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1815: Shaka becomes chief of the Zulus, carves out the Zulu kingdom and begins forging strong fighting units.

1838: Zulu chief Dingane and his warriors kill 500 Afrikaner trekkers including their leader, Piet Retief. On Dec. 16, 500 trekkers defeat 10,000 Zulus at Blood River.

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1897: The British annex Zululand, divide the kingdom into chiefdoms, and send Zulu King Dinuzulu into exile.

1970: Self-governing KwaZulu homeland set up.

1972: Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi becomes chief executive councillor of KwaZulu legislative assembly.

1976: Buthelezi becomes chief minister of KwaZulu.

1985-86: Factional fighting flares between supporters of the African National Congress and Inkatha in Natal and KwaZulu area and continues for the next decade.

July 1990: Inkatha cultural movement becomes a political party. Factional fighting spreads to townships around Johannesburg and continues over the next few years.

July 1991: White apartheid government funding of Inkatha Freedom Party is exposed.

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October 1992 : Inkatha joins forces with white right-wing organizations to oppose democracy negotiations dominated by the ANC and white government. December - KwaZulu legislative assembly adopts a constitution for an autonomous future state of KwaZulu-Natal.

March 1994: State of emergency declared in KwaZulu-Natal as violence increases.

April 19, 1994: Inkatha leader Buthelezi agrees to take part in April 26 to 28 elections. On the eve of elections, the 10 black homelands including KwaZulu officially abolished. New province - KwaZulu-Natal, merging the old homeland and Natal province, comes into being.

1995: Buthelezi pulls his party out of Constitutional Assembly, insisting on international mediation over issues such as greater autonomy for KwaZulu-Natal.

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