courses in evolution and conservation biology. He supervised and co-supervised many postgraduate students in various biological fields. Piper collected data over 25 years on the breeding biology of Long-tailed Wagtails along the Palmiet River in Westville, which illuminated the long-term demography of

Steven Piper an African passerine in over 20 publications. His passion for wagtails was matched or exceeded by that for Griffon Vultures, which were the subject of his doctorate at the University of Cape Town, yielding more than 50 publications. Unsurprisingly, he was asked to contribute the bulk of the vulture and wagtail species texts for the seventh edition of Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. He also collaborated with many scientists and wrote papers on frogs, baboons, hyrax, duiker and crabs! He also had papers on geographic information systems, remote sensing, metapopulations, political voting patterns and psycho-linguistics. Piper worked closely with ornithologists around the globe, recently with Barn Swallow researchers in Europe, and locally at

Obituaries the Vulture Study Group, BirdLife South Africa and (KwaZulu-) Natal, the Percy FitzPatrick Institute for African ornithology at UCT and colleagues overseas. In keeping with his love for birds, after he retired from academia Piper invested in a tourism venture that he called Pied Piper Expeditions. The company, based in Underberg, took visitors into the uplands of KwaZulu-Natal, the Drakensberg and into Lesotho via Sani Pass, Ramatseliso’s Pass and Qacha’s Nek to see the natural wonders of the region, its endemic and special birds, alpine flowers and San rock art. Professors Mike Perrin and Colleen Downs of UKZN described Piper as ‘unique, talented and joyously eccentric. ‘He always had a smile and an anecdote. Kind, generous and well informed, he always had time for students and colleagues alike. He wore a beard, and Scottish cap, covered with many badges collected from conferences around the world, and was instantly recognised and never forgotten. ‘Birds were his passion, especially vultures and wagtails, while numeracy and statistics set him apart from many ornithologists and twitchers. He was a charming gentleman and delighted delegates at conferences with wit, humour and science,’ they said. Piper’s hugely-attended funeral service was held at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Westville with a subsequent remembrance service at Kenmo Lake in Himeville. He is survived by his wife Andrea, two children and two grandchildren. UKZN circular and The Witness.

Dr Brian Roy Stuckenberg (1930–2009)
Dr Brian Stuckenberg, who was a distinguished entomologist and Director Emeritus of the Natal Museum, died in February 2009 at the age of 78. He was born and grew up in the Eastern Cape, and at a young age his interest in zoology was encouraged by Dr John Pringle, then director of the Port Elizabeth Museum and Snake Park. He studied at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, and obtained with distinction an MSc degree in entomology. In 1953 he was appointed assistant professional officer at the Natal Museum in Pietermaritzburg, where John Pringle was now Director. In 1972 he was awarded a doctorate by the University of Natal, and in 1976 when John Pringle retired Brian Stuckenberg succeeded him as Director at the age of 43. Shortly after he came to Pietermaritzburg he met and married Pam Usher, then a senior zoology student at the university,

who would later accompany him on many collection trips, assist him in his work in many other ways, and classify the museum’s collection of tabanid flies on which she herself became an acknowledged expert. Brian Stuckenberg had decided to specialise in Diptera – the huge Order of two-winged insects generally called flies – knowing that this was a group that had not been adequately studied and classified, and that it had great significance for agriculture, animal husbandry and other human activities. During his twenty years as head of the Department of Entomology he emerged as the leading dipterist in Africa, and built up one of the largest collections of Afrotropical flies in the world. It has become an invaluable resource for researchers from many countries, and is known as The Brian Stuckenberg Collection. His fieldwork and publications

Obituaries adults, could be comfortable and even feel a sense of ownership. In 1990 Stuckenberg visited museums in the United States, mainly those that excelled in presenting science and technology to children, and what he saw resulted in innovations and new directions at the Natal Museum. His editorship of the Annals of the Natal Museum, several months as Acting Director when Dr Pringle was on long leave, his active involvement in broad museological issues and the South African Museums Association, and his eighteen years as Director inevitably reduced the time Stuckenberg could devote to his entomological studies, but he nevertheless kept up his research output. Nor were diptera his only focus of professional interest. The acquisition by the museum of some bronze cannons and other artefacts from the Portuguese ship the Santiago, wrecked in the Mozambique Channel in 1585, led him into marine archaeology and a general study of Portuguese voyages of exploration off the south eastern coast of Africa. In 1998 his paper entitled ‘The location and identity of the Baixos da Judia: Portuguese historical cartography of the Mozambique Channel and its relevance to the wreck of the Santiago in 1585’ was joint winner of the Almirante Teixera da Mota Prize awarded by the National Maritime Academy of Portugal, and he was further honoured by being elected a member of that body. That Brian Stuckenberg the entomologist should successfully undertake historical research is not surprising. His interests were wide-ranging, and he brought to them a remarkable intellectual curiosity. His directorship at the Museum was characterised by his enthusiastic and informed encouragement and support of the work in all its research departments. Anyone, whether museum staff or not, could be sure of his careful interest in any object, idea or

Brian Stuckenberg were extensive, and by 1993 more than a hundred taxa had been named after him. Among the previously unknown species he discovered and described was the fossil remains of a bloodsucking fly Paleoarthroeles mesozoicus dated at more than 175 million years, which pushed back the age of the oldest known dipteran fossil record by over 100 million years. The quality of his research was later given international recognition by his being made an honorary member of the International Congress of Dipterology – at the time only the fourth person ever to be honoured in this way. He believed passionately in the educational role of museums, especially in communities where the school system was inadequate, and under his leadership the institution’s education department became a unit that not only welcomed increasing numbers of children to the museum, but actively took the services of the museum out into the community, and especially to the deprived areas around Pietermaritzburg. The Natal Museum was increasingly seen not as an alien and perhaps even intimidating place, but as one where ordinary people, children and

