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Zulu Identities: Being Zulu Past and Present

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Preface: Zuluness in South Africa: From ‘Struggle’ Debate to Democratic Transformation Jabulani Sithole xii Note on Orthography, Translation and Terminology xxi Acknowledgements xxii List of Abbreviations xxiii Frames of Debate 1 1 Introduction: Zuluness in the Post- and Neo-worlds 3 Benedict Carton 2 The Empire Talks Back: Re-examining the Legacies of Shaka and Zulu Power in Post-apartheid South Africa 23 Mbongiseni Buthelezi 3 Reflections on the Politics of Being ‘Zulu’ 35 John Wright Foundations of Zuluness: Iron Age to Late 1800s 45 4 A Brief Archaeology of Precolonial Farming in KwaZulu-Natal 47 Gavin Whitelaw 5 Cattle Symbolism in Zulu Culture 62 W.D. Hammond-Tooke 6 Revisiting the Stereotype of Shaka’s ‘Devastations’ 69 John Wright viii 7 White Myths of Shaka 82 Dan Wylie 8 The Rise and Fall of the Zulu Kingdom 87 John Laband 9 Zulu Nationalist Literary Representations of King Dingane 97 Sifiso Ndlovu 10 A Reassessment of Women’s Power in the Zulu Kingdom 111 Sifiso Ndlovu 11 Enlightenment Theories of Civilisation and Savagery in British Natal: The Colonial Origins of the (Zulu) African Barbarism Myth 122 Jeremy Martens 12 Awaken Nkulunkulu, Zulu God of the Old Testament: Pioneering Missionaries During the Early Age of Racial Spectacle 133 Benedict Carton 13 Faithful Anthropologists: Christianity, Ethnography and the Making of ‘Zulu Religion’ in Early Colonial Natal 153 Benedict Carton 14 ‘Bloodstained Grandeur’: Colonial and Imperial Stereotypes of Zulu Warriors and Zulu Warfare 168 John Laband 15 ‘What Do You Red-Jackets Want in Our Country?’: The Zulu Response to the British Invasion of 1879 177 Ian Knight The Roots of Gathering Struggles: Late Nineteenth Century to Middle Twentieth Century 191 16 Imperial Appropriations: Baden-Powell, the Wood Badge and the Zulu Iziqu 193 Jeff Guy 17 ‘Happy Are Those Who Are Dead’: Crises in African Life in Latenineteenth- century and Early-twentieth-century Colonial Natal 214 John Lambert 18 The American Mission Revivals and the Birth of Modern Zulu Evangelism 222 Robert J. Houle 19 Zulus, African-Americans and the African Diaspora 240 Robert Vinson and Robert Edgar 20 Chiefs, Cattle and ‘Betterment’: Contesting Zuluness and Segregation in the Reserves 250 Aran S. MacKinnon 21 ‘Death is not the End’: Zulu Cosmopolitanism and the Politics of Zulu Cultural Revival 256 Paul la Hausse de Lalouvière 22 The Sport of Zuluness: Masculinity, Class and Cultural Identity in Twentieth-century Black Soccer 273 Peter Alegi 23 Generating Change, Engendering Tradition: Rural Dynamics and the Limits of Zuluness in Colonial Natal 281 Thomas McClendon Hybridities: Customary Traditions, Healing and Spirituality and Contentious Politics 24 Royal Precedents and Landscape Midwives: Claiming the Zululand Wilderness 293 Shirley Brooks 25 Credo Mutwa: New Age Zulu 304 H. Christina Steyn 26 Healing and Harming: Medicine, Madness, Witchcraft and Tradition 312 Karen Flint and Julie Parle 27 Changing Meanings of the Battle of Ncome and Images of King Dingane in Twentieth-century South Africa 322 Jabulani Sithole 28 Chief Albert Luthuli and Bantustan Politics 331 Jabulani Sithole 29 Undivided Loyalties: Inkatha and the Boy Scout Movement 341 Timothy Parsons 30 Shaka’s Aeroplane: The Take-off and Landing of Inkatha, Modern 352 Zulu Nationalism and Royal Politics Thembisa Waetjen and Gerhard Maré 31 The Roots of Violence and Martial Zuluness on the East Rand 363 Philip Bonner and Vusi Ndima 32 Monuments of Division: Apartheid and Post-apartheid Struggles over Zulu Nationalist Heritage Sites 383 Nsizwa Dlamini x 33 Divisions and Realignments in Post-apartheid Zulu Local and National Politics 395 Laurence Piper Symbolisms of Culture 407 34 Beauty in the Hard Journey: Defining Trends in Twentieth-century Zulu Art 409 Fiona Rankin-Smith 35 Ceremonial Beer Pots and their Uses 414 Juliet Armstrong 36 The Secret of Zulu Bead Language and Proportion and Balance of the Zulu Headrest (Isigqiki) 418 Yvonne Winters 37 ‘Where’s it Gone, Freedom?’ Composing Isicathamiya in Post-apartheid South Africa in the Age of 9/11 424 Liz Gunner and Imogen Gunner 38 Zulu Names 439 Adrian Koopman 39 Poetic Masters of Zuluness: The Dhlomo-Vilakazi Literary Debate 449 David Attwell 40 Cry, The Beloved Country: A Murder in Alan Paton’s Country, 1999 464 Jonny Steinberg 41 Failed Experiment? Challenging Homogenous ‘Zululisation’ in South Africa’s Museums: The Case of Sisonke in Natal 476 Nsizwa Dlamini 42 ‘So that I will be a Marriageable Girl’: Umemulo in Contemporary Zulu Society 482 Thenjiwe Magwaza Futures of Zuluness 497 43 Two Bulls in One Kraal: Local Politics, ‘Zulu History’ and Heritage Tourism in Kosi Bay 499 Dingani Mthethwa 44 Claiming Community: Restitution on the Eastern Shores of Lake St Lucia 515 Cherryl Walker xi 45 Virginity Testing: A Backward-looking Response to Sexual Regulation in the HIV/AIDS Crisis 536 Tessa Marcus 46 Nomkhubulwane: Reinventing a Zulu Goddess 545 Michael Lambert 47 AIDS in Zulu Idiom: Etiological Configurations of Women, Pollution and Modernity 554 Suzanne Leclerc-Madlala 48 IsiZulu-speaking Men and Changing Households: From Providers within Marriage to Providers outside Marriage 566 Mark Hunter 49 A Modern Coming of Age: Zulu Manhood, Domestic Work and the ‘Kitchen Suit’ 573 Mxolisi Mchunu 50 Are Zulu Children Allowed to Ask Questions? Silence, Death and Memory in the Time of AIDS 583 Philippe Denis 51 Bulls in the Boardroom: The Zulu Warrior Ethic and the Spirit of South African Capitalism 591 Benedict Carton and Malcolm Draper 52 Zulu Identity in the International Context 606 Bill Freund Credits for Illustrations 613 About the Contributors 616 Index 619 xii
i
Zulu Identities
ii
iii
Zulu Identities
Being Zulu, Past and Present
Edited by
Benedict Carton, John Laband and Jabulani Sithole
iv
Published in 2008 by University of KwaZulu-Natal Press
Private Bag X01
Scottsville 3209
South Africa
E-mail: books@ukzn.ac.za
Website: www.ukznpress.co.za
© 2008 University of KwaZulu-Natal
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any
means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, or recording on any information storage and
retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publishers.
