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Discussions related to the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879
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Colin


Joined: 22 Nov 2017
Posts: 93
Location: U.K.
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John - Thanks, yes, I'm meaning well into the future, probably decades.

Are all of the cairns down the Fugitives' Trail also protected from any future removal ? Future again meaning many years away ?
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John Young


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 956
Location: Lower Sheering, Essex
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Colin,

I’m not privy to full details of the future developments. The people to contact would be KwaCulture via their website.

I would not expect to receive a rapid response though, I wrote them on another matter in February and as yet I have not received a reply.

JY
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Isandlwana from my perspective
Paul Lamberth


Joined: 03 Sep 2005
Posts: 37
Location: Rorke's Drift KZN South Africa
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For the record I support any improvement that will or will not attract more interest…i.e. a tarred access road…more busses, more jobs. New centres, facilities, etc. including monuments in any form…i.e. amphitheatre.The title of this post “Politics around Isandlwana” appears to be one sided that being as apposed. Given the history centred around this significant event and the reasoning why it (AZW) took place one should take an understanding from both sides. One could debated it took 120 years before anything of significance was seen from a Zulu account…’the monument'. Then, there are the flags on site that fly at equal status. South Africa is a new democracy and defining heritage plays an important role. It is my opinion that to date a strong movement went towards a people who were excluded by previous regimes and rightfully so must be corrected. Rhodes was also seen from a different side which resulted in pain and suffering…he provoked a war. Also reflected of recent, Black South Africans (SANLC) who died during the ‘Great War’ i.e. the sinking of SS Mendi (607 lost), Delville Wood (Whites only?), and buried at Arque-la-Bataille (Blacks only?). The stigma attached must be removed consolidating the county's diversity and bring South Africans together. Therefor, what ever is proposed for Isandlwana is not important. What is important South Africans will decide whats best and I am confident it will be carried out in a responsible manor.
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Alan
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1371
Location: Wales
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That's quite a response Paul.

The title was mine since it appears that the politicians are latching on to the significance of the site
to the Zulu population. The fear that has been expressed on this site is that being a joint subject of
interest, it has many people who feel they ought to be consulted. If you feel that the matter is totally a
matter for South Africans, which I'm not convinced, you're saying that the British should not be involved?
There seems to be a hint of the same thing that's happening here, rewriting history to exclude
the aspects which are not politically correct.

Would you be affected the increased commercialization within the proposals?

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Correus


Joined: 22 Feb 2008
Posts: 5
Location: Kansas USA
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Hello from across the pond - Kansas to be precise.

I haven't visited this forum for quite some time and when I do it's just to read, observe and learn.

This morning an apeal in regard to the Isandlwana development showed up in my "In box" so I figured I'd read through it.

In all honesty the first thing that came to mind is that I do not live in South Africa - so why should anyone there listen to me. As for the ties the active members of this forum have to the battlefield, and the war itself, do merit at least an opinion that should be considered if for no other reason than out of respect.

Here in the US we have had issues similar to this in the past and probably will still have them in the future. All one has to do is look at the controversy surround the encroachments surrounding the Gettysburg battlefield.

Some of you may also be aware of the fact that many aspects of our history here in the US is being eradicated. Our history is forcibly being rewritten whether we like it or not. Statues and monuments of all kinds are being removed and/or destroyed, all in the name to rewrite or sweep away those parts of our history certain groups find offensive or oppressive.

I live in the middle of the US and there isn't anything I can do to stop what's going on other than voice my opinion. Even when I, and thousands of voices like mine, cry out those cries fall on deaf ears. The powers that be do not want to hear it and have an agenda.

I'm not responsible for what happened in the past, yet it is my history - good or bad. I am tired though of being held accountable for what happened in the past and I'm tired of my history being destroyed. Many times I honestly think that it is being done out of spite as well as a way for certain groups to say "take that you evil, Anglo-Saxon, white male".

I feel that South Africa is going through growing pains and that its "powers that be" have their agenda as well.

I, personally, don't care much for what is happening near the battlefield, even though the development isn't within the actual perimeter. I also think that this is being done to make a point and that point is something along the lines of "you do not own us nor do you rule over us". I also think it's being directed towards the Western world specifically. I also think that the more the Western world pushes against this the more they are willing to push foward with it.

I do feel like the British government, as well as the US, are being cowards by not addressing the situations. No matter how much history may hurt it is still our history and it SHOULD NOT be allowed to be rewritten just to appease the feelings of today. Our collective history - good or bad - needs to be preserved for our future.

I, personally, don't care much for a lot of things going on in South Africa right now. Yet I realize I do not live there so why should I even have a say about it and why should anyone even listen to me.

