Book review: Zululand True Stories 1780 to 1978

2010-06-09 00:00


Zululand True Stories 1780 to 1978

J. C. van der Walt

Privately published


THIS self-published book has gone into four editions and according to its author the latest “expanded” edition “contains 82 chapters and 356 rare photographs and sketches on the history of Zululand from the times of King Shaka to the development of industry at Richards Bay.”

The book is a scrapbook ­affair reminiscent in style of J. L. Smail’s From the Land of the Zulu Kings, and while this patchwork approach — plus the book’s idiosyncratic layout — does not exactly instil confidence in the content, there’s no denying it contains material not easily accessed elsewhere.

As well as the usual suspects, such as the conflicts with the British and the trekkers, Van der Walt also takes a look at gold mining in Melmoth, Catalina flying boats in St Lucia Bay and the Women’s Institute in Zululand. The section dealing with Richards Bay includes an intriguingly titled chapter, “Sex and the Bayside Aluminium Smelter”.

Van der Walt’s writing is competent at best and though he has added a bibliography, the lack of specific sourcing will be a drawback for more serious readers.

• The book is available in some bookshops or can be ordered from the author at 035 753 1433 or 084 238 9976, or e-mail


Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.