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 Mbilini kaMswati --- Zulu commander?

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johann engelbrecht




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PostSubject: Mbilini kaMswati --- Zulu commander?   Mbilini kaMswati ---  Zulu commander? EmptyMon Jul 19, 2010 1:41 pm

Umbelini (Mbilini) kaMswati commander at Entombe Drift and Hlobane!
To what extend can he be considered a Zulu commander and fighting the Zulu cause or was he fighting in his own interest-- the beginning of the war of liberation against colonial (white) rule which only came to an end in 1994? [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
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PostSubject: Re: Mbilini kaMswati --- Zulu commander?   Mbilini kaMswati ---  Zulu commander? EmptyMon Jul 19, 2010 2:40 pm

I have some on this chap.

The guerilla chief Umbelini.-British reverse at Intombi River(?)-Umbelini and two companions engage a party of British troops.-Death of Umbelini.-Dabulamanzi attacks a patrol at the White Umfolosi.-The Zulu generals Umnyamana and Untshingwayo play into the hands of the English.-The
battle of Ulundi.-A Zulu hero.-The hedge of steel. Now a son of Sihayo dwelt with Umzila (Umbokode was his name). They
worried the white men; they worried terribly the soldiers who spied out the army. On one occasion Umzila went out with his army and worried the
soldiers by night. He chased away some of them; he killed them; he took away their cattle.

Umzila (Mbilini) kaMswati, a Swazi prince, had settled south of the Phongolo in the reign of Mpande. From this position he raided his Boer and Swazi neighbours.
One of Frere's demands in the ultimatum of 11 December 1879 was that Mbilini should be surrendered for trial by the British authorities. When the war commenced, Mbilini was joined by the sons of Sihayo, whose surrender had also been demanded in the ultimatum. On the night of 27-28 March, the Zulu army was encamped to the south-east of Hlobane, which was one of Mbilini's strongholds. "I Untshingwayo (Ntshingwayo) kaMahole, Khoza chief, was one of Cetshwayo's principal izinduna; Umnyamana (Mnyamana) kaNgqengelele, Buthelezi chief, was Cctshwayo's premier induna During the reign of Shaka the lands in the vicinity of Hlobane had been placed under the authority of Shaka's Junt, Mnkabayi, whose homestead was named ebaQulusini. Thereafter, it was customary to refer to the people of the locality as the abaQulusi.
The action here referred to was the battle fought at Wood's camp at Nkambule on 29 March 1879. The brief account of Trooper Henri Grandier's

Experiences in.

D. Morris, op. cit., pp. 504-5.
"8 The narrative in the preceding paragraphs seems to be based on a conflation of two separate incidents. The first occurred in the early hours of the morning of 12 March 1879, when a small British force encamped at Myer's Drift was attacked by Mbilini and suffered heavy losses. The second incident occurred four weeks later, on 5 April, when Mbilini and his men were surprised while raiding cattle near Luneberg. In the ensuing skirmish Mbilini was fatally wounded. According to C. Vijn, the son of Sihayo who was killed while fighting with Mhilini was Nkumbikazulu, but this is disputed by I. W. Colenso. (See: C. Vijn, Cetshwayo's Dutchman, London 1880, pp. 40 and 124)
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Mbilini kaMswati ---  Zulu commander? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Mbilini kaMswati --- Zulu commander?   Mbilini kaMswati ---  Zulu commander? EmptyMon Jul 19, 2010 8:57 pm

Must admit don't know much about this chap. johann.
Quote :
fighting in his own interest
Any chance you could give us some background infoe:
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PostSubject: Re: Mbilini kaMswati --- Zulu commander?   Mbilini kaMswati ---  Zulu commander? EmptyTue Jul 20, 2010 3:36 pm

