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Introduction
Sources:
Africa 2006,

The region is said to have been occupied by small no madic groups of San or Bushmen hunter-gatherers 100,000 years ago. Some 2,000 years ago they were gradually displaced by the pastoral Khoi or Hottentot and 1,500 years ago migrant Bantu entered the region from the north-central part of the continent. Portuguese explorer Bartholomeu Dias was the first European to set foot on South African soil in August 1487. It was, however, only on 6 April 1652 that a small group of Dutch under command of Jan van Riebeeck of the Dutch East India Company settled at the Cape. In 1689 they were joined by French Huguenots who developed the settlement into a notable wine producer. Britain took control of the Cape in 1806. The new British settlers aligned themselves with the Dutch frontiersmen. However, relations between the British authorities and the Boers (farmers)-as these descendants of the original Dutch and French settlers called themselves- were strained. The Boers trekked north and established their own independent Republics of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. After their defeat by Britain in the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902 both Boer Republics were ruled from Westminster for eight years until 31 May 1910 when, together with the Cape and Natal colonies, they received independence as part of the Union of South Africa. Until 1994 the country was ruled by a succession of white governments applying segregation in one form or another. Beginning in 1912 the African National Congress (ANC) represented much of the disenfranchised black majority. In 1960s, the ANC abandoned its non-violent stance at the insistence of leaders such as Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Govan Mbeki. With most of these leaders later convicted and jailed at Robben Island, the ANC continued its struggle from abroad. The decision in 1990 by President F.W. de Klerk to scrap apartheid and negotiate a new South Africa with Mandela and his comrades led to the first free elections on 24 April 1994. The ANC won and Nelson Mandela became president. After his retirement in 1999, Deputy President Thabo Mbeki led the ANC to victory and assumed the presidency. He scored another major victory in 2004.  


Introduction
Sources:
Africa 2006,

The region is said to have been occupied by small no madic groups of San or Bushmen hunter-gatherers 100,000 years ago. Some 2,000 years ago they were gradually displaced by the pastoral Khoi or Hottentot and 1,500 years ago migrant Bantu entered the region from the north-central part of the continent. Portuguese explorer Bartholomeu Dias was the first European to set foot on South African soil in August 1487. It was, however, only on 6 April 1652 that a small group of Dutch under command of Jan van Riebeeck of the Dutch East India Company settled at the Cape. In 1689 they were joined by French Huguenots who developed the settlement into a notable wine producer. Britain took control of the Cape in 1806. The new British settlers aligned themselves with the Dutch frontiersmen. However, relations between the British authorities and the Boers (farmers)-as these descendants of the original Dutch and French settlers called themselves- were strained. The Boers trekked north and established their own independent Republics of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. After their defeat by Britain in the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902 both Boer Republics were ruled from Westminster for eight years until 31 May 1910 when, together with the Cape and Natal colonies, they received independence as part of the Union of South Africa. Until 1994 the country was ruled by a succession of white governments applying segregation in one form or another. Beginning in 1912 the African National Congress (ANC) represented much of the disenfranchised black majority. In 1960s, the ANC abandoned its non-violent stance at the insistence of leaders such as Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Govan Mbeki. With most of these leaders later convicted and jailed at Robben Island, the ANC continued its struggle from abroad. The decision in 1990 by President F.W. de Klerk to scrap apartheid and negotiate a new South Africa with Mandela and his comrades led to the first free elections on 24 April 1994. The ANC won and Nelson Mandela became president. After his retirement in 1999, Deputy President Thabo Mbeki led the ANC to victory and assumed the presidency. He scored another major victory in 2004.


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