The Voortrekkers
A history of the Voortrekkers Great Trek 1835 - 1845
Sikyonela's Cattle
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Sikyonela gets Duped!

After a month, Retief visited Chief Sikyonela to perform his part of the deal with Dingane. The meeting took place in the local missionary's (the Reverend Archbell) garden. By passing off a pair of handcuffs as amulets, the chief was duped into being secured by Retief and told that he would not be released until he returned Dingane's cattle.

The Reverend was outraged. Unfortunately, Retief did not stop here and fined the chief not only more cattle than had been stolen from Dingane but also 63 horses and eleven guns - none of which he had any intention of handing over to Dingane. Further, with Retief were a group of Zulus brought back from Umgungundlovu with him to identify the stolen cattle and who of course would report on the deal to Dingane.

Retief Makes a Mistake

Worse was the fact that Sikyonela had made disparaging remarks about the King's sexual potency that of course carried the death sentence. Dingane thus expected all the cattle, horses, guns and Sikyonela to be presented to him by Retief.

Retief and DIngane - 2

Retief then prepared to finalize things with Dingane and was in good spirits despite being warned by numbers of people including his own, the settlers at the Port as well as the missionaries about the king's penchant for treachery.

He was advised to either not go himself or take a few men with him but the ratification of the treaty with Dingane was to be the high point of the trek and many wanted to witness the historic occasion. Gert Maritz, who was ill, offered to go in Retief's place and said bluntly to Retief 'I say to you, none of you will return'.

In the event, 67 men and three youths (including Retief's 14 year old son) and 30 servants started the journey with the cattle to Umgungundlovu.

Next . . . Dingane plots a massacre