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 Cetewayo's chief executioner.

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Posts : 1606
Join date : 2009-09-21

PostSubject: Cetewayo's chief executioner.   Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:27 pm

Doe’s anyone knows the name of Cetewayo’s Chief executioner.

Was there a selection process (Training) undertaken before the job was offered, or was it handed down through one particular family generation. I take it by the photo posted by Admin (Tenterden Museum visit executioner clubs, the accused was simply hit on the head the same method used on the wounded Zulus (Mercy Killing)
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Ken Gillings

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Join date : 2009-10-20
Age : 70
Location : Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

PostSubject: Re: Cetewayo's chief executioner.   Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:30 pm

King Cetshwayo was by and large responsible for the removal of any threat / problem. Those who performed the task of executioner were known as izimpizi ("Spotted Hyenas" or "Very ugly people").The executioners became known as the "Hyena Men". One of the first to be removed, of course, was Masiphula kaMamba Ntshangase who was King Mpande's 'Prime Minister'. It was he who installed Cetshwayo as King following the death of King Mpande kaSanzangakhona. He was evidently poisoned on the orders of Cetshwayo for several reasone:
1. He had favoured Prince Mbuyasi kaMpande as Mpande's successor;
2. After Prince Mbuyasi was killed at the Battle of eNdondakusuka on the 2nd December 1856, Masiphula had favoured Prince Mkhungo kaMpande to succeed the King - not Cetshwayo;
3. Masiphula had ignored Cetshwayo's request that his father's favourite wife (who belonged to the powerful Mtethwa clan) should be killed on Mpande's death to accompany the king on his journey to the life thereafter.
4. Masiphula's son (uNkozinkomo) had been a firm favourite of several of King Mpande's daughters and had engaged in uHlobonga (safe sex) with them, so Masiphula had him executed. Cetshwayo felt that if he was able to so that to his own son, he (Cetshwayo) was capable of killing him.
It is generally accepted that some of the girls in Cetshwayo's isigodlo (harem) then conspired with Cetshwayo to poison Masiphula and eye-witness accounts describe how Masiphula Ntshangase excused himself from Cetshwayo's company on one occasion, saying: "Sala, Ndabezitha" ("Stay, Your Majesty"), adding that he had eaten far too well and that he 'must now sleep' because his entire body trembled and ached. One of the members of the isigodlo (Qinisa Mngadi) claimed later that Cetshwayo had given her some umuthi (medicine) that he had obtained from the Trader John Dunn ('Jantoni') and ordered it to be added to Masiphula's beer. Cetshwayo had personally 'measured' it!

So - to try to answer your question, executions were normally a "Team Effort".

By the way, executions were normally carried out a kwaNkata ("The bewhiskered man"), a rocky overhang on the left bank of the White Mfolozi River. I had the privilege of visiting the site with my mentor "SB" Bourquin many years ago, and will ask Admin to post a copy of the photograph I took of it with SB and a local gent at the foot of the cliff.

Regards, Ken
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