Wat al hierdie dinge voorafgegaan het, was die Trek uit die Kaap uit, en dit het heelwat Trekkers geraak omdat hulle nie onder die Britse koloniale regering wou staan nie. Van die trekkers het binneland inbeweeg vanaf 1835-en later, om grond te kry wat nie bewoonbaar was nie. Dit is inderdaad ook so dat heelwat grond onbewoonbaar was en andersinds was daar onderhandel vir grondgebiede. Later het van die gebiede, soos die ou ZAR en Vrystaat, twee onafhanklike Boere republieke geword. Hulle is so genoem, omdat hul hulself as onafhanklik wou uitleef, weg van Britse beheer af. Die burgers van die Republieke was alombekend as die BOERE. Later in hierdie tydperk, word na ‘n belangrike dag verwys: 16 Desember 1838 – wat bekendgestaan het as Slag van Bloedrivier. Dit sal altyd onthou word eerstens as Geloftedag. Sommige het natuurlik ons hele geskiedenis probeer verander en selfs later die dag verander na “Dingaansdag” en weer later na “Versoeningsdag”. Tog bly die Gelofte nog altyd daar. Niemand kan dit verander nie, dis daar om te onthou, in stand te hou en te herdenk.
SLAG VAN BLOEDRIVIER
Vir vryheid en reg – elke volk het die reg tot vryheid en ‘n reg om voort te bestaan , om deur hulself regeer te word
VARIOUS VIDEOS AND INFORMATION
VERSKEIE VIDEO’S EN INLIGTING OOR WAT BLOEDRIVIER WAS, WAAROOR DIE GELOFTE GEGAAN HET
Die Gelofte van 16 Desember is bindend op almal wat deel is van ons Volk. Behalwe die Voortrekkers was daar ook 3 Britse settelaars in die Laer. Om naief te wees oor die Gelofte gaan niks aan die geldigheid daarvan verander nie. Gaan betaal jou Gelofte op 16 Desember. Nou en elke jaar daarna…
GELOFTES EN MONUMENTE
Bloedrivier monument – dit spreek vanself, waaroor die monument daar is.
Dit toon die primitiewe bestaan van die Boere en destydse trekkers, hoe hulle hulself probeer beskerm het en hoe Hy hul daarmee gehelp het om hulself te beskerm. Die laers, die ossewaens, was ook hul tuistes. Oral waar daar aanvalle was, is laer getrek met en in hul huise. Dis belangrik om die gedagte te onthou: Jou laer is jou bekendste aan jou menswees – jou tuiste. Vir lank was hierdie ossewaens ons voorouers se huise en tuiste. Hulle het nie baie gehad nie, dit wat hul gehad het, was in hierdie tuiste wat hul geskep het. It was all about freedom, our ancestors did feel the same way as we do today – that was why they struggled to get away under the British rules. In terms of international laws, each people (volk) do have a right to rule themselves. Today it is the same as 1806 when the British took over in the Cape.
Blood river monument, Ncome river, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa 2003 The Battle of Blood River (Afrikaans: Slag van Bloedrivier; Zulu: iMpi yaseNcome) is the name given for the battle fought between 470 Voortrekkers (“Pioneers”), led by Andries Pretorius, and an estimated 15,000–21,000 Zulu attackers on the bank of the Ncome River on 16 December 1838, in what is today KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. A monument was erected on the site of the battle in 1947, consisting of an ox wagon executed in granite by the sculptor Coert Steynberg. In 1971 a laager of 64 ox wagons cast in bronze (by Unifront Foundry in Edenvale — Fanie de Klerk and Jack Cowlard) was erected, and unveiled on 16 December 1972.
Freedom – VRYHEID
Strewe van vryheid was nog altyd daar. Ook by ons voorouers wat nie onder Britse beheer wou wees nie. And today. Peoples do have an international right to rule themselves today.
