The natives belong to the Bantu negro race and are represented chiefly by Basuto, Bechuana, Bavenda, and Xosa-Zulu tribes.
None of these peoples has any claim to be indigenous, and, save the Bavenda, all are immigrants since c. 1817-1820, when the greater part of the then inhabitants were exterminated by the Zulu chief Mosilikatze (see § History).
Foundation of the Republic. - At the beginning of the 1 9th century the country now known as the Transvaal was inhabited, apparently somewhat sparsely, by Bavenda and other Bantu negroes, and in the south-west by wandering Bushmen and Hottentots.
The remnants of the Bavenda retreated north to the Waterberg and Zoutpansberg, while Mosilikatze made his chief kraal at Mosega, not far from the site of the town of Zeerust.