Obituaries problem they brought to his attention. At a gathering of family, friends and colleagues the week after his death, several spoke of their association with him, and a recurring theme was the way in which Brian Stuckenberg’s personal interest and insight into what they were doing had a significant impact on their lives and careers. He was a shy man, but realising that his position as Director made him something of a public figure and would require him to speak at various gatherings, he consciously developed his speaking skills. He became an entertaining and sought-after speaker whose diffidence and modesty could hardly conceal the immense authority with which he could speak on a range of topics. After his retirement in 1994 he continued to work at the Museum as Honorary Keeper of Entomology, once more able to devote all his time to his specialist research. The Natal Museum celebrated its centenary in 2004, and Brian Stuckenberg had been at the insitution for more than half of that time. It is interesting to note that his period of service overlapped by a few years in the 1950s with that of Alfred Cullingworth, a clerical and technical assistant who joined the Museum at its inception. Together they provided a century-long living oral tradition which can surely be matched by few institutions. Dr Stuckenberg is survived by his wife Pam, two daughters and a son. JOHN DEANE


Book Reviews and Notices

Book Reviews and Notices
SALT ON THE SAILS: 150 YEARS OF THE ROYAL NATAL YACHT CLUB By FROST, Sally. With a Foreword by HRH The Duke of York Durban: Royal Natal Yacht Club, 2008. 517pp. illus. ISBN: 978-0-620-41921-5 In her Author’s Note, Dr Sally Frost sets out the vision behind the production of this book: ‘to capture and record the history of the Royal Natal Yacht Club, its famous people and boats, and the role it has played in the development of Durban’. The vision, she says, was that of the RNYC commodore, her brother Chris Frost, and she has done an admirable job of making it reality. That last clause of the commodore’s commission might well be inverted. Certainly many members of the club played significant roles in local affairs, but more than showing how the club played a role in the development of Durban, Dr Frost shows how the development of Durban, both the physical development of the bay and the social evolution of the community, affected the fortunes of the club. Indeed, the influences of larger forces, such as the South African and World Wars, the apartheid ideology and the move beyond it, are also traced. Throughout the book the author does a neat job of interspersing her chronologically ordered text with boxes that provide additional detail about the contemporary situation or insights into the recollections and personalities of significant members of the sailing community, extracted through thoroughgoing research into both the documentary and the oral records. Because the main text carries the weight of the account and the boxes provide supplementary information, there is some repetition of the points made. Evidently, however, it is not intended that the reader will follow every word from cover to cover but rather dip into sections of particular interest. Even so, the text is very readable, so that for much of the early half of the book one is drawn into consuming it page by page. It opens with a brief history of yachts and yachting and then of the early settlement of Natal and Durban. The 1858 formation of the Durban Regatta Club is placed in this context, and it is to this group of enterpris115
Natalia 39 (2009) Copyright © Natal Society Foundation 2010

Book Reviews and Notices ing sportsmen that the Natal (later Royal Natal) Yacht Club owes its origins. In the latter part of the book the affairs of the city are pushed further into the background and those of the club, and particularly of its sailing members, predominate, although developments at the club continue to reflect the social and economic trends of the changing times. This reviewer is not without his quibbles. Some of the references to historical events are slightly misleading. For example, in dealing with the British fortification of the Port Natal settlement against Boer attacks, Dr Frost writes ‘They [the soldiers] left … on Christmas Eve 1839 with the defeat of Dingane by the Boers at Blood River’ (pp 21-22). The battle had in fact been fought on 16th December 1838. Also disconcerting is the appearance of the spelling ‘councilor’ for the word ‘councillor’ – a word that appears quite frequently because of the role played by people associated with the club in local government. No doubt the fault lies with an electronic spell-checker of American origin, but in the context of a consciously British colonial and post-colonial society and a club with a royal charter, the American spelling is jarring. Obviously a book of this kind is likely to have a limited readership, and this is unfortunate. Firstly, it is far more than an account of the activities of a club that for much of its history has been a distinctly exclusive institution catering for a membership of decidedly privileged sporting and business people. Given that the RNYC has been one of the country’s oldest and largest yacht clubs, it has played a significant part in the development of competitive sailing. Consequently Sally Frost’s book provides a full record of both national and international racing and cruising, particularly in offshore waters. Secondly, many old Durbanites with no particular connections with either sailing or the club will find interest in the account of the growing town and the references to the community leaders who helped shape its development. Thirdly, the book is superbly illustrated with reproductions of paintings and photographs. Many of the paintings are drawn from the collection of Nigel Hughes, whose Paintings of the Bay of Natal was reviewed in Natalia 34, and many of the photographs come from the B.W. Caney collection – the Caneys being a family of photographers with long and close connections with the club and including two former Commodores. Over a thousand illustrations accompany the text, and the unusual combination of paintings and photographs provides a remarkable collection of images not only of yachting people and their boats but also of Durban and its bay. In this regard it is relevant to note that the quality of the reproductions is excellent, and the whole book – a sizeable volume with endnotes, select bibliography and indexes (the artworks being indexed separately) – is clearly laid out and strongly bound. In sum, while primary appeal of the book will be to club members and then to people with a direct interest in sailing, it has much broader relevance as a remarkably well-illustrated account of the affairs of the port and its people. MORAY COMRIE