ISBN: 978-1-86914-046-5
Editors: Sally Hines and Alison Lockhart
Typesetting: Patricia Comrie
Cover design: Flying Ant Designs
Indexer: Brenda Williams-Wynn
Printed and bound by
v
For my friend, colleague and mentor, the late Larry Levine.
Benedict Carton
For Fenella, as ever.
John Laband
For Zanele and the children and all those who subscribe to
ethnic and racial tolerance in South Africa.
Jabulani Sithole
vi
vii
Contents
Colour plates fall between pp. ??? and ???
Preface: Zuluness in South Africa: From ‘Struggle’ Debate to
Democratic Transformation
Jabulani Sithole xii
Note on Orthography, Translation and Terminology xxi
Acknowledgements xxii
List of Abbreviations xxiii
Frames of Debate 1
1 Introduction: Zuluness in the Post- and Neo-worlds 3
Benedict Carton
2 The Empire Talks Back: Re-examining the Legacies of Shaka and
Zulu Power in Post-apartheid South Africa 23
Mbongiseni Buthelezi
3 Reflections on the Politics of Being ‘Zulu’ 35
John Wright
Foundations of Zuluness: Iron Age to Late 1800s 45
4 A Brief Archaeology of Precolonial Farming in KwaZulu-Natal 47
Gavin Whitelaw
5 Cattle Symbolism in Zulu Culture 62
W.D. Hammond-Tooke
6 Revisiting the Stereotype of Shaka’s ‘Devastations’ 69
John Wright
viii
7 White Myths of Shaka 82
Dan Wylie
8 The Rise and Fall of the Zulu Kingdom 87
John Laband
9 Zulu Nationalist Literary Representations of King Dingane 97
Sifiso Ndlovu
10 A Reassessment of Women’s Power in the Zulu Kingdom 111
Sifiso Ndlovu
11 Enlightenment Theories of Civilisation and Savagery in British Natal:
The Colonial Origins of the (Zulu) African Barbarism Myth 122
Jeremy Martens
12 Awaken Nkulunkulu, Zulu God of the Old Testament: Pioneering
Missionaries During the Early Age of Racial Spectacle 133
Benedict Carton
13 Faithful Anthropologists: Christianity, Ethnography and the Making
of ‘Zulu Religion’ in Early Colonial Natal 153
Benedict Carton
14 ‘Bloodstained Grandeur’: Colonial and Imperial Stereotypes of Zulu
Warriors and Zulu Warfare 168
John Laband
15 ‘What Do You Red-Jackets Want in Our Country?’: The Zulu
Response to the British Invasion of 1879 177
Ian Knight
The Roots of Gathering Struggles: Late Nineteenth Century to
Middle Twentieth Century 191
16 Imperial Appropriations: Baden-Powell, the Wood Badge and the
Zulu Iziqu 193
Jeff Guy
17 ‘Happy Are Those Who Are Dead’: Crises in African Life in Late-
nineteenth-century and Early-twentieth-century Colonial Natal 214
John Lambert
18 The American Mission Revivals and the Birth of Modern Zulu
Evangelism 222
Robert J. Houle
19 Zulus, African-Americans and the African Diaspora 240
Robert Vinson and Robert Edgar
ix
20 Chiefs, Cattle and ‘Betterment’: Contesting Zuluness and Segregation
in the Reserves 250
Aran S. MacKinnon
21 ‘Death is not the End’: Zulu Cosmopolitanism and the Politics of
Zulu Cultural Revival 256
Paul la Hausse de Lalouvière
22 The Sport of Zuluness: Masculinity, Class and Cultural Identity in
Twentieth-century Black Soccer 273
Peter Alegi
23 Generating Change, Engendering Tradition: Rural Dynamics and the
Limits of Zuluness in Colonial Natal 281
Thomas McClendon
Hybridities: Customary Traditions, Healing and Spirituality and
Contentious Politics 291
24 Royal Precedents and Landscape Midwives: Claiming the Zululand
Wilderness 293
Shirley Brooks
25 Credo Mutwa: New Age Zulu 304
H. Christina Steyn
26 Healing and Harming: Medicine, Madness, Witchcraft and Tradition 312
Karen Flint and Julie Parle
27 Changing Meanings of the Battle of Ncome and Images of
King Dingane in Twentieth-century South Africa 322
Jabulani Sithole
28 Chief Albert Luthuli and Bantustan Politics 331
Jabulani Sithole
29 Undivided Loyalties: Inkatha and the Boy Scout Movement 341
Timothy Parsons
30 Shaka’s Aeroplane: The Take-off and Landing of Inkatha, Modern 352
Zulu Nationalism and Royal Politics
Thembisa Waetjen and Gerhard Maré
31 The Roots of Violence and Martial Zuluness on the East Rand 363
Philip Bonner and Vusi Ndima
32 Monuments of Division: Apartheid and Post-apartheid Struggles
over Zulu Nationalist Heritage Sites 383
Nsizwa Dlamini
x
33 Divisions and Realignments in Post-apartheid Zulu Local and
National Politics 395
Laurence Piper
Symbolisms of Culture 407
34 Beauty in the Hard Journey: Defining Trends in Twentieth-century
Zulu Art 409
Fiona Rankin-Smith
35 Ceremonial Beer Pots and their Uses 414
Juliet Armstrong
36 The Secret of Zulu Bead Language and Proportion and Balance
of the Zulu Headrest (Isigqiki) 418
Yvonne Winters
37 ‘Where’s it Gone, Freedom?’ Composing Isicathamiya in
Post-apartheid South Africa in the Age of 9/11 424
Liz Gunner and Imogen Gunner
38 Zulu Names 439
Adrian Koopman
39 Poetic Masters of Zuluness: The Dhlomo-Vilakazi Literary Debate 449
