The ten homeland
s consisting largely of desert and corrugated iron
shacks which South Africa
devised as a way of ridding itself of its entire Black population. Four of them were granted independence
, recognized by no-one except South Africa and each other.
KwaNdebele was on the road to independence; and KaNgwane was briefly dissolved in 1982 in an effort to cede
it to neighbouring Swaziland
The problem with pretending they were real countries was that they had armies of their own, and an army likes to stage a coup d'état from time to time. Transkei fell under military rule in 1987, and Ciskei and Venda in 1990. The generals were sometimes more enlightened than the tinpot local councillors who preceded them, and the independent homelands became bases where the ANC could operate freely. Only South African intervention saved Bophuthatswana when it happened there, but an attempted Afrikaner coup then led to its reabsorption by South Africa in March 1994. On 27 April 1994, when apartheid was finally wound up, the remaining nine homelands were abolished.
They also set up apartheid homelands in South-West Africa/Namibia; they included the Caprivi Strip, Okavango, Ovambo, and if my memory serves me correctly one for the Rehoboth Basters, a Coloured group; but these were not taken as seriously.
An oddity of the flags of the Bantustans was that they contained no red and very little black: they were all in peaceful, neutral colours with no militant symbolism. The exception was KwaZulu, which had spears and a shield on a big red stripe, so there.