Bhambatha

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For other articles named Bhambatha, see Bhambatha (disambiguation).

Bhambatha (on the right) with an attendant.

Bambata or Bambatha kaMancinza (ca. 1860–1906?), also known as Mbata Bhambatha, was a Zulu chief of the amaZondi clan in the Colony of Natal and son of Mancinza. He is famous for his role in an armed rebellion in 1906 when the poll tax was raised from a tax per hut to per head (£1 tax on all native men older than 18 - infamously called ukhandampondo) increasing hardship during a severe economic depression. Bhambatha claims that he was told to lead an armed rebellion by the de facto Zulu King Dinizulu. Dinizulu disputed this account and no convincing evidence for either story is available.[1]

Early years[edit]

Bamatha was born in 1865 or 1866 in Mpanza near the town of Greytown, Natal Colony. He was the son of Chief Macinza sometimes called Macinga of the abakwa Zondi chieftaincy, and his mother, principal wife of Macinza, was the daughter of Chief Phakade of an important Zulu chieftaincy, the Cunu.[2]

The rebellion[edit]

Bhambatha is famous for his role in an armed rebellion in 1906 when the poll tax was raised from a tax per hut to per head (£1 tax on all native men older than 18 - infamously called ukhandampondo) increasing hardship during a severe economic depression.

The Natal Police believed Bhambatha was going to resist the tax with force and sent about 150 men to arrest him. Instead the police were ambushed and four policemen killed. Thousands of colonial troops were then sent after him, including cavalry and heavy artillery, leading to 3,500 dead. Bhambatha himself reportedly was killed in the Battle of Mome Gorge. He is often credited as an inspiration to native South African resistance and as a precursor of the anti-apartheid movement.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ P. S. Thompson, ‘Bambatha ka Mancinza (1865/6–1906)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Oct 2006 accessed 16 Sept 2015
  2. ^ "Chief Bhambatha kaMancinza Zondi | South African History Online". www.sahistory.org.za. Retrieved 2015-09-19. 
  3. ^ "The Bambatha Rebellion". www.greytown.co.za. Retrieved 2015-09-19.