South Africa – The Battle of Blood River – 16 Des 1838
South African history on this first settlers to migrate north from the English ruled Cape Colony at the most southern tip, before becoming the South African republic.
Listen to the story of Piet Retief and Port Natal as well as Dingaan.
2016 GEBEURE : GELOFTEDAG
The Battle of Blood River is the name given for the battle fought between 470 Voortrekkers (“Pioneers”), led by Andries Pretorius, and an estimated 15,000–21,000 Zulu attackers on the bank of the Ncome River on 16 December 1838, in what is today KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Casualties amounted to 3,000 of king Dingane’s soldiers dead, including two Zulu princes competing with prince Mpande for the Zulu throne. Three Pioneers commando members were lightly wounded, including Pretorius himself.
Die Slag van Bloedrivier is op 16 Desember 1838 naby die Bloedrivier in die huidige KwaZulu-Natal, Suid-Afrika, geveg. Sowat 470 Voortrekkers, onder leiding van Andries Pretorius, het ‘n ossewalaer beskerm teen tussen 10 000 en 20 000 Zoeloe-impies. Die Zoeloekrygers, onder Koning Dingaan se regering, is aangevoer deur Dambuza (Nzobo) en Nhlela.
Die ingang tot die Bloedrivierterrein met die monument in die agtergrondOp 15 Desember het die Voortrekkers inligting verkry dat ‘n groot Zoeloemag op pad was. Pretorius het ‘n uiters goeie gevegsterrein langs die Bloedrivier (toe die Ncomerivier) gekies, waar die ossewaens in ‘n laer getrek is. Ten spyte van mis wat die aand oor die omgewing neergedaal het, was dit die volgende oggend helder. Voor die slag begin het, het die Voortrekkers ‘n gelofte voor God afgelê dat, sou hulle gespaar word, hulle ‘n kerk sal bou en die dag as ‘n sabbat herdenk. Die Zoeloes het herhaaldelik die laer onsuksesvol aangeval, todat Pretorius ná twee uur ‘n groep perderuiters beveel het om die laer te verlaat en die Zoeloes aan te val. In die struweling het Pretorius ook ‘n assegaaiwond aan sy linkerhand opgedoen.
Even the blacks and Khoisan did not want BRITISH RULE
WE REMEMBER – under the British rule RESERVES were created after Mfecane wars. Later it became Homelands and after 1994 Trustlands.
TODAY, the Zululand Homeland (traditional lands for only the Zulu people) became the Ingonyama Trustland under its own legislation under ANC rule (same as Sheptone rule of 1854).
There are more traditional leaders than only the Zulu people, even the Khoisan received trustlands (6) . Most of those traditional lands were previously called either Reserves or British crown lands (only communal land – with no title deed). They all accepted this. Even landclaims fall under CPA legislation and that is also only communal lands, the “government” keep that lands in trust for those who live on it.
KING OF THE ZULUS
The Battle of Blood River
The murder of Retief and the subsequent Weenen massacre decimated the Voortrekker movement. For months after, the Voortrekkers, especially the surviving members of the KwaZulu-Natal contingent, drifted in limbo.
Help arrived in the form of Andries Pretorius, the leader of the pro-independence movement in the Cape Colony. Pretorius was appointed as general of a wagon commando directed against Dingane on 26 November 1838. The burning spirit of retribution ran strong through the blood of the Boers, whose sole focus was to avenge the murder of Retief, his family and over 500 Voortrekkers.
On 14 December 1838, the Trekker wagons crossed the Buffalo River when Pretorius, who had scouted ahead, brought news of large Zulu forces closing in on their position. Pretorius decided to set up a laager on the banks of the Ncome River, which he proposed would offer a superior defendable position.
As night enveloped Zululand on 15 December, the ox wagons were drawn into a protective enclosure – wooden barriers and thorny bushes formed informal barricades covering gaps in the laager.
A thick mist descended on the camp in the dead of night – oil lamps hung on the ends of long sjamboks, glimmering in the face insurmountable darkness.
