National Geographic : 2000 Aug
were a thousand Inkatha Zulu warriors armed with cowhide shields and spears and short wooden clubs called knobkerries. Though Buthelezi serves as Home Affairs Minister in a coalition alongside the ANC, the supporters of these two parties remain deadly rivals on the ground. "The cycle of violence must end here," he pleaded, asking that the law be allowed to run its course. But even as he called for peace, the warriors were psyching themselves into battle mode. "We look to the barrel of the gun," went their war chants. Multicolored Inkatha flags fluttered in the stiff sea breeze as a warrior captain urged them on through a mega phone. He was wearing a miner's helmet painted black and white, like an Nguni cow, with two horns affixed to the top of it. Then the men started the profoundly unsettling zee-zee-zee war chant, and they bellowed "uSuthu!" the Zulu war cry. As James Zulu's body slowly descended into the red earth, there were guns everywhere, pistols, revolvers, old rifles; dozens of shots pierced the air, and a haze of cordite hung over the grave. After chasing Buthelezi from his parliamentary offices in Cape Town to his ministerial offices in Pretoria and to social functions among the moneyed Indian merchants of Durban, I finally ground him in the Zulu capital of Ulundi. The town is wedged in a valley between low hills, a dusty place with vast office buildings squatting on a hillside, as alien to the Zululand hills as a Martian spacecraft. Buthelezi wears a houndstooth sports jacket, flannels, and brogues.