Pambani Mzimba to Frederick Chesson, 28 October 1881
Archive location: Bodleian Libraries, MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 18 / C143 – 150
Author(s): Pambani Mzimba
Recipient(s): Frederick Chesson
Sent from: Cape Colony
Date: 28 October 1881
28 Oct 1881
Allow me to thank your Society for what you have done and still doing for the aborigines in various colonies under her Majesty’s rule. A friend sent my a journal of the transactions of your society – the August number of 1881 – .
I was glad to notice that you did so much for Langalibalele now detained near Cape Town in a barren farm – that you even got a definite promise from Lord Kimberly to liberate the old chief. His people have been scattered and land taken away from them in Natal. It would be a great pity not to allow the old man die among his friends seeing that the charges of high treason and rebellion he has been declared innocent of. If it is found that Natal is not a suitable place for him, I do not see why he should not be sent to the Eastern Province of Cape Colony, where he would be amongst native people of his clan and even a few friends. But where he is now it is almost as bad as being in prison.
I hope your society shall see that something is done for Edmund Sandile and other kaffir chiefs who are in the convict stations at Cape Town. Seeing that the Basuto chiefs have been pardoned and their land not confiscated and their wives and children not apprenticed to farmers. Also Sikukuni is now allowed to go back to his country. And we understand also that there are steps being taken to liberate Cetywayo the Zulu king and many of the natives hope that these steps shall be successful. But nothing is heard of the kaffir chiefs.
Three years have now passed kaffir chiefs and people have been deprived of land because of rebellion, women and children apprenticed to Colonial farmers, and the leaders kept at the convict stations. Many persons old and young perished during the rebellion. They certainly deserved punishment but when so much has been done and is being done for others as guilty, many of the native people think something should be done for the chiefs. I hope therefore you shall see your way clear in doing something for these kaffir chiefs.
I am a Fingoe myself of Langalibalele’s tribe and a minister of a large congregation in the district of Victoria East, Eastern Province. I was kept in prison at Komgha and the communication in your journal is about me and quite correct. Now when I think of that event, I was glad to suffer with my countrymen and my imprisonment has done much good. The pass law is being looked into and my country men travel about now with greater freedom and meet with less injustice and annoyance from the official.
I wish to be a subscriber to your excellent journal kindly send me a copy with the amount of subscription per year and oblige. I am very sorry to say that matters are not settling in Basutoland through some Europeans for political purposes and also the attitude of Transvaal Boers towards the Convention is likely to increase the danger.
F.W. Chesson Esq
Secy Aborigines Protection Society
17 King Williams Str Charing Cross