Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Ladysmith, South Africa
Ladysmith (1991: pop. 30,532) is a town on the banks of the Klip River , (stone river), in the uThukela District of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It is 230 km west of Durban and 365 km east of Johannesburg. Important industries in the area include food processing, textiles, and tires.
In 1847 a number of Voortrekkers settled in the area and the town was founded in 1850 by Boers as the capital of the Republic of Klip River with Andries Spies as their commandant. The repulic was annexed by the British in the same year. It was named after the Spanish wife of Sir Harry Smith, Lady Juana Maria de los Delores de Leon Smith. Sir Harry Smith was the British general governor of Cape Colony and high commissioner in South Africa from 1847 to 1852. A fort was built in 1879 to protect the villagers from the Zulus.
Ladysmith made world headlines at the turn of the century when it was besieged for 118 days, from 2 November 1899 to 28 February 1900, during the most crucial stage of the Anglo-Boer War. 3,000 British soldiers died during the siege.
- During the Boer War Mohandas Gandhi established a stretcher-bearing corp. His statue can be seen at the Lord Vishnu Temple in Ladysmith.
- It is the hometown of Joseph Shabalala , founder of the singing group Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
- It is the birthplace of Thulane "Sugar Boy" Malinga, champion boxer.
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