According to Helm, Rudd made a number of oral promises to Lobengula that were not included in the written document, including "that they would not bring more than ten white men to work in his country, that they would not dig anywhere near towns, etc., and that they and their people would abide by his country's laws and in... other ways respect him as king."
Lobengula wanted peace with Britain and believed that keeping these promises would help him achieve that goal. However, once British interests were no longer involved, he said, his people would refuse to obey them.
British law at this time did not apply to non-citizens living in another country. However, since Lobengula was king of all South Africa, many historians believe that he was also subject to its laws.
The written agreement between Lobengula and Cecil was only for five years but Cecil told Helm that if the King died within that time, then a new agreement would have to be negotiated.
Cecil's son William joined his father on the expedition and took part in negotiations with Lobengula. When Cecil died, so too did any hope of renewing the treaty with Lobengula. However, before he died, Cecil had instructed his son to keep their agreement with the King of Lesotho if given the chance.
Lobengula reasoned that if he accepted Rudd's suggestions, he would retain his territory and the British would be obligated to protect him from Boer invasions. Rudd was providing generous terms that few rivals could hope to match.
Rudd had proposed that Britain take control of a portion of Lobengula's land, pay him for it, and then give him £20,000 as a concession for ceding his rights to the territory. In return, Lobengula would make peace with the neighboring tribes and stop any further attacks on settlers.
Lobengula was willing to accept this deal because he needed time to build his strength before facing off against more powerful foes. He also believed that by working with Rudd, he could convince other tribes to agree to treaties with him too. Finally, he wanted money to buy weapons and armor for his soldiers. Without an army, he knew he would be defeated quickly.
When King George VI heard about the proposal, he gave his approval. The treaty was expected to be signed at the Royal Albert Hall in London later that year. However, events beyond Lobengula's control prevented this from happening.
First of all, Lobengula died before reaching England. His health had been failing for some time now and he was only 44 years old.
Lobengula was compelled to dispatch a raiding band of many thousand warriors to bring his subordinate to heel in order to save face. The invading force devastated numerous villages and massacred a large number of the residents. (They were more restrained in this case than normal, as they generally snatched suitable-aged young men and women and slaughtered everyone else.) Lobengula himself only took part in the invasion from his capital, Bulawayo, about 150 miles away.
The leader of the raid was Prince Mzilikazivo, who had offended Lobengula by refusing to pay him homage. When Mzilikazivo returned home after destroying everything he found there, he agreed to rejoin Lobengula's service on one condition: that all those who had not joined their army would be allowed to go free. So successful was he that most of the nearby tribes have descended into servitude under his rule. He is said to have fathered several children during his time with Lobengula, three of whom survived infancy. The first two were princesses while the third was a son who was named Manetena after his father. Manetena grew up to become King Ndoloswa of the Ndebele tribe and he was married to Lobengula's daughter Bambatse. They had two sons who succeeded their father as king of the Ndebeles.
Lobengula died in 1872, aged about 60 years.
Faced with this offensive as well as a simultaneous invasion from the south by British imperial forces, Lobengula torched his city, Bulawayo, decimated a column assigned to capture him, and vanished under the Zambezi River. He was not seen again.
Lobengula was king of the Ndebele people. A powerful ruler, he led an uprising against the colonial government in Britain's South African province of Matabeleland. The war ended with Lobengula's death at the hands of a British officer. His body was taken down river in a wagon for public viewing before being buried in Bulawayo.
In today's world, nations have armies to protect themselves from other countries. In Africa, this protection took the form of wars between nations, or "african slavers" as they were called by Europeans. African kings and chiefs led these armies into battle to show their strength and defend their territories.
The most famous king of all time is Alexander the Great. On the surface, he appears to be one thing but underneath he is another. Like many great leaders, he started out as nothing special and worked his way up through trial and error. It is said that he died just like everyone else - young and in charge. But unlike anyone else, he left a legacy that lives on today.