Pondo chief’s letter to Russia

Pondo Chief
Pondo Chief Umqikela

A chief of the Pondo people wrote to Russian Emperor in November 1886. The chief asks Alexander III to protect his people from British occupation. The letter is addressed «To the Czar St Petersburg, Russia, Esihlonyane Pondoland, 10 Nov. 1886». It goes as follows, «Sir, I again write, to you, I wish to explain our present position As a Nation. We are independent Nation subject to no other power up to the present Self Independent. The Pondo Nation now asks to be protected by you. The English Government wants to take away our Country». The letter provides the details of the matter and adds, «P.S. do not listen the English Govt. what might they say. They might say perhaps the Pondo country belongs to them. They might say this to delude you as you are no aware of the facts, that it is false. The boundary of the Pondo Country Commences from Umtata river Mouth and up along the Umtata river and through Gungululu to Shawbury Mission Station, and go down to Ngxaroli and through Ishungwana and to the Umzimvubu River and Run along the Stream to the junction of the Imvenyane stream and along the Intsuzwa Mountain and to Celintcungu Mountains to Nolangeni Mountains through Engele Mountains. Another thing they have armed their subjects to come and fight us. As we have no friend to assist us we don’t want to be under the protection of the English Govt. We shall await your valuable assistance. The English Govt. is treating us most shamefully. The population of the Pondo Nation is about 200 000. Our country is very rich in Copper, Gold, Coal, etc. and all kinds of Minerals. It is for this reason they want to take away our Country forcibly against our Consent. Should you kindly agree to protect us? We would allow you to open all Mines in the Country. I have the honor to be Sir Your most obedient Servant Umhlangaso JS Faku for Paramount Chief Umqikela Chief Councilor and Prime Minister».