Zulus and the Boer War

Jabulani Maphalala recalls the calamatious effects of a white man’s war on the Zulu people caught between them.

The Anglo-Boer War is often described as ‘a domestic quarrel of the white people’, as the two independent Boer republics (the South African Republic or Transvaal and the Orange Free State Republic) in the north fought against Great Britain and its two colonies (the Cape Colony and Natal) in the south of what in 1910 became known as South Africa. The African people, including the Zulu people, had long been subjugated. They had no right to vote, and resided in the ‘native reserves’, on farms of the white people and on Crown land in Natal. Their involvement in the hostilities was not of their own choosing.

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