Book Reviews and Notices SAVING THE ZULULAND WILDERNESS – AN EARLY STRUGGLE FOR NATURE CONSERVATION by McCRACKEN, Donal P. Jacana Media, Johannesburg (printed in Singapore) 2008. 176 pp. Review copy boards, 27cm × 22cm, Octavo, sewn. ISBN: 978-1-77009-596-0. Listed price: R395 hard cover, R350 soft cover. If, after reading the title, and knowing the reputation of the author, you were hoping for a solid academic meal of scholarly insight and a weighty reference shelf resource on the subject you may be a bit disappointed. It is rather more of a beautifully illustrated Swedish smorgasbord treatment of the subject, full of a diversity of beautifully decorated tasty tidbits arranged seductively on an ornate platter. Professor McCracken is Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Development and Social Sciences and Senior Professor of History at the University of KwaZuluNatal. He has published a number of Victorian period studies of botanical history and the history of the Irish in southern Africa. Noteable amongst the former is his seminal Gardens of empire: botanical institutions of the Victorian British Empire (Leicester University Press, London and Washington, 1997) and (with Patricia McCracken) Natal: the garden colony: Victorian Natal and the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew (Frandsen Publishers, Sandton, 1990). His present offering is a coffee table journey through the literature, and illustrations, of the early colonial history of Zululand. It reflects an overview of the author’s knowledge of the natural history, particularly botanical history, of the area. But it lacks the intense scholarship and detail of more narrowly-focused accounts by other historians working on the same area (such as, for example, the work by Shirley Brooks) On the down side while the book has a good deal of meat to it, and a nicely laidout finish, there are some patchy areas, suggesting a last-minute rush to put it all together. Odd typographical errors crop up, such as Tescher (for Teschner) on p. 108, and referring to Ernest Warren as Charles Warren (end note 8 on p. 170) and again on p. 145, and Typanosoma (for Trypanosoma) when referring to the nagana microparasitic organism on p. 154. It is also unfortunate that the author perpetuates the urban myth about Secretary Birds being snake eaters. In a comment below a fanciful Victorian engraving of a Secretary Bird attacking a rinkhals (p. 144) he writes: ‘The Secretary Bird was one of the first to be officially protected by the colonial authorities. Its reputation as a good snaker was not exaggerated’. Snakes make up less than 1% of the largely insectivorous (mainly grasshoppers and locusts) diet of Secretary Birds. The index is very light with fewer than 300 entries on a page and three-quarters. Books that could serve as useful reference sources often frustrate scholars because of either the lack of an index (John Hutchinson’s famous 1946 A Botanist in Southern Africa is a particular case in point) or an inadequate index. Professor McCracken’s index falls on the borderline of inadequate. You would have to plough through the book to find any mention of that indefatigable champion of game preservation in Zululand, Alfred Duchesne Millar (p. 162). The index wouldn’t help you. But these criticisms are minor compared with the real value of the book. Despite the prolific scientific and popular literature that Africa’s wild places, including Zululand, generated during the 19th Century,

Book Reviews and Notices relatively few useful overall reviews of this literature exist. Professor McCracken has drawn on highlights from his exhaustive knowledge of the subject to weave together a fascinating account of the wildlife of Zululand and the people who lived there, whether exploiters or ardent conservationists. Professor McCracken adds a further sense of immediacy, colour and tone by generously quoting passages both from published literature as well as archive material. He quotes for example from William Baldwin’s account of a Zululand hunting trip in September 1853 when the hunter had had his shirt ripped by bushes while hunting an eland [near the Black Mfolozi River] and then being chased by a lone old buffalo bull:
I had to return to camp seven or eight miles in a woeful plight, minus my hat, and my shirt torn to ribbons, exposed to a fearful hot sun, and my whole body blistered and sunburnt, giving me great pain, and my throat and tongue parched up for want of water. I was well greased with eland fat from head to foot, which was great relief to me, but for several days I could rest in no position from the frightful extent of the sun-burns, than which I know nothing more painful, as every atom of skin peels off …

[William Baldwin in his African hunting and adventure from Natal to the Zambesi … from 1852 to 1860, first published in 1863 by Harper & Brothers, New York] The arcadian wilderness was far from being utopia as the author points out. The book is lavishly illustrated. The author draws heavily on a variety of Victorian sources for his illustrations, including Angas (indigenous people), Sclater (mammals), and Parker Gillmore (hunting), but refreshingly introduces a variety of new (to publishing) illustra118

tions in the form of maps, sketches and photographs from a wide variety of other sources including the KwaZulu-Natal Archives. These include notes and sketches from Victorian naturalist and plant hunter Robert Plant’s notebook records of his travels in Zululand (from his papers in the collection of a descendant, Mrs Joan Read, of Pietermaritzburg). The book is divided into four sections. The first section deals with pre-colonial Zululand and gives a good idea of the richness of the forest and wildlife resources that were later plundered. The second section ‘The Hunters’ Road: The Destruction of Game’ deals with the horrifying slaughter of wildlife made possible by roads giving gun-toting hunters access to the wilderness. The third, ‘Conservation’, gives an interesting, somewhat more detailed, account of attempts to introduce effective legislation to establish game reserves to protect the wildlife. By the end of the 19th century five game reserves (Cape St Lucia, Mfolozi, Hluhluwe, Hlabisa, Umdletshe and Pongola) had been proclaimed and one, Pongola, deproclaimed. The final chapters, grouped under ‘Trouble in Arcadia’, provide some very interesting material in the form of archived reports from magistrates and other officials on the difficulties of enforcing game protection laws at the turn of the century. The arrival of the railhead at Somkhele in 1903 and the opening up of large tracts of land for sugar cane farming created further threats to Zululand wildlife and forests. Some forests survived, others disappeared. By 1938 the once jealously preserved Mongosi Forest near Port Durnford had become a ‘blackened waste’. McCracken describes how a growing farmer (and cattle) population was now also facing a new threat, that of rinderpest,