Certainly! For more detail referr to Huw Jones's Biographical Register o Swaziland pg 140-144 and "Paulina Dlamini -Servant of two Kings compiled by Missionry H Filter and translated and edited by SB Bourquin, pages67-70.In short it can be said that Mbilini was the eldest son of King Mswati from his first wife laMakhasiso Dvuba and for Swazi Customary law could therefor not be concidered as King Mswati's succesor upon his death in 1865. Mbilini however had a strong following, especially from his age regiment of which he was the leader. Following an aborted attempt to take over the Swazi Kingship, he had to flee from Swaziland and eventually settled in the disputed territory along the upper reaches of the Pongola and Entombe rivers where he started a freebooter lifestyle gaining support from other semi-independent chiefs in the area. During the same time Boer and German farmers started settling in the area upon having gained concessions from the Swazi King. This would have interferred with Mbilinis relative freedom and for that reason I ask the question above whether he was not acting out of self intertest, having however gained the support of King Cetewayo of the Zulu!
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PostSubject: Re: Mbilini kaMswati --- Zulu commander?   Mbilini kaMswati ---  Zulu commander? EmptyTue Jul 20, 2010 8:01 pm


Mbilini is featured in detail in Ian Knight's book " Great Zulu Commanders".

There is a quote from the book from a British officer, Captain Tommasson, who describes him as a " savage chief of freebooters" but also " one of the most dashing of all of the Zulu generals ".

JohnB
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johann engelbrecht




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PostSubject: Re: Mbilini kaMswati --- Zulu commander?   Mbilini kaMswati ---  Zulu commander? EmptyTue Jul 20, 2010 8:14 pm

Well that is my Question... was he a Zulu commander, being a Swazi prince and knowing that the Zulu and Swazi were fighting each other more than once in the period before the Zulu War! It is like calling an Irishman an Englishman!
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PostSubject: Re: Mbilini kaMswati --- Zulu commander?   Mbilini kaMswati ---  Zulu commander? EmptyTue Jul 20, 2010 10:34 pm

Cetshwayo was sheltering an exiled Swazi prince (and pretender to the Swazi throne) and his band of renegade amaSwazi, Mbelini kaMswati.
Prince Mbilini kaMswati fought and died for the Zulus while in exile among them in 1879.

Quote: "Mbilini kaMswati, the Swazi prince,"

The British tended to call Mbilini something else, far removed
from "Prince" :) "Freebooter and "Bandit" are a couple :)
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PostSubject: Re: Mbilini kaMswati --- Zulu commander?   Mbilini kaMswati ---  Zulu commander? EmptyWed Jul 21, 2010 1:30 pm

As mentioned above, there is a whole chapter on Prince Mbilini in Knight's, "Great Zulu Commanders" and also a good precis account in the Greaves/Knight publication, "Who's Who in the Zulu War 1879 Vol. II Colonials and Zulus" (p168 - 172). Still too much to quote in detail here but there are several accounts where Mbilini appears to have led not only his own followers but also members of the abaQulusi and retainers of the local inkosi, Manyanyoba; so in that sense, my own view is yes, he could be truly considered a " Zulu commander". (It is said that at the time the British thought Mbilini the architect of the victory at Hlobane although he and Sikhobhobo, the abaQulusi commander, probably "worked together".)

As regards Johann's initial question about whether Mbilini acted in his own interests, or saw it as a war of liberation against the colonial whites, I don't know - my gut feeling is a bit of both. When he lost out in the succession to the Swazi throne in 1865 he was quick to leave and ally himself with (the then) Prince Cetshwayo who in turn saw Mbilini as a means to "influence" events in Swaziland - so certainly mutual self interests going on there. By the time the AZW broke out Mbilini had built up his following and cattle (by raiding the Transvaal border and the nearby Swazi) and forged close links with the pro royalist abaQulusi who had settled on the Zungwini and Hlobane mountains. In those circumstances, I guess he was always going to be ready to have a pop at the colonials but whether out of self interest or liberation - again, a bit of both I suspect.

On 5 April 1879 Mbilini was fatally wounded by a member of a British patrol (which included H Filter - the son of Luneburg's Lutheran pastor) close to Luneburg; the bullet entering above his right shoulder and exiting at his left hip. Some days later the British were able to report that the "hyena of the Phongolo river" was dead. Had he survived the war, and the subsequent partition of Zululand, I think it would have been interesting to see how Mbilini would have sided - if at all - in the later Zulu wars of the 1880's. Perhaps then, and only then, would he have shown his 'true colours'? Just a thought...........

