|Change text size here:|
In 1828, Dingane murdered his half brother, Shaka at Dukuza (present day Stanger). He decided to build a huge kraal in the Emakhosini Valley on a slope of the Ntonjaneni hills.
The site was well chosen because the top of the hill offered excellent views for miles and there was a perennial water supply from the two streams, the Umkhumbane and the Nzolo. Moreover, the entrance to the kraal pointed towards the grave of Zulu, the founder of the Zulu dynasty.
Umgungundlovu has been given several meanings - 'the secret meeting of the king' (the plot to kill Shaka) or the 'place of the large elephant', taken from the shape of two tusks placed together and also referring to Dingane as the elephant.
Across the Umkhumbane stream is another spur of the Ntonjaneni hills. On the higher slope of the spur is the place known as Hlom' amaButho or 'arm the warriors' hill where the impis would gather before missions. It was here that the Reverend Owen was given permission to establish a mission and from here that he witnessed the deaths of Retief and his men.
Below Hlom' amaButho is a small rise on the spur before it descends to the Umkhumbane stream. This was kwaMatiwane - the place of Matiwane - where all who had displeased Dingane were put to death.