The Voortrekkers, numbering 464, gathered in the centre of the enclosure. Guided by their staunch Christian faith, the Boers, well aware of the approaching Zulu impi, prayed for salvation, providence and victory.
The break of dawn burnt the morning mist away; it was then, in the dim light, that the Voortrekkers first understood the true gravitas of their grim predicament.
The Zulu army, led by Dingane and his most trusted generals, Dambuza and Ndlela, numbered around 20 000. The Voortrekkers, under the stoic leadership of Pretorius and Sarel Cilliers, numbered less than 500, including women and children, and were outnumbered more than 40 to 1.
The Zulu army had spent three days, just out of shot of the Voortrekker encampment, practising traditional pre-war ceremonies, conducted by spiritualist doctors. These highly revered diviners prepared izinteleze medicines which were purported to make warriors invincible in the face of their enemies.
Around 6:30am on 16 December 1838, the Voortrekkers’ muskets fired. Young Zulu warriors, carrying customary black shields, were positioned 60 metres from the laager. The 3 000 strong regiment, under the illusion of invisibility, were mowed down by the Voortrekkers when they attempted to storm the encampment.
Jan Gerritze Bantjes, Secretary General of the Voortrekkers and one of Pretorius’ closest confidants, had been tasked with documenting every aspect of the battle in his journal. Bantjes wrote of the events:
“Sunday, December 16 was like being newly born for us – the sky was clear, the weather fine and bright. We hardly saw the twilight of the break of day or the guards, who were still at their posts and could just make out the distant Zulus approaching.
All the patrols were called back into the laager by firing alarm signals from the cannons. The enemy came forward at full speed and suddenly they had encircled the area around the laager. As it got lighter, so we could see them approaching over their predecessors who had already been shot back.
Their rapid approach (though terrifying to witness due to their great numbers) was an impressive sight. The Zulus came in regiments, each captain with his men behind (as the patrols had seen them coming the day before) until they had surrounded us. I could not count them, but I was told that a captive Zulu gave the number at thirty-six regiments, each regiment calculated to be “nine hundred to a thousand men” strong.
The battle now began and the cannons unleashed from each gate, such that the battle was fierce and noisy, even the discharging of small arms fire from our marksmen on all sides was like thunder. After more than two hours of fierce battle, the Commander in Chief gave orders that the gates be opened and mounted men sent to fight the enemy in fast attacks, as the enemy near constantly stormed the laager time and again, and he feared the ammunition would soon run out.”
The Voortrekkers armed with muskets and two cannons had the advantage of firepower. The canons, firing grape-shot, broken iron pot legs and stones decimated the Zulu forces at close quarters. Likewise, the muskets, which were loaded in tandem by women, children and servants, kept the unrelenting charge at bay.
By 8am, a thick cloud of black powder smoke hung over the encampment. Confusion and chaos enveloped the ranks of the young Zulu warriors – some broke and ran, others, shell-shocked, were gunned down amid the delirium.
However, a larger regiment, forming the main body of the Zulu army soon appeared over the distant hills. The mixture of red and white shields demonstrated the experience of the Zulu fighters entering the fray.
The 12 000 strong regiment, frenzied by the madness of war and hungry to avenge their fallen comrades, made a straight charge for the Voortrekker encampment. After a series of failed charges, led by the red-shielded warriors, the older regiments of the Impi in the rear hurled insults and taunts at their comrades and attempted to charge through them to attack Voortrekkers. Again, confusion and disorder enveloped the Zulu forces.
Shortly before 11am, the Zulu generals lost control over their soldiers. After suffering massive casualties, the Zulu regiments began to break up and disperse in confusion. The infamous “horn” attack strategy, originally developed by Shaka Zulu, fell apart, signalling defeat for Dingane’s forces.
