The severe famine occurred because of the crops destruction by the Boers and the ignoring of the agriculture by the Africans, led to the defeat of the Africans.
Determination by the Boers to defeat the Africans who had earlier defeated them partly led to the defeat of the Ndebele people by the Boers.
The Ndebele people (Africans) were attacked by tropical diseases like malaria, small pox, etc. which weakened them thus led to their defeat by the Boers.
The strong leadership of the Boers who were well trained and more skilled than the African leader Mzilikazi properly mobilized their people against the Ndebele.
The Boers defeated the Africans because the Ndebele had no support from other tribes since they were aggressive and used to attacks their neighbours.
The Africans had inferior weapons that they used in the battle of Vegkop hence easily defeated by the Boers who had modern weapons like the guns.
The Africans were economically and financially poor, and therefore they could not handle the Boers who were financially strong.
The African fighters were not properly organized (disunited) at the battle of Vegkop and this partly led to their defeat by the Boer forces.
The Ndebele fighters were few in number as compared to the Boer troops and this made it easy for the Boers to crush the Africans at the battle of Vegkop.
In conclusion, the Ndebele fighters were defeated due to political, social and economic reasons which were both short term and long term; internal and external in nature.