The Battle of Blood River

Date: 16 December, 1838

On 16 December 1838 the Battle of Blood River took place near the Ncome River in KwaZulu Natal. The Battle of Blood River was between the Voortrekkers under the leadership of Andries Pretorius and the Zulu's under the leadership of Dingane the Zulu King.

About 10 000-20 000 Zulu warriors led by Dingane's generals Dambuza (Nzobo) and Ndlela kaSompisi attacked the Voortrekkers, but the 470 Voortrekkers, with the advantage of gun powder, warded them off.

The battle began at dawn and was over by midday. More than 3000 Zulu casualties were counted around the laager. Only, 3 Voortrekkers (including Voortrekker leader Pretorius) were wounded, none were killed. The Ncome River became red with the blood of the slain. Hence the river became known as "Blood River".

References

  • South African Government Information, (2013), The Day of Reconciliation from South African Government Information, 5 February, [online], Available at www.info.gov.za [Accessed: 25 November 2013]
  • Muller, C.F.J. (ed)(1981). Five Hundred years: a history of South Africa; 3rd rev. ed., Pretoria: Academica, p. 166.
  • Potgieter, D.J. et al. (eds)(1970). Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa, Cape Town: NASOU, v. 2, p. 377.
  • Reader's Digest. (1988). Illustrated History of South Africa: the real story, New York: Reader's Digest Association, pp.119 & 121.
  • Re-Interpretation of the Battle of Ncome (Blood River). Departments Arts and Culture [Online]. Available at: anglo.50megs.com [Accessed 01 October 2009].