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Regions with significant populations
Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal ( South Africa)
Swazi, Zulu, Xhosa, Sotho and English
Christianity, African Traditional Religion
Related ethnic groups
Nguni • Zulu • Basotho • Xhosa • Swazi • Matabele
The Bhele people
LanguageisiXhosa and isiZulu
CountrySouth Africa

Bhele people (or AmaBhele) are an African ethnic Nguni group. They are found in the Republic of South Africa in the KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga provinces, They are said to have traceable descendants in the modern-day Kingdoms of Lesotho and Swaziland, as well as in countries like Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

The AmaBhele are said to have originated 20 km south of modern-day Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal in a place called Lenge, next to a mountain where their common ancestor Bhele is said to have resided about two and half centuries ago.

The AmaBhele were scattered in different directions of Southern Africa during the chaos of the Mfecane wars, many people were forced to migrate to safer areas of Southern Africa. The scattered tribes often tried to dominate those in new territories and left a trail of destruction, leading to widespread wave of warfare; consolidation of other groups, such as the Matabele, the Mfengu and the Makololo; and the creation of states such as the modern Lesotho.


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Ethnic groups in South Africa