Book Reviews and Notices followed soon after by the tick-borne East Coast Fever. Nagana, rinderpest and East Coast Fever contributed to the death of more than 80% of Zululand cattle, according to some estimates. Large wild mammals were targeted as being responsible. Between 1917 and 1950 more than 300 000 buck, zebra and wildebeest were killed in Zululand in a blundering attempt to curb the diseases. It was only with the help of biologists and war-developed pesticides that the scourge was eventually halted so that the conservationists could once again begin building up Zululand’s wildlife resource. During this time many game reserves were deproclaimed, and then later reproclaimed, including Umfolozi. The authorities were swinging from conservation to extermination, and back, until equilibrium was established with the formation of the Natal Parks Board in 1952. As the author says ‘This is a story of survival: the overcoming of terrible odds and the laying of a foundation upon which the conservation of Zululand’s indigenous forest, bush, game and birdlife would grow’. PETER CROESER

SELECTED LETTERS, by ALAN PATON edited and introduced by ALEXANDER, Peter F. Cape Town: Van Riebeeck Society, 2009. 496 pp. illus. ISBN: 978-0-9814264-0-2 Paton is an important writer, and this is an important volume. The main facts of Paton’s life are well known from his two probing autobiographies and from Peter Alexander’s fine biography: childhood, school and university in Pietermaritzburg; marriage to Dorrie; teaching at Ixopo and at Maritzburg College; the bold move to Diepkloof Reformatory, and what he accomplished there; the study journey across Europe and the US in 1946, in the course of which he wrote Cry, the Beloved Country; fame, and temporary retirement, in the hope of writing; political involvement through the Liberal Party, which was destroyed by government legislation in 1968; the death of Dorrie, and marriage to Anne; his last twenty years as a writer, respected public figure and troubled political commentator. The whole of this life story is known in considerable detail. But the letters offer a new perspective, a new vividness. As the epistolary novelists of the eighteenth century were well aware, letters are inherently dramatic: they are written mainly in the present tense, and they carry within themselves all the urgency and uncertainty of current reality. Most good writers are good letter writers; Paton is certainly no exception to this general rule. In letters writers are able to relax and be spontaneous in ways that their chosen genres seldom allow. Letters present a picture of the writer in all his or her flexible and varied humanness, and they are thus able to offer some insights that cannot be found in biographies – even though most biographers rely a good deal upon letters. (In this context it might be permissible to note, tangentially, that the arrival on the scene of e-mail, which is wonderful for instant communication but seems to encourage brief statements rather than the longer meditations quite common in letters, may turn out to be a disaster for the biographers of the future.)   

Book Reviews and Notices As one would expect, Paton’s letter-writing style evolved as he grew older. The first letters in this volume were written when Paton was 19 and a student at what was then the Natal University College. They were written mainly in his vacations to his student friends, particularly Reg Pearse, and they show, with a young man’s wit and exuberance, his great interest in the outdoor life and in Christian values; these concerns were able to be blended at the camps of the Students’ Christian Association, at one of which he first met his older friend and mentor, Jan Hofmeyr. The student letters also show how fully Paton, science student though he was, was committed to the study and discussion of literature. He was confident that he would be a writer one day, and sometimes mentioned this aspiration half-jokingly or self-mockingly. Paton’s acute and active awareness of the country’s socio-political problems dates from his time at Diepkloof, but it is interesting to see him saying, in a letter to the President of the local SRC written from the Imperial Conference of Students held in Cambridge and London, to which he had been sent as the NUC representative: ‘You in South Africa have of course the most serious questions confronting any Dominion, in fact any nation of the world.’ (p. 36) That was in 1924, when Paton was 21. In the following year he writes to Pearse: ‘I submit one or two things for your consideration, & should be glad if you can suggest a solution to the problem of whether I ever will write anything worth the time used in its production.’ (pp. 39 – 40) If he expressed his literary ambitions to Pearse, to Hofmeyr, in the next few years, he began to hint at his political ambitions. Perhaps ‘ambition’ is not quite the right word: Paton felt that he had it in him to do something for South Africa, the tragically divided land. His quiet hints to Hofmeyr continued right until the writing and publi120

cation of Cry, the Beloved Country, which seemed to set Paton in a new direction. Hofmeyr was a good friend, but he never responded to Paton’s hints. As the letters take one through many of the episodes of Paton’s life, one is bound to remember that letters seldom cover the whole of a person’s experience. They tend to be written to those at a distance or to loved ones from whom the writer is temporarily separated. For Paton in these years the person at a distance was often Hofmeyr, and the loved one from whom he was at times separated was his wife Dorrie. As early as 1936 his liberal ideas were fully formulated, and he describes himself to Hofmeyr as ‘loving South Africa as I do & intending as I do one day to have some sort of hand in the laying of her future foundations of policy’. (p. 70) Hofmeyr was enmeshed in the complexities of the political arena and was also a little timid: perhaps he feared Paton’s passionate idealism. Hofmeyr probably did, however, help Paton to get the post at Diepkloof. There he carried out bold and remarkable reforms; his experience as a teacher and his sympathetic imagination were fully engaged. But after a number of years there he began to feel, as he said to Hofmeyr, that he was meant for higher things than a reformatory. There seemed no chance of an entry into politics, but the literary aspiration was still there, now more sharply focused. Late in 1944 he wrote to Hofmeyr: ‘…it seems less and less important that I should occupy any distinguished position. I am finding greater satisfaction in writing, & think I shall do something about South Africa very soon.’ (p. 100) Then came the remarkable study tour of parts of northern Europe and of the United States, in the course of which he visited and discussed reformatories and prisons

