Mhlontlo (fl 1880), last King of the amaMpondomise (deceased) MP

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Death: (Date and location unknown)
Managed by: Sharon Doubell
Last Updated:

About Mhlontlo (fl 1880), last King of the amaMpondomise

The story of how the Mpondomise were wiped out

On 23 Oct 1880, Paramount Chief of the Mpondomise, Mhlonto, lured Hamilton Hope - the resident magistrate at Qumbu in the Eastern Cape - and his staff, to Sulenkama, where they were massacred, during a revolt against the British. (The magistrate at Tsolo, Welsh, survived by locking himself in a prison in Somerville, Tsolo. Tsolo and Qumbu are both Mpondomise but Qumbu was under Mhlontlo and Tsolo under Mditshwa.) Hope was lured to Sulenkama, Chief Mhlonto's capital, by promises that the Mpondomise would assist the British government defeat the Basotho during the Gun War of 1880-1881. In return, the British government would supply the Mpondomise with arms and ammunition. Chief Mhlonto asked Hope to address the assembled warriors before marching to battle. It was at this moment that the six men rushed to Hope and his two men and stabbed and killed them within a few minutes. The only life spared was that of a Davis, whose father and brother were missionaries among the Mpondomise. In retaliation, the colonialists wiped out the Mpondomise clan altogether. Mditshwa was sent to Robben Island for the insurrection and Mhlonto fled to Basutoland/Lesotho.