17 February 1838

Weenen massacre: Hundreds of Voortrekkers along the Blaukraans River, Natal are killed by Zulus.

The Weenen massacre was a violent incident that took place on February 17, 1838, during the early stages of the Voortrekker movement in South Africa. The Voortrekkers were Dutch-speaking settlers who left the Cape Colony in search of new land to farm and settle.

On the day of the massacre, a group of Voortrekkers were encamped near the town of Weenen, in what is now the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. The group was attacked by a large force of Zulu warriors, who had been sent by their leader, King Dingane, to repel the Voortrekkers’ encroachment on Zulu territory.

The Voortrekkers, who were outnumbered and outgunned, fought back fiercely, but they were eventually overwhelmed. Most of the Voortrekkers were killed in the attack, including women and children. The exact number of casualties is not known, but it is estimated that up to 600 people were killed.

The Weenen massacre was one of the bloodiest conflicts between the Voortrekkers and the Zulus, and it had a significant impact on the subsequent history of South Africa. It fueled the Voortrekkers’ sense of grievance and led to further conflicts between the settlers and the indigenous people of the region.