David Attwell
40 Cry, The Beloved Country: A Murder in Alan Paton’s Country, 1999 464
Jonny Steinberg
41 Failed Experiment? Challenging Homogenous ‘Zululisation’ in
South Africa’s Museums: The Case of Sisonke in Natal 476
Nsizwa Dlamini
42 ‘So that I will be a Marriageable Girl’: Umemulo in Contemporary
Zulu Society 482
Thenjiwe Magwaza
Futures of Zuluness 497
43 Two Bulls in One Kraal: Local Politics, ‘Zulu History’ and Heritage
Tourism in Kosi Bay 499
Dingani Mthethwa
44 Claiming Community: Restitution on the Eastern Shores of
Lake St Lucia 515
Cherryl Walker
xi
45 Virginity Testing: A Backward-looking Response to Sexual Regulation
in the HIV/AIDS Crisis 536
Tessa Marcus
46 Nomkhubulwane: Reinventing a Zulu Goddess 545
Michael Lambert
47 AIDS in Zulu Idiom: Etiological Configurations of Women, Pollution
and Modernity 554
Suzanne Leclerc-Madlala
48 IsiZulu-speaking Men and Changing Households: From Providers
within Marriage to Providers outside Marriage 566
Mark Hunter
49 A Modern Coming of Age: Zulu Manhood, Domestic Work and
the ‘Kitchen Suit’ 573
Mxolisi Mchunu
50 Are Zulu Children Allowed to Ask Questions? Silence,
Death and Memory in the Time of AIDS 583
Philippe Denis
51 Bulls in the Boardroom: The Zulu Warrior Ethic and the
Spirit of South African Capitalism 591
Benedict Carton and Malcolm Draper
52 Zulu Identity in the International Context 606
Bill Freund
Credits for Illustrations 613
About the Contributors 616
Index 619
xii
Preface
Zuluness in South Africa’s Great Debate
and Greater Transformation
JABULANI SITHOLE
Individual historians are conditioned by the assumptions and prejudices
of their own community, whether it is a community of religion, class,
language, race or some combination of two or more of these factors.
That is why their historical account, despite some indisputable
breakthrough achievements, cannot be free from the limitations set on
the authors by their environment.1
THESE WORDS SPURRED the making of Zulu Identities. While the chapters vary as
much in style as in content and analysis, all seek to engage a central aim of our
project: to represent different voices. What we bring together are diverse
interpretations, which we hope will initiate an interdisciplinary dialogue. The three
editors are historians who conceived of Zulu Identities in 2001, when the transition
to democracy was beginning to open educational institutions, as never before, to the
aspirations of scholars who think, speak and write in African languages, among
them isiZulu.
It is notable that the presence of more black intellectuals in South African
universities has not signalled an end to the politics that circumscribed activist
scholarship during the recent decades of mass opposition to white minority rule.
Although there has been a shift to ‘postmodern’ and ‘postcolonial’ interests, a clash
of ideas that once drove anti-apartheid scholarship, the debate between Marxists
and liberals, remains relevant today. In fact this crucial disagreement, as many chapters
in Zulu Identities illustrate, still shapes studies of race, class, gender and ethnicity. In
the 1970s and 1980s, when liberal academics charged that Afrikaner and African
nationalisms (including Zulu nationalism) were stumbling blocks to the emergence
of a ‘free’ capitalist South Africa, they were criticised by neo-Marxists for being
xiii
apologists of the economic system that underpinned apartheid.2 Needless to say, the
neo-Marxist school similarly discounted ‘backward-looking’ racial and tribal
categories, even assailing the homeland-based black businessmen, who espoused a
mixture of chauvinistic Zulu ethnicity and African nationalism, for maintaining ‘social
exploitation of, or social control over, their own people’.3 In this regard the rival
liberal and Marxist camps shared a common belief in the ‘static’ nature of precolonial
social relations. Most important, by rejecting nationalism in general and the profiling
of ethnicity in particular, they effectively discouraged in-depth investigations of cultural
identity.4
Harold Wolpe, Bernard Magubane and Jabulani ‘Mzala’ Nxumalo were among
the first scholars influenced by historical materialism to move beyond the Marxist-
liberal debate.5 Wolpe pointed to one major shortcoming of the neo-Marxist anti-
nationalist view, economic reductionism, which mistakenly emptied the South African
class structure of its racial and ethnic content.6 Instead, he sought to examine the
trajectories of African nationalism, probing the contradictory motives of African
middle classes working within the bantustans who were violently opposed to the
radical liberation movements and who preferred to opt for greater local autonomy.
