South African history dates back to the 4th Century (over 20 thousand years). The country has undergone many changes throughout this time however still remains diverse in its people and culture. The following outlines important dates in South African history, some of which can be discussed in further detail in preparation for the collage.
Brief History of South Africa
4th Century – Tribes and Hunter-gathers known as San or Bushmen began moving to South Africa
1400s – European ships heading to the Far East began stopping on South African coasts for supplies
1652 - The Netherlands established the southern city of Cape Town and Dutch farmers, called Boers, began settling in the areas around the city
1806 – European wars meant that Britain was in control of the Cape Town colony
1816-1826 – The Zulu Empire is formed
1879 – The British defeat the Zulu in a war over land
1910 – The 4 British colonies unite to make South Africa
1948 – Conflict between South Africans worsened due to the National Party instituting ‘apartheid’
With the British in control of the South African colonies, they established laws that separated whites from blacks. This was called apartheid which is Afrikaans for separation. This meant different ethnic groups had different rights to each other.
1960 – Black people living in South Africa protested against the laws. This resulted in 69 deaths. A group called the ANC (African National Congress) was formed by people of all races against the apartheid
1963 – Nelson Mandela, the head of the ANC was sentenced to life in prison for fighting against the apartheid
1976 – Riots begin in Soweto between police and black people. This is recalled by a man who was a schoolboy at the time (news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/5060278.stm)
1990 – Nelson Mandela is released from prison
Upon his release, Mandela played a leading role in the struggle to replace the apartheid regime with a multi-racial democracy
1992 – The government replaced its last laws against apartheid
1993 – Nelson Mandela along with the South African President received a Nobel Peace Prize for their work against apartheid
1994 – The first election took place where all could vote, no matter what their race. Nelson Mandela was elected as the first black president of South Africa
1995 – South Africa hosted the Rugby World Cup. This was viewed as a new start for South Africa, one where they would be able show the world that the years of apartheid were over. South Africa went on to win the world cup, an iconic moment when Nelson Mandela walked onto the pitch and presented the players with the cup
It is said that “New South Africa” was born during the 1995 Rugby World Cup. It was an ambitious political challenge but Mandela saw the opportunity to fully reconcile whites with black, using the Springbok team to unite the most divided nation on earth around one common goal. Following a dramatic victory by South Africa over New Zealand in the final, the iconic, historic moment came when Nelson Mandela walked on to the pitch to present the winners’ cup to the national champions.
(Source - BBC News)