Malamba to Frederick Chesson, 16 February 1884

Malamba to Frederick Chesson, 16 February 1884

Archive location: Bodleian Libraries, MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 18 / C142 – 6

Author(s): Malamba

Recipient(s): Frederick Chesson

Sent from: Zululand

Date: 16 February 1884

Lower Tugela

Feb 16 1884


My dear Sir,


I trust you will not think it presumption on my part giving you the following facts that have come under my immediate notice. I cannot for the present subscribe my name, as that being known would prevent my further usefulness in the work I have cut out for myself. Let it suffice for the present that news forwarded to England by the Bishop of Natal was to a great extent obtained through me.


1st. The king is dead, and his death was accelerated by poison. I think from the symptoms the poison used was strychnine. I heard [Colenbrander and Night?] saying a few days previous that the king would not live long.


2nd. Gun running is still going on the principle actors are Colenbrander, [Night?], [Allley?], McAlister and John Dunn. They are for the most part got from Durban. [McDublin?] Harvey Greenacre too. Blackwood Garland too being the principal sources from which they are obtained. Sydney Durmer of the Bluff does a large trade especially in ammunition.


The guns etc. are mostly crossed into the reserve by Dunn’s kafirs. One [lot?] I went in with. Colenbrander has the contract to supply me troops with provisions, and the guns and ammunition were crossed in the same wagons and unloaded at night, and forwarded to their destination ([Unbepu?]) by kafir runners McAlister taking charge. McAlister is Dunn’s head policeman.


3rd. There is only one way to get at the facts of Zulu affairs. Appoint an independent commission, having no officials out here mixed up in it. There is not the slightest doubt the governor’s mind is biased, from the simple fact of his not getting his own way at the start when the king was back. Everything has he done that possibly could be to harass Cetewato and support Usibepu. All the battles Usibepu has fought have been planned by Dunn Colenbrander and other white men who have fought with him.


4. The only way to settle the country is to forbid the country to Dunn Colenbrander [Darth?] McAllister and [Nimn?]. To place Usibepu, Oham (if alive) and the late king’s ministers in Natal or Cape Colony, and place good men as magistrates under imperial government. The kafirs (Zulus) would willingly pay a tax if they were assured that they could live in peace.


5. The Mercury and Times of Natal a paid agents of the oppisitionists to the restoration. I spent three days with the Witness reporter on his visit to the king and gave him a deal of information published by him in the Witness.


I will give you further information after visiting the country again in a month or so.


Please acknowledge this as follows (Malamba recd) in the South African mail, in the [epitome?] of news.


In …



F.W. Chesson E

Sec of the A.P.S.