Wolpe maintained that in the South African apartheid context nationalism could be
both reactionary and progressive.7 Magubane added that in South Africa linkages
between the national and class struggles would remain an ‘indispensable’ reality for
as long as apartheid conditions prevailed. He went on to challenge both the neo-
Marxist and liberal academics to learn more about the African areas they wrote
about but hardly, if ever, visited by venturing outside their comfortable existence and
experiencing daily black realities. He further faulted the neo-Marxists for
romanticising the working class as a progressive force that was impervious to
prejudices that drew on contested ideological, racial and cultural realities in their
own societies.8 ‘Mzala’ Nxumalo called on liberal and neo-Marxist writers to consider
critically the importance of African ethnic identities,9 not as a fiction of the ‘civilising
mission’ or product of ‘divide-and-rule’, but rather as a ‘lived’ entity with linguistic
and customary norms that pre-dated the advent of European colonialism.10
A group of scholars in the late 1970s, who had recently come under the influence
of Shula Marks and Anthony Atmore through their Southern African Societies seminar
series at the University of London (Henry Slater, David Hedges, Philip Bonner and
Jeff Guy), were the first to apply the historical materialist approach to studies of
precolonial southeast African societies.11 Building on these materialist insights during
the 1980s, John Wright and Carolyn Hamilton pioneered studies of Zulu ethnicity
in which they argued that Shaka, the founder of the Zulu kingdom, presided over a
highly stratified and hierarchal society with the king and the royal aristocracy at the
apex.12 Underneath was a three-tiered society whose social status was determined by
the stages at which its members were incorporated into the emerging Zulu state.
They included the amakhosi and iziphakanyiswa (the more important chiefs and
xiv
notables) who were subjugated in the ensuing stages of Zulu expansion. They were
encouraged to align themselves politically with the established Zulu aristocracy and
were made to believe that they had a shared interest in maintaining the existing
social hierarchy.
The next two tiers consisted of the amantungwa and the amalala. The former
supplied the necessary labour to the state, and the Zulu aristocracy encouraged them
to adopt the ntungwa ethnic identity as a means of fostering a sense of belonging. In
time they came to think of themselves as sharing a common origin and culture as the
amantungwa. The last tier was made up of the majority of people who were viewed
as ethnically inferior and referred to in derogatory terms by members of the other
tiers. They were either known as amalala (the menials), the amanhlwenga (the
destitutes), or iziyendane (those with strange hairstyles). These people lived on the
peripheries of the Zulu kingdom and their subjugation was only effected in the final
stages of Shaka’s Zulu expansion.13 Hamilton and Wright, therefore, saw Zulu
ethnicity as a shifting historical force with rational, as opposed to mechanical or
manufactured, components that could be manipulated by African and colonial actors
alike.
Gerhard Maré followed this line of inquiry by exploring how a civil conflict in
Natal and KwaZulu in the 1980s revealed, among other things, the consequences of
the Inkatha Freedom Party’s (Inkatha or IFP) enforced monopolisation of the
construction of patriarchal Zulu culture, which extended the life of a moribund
homeland system while nurturing embryonic violence that threatened political
transition to an inclusive democracy in South Africa.14 Indeed, two decades ago the
mere mention of Zulu politics conjured fears of catastrophic turmoil. Such turmoil
had its origins in one of the most closely observed events at the end of the last
millennium, the escalating apartheid state-sponsored internecine violence between
the IFP, on the one hand, and the United Democratic Front (UDF), the Congress of
South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and, by the early 1990s, their recently
unbanned ally, the African National Congress (ANC)), on the other hand. Wright, in
particular, noted that Western reporters, who ignored the role of ethnicity in their
own societies while reflexively hyping it in South Africa, analysed these clashes as
manifestations of the timeless Zulu warrior spirit, without understanding relations
of power historically. These relations of power reflected multiple Zulu identities,
which in the past and present defied stereotypical characteristics associated with
‘Shaka’s martial nation’.15 Wright’s view found resonance in Hamilton’s publication
on Shaka in the late 1990s.16
For too many reasons to cite here, the imagined racial and/or tribal apocalypse
never occurred. Since the relatively peaceful elections in April 1994, the idea of
national citizenship has gained more and more supporters. In fact, it is enshrined in
a new Constitution that recognises the importance of ethnic identities in the context
of each citizen’s protection against the abuses of ‘tribalism’ and sexism. Yet, in spite
xv
of these legal provisions, some sections of the South African population are still
searching for a way to understand how to reconcile individual human rights with
collective cultural belonging. This is best illustrated in the unfolding drama around
issues of Zulu culture, history and identities that is a direct consequence of recent
legislation, the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act, No. 41 of
2003, which has not only generated fresh political tensions but has also deepened
interest in what it means to be Zulu in early twenty-first-century South Africa.17
In October 2004 President Thabo Mbeki appointed a twelve-member Commission
on Traditional Leadership Disputes and Claims under the leadership of Professor
Thandabantu Nhlapo of the University of Cape Town (hereafter the Nhlapo
Commission) to perform two important tasks.18 They were to investigate the position
of all paramountcies and paramount chiefs that had been in existence and recognised,
and which were still in existence and recognised before the commencement of the
Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act; and to hear more than five
kinds of cases. These were cases where there was doubt whether traditional leadership
was established in accordance with the customary law; cases where the title of an
incumbent traditional leader was challenged; claims by communities to be recognised
as traditional communities; cases questioning whether any establishment of ‘tribes’
was legitimate; disputes around traditional authority boundaries and the resultant
division or merging of ‘tribes’; and other relevant matters.19 The Commission had
received more than 705 countrywide claims and applications by the end of June
2007. Eleven of these were from the KwaZulu-Natal-based amakhosi and their
councils.20
Some of the applicants took advantage of the provisions of the new legislation
and denied ever being subjects of any of the Zulu kings.21 The Hlubi, for example,
went so far as to announce that they were on the verge of developing and codifying
their own distinct ‘isiHlubi’ language.22 Inkosi Melizwe Dlamini also hinted that the
Nhlangwini, too, were in the process of reviving their own language, ‘isiNhlangwini’.
