1906 Prisoner of War wall

Between February and July 1906, the leaders of several African communities in the British colonies of Natal and Zululand rose up in armed rebellion against injustice and oppression. The most widely known leader of this struggle was Chief Bhambatha kaMancinza of the Zondi, although other important traditional leaders who led their people in the rebellion included Sigananda kaZokufa of the Shezi, Meseni kaMusi of the Qwabe and Ndlovu kaTimuni of the Zulu. Following the brutal suppression of the uprising at Mome Gorge near Nkandla and the death of Chief Bhambatha Zondi, other leaders of the rebellion were captured and tried for treason. Some rebel prisoners were held in a specially built jail at the Point, while the majority were incarcerated at Jacobs, south of Durban. Many rebel prisoners were given hard labour work in the Railways Department, which included Durban harbour. Some of these prisoners from the Bhambatha rebellion were given the task of constructing the Escombe Sea Wall. This low stone structure was built to keep sand from blowing from Addington beach and silting the harbour mouth. It was part of the larger project to make Durban harbour the main safe port in East Africa, which included regularly dredging the harbour mouth. The stone wall built here by political prisoners who fought in the Bhambatha Rebellion is the only physical remnant of their time as prisoners and is a provincial Category III Heritage Site.

Location

Address: Ballard Street, Point
GPS Points: -29.85286, 31.02419
Site Contact Details: Steven Kotze
Durban Local History Museums
steven.kotze@durban.gov.za
031 311 2239

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