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Commander Crawford Caffin, R.N
H.M.S. Natal, aboard which the prisoner Cetshwayo was transported from Port Natal to Capetown. Caffin had joint charge of the King with Captain Ruscombe Poole, R.A. (Isandula Collection)
BBC Timewatch - Zulu: The True Story

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 Cetshwayo's Mother

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Posts : 30
Join date : 2009-09-29

PostSubject: Cetshwayo's Mother   Mon Dec 21, 2009 12:21 pm

Private George Pettit wrote in one of his letters that Cetshwayo "has killed his mother; so by that it is nearly time that they should crush him" (Frank Emery, The Red Soldier, p. 154). Is this actually the case, or is he simply getting confused with the execution of Sihayo's wives? I can't find any evidence of other soldiers who believed in this story - are there any others?!
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Mr Greaves


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PostSubject: Re: Cetshwayo's Mother   Mon Dec 21, 2009 1:07 pm

PRM502 It doe's somewhat look that way.

"Cetshwayo kaMapande held the Zulu throne. He had traded freely with the Europeans in the Natal Colony but felt that his father, Mapande kaDingane, had made too many concessions to the Europeans in order to keep an uneasy peace. He was puzzled by Frere's hostility to the Zulus and, before he was able to respond, events came to a head. In July 1878, the Great Wife, Kaqwelebana, and a lesser wife of Cetshwayo's inDuna, Sihayo, were caught having affairs while Sihayo was absent. With their lovers, they fled across the Buffalo River, in the vicinity of the mission at Rorke's Drift. Kaqwelebana's son, Mehlokazulu, decided to go after them and crossed into Natal, where he found the lesser wife, and brought her back across the river where she was killed. A few days later, he re-crossed, found his mother and brought her back to be killed. In deference to British justice in Natal, Mehlokazulu was careful that no harm come to either women while they were on the Natal side of the river. Incidents of authorities crossing the boundaries in search of escapees, while uncommon, were not unknown by either side. For Frere, however, it was just what he needed to set his plans in motion. He seized upon this incident to issue Cetshwayo, on 11 December 1878, a 30-day ultimatum that Frere was sure that Cetshwayo had no possible way of satisfying. Among other demands, Cetshwayo was to 1) surrender the murderers to Natal justice, 2) pay a fine of 500 cattle, 3) disband the Zulu army, and 4) permit Zulu warriors to marry without "washing their spears" in battle. An agreement by Cetshwayo was tantamount to the disbanding of the Zulu Nation. In addition, the summer of 1878-1879 was extremely wet. As a result, streams were swollen and it took about 2 weeks for messengers carrying the ultimatum to reach Cetshwayo's kraal. On 11 January 1879, the invasion of Zululand began."
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PostSubject: Re: Cetshwayo's Mother   Mon Dec 21, 2009 9:27 pm

Is the above not in reference to Sihayo's wife though? Idea
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Ken Gillings

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PostSubject: Re: Cetshwayo's Mother   Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:36 pm

Prm 502 is quite correct; that was a reference to Chief Sihayo kaXongo.
King Cetshwayo's mother was Ngqumbazi kaMbondi kaTshana of the Zungu community.
She was highly revered by the King and as far as I can recall, she died a natural death.
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