Shaka Zulu is Assassinated
In 1827, Shaka's mother, Nandi, died, and the Zulu leader lost his mind.
In his grief, Shaka had hundreds of Zulus killed, and he outlawed the planting of crops and the use of milk for a year. All women found pregnant were murdered along with their husbands. He sent his army on an extensive military operation, and when they returned exhausted he immediately ordered them out again. It was the last straw for the lesser Zulu chiefs: On September 22, 1828, his half-brothers murdered Shaka. Dingane, one of the brothers, then became king of the Zulus.
The Zulu monarch was killed by three assassins sometime in 1828, September is the most often cited date, when almost all available Zulu manpower had been sent on yet another mass sweep to the north. This left the royal kraal critically short of security. It was all the conspirators needed—they being Shaka's half-brothers, Dingane and Mhlangana, and an iNduna called Mbopa. A diversion was created by Mbopa, and Dingane and Mhlangana struck the fatal blows. Shaka's corpse was dumped into an empty grain pit by his assassins and filled with stones and mud but the exact site is unknown, though a monument was built at one alleged site. Historian Donald Morris holds that it is somewhere on Couper Street in the village of Stanger, South Africa.
Shaka's half-brother Dingane assumed power and embarked on an extensive purge of pro-Shaka elements and chieftains, running over several years, in order to secure his position. A virtual civil war broke out. Dingane ruled for some twelve years, during which time he fought, disastrously, against the Voortrekkers, and against another half-brother Mpande, who with Boer and British support, took over the Zulu leadership in 1840, and ruled for some 30 years. Later in the 19th century the Zulus would be one of the few African peoples who managed to defeat the British Army; at the Battle of Isandlwana.
Shaka acted as an undisputed, almighty ruler. A cruel tyrant, he had men executed with a nod of his head. The loyalties of his people were severely strained as the frequent cruelties of their great king increased steadily. The climax came with the death of his mother Nandi in October 1827, huge numbers were put to death during the mourning ceremonies because they showed insufficient grief; and his armies were sent out to force the surrounding chiefdoms to grieve.
Taking advantage of the absence of his armies, on 22 September 1828, his bodyguard Mbopha, and his half-brothers Dingane and Mhlangana, stabbed Shaka near his military barracks at Dukuza.