To contest the succession Dinuzulu first appealed to the British, but had no response. He then offered rewards of land to Boer mercenaries who would come and fight on his side. In 1884 a group of Boer farmers from the districts of Utrecht and Vryheid undertook to restore order, in return for land for the formation of an independent republic. Led by General Louis Botha, they formed Dinuzulu's Volunteers and after several clashes with Zibhebhu, defeated him at the Battle of Ghost Mountain (also known as the Battle of Tshaneni) on 5 June 1884, killing Zibhebhu and his forces to the last man.
The mercenaries then claimed payment and Dinuzulu found himself confronted with demands he could not meet. 800 mercenaries claimed to have fought for him and all claimed large farms. They claimed about half of Zululand, including St Lucia Bay, an outlet to the sea. Britain intervened and the mercenaries were given a grant of land in the northern part of Zululand. 500 mercenaries each received a farm of 16 km². Another 300 men who had arrived late received smaller grants, known as 'half farms'. On 5 August 1884, these mercenaries declared a republic, with the town of Vryheid as its capital, which lasted for only four years. After considerable dispute a Natal arbitration court recognised the New Republic, reduced in size, however, and deprived of its claims to St Lucia. The following year it was absorbed into the Transvaal.
Read more about this topic: Dinuzulu KaCetshwayo
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