As the veteran Zulu forces broke rank, Pretorius rode out of the encampment, flanked by a group of trusted mounted gunmen, directing close-range gunfire into the already waning impi. This direct challenge lasted for three hours until all Zulu forces had been driven from the battlefield.
Bantjes estimated that 3 000 Zulu soldiers had been killed in the battle, which had lasted less than seven hours. Astonishingly, not one Voortrekker died during the fight. Pretorious and two other Boers were wounded during close quarter skirmishes.
The bodies of fallen Zulu warriors scattered the scorched earth surrounding the Ncome river – the water itself ran red with blood.
The Battle of Blood River became a turning point in South Africa’s history. The monstrous defeat which befell the Zulu kingdom on that day destroyed Dingane’s political power base. The Zulu kingdom became embroiled in a civil war, as rival leaders vied for control. Dingane fled Natal in 1840, after being overthrown by Prince Mpande at the Battle of Maqongqe.
For the Voortrekkers, the Battle of Blood River entrenched their pious resilience and struggle for self-determination. This militaristic victory is seen as one of the most defining moments for the Afrikaner nation. As such, 16 December became a rallying point for the development of Afrikaner nationalism, culture and identity.
DAY OF THE VOW
The Voortrekkers, fervent in their commitment to biblical doctrines, dedicated their accomplishments to God. The Boers’ triumph at the Battle of Blood River was seen as an act of divine deliverance, bestowed upon the Afrikaner nation by a benevolent God.
In the days leading up to the battle, Sarel Cilliers issued a proclamation, part prayer and part promise. While no record of the exact vow exists, it’s believed that Cilliers, in anticipation of the Battle of Blood River said:
“We stand here before the Holy God of heaven and earth, to make a vow to Him that, if He will protect us and give our enemy into our hand, we shall keep this day and date every year as a day of thanksgiving like a sabbath, and that we shall build a house to His honour wherever it should please Him, and that we will also tell our children that they should share in that with us in memory for future generations. For the honour of His name will be glorified by giving Him the fame and honour for the victory.”
As a result of the Voortrekkers’ triumph, 16 December became known as the Day of the Vow and was recognised as a religious public holiday in South Africa until 1994, after which it was it was renamed the Day of Reconciliation. In 1841 the Voortrekkers built The Church of the Vow in Pietermaritzburg and passed the obligation to keep the vow on to their descendants.
Unfortunately, the Day of the Vow, which had been colloquially renamed as Dingaansdag (Dingane’s Day) up until 1952, became a symbol of racial superiority – arguably a precursor to the oppressive ideology perpetuated under apartheid.
While initially, the day was commemorated by religious reverence, dubious racial undertones developed to define Afrikaner-dominance. To some, the victory at Blood River was redefined as a sign that God confirmed the rule of whites over black Africans.
Indeed, in n 1938, D.F. Malan, leader of the National Party, explained that the site of the Battle of Blood River was sacred, saying that the events which had transpired a century earlier established “South Africa as a civilized Christian country” under “the responsible authority of the white race”.
The Day of the Vow, which was perceived to celebrate Afrikaner domination over native Africans has been the subject of widespread criticism. In an attempt to deracialise the Day of the Vow, the South African government, in 1994, resolved to retain 16 December as a public holiday but to rename it the Day of Reconciliation in an attempt to foster national unity as the country entered a new democratic era.
Today, the site of the Battle of Blood River still remains divided in its remembrance. The Ncome monument on the east side of the river commemorates the fallen Zulu warriors and has become a symbol for Zulu nationalism. The Blood River Monument and Museum Complex, to the west of the river, consists of 64 ox wagons cast in bronze and commemorates the bravery of the Boers. In 2014, a bridge was built between the two monuments, demonstrating reconciliatory.
The battle at Blood River between the Zulus and the Voortrekkers marks one of the bloodiest battles in South African history. With many different interpretations about what really happened in 1838, this is one of them, told by Christo Rabie, Head of Education at the Voortrekker monument. Nina Oosthuizen reports.