He alleged that it had existed in precolonial southern KwaZulu-Natal before the
missionaries mistook it for a regional variation of isiZulu when they codified the
languages spoken in southeast Africa.23 Other applicants simply maintained that all
they wanted was to rectify the historical distortions that denied that their great-
grandparents were paramount rulers during the precolonial period.24 A few of the
applicants had longstanding disputes with the former homeland ‘elites’, which dated
back to the 1970s and 1980s. They were, therefore, using the provisions of the
Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act to try to put right the wrongs
of the apartheid state and the KwaZulu homeland administration.25
There were mixed reactions to the KwaZulu-Natal applications to the Nhlapo
Commission. Goodwill Zwelithini publicly condemned the submissions, dismissing
them as mischievous challenges, not only to his authority as the Zulu king, but also
to the Zulu nation as a whole. In a show of force, he presided over gatherings at
xvi
Donnybrook, in the vicinity of the Nhlangwini chiefdom, and at Ingwavuma among
the people of Inkosi Mabhudu Israel Tembe. At these gatherings he vowed to deal
with the alleged ‘impostors’.26 He returned to the Ingwavuma area to preside over
the reed dance ceremony within weeks after the first visit.27 Cracks began to show
within the ruling families of both the Nhlangwini and Thonga polities when some
members publicly pledged loyalty to the Zulu monarch shortly after his visits to
their areas.28
The IFP-dominated Provincial House of Traditional Leaders convened two
meetings to mount a campaign to defend the Zulu kingdom on 5 and 11 July 2007.29
These gatherings brought together the former KwaZulu homeland-based allies in
the person of the IFP president, Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi, more than 300 IFP-
aligned amakhosi and their subjects, senior Zulu princes and the Zulu monarch.
They also revived ‘war talk’, which was last witnessed during the peak of violence in
the late 1980s and early 1990s. The king told the meeting at kwaNongoma on 5 July
2007 that he had received numerous calls from his subjects, urging him to let them
have a go at those who were undermining the Zulu kingdom.30 The print media also
reported that senior Prince Reggie suggested that, in order to resolve this matter
once and for all, the king and the Zulu nation should pay a visit to Bergville and
Nhlangwini and to the chiefdoms of the other applicants. He said, to great applause
from the amakhosi present, that he betted that they would all take to the mountains.31
The meeting echoed the king’s view that the applicants were traitors and rebels who
threatened the very existence of the Zulu nation.32
The KwaZulu-Natal government, which had expediently positioned itself as the
new champions of Zulu nationalism when the ANC took control of the province
from the IFP in 2004, also rallied behind the Zulu monarch. On 5 July 2007, Dr
Zweli Mkhize, the ANC’s deputy provincial chairperson, assured the gathering at
kwaNongoma that the laws which the provincial government had passed since 2004
protected the rights of and recognised Goodwill Zwelithini as the only king in the
KwaZulu-Natal province.33 On 19 July 2007, the provincial cabinet issued a statement
in which it reiterated that it recognised Goodwill Zwelithini as the only king in
KwaZulu-Natal.34 Shortly thereafter, the then ANC’s deputy president, Jacob Zuma,
also acknowledged Goodwill Zwelithini as the only recognised monarch in the
province.35 Faced with such powerful forces, six of the eleven amakhosi developed
cold feet and withdrew their applications. Meanwhile four of the five remaining
applicants, Mabhudu Tembe, Melizwe Dlamini, Mboneni Mavuso and Mzondeni
Hlongwane, asked the Nhlapo Commission for ‘personal protection’. They alleged
that they were receiving death threats.36 Just over a month later Professor Nhlapo
and two of his senior commissioners, Professors Jeff Peires and Jan Bekker, resigned.
Nhlapo cited work pressures, as a member of the University of Cape Town’s Executive,
as reasons for his resignation from the Commission.37
xvii
Most of the arguments that the various applicants submitted to the Nhlapo
Commission were not entirely new. When scholars highlighted existing tensions and
contradictions in various parts of the province in the past, the Zulu nationalist
politicians, leaders and activists either ignored them, intimidated authors, or simply
dismissed their views with contempt. Now that the same set of issues has been raised
by fellow amakhosi and their traditional councils, they are deemed subversive. This
is evident in the recent angry responses of both the Zulu monarch and various Zulu
nationalist groups. Patrick Harries, for example, published a journal article shortly
after the beginning of the Ingwavuma land controversy in the early 1980s in which
he highlighted the long-standing contestations over Zulu over-lordship among Tembe
chiefdoms to the north of the Hluhluwe and Mkhuze Rivers.38 Shortly before David
Webster was assassinated, he too wrote a chapter that was published posthumously
in which he mentioned that there were competing Zulu and Thonga ethnic identities
in the Ingwavuma area.39 His chapter drew sharp criticism from Harriet Ngubane
who accused him of political bias because he had alleged that the IFP was imposing
Zuluness on the local population through a campaign of forced recruitment. She
also dismissed his arguments on the grounds of insider knowledge as a person who
was born and raised in the area and on the basis of her vast research experience and
her linguistic abilities and expertise.40
Two of our authors in this volume, Dingani Mthethwa and Mbongiseni Buthelezi,
talk to the same set of issues. Mthethwa, who was born and raised in the Ingwavuma
area like Ngubane, also recounts the dynamic struggles between one of the rival
amakhosi within the Tembe polity and the apartheid state and the KwaZulu homeland
authorities. He concludes that these struggles highlighted the existence of competing
Thonga and Zulu ethnic identities in the area. Buthelezi appears to have anticipated
submissions to the Nhlapo Commission because he, too, questions the simplistic
assumptions that all black people in KwaZulu-Natal are voluntary subjects of the
Zulu king. He uses izibongo to show that the Buthelezi people were forcibly integrated
into the Zulu state against their will and that during this process their history and
heritage were deliberately suppressed and silenced. He therefore argues that the
Buthelezi people should strive for South African citizenship as a more accurate and
collective designation and identity than the Zulu ethnic classification. Fierce
contestation over Zulu history and culture, which speaks directly to the subjects of
the chapters by authors such as Michael Lambert and Suzanne Leclerc-Madlala in
this volume, also unfolded alongside the above disputes over Zuluness and Zulu
identities.
