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Discussions related to the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879
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Alan
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1404
Location: Wales
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Johnny,

from my point of view a photograph which indicates where the Phase 1 of the 'development'
is to be situated relative to the hill and battlefield area would be very helpful. If you know
where Phase 2 is to go, that would also be interesting.

As the information in the proposals states that there will also be within 15 years, the first
Zulu City to be built since majority rule, the site for that would also be interesting.

I have given up all hope that the proposals will be acceptable to all parties and even any
political unity will no doubt be outlived by these structures.

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Johnny Hamman


Joined: 11 Feb 2006
Posts: 208
Location: Dundee, KZN
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Gladly, Alan. PM me an email address I can sent it to, as I have no idea how to post it on the forum anymore...

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Johannes N. (Johnny) Hamman (KZN 0897)
Treasurer of the KZN Tour Guide Association Battlefields Region
History's Walk Battlefield Tours
Dundee
KZN
"Where Past and Present comes together..."
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Now a foregone conclusion
Alan
Site Admin

Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1404
Location: Wales
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I have all along had misgivings about the possible creation of a visitor centre at Isandlwana
specifically with the emphasis on the Zulu perspective. Of course we all appreciate that the
invasion of Zululand should not have taken place. It wasnít sanctioned by the British government.
Any interest in the war has always been focused on the individual participants.

After the crushing and humiliating defeat at Isandhlwana, the British could do nothing but retain
their prestige by seeing it through to the bitter end. Since that war, relations between the two
main participants has developed into one of a strong respect and friendship.

The memorials on the British side took the form of monuments to the participants with
the majority of markers taking the form of cairns of stone, which since then, have been painted
white. As the masonry monuments go, they are very discreet only having any prominence
because of the open landscape in which they are placed. It was not a Zulu tradition to erect
similar memorials to their dead.

Now, 140 years after the event, it appears that the Zulu nation wants to make its own
public statement on the battle by building a specifically Zulu themed Cultural Centre. In the
leaflet I have seen, this development is quite extensive, incorporating commercial
campsite, Conference/Craft Centre/Exhibition Foyer. The site is entirely outside of the
fence set by AMAFA as the boundary of the battlefield, but is clearly on the battlefield of
22nd January 1879. Itís almost impossible to locate the development site in the images
either from the satellite image or the diagram, both having different orientations.
All this is to be followed by the creation of a City within 15 years, the
first since
majority rule. Maybe earmarked as the Capital in the event of independence

All this is phase 1. Phase 2 will include Guesthouses, Commercial hub, craft stalls and other
related businesses. There is nothing discreet about any of this. The image of His Majesty
King Zwelithini features on many of the pages does nothing to dispel a suspicion that
politics is playing a major part in this whole project.

You may suspect that Iím not over keen on this scheme. I know of no one who is. Some of
those who would, Iím sure, have had an opinion one way or the other such as David Rattray,
Rob Gerrard and Ken Gillings or Ron Lock, are no longer with us. Many current historians
have expressed their opposition to the scheme and many of the knowledgeable
expert contributors to this forum no longer involve themselves. Iím afraid that this
development will put a cap on any future visits to the area I would have contemplated.
I feel that the battlefield has been adopted purely as a symbol of Zulu resistance
against colonial aggression. Even the mountain has been deemed as sacred by King Zwelithini
whose picture is on many of the leafletís pages. The sprawling gaudiness would spoil my
long held deep feelings of respect for all of those who participated in the battle and
the war. Iím only pleased that my many visits were not affected by other peopleís own
agendas and Iíll retain the simple respectful feelings I hold.

I see a real change from commemoration of the events to celebration. After 140 years of
reconciliation and friendship and without any influence from all other parties, there is a risk
of appearing to be a change to triumphalism.



Anyone wanting a copy of the PDF of details for the development, please contact me: [email protected]

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Johnny Hamman


Joined: 11 Feb 2006
Posts: 208
Location: Dundee, KZN
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Alan,

My apologies, i have been away for some time. We are getting a bit thin on the ground here. There had most certainly not one brick been put on top of another at that site at Isandlwana. I will get some fresh pics next week, but the status quo is unchanged. Not a single local knows what is going to happen there, or even when. I spoke to Lindizwe Ngobese two weeks ago, and he just laughed. Will corner him again next week. I have not had eyes on any written plans re this "development", but up until today nothing had transpired. There are conflicting opinions re that so-called grave site, and I will try and get to the bottom of this. I am of the opinion that these "war graves" post date the battle, and belong to the community. My single reason for this is the fact that when remains of war dead had been found (John Young can attest to this re Colour Sgt. Keane) they had been in small pieces, very brittle, and almost black with age. But, again, that is just me....

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Johannes N. (Johnny) Hamman (KZN 0897)
Treasurer of the KZN Tour Guide Association Battlefields Region
History's Walk Battlefield Tours
Dundee
KZN
"Where Past and Present comes together..."
View user's profileSend private messageSend e-mailVisit poster's website
Breaking News: Isandlwana Lodge is no more...
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