KwaZulu was a bantustan in South Africa, intended by the apartheid government as a semi-independent homeland for the Zulu people. The capital, formerly at Nongoma, was moved in 1980 to Ulundi.

It was led by Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi of the Zulu tribe and head of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) until its abolition in 1994. It was then merged with the surrounding South African province of Natal to form the new province of KwaZulu-Natal.

In March 1996, two years after South Africa's transition to majority rule, the trial of The State v. Peter Msane & Others was held due to the accusation against thirteen retired white generals, including Magnus Malan (who served as defense minister at the height of emergency rule in the mid-1980s) and seven Zulus, partisans of Buthelezi's Inkatha Freedom Party of complicity in a massacre of thirteen people, ten years earlier, in a rural village in the KawZulu homeland known as KwaMakhutha. The trial was an attempt by Nelson Mandela's new government to bring to justice those at the top of apartheid's security forces, who were alleged to have purposefully fanned violence among blacks by arming and training one faction - Inkatha - as a proxy force, in the tradition of divide and rule