South Africa Timeline By: Sandra Williams

4th Century Indigeous San and Khoikhoi

The San and Khoikhoi are two South Africa's native tribes. The San were hunters while the Khoikhoi were pastoral herders. The Khoikhoi were the first to come into contract with the Dutch and given the nickname 'Bushmen'. Today they are known as the Khoisan and are still domestic herders.

1910 Formation of Union of South Africa by British countries

On May 31, 1910, the Union of South Africa was formed under British dominion. It was exactly eight years after the signing of the Treaty of Vereeniging, which had brought the Second Anglo-Boer War to an end.

1912 African National Congress Founded

The African National Congress (ANC) is South Africa's governing party and has been in power since the transition to democracy in April 1994. The organisation was initially founded as the South African Native National Congress (SANNC) on 8 January 1912 in Bloemfontein, with the aim of fighting for the rights of black South Africans.

1948 National Party Gains Control, Apartheid Adopted

The first leader of the National Party (NP) became Prime Minister as part of the PACT government in 1924. The NP was the governing party of South Africa from 1948 until 1994, and was disbanded in 2005. Its policies included apartheid, the establishment of a South African Republic, and the promotion of Afrikaner culture. NP members were sometimes known as ‘Nationalists’ or ‘Nats’.

1950 Population Classified By Race

During the apartheid period, the legislative basis for racial classification during apartheid was the Population Registration Act No. 30 of 1950. This Act divided the South African population into three main racial groups: Whites, Natives (Blacks), Indians and Coloured people (people of mixed race).

1964 ANC Leader Was Sentenced To Life Imprisoned

Nelson Mandela, leader in the African National Congress, an organization dedicated to protesting the South African government’s policy of apartheid, had been arrested in 1956 on treason charges, but was acquitted.

1994 ANC Wins Elections, Mandela Becomes President

On May 9, 1994, South Africa's newly elected parliament chose Nelson Mandela to be the first president of the post-apartheid era. Nelson Mandela was a leader in the African National Congress, an organization dedicated to protesting the South African government’s policy of apartheid. He spent 27 years in prison, during which time he became the central figure of the anti-apartheid movement as an international campaign fought for his release.

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