Battle of Isandlwana remembered

2011-01-22 11:28

Lessons taken from the Battle of Isandlwana, 131 years ago, would help win the battle against poverty, President Jacob Zuma said today.

“History has taught us that the principles necessary to triumph in every battle are similar.

“Therefore, we must take lessons from the Battle of Isandlwana which stands as a symbol of triumph over colonialism if we are to prevail in current battle against poverty,” he said at the Isandlwana site in KwaZulu-Natal today.

Zuma along with Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, King Goodwill Zwelithini, Premier Zweli Mkhize and several others were at a commemoration ceremony of the Battle of Isandlwana which was fought between amaZulu warriors and the British Empire on 22 January 1879.

From 1838-1906, Natal was engrossed in various battles over land.

“Of these battles, the Battle of Isandlwana proved to be one of the greatest victorious battles fought by the Zulu Kingdom,” said Zuma.

The amaZulu, led by King Cetshawyo, used the traditional buffalo horn formation to “annihilate” the British, who had instead relied on technology.

Zuma said he was honoured to be in Zwelithini’s presence as he was a descendant of Cetshawyo.

“Africa has been blessed with great leaders such as King Cetshwayo who have inspired us to go beyond our perceived limitations.”

The Battle of Isandlwana led to the death of 1 300 British troops and left 1 000 Zulu warriors wounded.

The bloodshed was not in vain, said Zuma.

“This battle is one of the footprints that binds the two countries in history.

“At the time, the battle proved that although Africa may not have been as developed as the rest of the world, it was our determination and the spirit to fight for a better life, which is and will remain the main ingredient to success,” said Zuma.

He said as a result of the battle South Africa today enjoys good relations with the United Kingdom.

“Let these be examples of our respective dedication to fighting the battle against poverty and ensuring food security.

“Let such historical monuments in Africa prove to us that anything is possible in Africa’s quest to claim her rightful place in the world.”

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