Desmond Latham History of South Africa podcast

History of South Africa podcast

A series that seeks to tell the story of the South Africa in some depth. Presented by experienced broadcaster/podcaster Des Latham and updated weekly, the episodes will take a listener through the various epochs that have made up the story of South Africa.
Weekly English South Africa History · Places & Travel
137 Episodes
1 – 20

Episode 137 - The Vlugkommando of April 1838 and a hard rain continues to fall

It’s been a harrowing few months in southern Africa back in 1838. All manner of change has rolled in across the veld, there are worlds colliding, roiling, like thunderclouds, seething and churning. And almost allegorical, because lightning from real storms had already killed Boer horses and Zulu warriors in separate…
23 Sep 24 min

Episode 134 - Lightning kills 12 Boer horses then the wizards die

This is episode 134 - and its going to be a massacre. It is also crucial as you’ve heard that we dig deep into the events because today there’s a huge debate about what I’m going to explain next, what documents still exist about what happened, and who owns what…
3 Sep 31 min

Episode 133 - Umkhandlu long thumb nails and tales of ill-gotten grain

It’s a hot day in northern Zululand, in the Mfolozi River valley, where Dingane’s capital emGungungudlovu was situated. When Piet Retief first met the Zulu king, he failed the grasp the extent to which this man’s authority was was based in what historian John Laband calls a combination of mystical…
26 Aug 26 min

Episode 132 - Piet Retief rides into Natal and land is on the agenda

Just a quick thank you to AJL, as well as Jacque and Nkosinathi for your kind comments and emails - this series is nothing without my wonderful audience. Gangans — which is Khoesan for thank you. Voortrekker leader Piet Retief knew that he had to negotiate for any land in…
20 Aug 23 min

Episode 130 - Piet Uys’ 1820 Settler Bible and the Qadi cut poles

This is episode 130 and the Voortrekkers are moving inexorably towards Natal, where the Zulu king Dingana awaits. At about the same time and as you’ll hear next episode, a large Voortrekker commando of more than 360 Boers, Griqua and the Rolong warriors were going to gather with the intent…
6 Aug 18 min

EPISODE 128 - Dingane smells blood and Retief leads the United Laagers

This is episode 128 and the bell is tolling for Mzilikazi Khumalo of the amaNdebele. We’ll also hear about the introduction of Maize by hunter-traders, and the relationship between Dingane and the Portuguese at Delagoa Bay. A compounding problem for Mzilikazi was how he’d treated the indigenous Sotho speaking people…
23 Jul 24 min

Episode 127 - Predikant blues and Piet Retief’s manifesto

When I started this series off a couple of years ago, it was a dive into the deep end — although it was the sixth podcast series I’d launched — this was the biggest gamble. But the wonderful response I’ve received overall has been a big surprise, a motivator so…
15 Jul 21 min

Episode 126 - A Voortrekker commando takes revenge and the sedulous Susanna Smit

The Voortrekkers had survived the trauma of the Battle of Vegkop, they had narrowly survived and as they huddled together in Thaga ‘Nchu a form of unity was required. These different Voortrekker parties under various leaders, Trichardt, Van Rensburg, Cilliers, Potgieter, Maritz, focused their minds on the main threat to…
6 Jul 23 min

Episode 122 - Lord Glenelg moulds a troublous history

Let’s take another look at the push factors driving the Voortrekkers away from their frontier farms. Most had lived on the margins of society for generations, part of the first group of Dutch who began spreading out from the Peninsular in the 17th Century, developing an ethos of independence and…
10 Jun 21 min
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