Even a cursory review of the dynamics of Zulu history and identities show that
there is an urgent need for established academic scholars to rejuvenate their intellectual
engagement with Zuluness and for younger scholars to accord this subject new treat-
ment and nuanced understanding. The three editors ensured that an unprecedented
number of Zulu-speaking intellectuals contributed to this volume because we share
xviii
the view that they are in a position to hear things that used to go unheard and, in this
way, they will be able to engage their non-Zulu-speaking counterparts in ways that
were not possible in the past. Zulu Identities has benefited from both the recent
political transformation, as well as the challenges that continue to confront the South
African nation-building exercise. The editors also share the view that the greatest
value of the radical-liberal debate of the past few decades was its ability to foreground
both the political and intellectual concerns in the context of the struggle against
apartheid. However, its tendency to discourage serious enquiry into issues of national
and ethnic identities was one of its major weaknesses. We therefore think that the
defeat of apartheid and the emerging democracy have created openings for scholars
to venture into these fields of enquiry without fearing possible stigmatisation that
such work could have provoked in the past. This, we believe, will free South African
history from its past constraints and prejudices.
Notes
1. M. Wilson and L. Thompson, The Oxford History of South Africa, Volume 1 (Oxford: Clarendon
Press, 1969), p. vi. It is also cited in J. Nxumalo, ‘The National Question in the Writing of South
African History: A Critical Survey of Some Major Tendencies’, Working Paper 22, Faculty of
Technology, The Open University, undated, p. 29.
2. For a brief representation of these views, see M. Legassick, ‘Legislation, Ideology and Economy in
Post-1948 South Africa’, Journal of Southern African Studies (JSAS) 1:1 (October 1974): 5.
3. Ibid.: 7. For similar views on the African middle classes, see also T. Couzens, The New African: A
Study of the Life and Work of H.I.E. Dhlomo (Johannesburg: Ravan Press, 1985), Chapter One.
4. Saul Dubow has recently made a similar point about the liberal and radical scholars. See S. Dubow,
‘Thoughts on South Africa: Some Preliminary Points’, in History Making and Present Day Politics:
The Meaning of Collective Memory in South Africa, ed. Hans Erik Stolten (Uppsalla: Nordic
Africa Institute, 2007), pp. 70 and 72.
5. Harold Wolpe and Bernard Magubane were United States and England based exiled South African
academics who doubled up as political activists. Mzala Nxumalo was a cadre of Umkhonto weSizwe,
and a member of both the ANC and the South African Communist Party. At the time of his death
in 1991 he was studying towards a doctoral qualification with the Open University.
6. H. Wolpe, ‘Race and Class and the National Struggle in South Africa’, in The National Question in
South Africa, ed. M. van Diepen (London and New Jersey: Zed Books, 1988), p. 62; H. Wolpe,
Race, Class and the Apartheid State (London and Paris: James Currey and UNESCO Press, 1988),
p. 33.
7. Wolpe, ‘Race and Class and the National Struggle in South Africa’, p. 57.
8. B. Magubane, ‘Mounting Class and National Struggles in South Africa’, in South Africa: From
Uitenhage to Soweto, ed. B. Magubane (Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 1989), p. 86.
9. Nxumalo, ‘The National Question in the Writing of South African History’, pp. 3, 30–31.
10. The contours of ‘tribal’ community could be clarified further through comparative studies of
neighbouring polities, as in the case of the nineteenth-century Zulu and Swazi kingdoms; see
Nxumalo, ‘The National Question in the Writing of South African History’, p. 33.
11. See H. Slater, ‘Transitions in the Political Economy of South-East Africa before 1840’ (D.Phil.
thesis, University of Sussex, 1976); D.W. Hedges, ‘Trade and Politics in Southern Mozambique and
Zululand in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries’ (Ph.D. thesis, University of London, 1978);
P. Bonner, ‘Classes, the Mode of Production and the State in Pre-colonial Swaziland’, in Economy
xix
and Society in Pre-Industrial South Africa, eds. S. Marks and A. Atmore (London: Longman,
1980); and J. Guy, The Destruction of the Zulu Kingdom: The Civil War in Zululand, 1879–1884
(London: Longman, 1979).
12. C.A. Hamilton, ‘Ideology, Oral Tradition and the Struggle for Power in the Early Zulu Kingdom’
(Masters thesis, University of the Witwatersrand, 1986); J.B. Wright, ‘The Dynamics of Power and
Conflict in the Thukela-Mzimkhulu Region in the Late 18th and Early 19th Centuries: A Critical
Reconstruction’ (Ph.D. thesis, University of the Witwatersrand, 1989).
13. See C. Hamilton and J. Wright, ‘The Making of the Lala: Ethnicity, Ideology and Class-Formation
in a Pre-colonial Context’, unpublished paper presented to the History Workshop, University of the
Witwatersrand, 1984; C. Hamilton and J. Wright, ‘The Making of the Amalala: Ethnicity, Ideology
and Relations of Subordination in a Precolonial Context’, South African Historical Journal 22
(May 1990): 1–32. For a more refined account of the origins and the making of an ideology that
underpinned precolonial Zulu ethnicity, see J. Wright and C. Hamilton, ‘Traditions and
Transformations: The Pongolo-Mzimkhulu Region in the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth
Centuries’, in Natal and Zululand: From Earliest Times to 1910: A New History, eds. A. Duminy
and B. Guest (Pietermaritzburg: University of Natal Press and Shuter & Shooter, 1989), pp. 72–73.
14. G. Maré, Brothers Born of Warrior Blood: Politics and Ethnicity in South Africa (Johannesburg:
Ravan Press, 1992), pp. vii, viii and ix.
15. J. Wright, ‘Reconstituting Shaka Zulu for the Twentieth-Century’, Southern African Humanities
18: 2 (2006): 139–153. See also J. Wright, ‘Reflections on the Politics of Being Zulu’, Chapter 3 in
this volume.
16. C.A. Hamilton, Terrific Majesty: The Powers Shaka Zulu and the Limits of Historical Invention
(Cape Town and Johannesburg: David Philip, 1998), p. 3.
17. Republic of South Africa (hereafter RSA), Government Gazette No. 25855, Volume 462, Traditional
Leadership and Governance Framework Act No. 41 of 2003, 19 December 2003.
