A Very, Very Brief History of South Africa

South Africa was settled by the Dutch in 1652 as a stopping point for ships on their way to the East Indies. Fruit and vegetables were grown here to battle the problem of scurvy aboard passing ships. The Dutch first settled the area that was to become Cape Town and with time expanded across the entire tip of southern Africa.

After the Napoleonic wars in 1815, South Africa changed hands and became a British colony. Many of the Dutch went north to get away from the English. Here they encountered tribes that, over time, had moved south from central Africa. There ensued a period of war between the Dutch Boers and the Zulus, a powerful tribe led by Shaka. The Boers eventually won and created an Afrikaner state in the north. In 1899 there were the Boer Wars as a result of the English trying to annex this Afrikaner state. In 1910 South Africa became a union, a coalition between the English and Afrikaner states. In 1960 South Africa gained independence from British rule and became a republic. This period was to be very difficult time for many people since Apartheid was fully enforced. During the 90’s, with the release of Nelson Mandela (who eventually became president) and the abolition of the Apartheid laws, South Africa went through an amazing transformation. South Africa has journeyed through great obstacles to become a nation whose dream of unity and common purpose is now capable of realization for all its people. (Wikipedia)

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