Hope this is helpful.

U



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PostSubject: Re: Mbilini kaMswati --- Zulu commander?   Mbilini kaMswati ---  Zulu commander? EmptyWed Jul 21, 2010 8:55 pm

Interesting points! The fact however, that Manyonyoba Khubeka ( also a Swazi relative) was also living in the area north of the Pongola, i.o.w. more in Swazi territory( eventhough an area that had been ceded to the boers)makes the allegiance between the two more of a common factor to fight for, namely for their own good and against colonialisation.
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PostSubject: Re: Mbilini kaMswati --- Zulu commander?   Mbilini kaMswati ---  Zulu commander? EmptyThu Jul 22, 2010 12:48 am

Yes, as I understand it Mbilini's early targets for raids and thus building up his followers were Swazi's - some of whom lived on the Transvaal side of the border.

U
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PostSubject: Re: Mbilini kaMswati --- Zulu commander?   Mbilini kaMswati ---  Zulu commander? EmptySun Jul 25, 2010 7:00 pm

Mbilini and his followers also attacked the "amaKholwa", i.e. converts or Christians killing women and children. AGAIN AN ACT AGAINST COLONIALISATION!
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PostSubject: Re: Mbilini kaMswati --- Zulu commander?   Mbilini kaMswati ---  Zulu commander? EmptySun Jul 25, 2010 7:44 pm

........ by trying to introduce a "fear factor" perhaps? Or maybe they were just "easy" targets?

U
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PostSubject: Re: Mbilini kaMswati --- Zulu commander?   Mbilini kaMswati ---  Zulu commander? EmptyMon Jul 26, 2010 2:38 pm

Agree with the fear factor, but why would he do it! He did not want the settlers around.
Entombe and the area where Mbilini used to act according to his own free will is presently situated in the province of Mpumalanga. The provincial department of Culture, sport and recreation is presently putting together a "National Liberation Heritage Route" to commemorate the contributions certain individuals have made to the "struggle" against Apartheid(iow Colonialisation). As part of this route, a monument is being planned for Mbilini near the present monument at the Entombe Drift. Inthe late 1980's the then president of Mozambique, Samora Machel died in a misterious plane crash near the Mpumalanga border between Malelane and Komatipoort. The site of this crash has also been commemorated and been included in the 'Hero's Route"It is a well known fact that Mozambique was harboring freedom fighters during the struggle years!
Back to my earlier point, Mbilini was fighting his own battle, conveniently linking up with King Cetewayo and the Zulu War!
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PostSubject: Re: Mbilini kaMswati --- Zulu commander?   Mbilini kaMswati ---  Zulu commander? EmptyMon Jul 26, 2010 8:29 pm

Was Chestwayo not asked to surrender Mbelini kaMswati as part of the ultimatum.

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PostSubject: Re: Mbilini kaMswati --- Zulu commander?   Mbilini kaMswati ---  Zulu commander? EmptyMon Jul 26, 2010 11:07 pm

Johann

That is interesting about a monument to Mbilini being planned. When you say "near" to the existing memorial - will it be be on the opposite bank (i.e. in Mbilini's "territory") do you know?

Impi

Yes, Mbilini did indeed feature in the ultimatum being charged with a "murderous raid" in Transvaal territory and to be tried in the Transvaal Courts.

U


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PostSubject: Re: Mbilini kaMswati --- Zulu commander?   Mbilini kaMswati ---  Zulu commander? EmptyTue Jul 27, 2010 12:17 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
1860 Prince Mbilini Photographer: Unknown Source: National Archives
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PostSubject: Re: Mbilini kaMswati --- Zulu commander?   Mbilini kaMswati ---  Zulu commander? EmptyTue Jul 27, 2010 2:18 pm

Thanks Admin.

Superb physique - fine regalia - but enough about me - Mbilini looks in pretty good shape too! Rolling Eyes

U
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PostSubject: Re: Mbilini kaMswati --- Zulu commander?   Mbilini kaMswati ---  Zulu commander? EmptyTue Jul 27, 2010 8:47 pm

You wouldn’t want to go hand-to-hand with any of them. Bullets were the safer option.

