Pondoland is the traditional area of the Pondo people, one of the Xhosa speaking peoples. Pondoland area is situated on the South African coast of the Indian Ocean, in the Eastern Cape Province. The boundaries of Pondoland are the Mtamvuna River in the north, which is also the limit between the Eastern Cape Province and Natal (now kwaZulu-Natal Province) and the Mthatha River at the south. The Mzimvubu River divides the area into West Pondoland and East Pondoland. Pondoland lies between the Mthatha River and the Mtamvuna River in the north along a coastal strip that is at a maximum 50 kilometres wide. The area is surrounded by mountains whose main vegetation consisted of thornveld, grassland, as well as subtropical evergreen forests in the wet coastal valleys. Pondoland’s towns are Bizana, Port St Johns, Lusikisiki, Ngqeleni, Tabankulu and Lidobe. Pondoland was separated into seven districts. Eastern Pondoland consisted of four districts: Lusikisiki (Qaukeni) which was and is still regarded as the capital town of Eastern Pondoland, Flagstaff (Spareni), Bizana and Ntabankulu. Western Pondoland consisted of three districts of Ngqeleni, Libode, and Port St Johns (Nyandeni), the capital town of Western Pondoland.

• Badat, S. (2011) the forgotten people: political banishment under apartheid. Jacanda media (PTY) LTD, South Africa.Beinart, W. (1982). The Political Economy of Pondoland 1860-1930. African Studies Series 33. Cambridge University Press.
•  Hammond-Tooke, D. (1964). Chieftainship in Transkcian Political Development. The Journal of Modern African Studies, 2, 4, p513-529.Lodge, Tom. (1979). Poqo and rural resistancein the Transkei, 1960-1965. Collected Seminar Papers. Institute of Commonwealth Studies, 24. pp. 137-147. ISSN 0076-0773 http://sas-space.sas.ac.uk/4074/
•  Kepe, T, and Ntsebeza, L. (2011). Rural Resistance in South Africa: the Mpondo Revolts after Fifty years. African Studies Centre. Brill. LEIDEN. BOSTON. Stapleton, T, J. (2001). Faku: Rulership and colonialism in the mpondo kingdom (c. 1780 – 1867. Wilfrid Laurier University Press.
•  Theal, George, MacCall. (1837). History of South Afrcia from 1873 to 1883, twelve eventful years, with continuation of the history Galekaland, Tembuland, Pondoland, Bathshuanaland until the annexation of those territories of Cape Colony, and the Zululand until its annexation of Natal (1919), London, Allen.
•  Wood, G. (1993). “The Horsemen are coming”: Rethinking the Pondoland Rebellion, Rhodes University: Contree 33.

Last updated : 15-Feb-2016

This article was produced for South African History Online on 22-Nov-2013

Donate with Snapscan
Land: dispossession, resistance and restitution
Land: dispossession, resistance and restitution
Introduction The history of white colonial land dispossession began at the Cape with the expansion of the... more