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History >> Geography >> Africa >> South Africa

South Africa

Timeline and History Overview

South Africa Timeline

BCE CE

Nelson Mandela

Brief Overview of the History of South Africa

South Africa has been inhabited by people for thousands of years. Early on in its history, the Bantu tribes migrated to the area. Many of the people that live in South Africa today speak some form of Bantu language.

The first Europeans to come to South Africa were the Portuguese in 1488. It was many years later, however, in 1652 when the Dutch East India Company established a small settlement at the Cape of Good Hope. Many more Europeans moved in over time including Germans, French, and Dutch settlers. These people became known as the Afrikaners.

In 1948 the National Party was voted into power. They started a policy called apartheid. This was where people were separated based on their race. Particularly white people and black people were separated and the white people ruled the land. In 1961, South Africa became an independent nation.

The African National Congress pushed for the end to apartheid and the equal treatment of black South Africans. Nelson Mandela was a leader of the ANC. He spent 27 years in prison while fighting for equal rights. In 1994 apartheid was abolished and black people were allowed to vote.

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History >> Geography >> Africa >> South Africa





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