Did any other Swazi Warriors accompany him when he was taken in by the Zulu King. ??
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PostSubject: Re: Mbilini kaMswati --- Zulu commander?   Mbilini kaMswati ---  Zulu commander? EmptyTue Jul 27, 2010 9:04 pm

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Source: Kingdom in crisis: the Zulu response to the British invasion of 1879
By John Laband
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PostSubject: Re: Mbilini kaMswati --- Zulu commander?   Mbilini kaMswati ---  Zulu commander? EmptyTue Jul 27, 2010 10:49 pm

There was a Frenchman by the name of Grandier who was captured by the Zulu's If I remember was he not taken before Mbilini.

theres a image of him somewhere on the forum.
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ADMIN

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PostSubject: Re: Mbilini kaMswati --- Zulu commander?   Mbilini kaMswati ---  Zulu commander? EmptyTue Jul 27, 2010 11:00 pm

Dave correct !

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

But i do believe Grandier had made the story up.
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PostSubject: Re: Mbilini kaMswati --- Zulu commander?   Mbilini kaMswati ---  Zulu commander? EmptyTue Jul 27, 2010 11:04 pm

That's the one Admin. Thanks. Idea

Just one question!!

Would it have been in the mind of Mbilini kaMswati, that in time Cetshwayo would help to the throne in Swaziland I'm sure the Zulu's would have been more that capable.
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Mbilini kaMswati --- Zulu commander?   Mbilini kaMswati ---  Zulu commander? EmptyTue Jul 27, 2010 11:17 pm

Good question Dave. He had show loyalty to Cetewayo. Problem was the Boar’s and Brits got in the way. Don’t know much about the Swazi’s but they must have had a military regime of some kind, probably similar to the Zulu’s. I don’t even know how far Swaziland is from Zululand.
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Mbilini kaMswati --- Zulu commander?   Mbilini kaMswati ---  Zulu commander? EmptyTue Jul 27, 2010 11:30 pm

A second addition to the ultimatum, which seems almost like an afterthought, required the surrender of Mbelini kaMswati. Mbelini was the son of a Swazi king who unsuccessfully disputed the succession with his brother, resulting in his exile from the kingdom. He took refuge with Cetshwayo and was granted land in the region of the Intombe River in western Zululand. (It is entirely possible that Cetshwayo regarded him as a useful buffer between him and the Boers of the Transvaal.) Here, he took up residence on the Tafelberg, a flat-topped mountain overlooking the river. Something of a brigand, Mbelini made raids on anyone in his area, Boer and Zulu alike, accruing cattle and prisoners in the process. With the annexation of the Transvaal, Britain had also to deal with Mbelini and because Frere was convinced that the bandit chief was in the pay of the Zulu king, his surrender was included in the ultimatum.

The light in which Mbelini was regarded is shown in a paragraph from a memorandum written by Sir Henry Bulwer:

"The King disowned Umbilini’s acts by saying that Umbilini had been giving him trouble, that he had left the Zulu country in order to wrest the Swazi chieftainship from his brother, the reigning Chief, and that if he returned he should kill him. But there is nothing to show that he has in any way punished him, and, on the contrary, it is quite certain that even if Umbilini did not act with the express orders of Cetywayo, he did so with the knowledge that what he was doing would be agreeable to the King."
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Mbilini kaMswati --- Zulu commander?   Mbilini kaMswati ---  Zulu commander? EmptyTue Jul 27, 2010 11:43 pm

Quote :
I don’t even know how far Swaziland is from Zululand.
24th not far its looks like they border each other.

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old historian2

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PostSubject: Re: Mbilini kaMswati --- Zulu commander?   Mbilini kaMswati ---  Zulu commander? EmptyWed Jul 28, 2010 8:23 am

How old was Mbelini when he died. The photo was taken in 1860 he looks fairly mature.
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PostSubject: Re: Mbilini kaMswati --- Zulu commander?   Mbilini kaMswati ---  Zulu commander? EmptyWed Jul 28, 2010 9:22 am

According to Huw Jones in the Biographical Register, Mbilini was born in 1843, died in 1879= 36 years of age. The photograph above, without any authenticity is in my oppinion not of Mbilini. For the only known photo of Mbilini turn to Lock's Painted Mountain pg 65 or Laband's Kingdom and Colony at War pg 199. Can anyone put it on to the forum. I do not know how!


