Bambatha returned to the Mpanza Valley to discover that the Natal government had deposed him as chief. He gathered together a small force of supporters and began launching a series of guerrilla attacks, using the Nkandla forest as a base. Following a series of initial successes, colonial troops under the command of Colonel Duncan McKenzie set out on an expedition in late April 1906.Once they succeeded in getting face to face with and surrounding the rebels at Mome Gorge, the British victory in the unequal battler was inevitable, given the vast disparity of forces. As the sun rose, colonial soldiers opened fire with machine guns and cannon, on rebels mostly armed only with traditional assegais (spears), knobkerries (fighting sticks) and cowhide shields.
Bambatha was killed and beheaded during the battle; however, many of his supporters believed that he was still alive, and his wife refused to go into mourning. Bambathas main ally, the 95 year old Zulu aristocrat Inkosi Sigananda Shezi of the amaCube clan (cousin and near contemporary of the Zulu king Shaka) was captured by the colonial troops and died a few days later.Between 3,000 and 4,000 Zulus were killed during the revolt (some of whom died fighting on the side of the Natal government). More than 7,000 were imprisoned, and 4,000 flogged. King Dinizulu was arrested and sentenced to four years imprisonment for treason.