Fighting berg graffiti

2008-02-18 00:00

It had been raining since dawn in the Mnweni area of the Drakensberg. The horizon was close, the high peaks of the Escarpment obscured by mist and cloud. I was with a group heading for a rock art site to remove charcoal graffiti. As we got higher the mist encircled us. “It can be very dangerous when it gets like this,” said Thenjiwe Hlatshwayo, a local community guide. “You can hear voices in the mist: you hear them and follow but there is nothing.”

Matiwane’s son Zikhali took his people south-west to the Drakensberg, to what is now the amaNgwane Tribal Authority. But the amaNgwane had a score to settle and come the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879, “Zikhali’s Horse” was raised to fight on the side of the British. The mounted troop was largely annihilated at the battle of Isandlwana.

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