Last edited by johann engelbrecht on Wed Jul 28, 2010 11:25 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Mbilini kaMswati --- Zulu commander?   Mbilini kaMswati ---  Zulu commander? EmptyWed Jul 28, 2010 10:53 am

Yes, generally accepted that Mbilini was born about 1843 - so 36 years of age when he died in 1879. There is a photograph of him in the Greaves/Knight most useful publication, "Who's Who in the Zulu war 1879 Vol. II. Colonials & Zulus". The photograph is credited to the S B Bourquin collection so may, or may not, be the same as that in the publications mentioned above by Johann. It is difficult to say with any certainty whether the man in this photo is the same as that in the photo posted by Admin earlier; certainly their build looks to be different.

U
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Mbilini kaMswati --- Zulu commander?   Mbilini kaMswati ---  Zulu commander? EmptyWed Jul 28, 2010 11:24 am

I think Johann is right that the chief in the photograph is not Mbilini. I have an original copy of the same photograph, in a contemporary album, and it is marked in manuscript as "Goza and his Councillors".

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Mbilini kaMswati --- Zulu commander?   Mbilini kaMswati ---  Zulu commander? EmptyWed Jul 28, 2010 2:28 pm

How can we verify whether or not the photograph is of Mbilini kaMswati.
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PostSubject: Re: Mbilini kaMswati --- Zulu commander?   Mbilini kaMswati ---  Zulu commander? EmptyWed Jul 28, 2010 6:59 pm

Rusteze

Interesting that about Goza and his counsillors - can I just ask if that album/publication you have is in any way linked to Rider-Haggard?

U
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Mbilini kaMswati --- Zulu commander?   Mbilini kaMswati ---  Zulu commander? EmptyWed Jul 28, 2010 8:01 pm

Quote :
Rider-Haggard?
I was thinking exactly the same think. There is a lot on Goza which related to Haggard.
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old historian2

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PostSubject: Re: Mbilini kaMswati --- Zulu commander?   Mbilini kaMswati ---  Zulu commander? EmptyWed Jul 28, 2010 10:29 pm

Could someone tell me how they know its not a photograph of Mbilini.
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Mbilini kaMswati --- Zulu commander?   Mbilini kaMswati ---  Zulu commander? EmptyWed Jul 28, 2010 10:48 pm

All

My albums have no connection to Rider Haggard that I am aware of - there is no indication of the original owner so you never know I suppose. My copy of the photograph in question is clearly marked as "Goza and Counsillors" in ink in a contemporary hand. There is also a further photograph also noted as "Goza" in the same hand. It does not prove it is not Mbilini of course but as there are also photographs of Cetswayo, his wives and Langalibelala and his sons - all correctly named - i am inclined to think that whoever named the photos of Goza knew what they were doing. But proving it is another thing!

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Mbilini kaMswati --- Zulu commander?   Mbilini kaMswati ---  Zulu commander? EmptyWed Jul 28, 2010 10:56 pm

rusteze. Could you post a copy of photo.
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Mbilini kaMswati --- Zulu commander?   Mbilini kaMswati ---  Zulu commander? EmptyThu Jul 29, 2010 12:59 am

Happy to post a copy, but the technology is defeating me!
Steve
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90th

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PostSubject: mbilini - zulu commander   Mbilini kaMswati ---  Zulu commander? EmptyThu Jul 29, 2010 5:31 am

hi oh2.
Go to page 1 of this thread and read Johann's posts , you will see that the picture that admin posted
is not Mbilini . S.B. Bourquin was an authority on the zulu war and has mbilini in a photo which has been
widely used , in at least 3 books , he did write the captions to his photographs so I have no doubt S.B would
have known what he was doing .
cheers 90th.
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