One of the most important events in the history of South Africa, this battle, fought between the Boers and the Zulus in 1838, predates the Anglo-Zulu War by more than 40 years. After the murder of Piet Retief and his men at Mgungundlovu in February 1838, Dingane dispatched Zulu impis to kill all the white settlers in Natal. But by November Andries Pretorius' new Boer commando of 464 men and 64 wagons moved to challenge the Zulus and took a vow that should God grant them
victory, they would forever remember that day as a holy day. On December 16 an enormous Zulu force armed only with spears attacked the armed Boers. At the end of the battle 3,000 Zulus lay dead, but not a single Boer had fallen. The long-term effects of the battle were dramatic. The intensely religious Voortrekkers saw their great victory as a confirmation of their role as God's chosen people which led to the apartheid system that surfaced more than a century later. Two powerful monuments—one to the Boers, the other to the Zulus—today commemorate the battle.