18. See Department of Provincial and Local Government (hereafter DPLG), ‘Press Statement on the
Occasion of the Announcement of a “Commission on Traditional Leadership”, Saturday, 16 October
2004’, http://www.thedplg.gov.za (accessed 16 August 2007).
19. RSA, Government Gazette No. 25855, Volume 462, 19 December 2003, Chapter 6, Section 25,
sub-sections (i)–(vi).
20. These applicants were the amaHlubi under the leadership of M.J. Hadebe (Langalibalele Hadebe
II), the amaNgwane of Mzondeni Alfred Hlongwane, the amaNgwane of Mboneni Absolom Mavuso,
the Nhlangwini under Melizwe Zeluxolo Dlamini, the amaThonga under Mabhudu Israel Tembe,
the amaNguni under Mbhekeni Shadrack Ndwandwe, the amaZizi of Mfanafuthi Miya, the
Mngomezulu under S.D. Mngomezulu; and the two Madlala polities under the leadership of Elias
Msomi and Vusimuzi Andries Madlala respectively. See Sunday Tribune, 1 July 2007; Sunday
Times, 8 July 2007; see also ‘Minutes of the AmaHlubi National Committee held in Pietermaritzburg
on 24 April 2004’, http://www.mkhangelingoma.co.za./heritage/national (accessed 13 October 2007);
and ‘ISIZWE SAMAHLUBI, Submission to the Commission on Traditional Disputes and Claims,
July 2004’, http://www.mkhangelingoma.co.za./heritage/historypdf (accessed 16 August 2007).
21. The Mercury,13 July 2007 and Sowetan, 3 August 2007.
22. Isolezwe, 8 August 2007.
23. Author’s conversation with the Inkosi Melizwe Dlamini at Killie Campbell Africana Library (KCAL),
University of KwaZulu-Natal, 19 October 2007.
24. Um-Africa, 13–19 July 2007.
25. Langalibalele II, for instance, who refused to accept the homeland system if it meant inclusion into
KwaZulu put the Hlubi on a collision course with the KwaZulu homeland authorities, which
worsened at the beginning of the 1980s. The KwaZulu homeland government also deposed the
inkosi of the Mngomezulu people named Ntunja (Zondiwe II) because of his opposition to the
apartheid and homeland systems. He was exiled to Swaziland where he died. Other chiefs who
clashed with the KwaZulu homeland authorities were Inkosi Hlongwane of the Amangwane in
Bergville, and the Nkosi Molefe of the Ba Tlokoa in the Nquthu and Mhlabunzima Maphumulo of
the Mkhambathini area. S. Dlamini, ‘Kodwa uShenge wayizondani kangaka inkosi uNtunja?’,
Umafrika, 24–30 August 2007; University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), KCAL, Buthelezi Speeches
(BS), ‘Opening Address by the Chief Executive Officer: The Honourable Umntwana Mangosuthu
G. Buthelezi, Special Session of the Second KwaZulu Legislative Assembly, Bhekuzulu College,
Nongoma, 16 January 1976’; University of Fort Hare (UFH), ANC Archives, Oliver Reginald
xx
Tambo (ORT) Papers, Series C, Box 75, C4.22.1.2b, ‘Speech at the KwaZulu Elections Rally,
Umlazi, 19 February 1978’; Post, 23 March 1978; Sunday Times, 8 July 1979; and J. Sithole,
‘Neither Communists nor Saboteurs: KwaZulu Bantustan Politics’, in South African Democracy
Education Trust, The Road to Democracy in South Africa (1970–1980) (Pretoria: University of
South Africa Press, 2006), pp. 813 and 831–832.
26. Sowetan, 5 and 6 August 2007 and Sunday Times, 5 August 2007.
27. The Mercury, 1 October 2007.
28. Letters to the Editor by Inkosi A. Makhoba, Spokesperson of the Nhlangwini Royal Council, Um-
Afrika, 27 July–2 August 2007; and Mr Noxhaka Dlamini, the head induna of the Nkosi Melizwe
Dlamini, Um-Afrika, 27 July–2 August 2007. See also The Mercury, 23 August 2007 and Isolezwe,
23 Agasti 2007.
29. Sunday Tribune, 8 July 2007; The Mercury, 5 and 13 July 2007 and Sowetan, 11 July 2007.
30. The Mercury, 6 July 2007.
31. Ibid. and Sunday Tribune, 8 July 2007.
32. The Mercury, 5 and 13 July 2007 and Sowetan, 11 July 2007.
33. See The Mercury, 6 July 2007.
34. Sowetan, 20 July 2007.
35. Sunday Tribune, 29 July 2007.
36. Sowetan, 11 October 2007. More groups are pursuing research initiatives which have also grown
out of the desire to make submissions to the Nhlapo Commission. See for example, Siyabonga
Mkhize, ‘Isizwe sabaMbo’, unpublished draft document, September–October 2007.
37. See Daily Dispatch, 29 November 2007.
38. P. Harries, ‘History, Ethnicity and the Ngwavuma Land Deal: The Zulu Northern Frontier in the
Nineteenth-Century’, Journal of Natal and Zulu History (1983): 19.
39. D. Webster, ‘Abafazi baThonga Bafihlakala: Ethnicity and Gender in a KwaZulu Border Community’,
in eds. A.D. Spiegel and P.A. McAllister, Tradition and Transition in Southern Africa: Festschrift
for Philip and Iona Mayer (Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press, 1991), pp. 243–271.
