Ultimatum Tree

Tel: +27 (0)32 486-1574

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+27 (0)32 486-1574



Fearing that the Zulu army was growing too large the British that had settled in Natal decided to disarm the Zulu’s. On 11 December 1878 a meeting took place between Inkosi Uvumandada along with 50 or so delegates who met with the British under a Fig tree on the southern bank of the Thukela River. Here they were to discuss issues relating to the Kings alleged non-compliance with a previous agreement.

After Hon. J. W. Shepstone read the Zulu version of the new agreement the British presented a secondary document demanding that the Zulu disband their army within 30 days. This was an impossible task as the Zulu relied heavily on their army and its age-regiment system to sustain their society.

This ultimatum caused the Zulu war of 1879. The tree became known as The Ultimatum Tree. Unfortunately over the years the fires and floods have caused the original Fig tree to get damaged and only a stump remains. There is now a small fig tree growing there that has been propagated from the original.


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