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Dingane`s reign of terror was every bit as vicious as that of his predecessor. Dingane was also fearful of the white man.
Durban had been occupied by a couple of dozen white men for more than twelve years and the area around the bay had been a magnet for those fleeing from his depredations so that there were several thousand refugees in that area.
Dingane is Warned
With his dying breath, Shaka had told Dingane that he would not rule long but that the white men would come and take his kingdom away. That was nine years ago and Dingane had become deeply distrustful of the white man.
An epileptic refugee from the South had also told Dingane that the white man would invade his territory and, even worse, news had recently arrived of the Matabele's defeat by the Voortrekkers - something Dingane`s armies had been unable to achieve. And now they were on his borders and coming to see him.
Dingane was in a very awkward situation. He realized that by granting them their wishes that their demands would not be satisfied until his kingdom had been taken away.
Further, he did not want such a powerful adversary on his Southern border. He had heard of the sticks that spat fiery pebbles and of the hornless animals (horses) that made the Boers so powerful.
At this time, his relations with the white men at the port were also at a low ebb to the point that they had to evacuate the port three times when he sent his army to clear the area. Dingane determined that his only course would be to wipe the white man from his kingdom by whatever means possible.
Still, he was fascinated with the trinkets they brought. He would amuse himself by burning a hole in an uncomplaining subject's arm with a magnifying glass and would use a telescope to spy on his subjects. He would also spend hours reviewing his herds of cattle - some of which had been trained to move in military formation.