They came from the sea

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The battle at Blood River between the Zulus and the Voortrekkers marks one of the bloodiest battles in South African history.

According to the head of education at the Voortrekker Monument, it was an important marker in the pioneer phase.

“During the pioneering phase in 1835 when Voortrekkers or pioneer farmers came into the interior of South Africa there was a lot of conflict especially in Natal with a nine month period of conflict with King Dingane specifically.

The Blood River battle is considered by Afrikaans historians as the battle that actually diminished Dingane’s power.”

The Voortrekker felt that they could not live independently under British rule

The Voortrekkers were negotiating with Dingane to settle on land south of the Tugela River. This after rebelling against the British rule in the Cape Colony and leaving the area on the historic Groot Trek in search of a new home.

“The Voortrekkers felt that they could not live independently under British rule, so they actually wrote to the British government in Cape Town telling them that they are considering to leave the colony, which was considered to be a rebellious act against the colony – so they did that and they also sent a commissioned trek just prior to the Great trek start in 1835 which means people went up into natal scouting especially south of the Tugela river area and decided that this is where they wanted to settle away from British rule.”

– By Nina Oosthuizen