40. H. Ngubane, ‘A Review of David Webster’s: Abafazi baThonga Bafihlakala’ in Agenda: A Journal
about Women and Gender 13 (1992): 70–74.
xxi
Note on Orthography, Translation
and Terminology
ISIZULU ORTHOGRAPHY IS a subject of ongoing debate. Since there is no equivalent
language institution, like the French Académie Française, overseeing the uniformity
of isiZulu, the reader should expect some fluidity in the linguistic dimensions of
‘Zuluness’. In this book we have endeavoured to use recent spellings of isiZulu terms,
though different renderings of place names, for example, Umfolozi and Mfolozi,
may appear in chapters. Where there are quoted archival sources using an older
orthography, we have not changed the original words. Some authors’ isiZulu-to-
English translations may not accord with readers’ understandings of isiZulu. We
have checked all translations, particularly idiomatic expressions, with a number of
expert mother-tongue speakers and writers of isiZulu. At the same time, we feel that
slightly variant translations are inevitable; they reflect how a predominantly ‘oral’
language embodies long-standing performance traditions such as praise poetry that
shift over time and adjust to new audiences. Finally, the reader may note that authors
use a range of terms to describe ‘Zulu’ people (i.e., amaZulu, isiZulu-speaking
Africans, isiZulu speakers, and so forth). There is considerable disagreement over
what defines a Zulu person and Zulu polity. Indeed, one of the organising themes of
this volume probes that very question.
xxii
Acknowledgments
THIS VOLUME WOULD not have been possible without the vision and commitment
of our contributors. We, the editors, thank them. Our families and colleagues have
supported us during the long journey that culminated in Zulu Identities. To them,
we express our deepest appreciation. Along the way, Mike Kirkwood intervened
with crucial conceptual advice. From start to finish, we were fortunate to work with
publisher Glenn Cowley and the superb professionals of the University of KwaZulu-
Natal Press. In particular, Trish Comrie and Alison Lockhart moulded a huge
manuscript into a beautiful book. Finally, we owe an especial debt of gratitude to
editor Sally Hines, whose insight and perseverance made Zulu Identities a reality.
xxiii
Abbreviations
ABM American Board Mission or American Board of Commissioners
for Foreign Missions
ACC African Congregational Church
ACCLA Advisory Committee on Land Allocation
ACU African Christian Union
AICs African Independent Churches
AME African Methodist Episcopal (Church)
ANC African National Congress
AZM American Zulu Mission
BC black consciousness
BEE black economic empowerment
BMSC Bantu Men’s Social Centre
CCP Central Cattle Pattern
CMS Christian Missionary Society (British)
COSAS Congress of South African Students
COSATU Congress of South African Trade Unions
CRLR Commission on Restitution of Land Rights
DACST Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology
DDAFA Durban and District African Football Association
DDNFA Durban and District Native Football Association
DLA Department of Land Affairs
DRLA Department of Regional and Land Affairs
EIA Environmental Impact Assessment
FOSATU Federation of South African Trade Unions
GDTA Germiston and District Taxi Association
GPS Global Positioning Satellite
GSLWP Greater St Lucia Wetland Park
ICU Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union
IEC Independent Electoral Commission
IFP Inkatha Freedom Party
xxiv
Inkatha Inkatha Yenkululedo Yesiwe
IYB Inkatha Youth Brigade
KATO Katlehong Taxi Association
KBNR KwaZulu Bureau of Natural Resources
KLA KwaZulu Legislative Assembly
KMC KwaZulu Monuments Council
KZN KwaZulu-Natal
LAPC Land and Agricultural Policy Centre
LSDI Lubombo Spatial Development Initiative
MAWU Metal and Allied Workers’ Union
MK Umkhonto weSizwe
NAA Native Administration Act
NAC Native Appeals Court
NAD Native Affairs Department
NC Native Commissioner
NEC National Executive Committee (of the ANC)
NGO non-governmental organisation
NNC Natal Native Congress
NP National Party
NPA Natal Provincial Administration
NPB Natal Parks Board
NSCA Native Service Contract
NUMSA National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa
PAC Pan-Africanist Congress
PLAAS Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies
RBM Richards Bay Minerals
RLCC Regional Land Claims Commissioner
RTV Rural Television Network
SABC South African Broadcasting Company
SACP South African Communist Party
SADF South African Defence Force
SANNC South African Native National Congress
SASA South African Scout Association
SASCO South African Students Congress
SNA Secretary for Native Affairs
TNC Transvaal Native Congress
TRC Truth and Reconciliation Commission
UDF United Democratic Front
UNNACI United Native National Association of Commerce and Industry
UWUSA United Workers’ Union of South Africa
WDAFA Witwatersrand and District African Football Association
xxv
ZCC Zulu Congregational Church
ZEAL Zululand Environmental Alliance
ZNA Zulu National Association
xxvi
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Thesis
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This dissertation examines the struggle for power in the Zulu kingdom during the reign of Shaka. It traces both the territorial growth of the kingdom and transformations within Zulu society. Its primary aim is to overcome two significant limitations of earlier studies: their focus on achievement and conquest history; and their assertion that military system introduced by Shaka saw the extensive appointment of commoners to important offices and positions of authority. Both of these notions owe much to the nature of the available evidence, being largely oral traditions, understood to be the history of the society’s rulers. Through the development of methods of analysts of oral traditions which take cognizance of their fundamentally ideological character, this study focuses on social stratification in the Zulu Kingdom: on the emergence of a closed and privileged ruling elite and on the creation of a subordinate group of super-exploited tributaries, denied the rights and benefits of full Zulu citizenship. This perspective reveals the struggles surrounding the establishment of Zulu dominance and illuminates the history of resistance to Zulu overrule.
Article
The image of Shaka as one of the Great Men of southern African history was in essence a product of political struggles in the era of colonialism. Black people and white people alike were responsible for producing it. It began to take root after about 1840, and became widespread in southern Africa and elsewhere in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In the period of anti-apartheid struggles after World War II it was uncritically taken up and reinforced by liberal and radical academics, by African nationalists, and especially by Zulu nationalist politicians. In the 1980s and early 1990s the figure of Shaka the Mighty became a central icon in the ideology of Zuluism. The end of apartheid and the establishment of formal democratic rule in South Africa in 1994 led to an unexpectedly rapid decline of Zulu nationalism and, concomitantly, to a rapid fall-off in meaningful invocations of Shaka as a Mighty figure. In the early twenty-first century the most active proponents of what are increasingly anachronistic ideas about Shaka the Mighty are operatives in KwaZulu-Natal's rapidly expanding heritage and tourism industries.
Article
BLDSC reference no.: D19517/77. Thesis (doctoral)--University of Sussex, 1977.