Book Reviews and Notices during the day, while in the evenings he sat in hotel rooms or on trains and wrote his great novel. It becomes clear that it was the break from routine duties that enabled him to relax sufficiently for the novel which must have been germinating within him to burst forth. The letters of this period are memorable. The ones addressed to Hofmeyr talk of prisons and politics. The greater number addressed to Dorrie tell the story of his trip and express his yearning for her, for his two sons, and for home. He tells us very little about the novel itself, and of course he had no idea how it would turn out. His remarks about the various institutions he visited are perceptive. Paton became aware of how advanced his innovations at Diepkloof had been; and he was turning himself into an expert in this field. But of course the irony of the whole trip is that his evening activities were rendering his daytime labours unnecessary: the success of the novel enabled him to resign from Diepkloof Reformatory, which was in any case, with its wicked liberal ways, under threat of extinction by the outraged Hendrik Verwoerd. Paton reveals a great deal about his state of mind in a letter that he writes to Dorrie from New Brunswick in February 1947: ‘The thing I am looking forward to most is when the money comes from Scribner’s, & I can buy you a nice tailor-made costume & a fur coat for winter, & get presents for David and Jonno. It is significant for me to note that I was not allowed to write this book until I had lost any desire for money or possessions. I suppose you thought I was batty when I wrote & told you that it would seem I came round the world just to write this book. But it seems so now, does it not? What will happen now to the penology?... ‘You know I came on this trip, incidentally to study institutions, but really to look at SA from the outside, & to find what to do with the rest of my life. For I’ve always felt, partly out of ambition, but partly not out of ambition at all, that I had great gifts not being used. I’ve always felt that Hoffie either couldn’t or wouldn’t see. I thought my gifts were political, but you know there was never the slightest move in that direction. Nor did there seem even to be any move to some more responsible position in the Public Service. Could it be the novel, I thought? And yet every time I started one, I got discouraged or had no energy & went to sleep. Now the judgement of this man Perkins [the famous editor at Scribner’s] has restored my faith in myself; I find it showing in little things already, like going in & out of hotels & trains with more confidence, & not worrying if I’ll get safely to the other end…’ (pp.159 – 160) After the publication of Cry, the Beloved Country, the range of his correspondence increased; he was now a national and an international figure. We see him determined to become a full-time writer, working now in Anerley and now in California, but often lacking inspiration. The letters are as always honest, self-analytical, at times painful. He had hoped to move away from public life, but in a 1947 letter to Neville Nuttall, who had said that he was a poet who called himself a scientist, he had confessed: ‘That’s not quite true. I believe that the real conflict in me is not between art & science, or between intellect & emotion, but between duty & self-expression, between affairs & books, between the world of men & that of art.’ (p.163) Before long, with the inexorable unfolding of events under the apartheid government, he found himself drawn into politics, with the founding of the Liberal Party in 1953. In the fifteen years of the existence of that party Paton wrote many letters on matters political, to people in South Africa

Book Reviews and Notices and elsewhere. But political considerations didn’t wholly dominate: he wrote also on more specifically personal, religious and literary subjects. The letters exhibit a variety of tones. To his friend Leslie Rubin, to Uys Krige and to Herman Bosman he wrote with good-humoured irony. Paton travelled a good deal too, but from 1960 to 1970 the government confiscated his passport. Some of the eloquent political letters remind us of the degree to which the Liberal Party had foreseen our current constitution more than 30 years before the event. In a letter to The Times in April 1963 Paton writes: ‘The Liberal Party of South Africa stands for the complete rejection of Dr Verwoerd’s Bantustan policy and of those racially discriminatory laws which constitute apartheid. It stands for the creation in South Africa of a non-racial and democratic society where the Universal Declaration of Human Rights will be honoured, every South African will have a say in the election of his Government and every person will be free to live, work and enjoy full civil rights and liberties anywhere.’ (p. 305) But political life was not just a matter of making statements. The liberal cause was a difficult one; it often seemed quite hopeless. There were inevitably tensions among those who opposed the government; and in these years many of Paton’s friends emigrated. It is at times distressing to read through the letters of this period. But Paton never abandoned hope. In the last twenty years of his life he remained an acute commentator on political and other matters and maintained an international correspondence. In this selection there are letters to many famous people, including Mary Benson, Trevor Huddleston, Canon John Collins and his wife Diana, Eleanor Roosevelt, Laurens van

