Episode 96 – A “bipolar” Shaka hunts down and exterminates Sikhunyane’s Ndwandwe

We’re dealing with the period 1826 to 1828 and southern Africa was a rich patchwork of expanding trekboers, Shaka setting up his empire in Zululand, the Khoe and basters traveling and raiding along the Orange River, and the amaNdebele on the move into the highveld.

Of course 1826 was not a great year if you were Lord Charles Somerset, who was hastened home after his administration been scrutinized with an intense scrute, to quote Spike Milligan.

Lord Bathurst had setup the Advisory Council in Cape Town, a kind of forerunner to a cabinet, and the days of the Governor merely printing his edicts as law were over.

The council then approached a rather thorny problem of creating a separate council for the Eastern districts, the Eastern cape so to speak. But they held off for the meantime – at least until after slavery was abolished.

The new lieutenant Governor replacing Somerset was Bourke who waved Lord Charles off in March 1826 to the relative peace at Brighton back in England. The need for a resident authority further east, along the frontier, was met in a while by a compromise. That was when Dutch speaking Andries Stockenstrom landdrost of Graaff-Reinet, was appointed Commissioner-General at Grahamstown, and was to report on all the affairs of the eastern districts .. including Beaufort West in the Karoo.
Farewell along with Henry Francis Fynn Fynn who had taken a liking to Shaka. They spent months hunting elephants, and had bagged a fortune in ivory. Life was hard for the settlers here in the early days of Natal, but the rewards were vast.

James Saunders King had rented the Mary, which he’d now managed to wreck, but he was not alone on that humid beach in October. Swimming alongside him were Nathanial Isaacs and Charles Rawden Maclean.

Isaacs is an entire podcast series himself, and I said we’d be hearing a lot more from him and here he is. Nathanial Isaacs’ stories about Shaka would form the core narrative of the Shaka mythology, and some of his comments actually still appear in school text books. It’s been a long road to weed out this teenager’s overwritten memories from our consciousness. But he was quite an interesting chap nevertheless.
11 Dec 2022 English South Africa History · Places & Travel

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