Custom and common sense: The Zulu Royal family succession dispute of the 1940s

Show simple item record Costa, Anthony 2010-09-03T11:25:08Z 2010-09-03T11:25:08Z 1996-05-06
dc.description African Studies Seminar series. Paper presented 6 May, 1996 en_US
dc.description.abstract In November 1981 the historian Nicholas Cope tracked down Tandayipi Absolom kaSolomon Zulu to a bottle store outside Nongoma, Zululand. Once a contender for the royal throne of the Zulus, Tandayipi was now an alcoholic who spent 'most of his days in the bottle store.' But the ravages of liquor had not completely stripped the memory of those times from Tandayipi's mind. 'I was displaced', the old Zulu recalled of his abortive succession, 'If I was another chap... I had followers... I should have done a great mischief', But the mischief never happened. As Tandayipi admitted, 'I simply put my head down like a worm, till now', Almost forty years later he was still reluctant to talk, and steered the interview onto other topics. The disputed succession to Solomon kaDinuzulu Zulu forms the subject of this paper. It is a story with a fair share of drama, sex and violence. As the Chief Native Commissioner of Natal remarked of the affair, 'The history of the Zulu Royal House is one long story of intrigue'. Yet the fascinating realm of Zulu politics Cbyzantine' was Shula Marks's adjective) is only background to the story told here. The focus, rather, is on the dispute as a window into the creation of a form of customary law ('native law') in Natal, and its application by Native Commissioners and the 'native courts'. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries Institute for Advanced Social Research;ISS 100
dc.subject Zululand (South Africa). Kings and rulers. Succession en_US
dc.title Custom and common sense: The Zulu Royal family succession dispute of the 1940s en_US
dc.type Working Paper en_US

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