National Day holidays celebrated in different countries
Updated: 2013-09-27 11:32
By Mao Jing and Wang Yu (Chinadaily.com.cn)
South Africa: The earliest residents in South Africa are the Khoikhoi, San peoples and the later Batu-speaking peoples. In 1652, a century and a half after the discovery of the Cape Sea Route, Jan van Riebeeck established a refreshment station at the Cape of Good Hope, at what would become Cape Town, on behalf of the Dutch East India Company. The Dutch transported slaves from Indonesia, Madagascar, and India as labour for the colonists in Cape Town.
Great Britain took over the Cape of Good Hope area in 1795, to prevent it from falling under control of theFrench First Republic, which had invaded the Dutch Republic. Cape Town became a British colony in 1806. The discovery of diamonds, and later gold, was one of the catalysts that triggered the 19th-century conflict known as the Anglo-Boer War.
Eight years after the end of the Second Boer War and after four years of negotiation, an act of the British Parliament (South Africa Act 1909) created the Union of South Africa on 31 May 1910. The Union was a British dominion that included the former territories of the Cape and Natal colonies, as well as the republics of Orange Free State and Transvaal. On 31 May 1961, the country became a republic following a referendum in which white voters narrowly voted in favor thereof. Queen Elizabeth II was stripped of the title Queen of South Africa, and the last Governor-General, namely Charles Robberts Swart, became State President.
In 1990 the National Party government took the first step towards dismantling discrimination when it lifted the ban on the African National Congress and other political organisations. It released Nelson Mandela from prison after twenty-seven years' serving a sentence for sabotage.
South Africa held its first universal elections on April, 27, 1994 which later has been called the Independence Day of South Africa and Nelson Mandala became the new president and the government repealed apartheid legislation. (source: Wikipedia)
Children play and dance in front of the Union Buildings in South Africa's executive capital Pretoria on April 27, 2007. [Photo/Xinhua]