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Retief and Dingane - the Truth

05 January 2012, 08:13

Most South Africans are mature enough to be told the unadulterated truth regarding the history of our country. For too long, the colonial historians have distorted the chronicles. The following story comes from the previous government’s secret archives.

 

Our story begins in February of 1837. Pieter Mauritz Retief, a Boer, (pronounced “Boor,” not to be confused with “Boor,” which means “Fool”) published his manifesto in the Grahamstown Journal. In it, he complained to the English Government about the lack of service delivery, the thieving Xhosas, corruption, incompetence, taxis, taxes, nepotism, crime, and the laziness of the slaves. The usual things.

 

Next, Piet rounded up some of his drinking buddies and convinced them to join him on a trek into the hinterland. This group, now known as Voortrekkers or Trekkies,  rolled away in their ox wagons on a daring enterprise. Their mission? To explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no Fool has gone before!

 

Overcoming the potholes (though not as bad as it is nowadays); fighting the many plagues of Africa – mosquitoes, AIDS, corrupt politicians, and punctures; they trekked ever further into the uncharted interior – with only their Sannas (rifles) and Bibles, as protection.  

 

After many months of severe trials, and a couple of serious tribulations, they finally reached a vast mountain range. This particular range used to be called uMgundgundlovu, but the Zulu king, Dingane kaSenzangakhona (also called king Dingus, for short), decreed that pronouncing the name sounded too much like someone eating “stywe” pap, so they renamed it “Drakensberg.”

 

Piet met up with Dingane who showed him around the kingdom. The crafty Boer immediately fell in love with the beauty and potential of the land. They soon became close friends; with Piet calling king Dingane “old Dingus,” and Dingane calling the Governor of the United Laagers, “Pieta.” In those days the country was classless and free. Dingane wasn’t required to call him “Baas Piet,” that only came later; when the Boers started running the show.

 

Historians always neglect to mention that Piet tried to set Dingane up for the old “willing buyer, willing seller,” scam. In short – Piet was trying to steal Dingus’ land without compensation. (Note: This scam will again be attempted 157 years later, when an incompetent, corrupt government came into power. But that’s not important right now.)

 

One day Dingane sent a runner with a message in a forked stick (MFS) to Piet and his trekkers, inviting them to join him at the Royal Kraal for a braai. The Boers enthusiastically looked forward to the occasion – having run out of Klippies, Coke, and Eish, a long, long, time ago.

 

Comes the big night, they all parked their horses in the horse park outside the Royal Kraal. The horse park attendants (most of them from Zimbabwe) greeted them in Afrikaans in the overfriendly, subservient manner; which is their stock in trade.

 

At the entrance to the kraal they were met by a Nigerian bouncer who directed their attention to a sign, which read: “No guns, knives, knuckledusters, nail files, Bibles, wives, scissors, or condoms allowed on the premises. Showers are available to prevent contracting AIDS.” There was also another sign which read: “Declare all the drugs hidden in your dreadlocks, or pay the bribe. By Order of the KZN Metro Police.” These being reasonable requests, Piet and his thirsty men readily complied – leaving their Sannas, Bibles, and other weapons outside of the palace grounds.

 

Oh yes, almost forgot to mention; they also left their Magrietjies, Johannas, Magdalenas, and Gertruidas, behind. (Wives were not allowed, remember? You have to pay attention in class!)

 

King Dingus’ kraal was, in fact, a Zulu theme park – with quaint huts – built in the shape of the breasts of one king’s favourite concubines. The huts were constructed of wood, plastic bags, and sheets of stolen corrugated iron; very much like the modern human settlements we’ve all come to know. Festive fires lit up the night (the electricity was off due to power sharing) and Julius Sinatra’s hit song, “Doo bee doo bee doo, Dubul' ibhunu,” was being piped romantically through hollow ox horns mounted on acacia poles.

 

After drinking a couple of gallons of homebrewed Heineken, Piet and the boys (the white guys, that is) quickly got into the swing of things. They even joined the boys (the black guys, that is) in singing “Dubula! dubula! dubula nge s'bhamu,” – after it was explained to them that it meant: “Shoot! Shoot! Shoot the Boor.” Which they thought referred to “Boor,” as in “Fool.”

 

The Voortrekkers, having been on the wagon trail for months, must have felt their toes curl in their velskoens at the sight of the lovely, nubile ladies who were dancing topless around the fires; with only reeds for protection. And then, one supposes, the inevitable happened – one of the randy Boers tried to sample the forbidden fruit.

 

And this was when king Dingus decided enough was enough. He leapt to his feet shouting: “Bambani laba bathakathi!” Which in the vernacular means: “Kick their bloody white backsides!”

 

Unfortunately, some of the impis got carried away, and the rest as they say, is history.

 

Now you tell me, in all honesty, doesn’t this version of the so-called “massacre,” sound much more plausible than the one taught to you at school?

 

I thought so.

 

 

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