History of South Africa

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History of South Africa is dominated by that of interaction and conflict between several diverse ethnic groups. The aboriginal Khoisan people have lived in the region for millennia. Most of the population, however, trace their history to immigration since. Black South Africans are descendants of immigrants from further north in Africa who first entered what are now the confines of the country roughly one thousand years ago. White South Africans are descendants of later European settlers, mainly from the Netherlands and Britain. The Coloureds are descended at least in part from all of these groups, as well as from slaves from the then East Indies, and there are many South Africans of Indian and Chinese origin, descendants of labourers who arrived in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The history South Africa is taken here more broadly to cover the history not only of the current South African state but of other polities in the region, including those of the Khoisan, the several Bantu kingdoms in the region before colonisation, the rule of the Dutch in the Cape and the subsequent rule of the British there and in Natal, and the so-called Boer republics, including the Orange Free State and the South African Republic. South Africa was under an official system of racial segregation and white minority rule from 1948 known as Apartheid, until its first egalitarian elections in 1994, when the ruling African National Congress came to dominate the politics of the country.

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