der Post, Robert Kennedy, Jo Grimmond, Jeremy Thorpe, Mary Campbell, André Brink, Helen Suzman, Todd Matshikiza, Z.K. Matthews, Malcolm Muggeridge, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, Walter Cronkite, Cyrus Vance, Karel Schoeman, Beyers Naudé, Nadine Gordimer, Bernard Levin, and others. In the 1980s, when political events were beginning to move quickly, Paton found himself in partial disagreement with a few of his old political friends. For example he agreed with Buthelezi and not with Desmond Tutu and some other liberals about the validity of economic sanctions, though in other fields he had favoured boycotts as early as the 1960s. He was accused by some of moving to the right. In my view that was not so. He maintained his old positions consistently, but in these years there was a general movement to the left, which left him looking a little more cautious than he had appeared in the past. At all events, he would undoubtedly have been overjoyed by the great events of 1990 and 1994. And he might well have sensed, correctly, that in the end with his life and work he had indeed had, in the words of that 1936 letter to Hofmeyr, ‘some sort of hand in the laying of [our] future foundations of policy.’    Professor Alexander’s editing of the letters is admirable. Of the 2 500 letters available to him he has chosen 344. Every one of these is interesting in its own way; one can have little doubt that he must have had to make some difficult choices, and that there are still many letters that would be worth reading. He has divided the letters into five chronological sections, to each of which he has written an introduction. The footnotes to the letters are just right, offering necessary identifications and explanations, but

Book Reviews and Notices not saying so much that the letters are in danger of seeming almost less important than the annotations. It is remarkable that, working from Australia (though with the help of willing assistants in this country), he has achieved such accuracy in such a vast number of details. In the whole volume I spotted no more than five minor errors. The volume is handsomely produced, and it represents something of a breakthrough into new territory for the Van Riebeeck Society for the Publication of Southern African Historical Documents. Their previous volumes have reprinted texts from some time ago. Alan Paton is history, but only just; many people who are still alive knew him. We must congratulate the VRS for bringing history to our very doorstep. COLIN GARDNER

SPORT, SPACE AND RECREATION: POLITICS AND SOCIETY IN PIETERMARITZBURG by CHRISTOPHER MERRETT Scottsville: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2009. The book is based on the author’s PhD thesis, which has been reworked into a most readable book accessible to a general public. The subject matter is the provision of sporting facilities in Pietermaritzburg over the last century, with this being employed to throw light on wider issues involving the general historical development of the City. Christopher Merrett was for many years Librarian at the University of Natal and KwaZulu-Natal in Pietermaritzburg, and is now Letters Editor at Pietermaritzburg’s daily newspaper The Witness. A prolific academic author in the fields of censorship, academic freedom and the political history of South African sport, he has also addressed a wider readership over many years with campaigning newspaper articles and letters. He is particularly well qualified to write this book as he has been an activist in the field of sport, in particular cricket, for many years. He stood as an umpire for many years in local South African Council Of Sport-aligned club and inter-provincial matches. A stalwart committee member of the Aurora Cricket Club for a long time, he was also secretary of the Maritzburg District Cricket Union in the early 1980s and played an important role in the growth of this as an activist sporting body. The book is organised in an historical fashion, stepping through the different eras of Pietermaritzburg’s history and recording and analysing the patterns by which the authorities have provided recreational facilities for their citizens. From the beginning racial patterns of allocation are revealed, with sport in colonial times playing a strong ideological role in the imperial project. Successive chapters describe continued channelling of sporting resources to the white community in the first half of last century, at the expense of black sportspeople. The racial discrimination against black sports groups becomes increasingly codified with the coming of the Nationalist government in mid-century. The Group Areas and Separate Amenities Acts, along with forced removals turn the screws even tighter until virtually all sports grounds are reserved for different race groups and the newly-elaborated Nationalist sports policy – that sport should be played separately by different population groups – is complied with.


Book Reviews and Notices The Pietermaritzburg City Council is given its due for putting up some resistance to intimidation from central government to segregate its parks and bus service. However, this section of the book also reveals the City Council’s racially skewed allocations of funds to sports organisations of different race groups. In the last few decades of apartheid, rates garnered from all communities were channelled massively to white-only sports bodies such as golf clubs and the Collegians Club. Thus public funds were employed to develop private whitecontrolled facilities which, to this day, have only a tiny black membership. In telling this story, the author shifts smoothly between considerations of the political and administrative history of Pietermaritzburg and an analysis of the geographical growth of the city as influenced by City Council investment patterns, forced removals and the imposition of group areas legislation. Interspersed with this are the stories of local black and overtly anti- apartheid sports organisations as they reacted to the difficulties placed in their paths. Meticulously researched, this book will surely be the standard reference work on the subject. Readers are given a penetrating insight into the origins of the geographic layout of Pietermaritzburg, and of how this evolved. It is entertainingly written, with the author managing to impart a vivid sense of the spirit of the eras covered. It is also written with passion and a palpable sense of moral outrage arising, no doubt, from the author’s involvement with the events covered in the later period. The importance of this to the author is illustrated by the dedication of the book to the cricketers of the Maritzburg District Cricket Union. The book reminds the reader, firstly, of just how single-mindedly successive white city councils pursued the monopolisation

of resources for the benefit of their white constituents. Time and again one is shown how much effort they had to put into ensuring that no stone was left unturned in their project. For white South Africans this is a perhaps timely reminder of just how venal the apartheid system was, and how far we’ve come since 1994. Secondly, the reader is reminded of the non-racial spirit of the anti-apartheid struggles of the 1970s and 1980s. This was certainly evident in the sport sphere in Pietermaritzburg over this era. The Maritzburg District Cricket Union always described itself as the non-racial cricket union in Pietermaritzburg, and the body never shrank from disciplining those contravening its non-racial constitution. The adoption of SACOS’s Double Standards Resolution, designed to limit the co-option of sportspeople into the tricameral system, brought significant numbers of sportspeople into the broad anti-apartheid struggle. These sports bodies were later formally aligned with the UDF, where all communities were very visible and out of which grew the rainbow nation. One is reminded that the vision has slowly become more monochrome, and that non-racialism has slipped further down the national agenda. This is perhaps understandable, given the priorities of the challenges of poverty and crime, but one is left with the feeling that something has been lost. The University of KwaZulu-Natal Press is to be congratulated on publishing this book, its second on the anti-apartheid sport struggle. One hopes that this, along with the earlier Desai, A. et al Blacks in Whites, signals the intent to source and publish a series of works in this often neglected area. MIKE HICKSON

