Desmond Latham History of South Africa podcast

History of South Africa podcast

A series that seeks to tell the story of the South Africa in some depth. Presented by experienced broadcaster/podcaster Des Latham and updated weekly, the episodes will take a listener through the various epochs that have made up the story of South Africa.
Weekly English South Africa History · Places & Travel
147 Episodes
1 – 20

Episode 145 - The seminal Battle on the Ncome known as Blood River

This is episode 145 - we’re joining the AmaZulu and the Voortrekkers at the apocalyptic clash on the River Ncome, which was soon renamed Blood River. This battle has seared its way into South African consciousness — it is so symbolic that its reference frames modern politics. Just when someone…
18 Nov 26 min

Episode 143 - The World in 1838, New Veld Tech and Plough Enhancements

This is episode 143 and we’re back in Cape Town, it’s late 1838, our new British Governor Sir George Napier is in the hot seat and he’s already regretting taking up the position. He was trying to make Andries Stockenstrom’s eastern Cape Treaty System a success and this was not…
5 Nov 20 min

Episode 140 - High Noon at Gatslaager & Mzilikazi barges into the Batswana

Ten thousand Zulu warriors had appeared at GatsLaager, the headquarters of the Voortrekkers under the brow of the Drakensberg, sent by Dingana and led by Ndlela kaSompiti. In South African history and general memory there are major confrontations which are part of modern consciousness. These would be things like the…
15 Oct 18 min

Episode 137 - The Vlugkommando of April 1838 and a hard rain continues to fall

It’s been a harrowing few months in southern Africa back in 1838. All manner of change has rolled in across the veld, there are worlds colliding, roiling, like thunderclouds, seething and churning. And almost allegorical, because lightning from real storms had already killed Boer horses and Zulu warriors in separate…
23 Sep 24 min

Episode 134 - Lightning kills 12 Boer horses then the wizards die

This is episode 134 - and its going to be a massacre. It is also crucial as you’ve heard that we dig deep into the events because today there’s a huge debate about what I’m going to explain next, what documents still exist about what happened, and who owns what…
3 Sep 31 min

Episode 133 - Umkhandlu long thumb nails and tales of ill-gotten grain

It’s a hot day in northern Zululand, in the Mfolozi River valley, where Dingane’s capital emGungungudlovu was situated. When Piet Retief first met the Zulu king, he failed the grasp the extent to which this man’s authority was was based in what historian John Laband calls a combination of mystical…
26 Aug 26 min

Episode 132 - Piet Retief rides into Natal and land is on the agenda

Just a quick thank you to AJL, as well as Jacque and Nkosinathi for your kind comments and emails - this series is nothing without my wonderful audience. Gangans — which is Khoesan for thank you. Voortrekker leader Piet Retief knew that he had to negotiate for any land in…
20 Aug 23 min

Episode 130 - Piet Uys’ 1820 Settler Bible and the Qadi cut poles

This is episode 130 and the Voortrekkers are moving inexorably towards Natal, where the Zulu king Dingana awaits. At about the same time and as you’ll hear next episode, a large Voortrekker commando of more than 360 Boers, Griqua and the Rolong warriors were going to gather with the intent…
6 Aug 18 min

EPISODE 128 - Dingane smells blood and Retief leads the United Laagers

This is episode 128 and the bell is tolling for Mzilikazi Khumalo of the amaNdebele. We’ll also hear about the introduction of Maize by hunter-traders, and the relationship between Dingane and the Portuguese at Delagoa Bay. A compounding problem for Mzilikazi was how he’d treated the indigenous Sotho speaking people…
23 Jul 24 min
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