Just my thoughts and opinions - not that they matter much

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Larry
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Paul Lamberth


Joined: 03 Sep 2005
Posts: 37
Location: Rorke's Drift KZN South Africa
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Alan with all due respect my point is to create an understanding that all should be invloved/approached. I have visited several historical sites through out the world and by comparison I would say that Isandlwana stands out as being sincere and well presented. We should be thankfull for that. Will it change? I dought it very much. Can it improve? Most certainly. Given the sites history I would say that it has improved over the years and most instances for the better. So therefor what ever plans are suggested for future expantion I have confidence that it will done in a manner that will not disregard the past...including the ‘British’ as you pointed out. Exactly who will be consulted is any ones guess. If you have concerns I would suggest you contact Amafa. SA has heritage legistlation which devines what can be done and includes the country as a whole...not specific sites.
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Alan
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1371
Location: Wales
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Paul, I wish I had your confidence in the powers that be doing 'what is right'.

South Africa is a fledgling democracy which is still finding its feet. Part of that process is to assert itself
and the aspects of its history of which it is rightly proud. It will of course be selective and there are
many events on both sides of the argument which will want to be forgotten or at least seen in a better
light.

The fear that many of us have is that the pace of these changes and the reasons for them is
proceeding at such a pace and is being actioned without due consultation, irrevocally.

Of course it is up to the South African people to map out there future but for the sake of diplomacy,
truth and reconciliation, consideration should be given to all sides.

Incidentally, there are sections within SA politics which want greater consideration to these
matters. I also hear, please correct me if I'm wrong, that another palace is being build in the
location?

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John Young


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 956
Location: Lower Sheering, Essex
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Paul,

Why bother AMAFA? When all of the developments are outside of their area of control.

The lottery/provincial government sponsored visit last year to the U. K. that was coordinated by KwaCulture was not without political overtones. When I suggested the attendance of a member of the Zulu Royal House should be considered, I was questioned as to their political affiliation. I asked why that was significant, surely what was more important was the role of that person’s forebears in the Zulu War, the answer came not in this case.

I have little doubt that KwaCulture has a political bias and agenda having spoken at length with a representative of that body. Personally I would prefer an apolitical approach with fear or favour and the involvement of all not the selected few.

I was honoured to support the visit of Queen Mantfombi, along with other members of the Zulu Royal House and their accompanying entourage. Should I be asked I willingly give of my time and effort to support further KwaCulture projects planned for 2019. My issue with KwaCulture - which Gugu is fully aware of - is the siting of the buildings of the cultural centre on such a pivotal section of the Isandlwana battlefield, and that due difference is given to the men who fought and died there on 22nd January 1879.

I welcome the employment opportunities and facilities that the developments at and around Isandlwana will bring, provided that is it benefits and employs the local population.

Just my stance on the matter.

John
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Alan
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1371
Location: Wales
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Having checked on the KwaCulture site, I'm left with a Disneyland impression on a serious international subject.
http://kwaculture.org.za/index.php/Isandlwana/

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Colin


Joined: 22 Nov 2017
Posts: 93
Location: U.K.
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Alan - is that seriously what they are going to do ?

Actually, given those images and the writing below, I can see what is being done and why...literally.

It reminds me of other situations to do with battlefields, where the victors are concerned, obviously a far more modern take on decisions made further back in history.

I can see also why it is being done the way it is and how it has been represented, and if the massive statue in the centre is a definite addition too, then my thoughts are confirmed.

Do I disagree with it ? As mentioned, my concerns are for our dead still there on the battlefield, whereas if they had been removed after the campaign and re buried in Natal, etc., the battlefield would be bare ground with the mountain having to remain the most significant memory of those who fell, which can't be moved by either side, dominating the land.

However, I don't like the idea of our dead and the battlefield as presently remembered, being put in an invisible but very solid display case like so many collectibles to show off, not for their heroism, but apparently as a representation of what was known as the British Empire back then, and how it was defeated at that very point.

I'd very much like to see a 3D model of the full development planned, to see if it is how I truly imagine, and why its location.

My opinion doesn't count a jot, I know nothing of all the machinations at work, I only want to see and understand what is happening.
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John Young


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
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Location: Lower Sheering, Essex
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I forget at this time who said it, but there is a phrase that says it all.

Let the mountain be their monument.
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Alan
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1371
Location: Wales
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Obviously it wasn't one of the committee who are pressing for this mess.

