One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A country that occupies the most southern part of Africa; population 54,500,000 (estimated 2015); administrative capital, Pretoria; legislative capital, Cape Town; judicial capital, Bloemfontein; eleven official languages: English, Afrikaans, Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele, Sepedi or Northern Sotho, Sesotho or Southern Sotho, Swazi, Tswana, Tsonga, and Venda.
Settled by the Dutch in the 17th century, the area of the cape came under British administration in 1806. There followed inland expansion and British dominance of local populations, culminating in victory in the Zulu and Boer Wars at the end of the 19th century. The colonies of Natal, the Cape, Transvaal, and Orange Free State joined to form the self-governing Union of South Africa in 1910. In 1961 South Africa became a republic and left the Commonwealth of Nations. From 1948, it pursued a policy of white minority rule (apartheid), which led to international diplomatic isolation. A gradual dismantling of apartheid began in 1990 following the release of the African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela. Majority rule was achieved after the country's first democratic elections in April 1994, won by the ANC. South Africa rejoined the Commonwealth in 1994
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