KwaZulu-Natal Heritage Preservation Initiative


King Mpande kaSenzangakhona (1840-1872)

Mpande was born in Babanango, Zululand. He was considered a weak man in comparison to his contemporaries, and while other half-brothers were removed he was allowed to live. When Dingane instructed his chief inDuna Ndlela kaSompisi to assassinate him, Ndlela repeatedly delayed, as he realised that Mpande was the only son to have had any children, and Ndlela considered the continuation of the blood line crucial to the stability of the Zulu nation. Ndlela was tortured to death by Dingane for his inaction. Mpande later had many sons, among which was Cetshwayo, his successor, Mbuyazwe, Dabulamanzi, Ndabuko, Sitheku, to name but a few.

In January 1840 Andries Pretorius and Gert Rudolph helped Mpande in his revolt against his half-brother Dingane, who was then killed on an expedition north in the Hlatikhulu Forest.

Rules of succession in the Zulu monarchy were sketchy at best, but tradition had it that the first son of the be successor. Unfortunately, the king could pick which of his wives was the , and even change his mind – which Mpande did.

Succession was eventually settled by the Battle of Ndondakusuka between rivals Cetshwayo and Mbulazi, who was supported by John Dunn, on the banks of the Tugela River. Cetshwayo won, and though Mpande did not relinquish power for over a year, Cetshwayo was effectively in control.


An 1849 portrait of King Mpande by George French Angas.


  •  Laband, John (2009). Historical Dictionary of the Zulu Wars. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press. ISBN9780810860780.
  • Kennedy, Philip (1981). “Mpande and the Zulu Kingship”. Journal of Natal and Zulu History 4: 21–38.

Original source;

Categories:   FP