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Paul Lamberth


Joined: 03 Sep 2005
Posts: 37
Location: Rorke's Drift KZN South Africa
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Agree John ad mentionedAmafa is the custodian of a defined heritage site. What ever happens on the outside has nothing to do with them. A lodge over looking the site is an example. If I want to build a ‘Palace’ so be it as long as I comply. Therefor I am aware of concerns should I be worried no. With regards to what happens on the out side there is no discussion...they can paint it pink orbuild it out of carboard who am I to say what others want to do... build a palace thats your choice I say thats madness youhave more money than sence. The ‘King’ is a normal person/citizen and can what he wants within the laws of the country...I whish I had the money and I would build a lodge on top of Inyoni what a view.
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Johnny Hamman


Joined: 11 Feb 2006
Posts: 190
Location: Dundee, KZN
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Good evening, gents,

I have followed this discussion with some interest, and having spoken with james v Vuuren at AMAFA, registering my disquiet at the developments, this is what he had to say:

Thank you for the comments. While I think this horse has bolted, I have taken some time to provide a little perspective.
This is a complex case that has its roots infunding secured by the Province some time ago. Unfortunately Amafa was bypassed as a beneficary of that funding. Firstly, our understanding is that this will be a royal facility with accomodations for His Majesty. Its primary role will be to allow for the symbolic calling together of amabutho.
1. The original development, backed by the national Dept Arts and Culture was to take place on the battlefield and was to include 5 m statues of all the Zulu heroes, at various points on the battlefield. There were to be golf cart roads criss-crossing the site along a multide of paved tracks. A subsurface auditorium etc was envisaged. Amafa, using the principle of minumum impact, fought this, much to the disagreement of our political and departmental pricipals, who saw our reaction as being driven by a Eurocentric view. While I myself am sympathetic to the generally held view that a battlefield should be kept fairly pristine, that view does run contrary to what many of our fellow KZN citizens deem to be appropriate - that the site should be used to celebrate a Zulu victory, NOT a British defeat. As such, the terms of conservation should be driven by the majority. The meritas of the argument are up for arguement, but in other areas we have seen the hopeless failure of conservation, when imposing models that exclude the majority from experiencing the sites/conservation areas, as they would want to. The King has declared Isandlwana a Holy Mountain, and it is short sighted to not take his own interest in the site into account, because, along with that interest is a massive following of his subjects, many of whom reside in the area, and would be potential conservation allies, rather than resentful bystanders.
2. It must be noted that the concerns expressed by Amafa and the tour guide contingent have been posted to the heritage impact assessment process. The result was that the developement on the actual battlefield proclamation area was shelved and a decision to move the development outside of the area controlled by Amafa, was made. There are various other items of legislation that still need to be satisfied, inlcuding NEMA, that requires a full environmental impact assesment to any development abutting a nature reserve (Which luckily, through the work of Amafa, Isandlwana, is.) In addition, in 2016/17, all the major stakeholders, including guides, invited through the KZNTGA, were notably absent from the public meetings designed to develop the Isandlwana Integrated Management Plan, that would articulate public sentiment and dictate what activities would be appropriate at the site. My recollection is that only Ken and a rep from the SAMH attented. That plan is now signed off by the MEC.
3. The process has moved outside the realm of Amafa's mandate, which is the proclaimed area, which we have protected. The correct space to lodge objection was the NEMA process, administered by DEA. All were well advertised in various media. If you feel the public participation processes designed to capture your positions, has failed you, I urge you to use whatever means you deem necessary to bring this to the attention of the appropriate authority. Amafa fought a lonely battle at the time to do what it could to protect the area covered by its mandate.
4. My own view is, that carefully managed, this project has the potential to improve visitor experiences at Isandlwana, and open the site to a broader target, which ulimately benefits the tourism indistry. It is clear that the battlefields overseas market is saturated and unlikley to increase, (probably decrease as military history enthusiasts reach for more recent sites tangible to memory). As tour guides, a more conciliatory approach to this project, making allowance for the wishes of the king, would enable your concerns to reach more sympathetic ears. Partnering with the project will allow you to influence it.
I am always open to hear your comments and opininions and will do my best to see they are passed on to the correct offices.

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Johannes N. (Johnny) Hamman
History's Walk
Dundee
KZN
"Where Past and Present comes together..."
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Alan
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1371
Location: Wales
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What tangled web we weave. It's difficult to see through the fog here. One thing that is missing or
I've not found, is the input from the losers of the battle.

Is there one person or body who is having an input although judging by the responses I've seen,
we (the losing side) have no say, that I've seen.

I would imagine that they ought to encourage opinions if for no other reason than that the British
visitors may be in significant numbers to warrant listening to. I must say that judging from my
contacts, the development will do little to encourage visitors with an interest in history.

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Politics around Isandlwana
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