By the wars of the Zulu chiefs Chaka, Matiwana and Mosilikatze, these tribes were largely broken up and their power destroyed.
He established himself in 1824 on the rock-fortress of Thaba Bosigo, where, in 1831, he successfully defended himself against Mosilikatze; and thereafter became second only to that chief among the natives north of the Orange River.
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).
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.
In 1829, however, Mosilikatze was visited at Mosega by Robert Moffat, and between that date and 1836 a few British traders and explorers visited the country and made known its principal features.
In November of the same year Mosilikatze suffered further heavy losses at the hands of the Boers, and early in 1838 he fled north beyond the Limpopo, never to return.
Potgieter, after the flight of the Matabele, issued a proclamation in which he declared the country which Mosilikatze had abandoned forfeited to the emigrant farmers.
The circumstances and history of the two chief migrations of Zulu peoples northward are well known; the Matabele were led by Mosilikatze (Umsiligazi), and the Angoni by Sungandaba, both chiefs of Chaka who revolted from him in the early 19th century.
It was about 1820 that Mosilikatze (properly Umsilikazi), a general in the Zulu army, having incurred Chaka's wrath by keeping back part of the booty taken in an expedition, fled with a large following across the Drakensberg and began to lay waste a great part of the country between the Vaal and Limpopo rivers.
Mosilikatze was not of the Zulu tribe proper, and he and his followers styled themselves Abaka-Zulu.
His influence, however, extended from the Limpopo to the borders of Cape Colony, and through the ravages of Swangendaba and Mosilikatze the terror of the Zulu arms was carried far and wide into the interior of the continent.
Between i 8 i 7 and 1831 the country was devastated by the chief Mosilikatze and his Zulus, and large areas were depopulated.
The emigrants soon came into collision with Mosilikatze, raiding parties of Zulus attacking Boer hunters who had crossed the Vaal without seeking permission from that chieftain.
Reprisals followed, and in November 1837 Mosilikatze was decisively defeated by the Boers and thereupon fled northward.
After the defeat of Mosilikatze the town of Winburg (so named by the Boers in commemoration of their victory) was founded, a volksraad elected, and Piet Retief, one of the ablest of the voortrckkers, chosen " governor and commandant-general."
During their stay there they had inflicted a severe defeat on the Zulus under Dingaan (December 1838), an event which, following on the flight of Mosilikatze, greatly strengthened the position of Moshesh, whose power became a menace to that of the emigrant farmers.
The Rev. John Campbell, one of the founders of the Bible Society, also travelled in southern Bechuanaland and the adjoining districts in 1812-1814 and 1819-1821, adding considerably to the knowledge of the river systems. About 1817 Mosilikatze, the founder of the Matabele nation, fleeing from the wrath of Chaka, the Zulu king, began his career of conquest, during which he ravaged a great part of Bechuanaland and enrolled large numbers of Bechuana in his armies.
In formulating this appeal he declared that when the Boers were at war with Mosilikatze, chief of the Matabele, he had aided them on the solemn understanding that they were to respect his boundaries.
The "Place of Slaughter," as the Zulu word Bulawayo is interpreted, was founded about 1838 by Lobengula's father, Mosilikatze, some distance south of the present town, and continued to be the royal residence till its occupation by the British South Africa Company's forces in November 1893, when a new town was founded.