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The Nieuwe Republiek (1884 – 1888) was one of 16 independent republics that came into being in South Africa before 1961. They were the result of a colonial south that accepted British Rule and a republican north that desired freedom and independence.

The Nieuwe Republiek with its capital ‘Vryheid’ in KwaZulu-Natal has a very close connection with Zulu history and especially with Dinizulu, head of the Usuthu tribe in North Western Zululand. On 4 June 1884, Dinizulu with the support of 100 mounted Boers defeated his opponent Usibephu. Following this partnership between Zulu and Boers, land was acquired by the Boers, giving birth to the Nieuwe Republiek.

The parliament building, also accommodating a fortress and a prison (never used) was built in 1884. The driving force and the first and only president of the Nieuwe Republiek was Lucas Meijer (1884 – 1888). During 1888 the Nieuwe Republiek merged with the ZAR following threats coming from the British authorities in Port Natal.

This parliament building today forms The Nieuwe Republiek Museum with its key theme (inside the Council chamber) “ Republics in the South African history…”

6 Reviews

  • Good day.
    I was wondering if maybe you can help me.
    I am looking for information about my great grandfather and mother. They stayed in Vryheid since about 1901.
    There names was Christian Johannes Jacobus Roestroff/Roestorff and Charlotte Roestroff/ Roestorff.
    They were buried in the Vryheid cemetery.
    I would like to know if there is anything about him in connection with the Wars. Charlotte was a nurse back then.

  • Hello Marlé I searched and found some information on Christiaan Roestroff please drop me an email and I can send the info to you. Regards

    • Hi Matt.
      Can you please give me your email address or if it is possibly to send the information you found to my email. It will be appreciated!

  • Hello,
    I have stumbled across material concerning the late husband of my late Grand Aunt, who was a decorated ANZAC and was born in Vryheid in 1893. I am anxious to follow up leads with local record sources in Vryheid. My grand uncle in law’s name is Michael Peter, or perhaps Petrus, MEYER, and his name appears in some Australian records as Meyers. His military records cite the address of his Mother, Nellie Meyer, as being at a place called Golden Valley,, Lenganie Drift via Vryheid, Natal. I am anxious to locate local records in Natal concerning my Grand Uncle and would be grateful for any leads that you might be able to provide so that I am able to follow them up.

  • Can anyone tell me where the original or a certified copy can be found of the cession/agreement between the Zulu King Dinuzulu and Genaral Lucas Meijer for the territory known as the Nieuwe Republiek.

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