Select List of Recent KwaZulu-Natal Publications

BELL, David and JACOBS, J.U., eds. Ways of writing: critical essays on Zakes Mda. Pietermaritzburg: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2009. 428 p. ISBN: 978-186914-151-6. R220,00 BOND, Patrick, DADA, Rehana and ERION, Graham, eds. Climate change, carbon trading and civil society: negative returns on South African investments. Pietermaritzburg: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2008. 248 p. ISBN: 978-186914-141-7. R195,00 BOSMAN-ZULU, Pam. On the right side of the Father. 2009. BRIGG, Peter. Call of the stream. Durban: Art Publishers, 2009. 191 p. illus. ISBN: 978-1919688770. R403,00 BROWN, Duncan, ed. Religion and spirituality in South Africa: new perspectives. Pietermaritzburg: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2009. 304 p. ISBN: 978-186914-167-6. R210,00 BROKENSHA, David Warwick. Brokie’s way: an anthropologist’s story, love and work in three continents. Fish Hoek (Cape Town): 2007. 566p. illus., maps. ISBN: 978-0-620-39064-4. R234,00 BUCHAN, Angus. A farmer’s year: daily truth to change your life; ed. by Val Waldeck. Oxford: Monarch Books, 2007. 383 p. illus. ISBN: 978-1-85424-850-3. First published in South Africa in 2003. COETZEE, Greig. Johnny Boskak is feeling funny, and other plays. Pietermaritzburg: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2009. 280 p. ISBN:978-1-86914-180-6 COOVADIA, Imraan. High low in-between. Roggebaai (Cape Town): Umuzi, 2009. 268 p. ISBN: 978-1-4152-0070-4. R204,00. A novel set in Durban.

Select List of Recent KwaZulu-Natal Publications DENNISON, C.G. Zulu frontiersman; ed. by Ron Lock and Peter Quantrill. Frontline Books, 2009. A previously unpublished diary of Major Dennison about his AngloZulu War experiences, together with a reprint of his 1904 book on the Anglo-Boer War entitled A fight to the finish. DOBSON, Richard, SKINNER, Caroline and NICHOLSON, Jillian. Working in Warwick: including street traders in urban plans. Durban: University of KwaZuluNatal School of Development Studies, 2009. 136 p. illus. ISBN: 978- 186840-667-8. R300,00. Includes a CD. DUBE, Hlengiwe. Zulu beadwork; talk with beads. 2009. DUBE, John Langalibalele. Jeqe, the body-servant of King Shaka. Johannesburg: Penguin, 2008. (Penguin Modern Classics). ISBN: 9780143185628. R123,00. Originally published in 1930 as U-Jeqe, insila ka Tshaka. Re-issue of the 1951 English translation. GOVENDER, Neelan. Girrmit tales. Durban: Rebel Rabble, 2008. 188 p. ISBN: 9780-620-42773-9. R233,00 GRANT, Wayne. Into the thorns; hunting the cattle killing leopard of the Matobo Hills. The Author, 2009. Available at GREENE, Lal. Wild flowers of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands and Drakensberg. Nottingham Road: Lal and Pauline Greene, 2009. 160 p. illus. ISBN: 978-62042441-7. R95,00 HASSIM, Aziz. The revenge of Kali. Durban: STE Publishers, 2009. A novel set in Durban. HINZE, Ralph. Hinze: die Hinzes in Südafrika, ihre Leben in ihre Umgebung. Piet Retief: the Author, 2008. 384 p. illus. HOPKINS, Pat. John Golightly comes home: a portrait of eccentricity. Penguin, 2009. R194,00 INGRAM, Fiona. The secret of the sacred scarab. USA: iUniverse, 2009. A children’s book with a Durban flavour. KATHRADA, Ahmed. A simple freedom; text by Tim Couzens. Johannesburg: Wild Dog Press, 2008. 148 p. illus. ISBN: 978-191979-076-3. R156,00 KEARNEY, Paddy. Guardian of the light Denis Hurley: renewing the Church, opposing apartheid. Pietermaritzburg: University of Kwa-Zulu Natal Press, 2009. 384 p. ISBN: 978-1-86914-181-3. Co-published with Continuum (UK). R395,00 KHAN, Fiona. Wreaths of wrath. LABAND, John. Historical dictionary of the Zulu wars. Scarecrow, 2009. LANCASTER, Graham Vivian. Strength of ten. Australia: Imaginates, 2009. A thriller mainly set in Pietermaritzburg. LANGA, Mandla. The lost colours of the chameleon . 2008. LINSCOTT, Delme. Living oceans apart: hope and encouragement for those who have family or friends living overseas. Pietermaritzburg: the Author, 2008. 173 p. ISBN: 978-0-620-42115-7 LLOYD, Angela Read. Bridging the divide. Johannesburg: Read Press, 2008. 444 p. illus. ISBN: 978-0-620-42433-2. R324,00 McGREGOR, Robin and THOMPSON, Gerald. The old Illovo. Purdey, 2007. About the Illovo Sugar Co.


