Bambatha Rebellion 1906

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In mid 1906, the Natal colonialist in the face of rising Zulu resentment against the imposition of a 'Poll Tax' unleashed one of the most brutal and bloody armed campaign to suppression the challenge to British colonial rule. The protest and subsequent armed rebellion against the tax has become popularly know as the Bambatha/Bambatha* Rebellion after Chief Bambatha kaMancinza, head of the Zondi, a Zulu clan that lived in the Mpanza Valley in the Greytown district. Chief Bambatha, with the support of other chiefs in the area, refused to accept a new tax that was being implemented by the colonial administration. Together with a small group of supporters, he launched a series of attacks against the colonial forces, using the Nkandla Forest as a base. The campaign, later known as the Bambatha Rebellion, culminated in a pitched battle against the colonial forces at Mome Gorge, where Bambatha and his followers were finally defeated. In general terms, the Rebellion was a response to the harsh policies that the Zulu population was subjected to by the colonial administration in Natal, as well as a number of other contributing factors.

Please note that the spelling of Bambatha varies from source to source. The spelling Bhambada and Bhambatha are also used.

Last updated : 19-Apr-2016

This article was produced for South African History Online on 21-Mar-2011

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