Select List of Recent KwaZulu-Natal Publications MIKULA, Paul. Mali moments and other ramblings. Durban: Phansi Museum, 2009. 144 p. illus. ISBN: 978-0-620-4329-0. Two formats: Grande R430,00, and Petitpetit R230,00 MILLER, Kirsten. A time for fairies. Eston: Monique Bowmaker, 2008. ISBN: 9781920261016. R116,00 . A children’s book. MOODLEY, Praba. Follow your heart. Cape Town: Kwela, 2009. R169,00. A novel set in Durban. MORRELL, Robert, et al. Towards gender equality? South African schools during the HIV/Aids epidemic. Pietermaritzburg: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2009. 256 p. ISBN: 978-1-86914-175-2. R220,00. MUROVE, Munyaradzi Felix, ed. An anthology of comparative and applied ethics. Pietermaritzburg: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2009. 480 p. ISBN: 978-186914-174-5. R260,00 NAIDOO, Phyllis. More footprints that shaped our world. ISBN: 978-0620433433. NAIDOO, Riason. The Indian in Drum magazine in the 1950s. Cape Town: Bell Roberts, 2008. 140 p. illus. 978-0-981-14200-0-4. R289,00 NICOLSON, Ronald. The Church and same-sex marriages. Pietermaritzburg: Cluster Publications, 2008. 74 p. (Signs of the times, 1). ISBN: 987-1-875053-77-3. R50,00 NKABINDA, Nkunzi Zandile. Black bull, ancestors and me: my life as a lesbian. sangoma. Johannesburg: Fanele, 2008. 162 p. illus. ISBN: 978-1-920196-06-6. R123,00 NXABA, Condy. Umdonsiswano. 2009. PARKER, James P. Drama queen: the Elizabeth Snedden story. ?Durban: the Author, 2009. 453 p. ISBN: 978-0-620-41041-0. R181,00. A novel. PERRY, Mary and GARNER, Edward. Adonis and Bignose in China: teaching, travels and tea. Durban: Just Done Publications, 2009. 306 p. illus. ISBN: 978-0-62042653-4. R217,00 POLAND, Marguerite. The boy in you: a biography of St Andrew’s College 1855-2005. Simonstown: Fernwood Press, 2008. 496 p. illus., map. ISBN: 978-1-874950-86-8 RAMGOBIN, Mewa. Prisms of light: a recollection of events and people. 2009. SAMUEL, Rani. Living stones: psychological and spiritual insights to inspire, renew and heal your life. SCHOLTZ, Pieter. Milo and the sunflower. A children’s book SCHOU-KRISTENSEN, Libby. Seeing the unseen: inspiration for all who suffer. Westville (Durban): Reach Publishers, 2009. 167 p. illus. ISBN: 978-1920261603. R145,00 SELLEY, Ron. West of the moon: early Zululand and a game ranger at war in Rhodesia. Cape Town?: 30 Degrees South, 2009. 284 p. illus., maps. R250,00 SHERRIFFS, Pam. Forgive me, I’m an impatient mlungu (and other useful things to know how to say in Zulu). Pietermaritzburg: Icingsugar Publications, 2008. Unpaged. ISBN: 978-0-620-42653-4. R68,00 SMITH, Penny J. The lost ship ‘SS Waratah’: searching for the ‘Titanic’ of the south. Stroud: The History Press, 2009.


Select List of Recent KwaZulu-Natal Publications THOMAS, Brian and CAMP, Steve. The red scarf: fifty years of the 1st Hillcrest Scouting, 1958–2008. Durban: Just Done Publications, 2009. 120 p. illus. ISBN: 978-0-620-42056-3 VAN DE RUIT, John. Spud learns to fly. Johannesburg: Penguin, 2009. 412 p. ISBN: 978-0143-02595-5. R123,00 VAN HEERDEN, Jannie. Zulu basketry. Cape Town: Print Matters, 2009. 82 p. illus. ISBN: 978-0-9802609-4-6. R199,00 VERSTER, Andrew. Past/Present: works by Andrew Verster, 1994–2008; ed. by Carol Brown. Durban, 2008. Exhibition catalogue. R130,00 The assistance of Colleen Cook of Cascades Bookshop, Pietermaritzburg, and. Linda McCullough and Mrs Hansman of Exclusive Books, Westville, in compiling this list is gratefully acknowledged. SHELAGH SPENCER


Notes on Contributors

Notes on Contributors
W.R. (BILL ) GUEST, former Professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and author/ co-editor of numerous publications on the History of Natal and Zululand, is now Professor Emeritus and Senior Research Associate in Historical Studies at that institution. BRIAN KEARNEY is Professor Emeritus of Architecture of the University of Natal and an architectural historian. JOHN LABAND, a former professor in the Department of History at the University of Natal, is now employed in Canada as a professor of History at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario. His latest book is Historical Dictionary of the Zulu Wars (The Scarecrow Press) that appeared in 2009. CHRISTOPHER MERRETT is a former librarian and administrator on the Pietermaritzburg campus of the University of Natal and now Letters Editor at The Witness. DAMIAN O’CONNOR is a teacher who gained his doctorate from the University of East Anglia, UK, in 2006. He has contributed regularly to the Journal of the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies and is the author of The Zulu and the Raj: The Life of Sir Bartle Frere. In 2008 he was awarded the Mangosuthu Buthelezi Medal for Services to the Zulu People. His main areas of interest are British Imperial Defence and Southern Africa. DEBBIE WHELAN is a research fellow of the University of South Africa Department of Archaeology and Anthropology and a PhD candidate in the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.



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