Ex Unitate Vires
|- 1989-1994||Frederik Willem de Klerk|
|Legislature||House of Assembly|
|- May 31, 1961||Constitution Act|
|- September 22, 1983||Tricameral Constitution|
|- April 27, 1994||Democratic Constitution|
|South Africa||South Africa|
The Republic of South Africa (1961-1994) was republic in Southern Africa. In 1961 monarchy was abolished by adopting the Republic of South Africa Constitution Act, which replaced Queen Elizabeth II with an elected president. Another Constitution Act was adopted in 1983, which introduced a tricameral parliament. The system of apartheid, which had been introduced in 1948, was finally abolished under the new Constitution of the Republic of South Africa in 1994 that brought about the first democratic elections in the history of the country.
Dutch traders landed at the southern tip of modern day South Africa in 1652 and established a stopover point on the spice route between the Netherlands and the Far East, founding the city of Cape Town. After the British seized the Cape of Good Hope area in 1806, many of the Dutch settlers (the Boers) trekked north to found their own republics. The discovery of diamonds (1867) and gold (1886) spurred wealth and immigration and intensified the subjugation of the native inhabitants. The Boers resisted British encroachments but were defeated in the Boer War (1899-1902); however, the British and the Afrikaners, as the Boers became known, ruled together beginning in 1910 under the Union of South Africa, which became a republic in 1961 after a whites-only referendum. In 1948, the National Party was voted into power and instituted a policy of apartheid - the separate development of the races - which favored the white minority at the expense of the black majority. The African National Congress (ANC) led the opposition to apartheid and many top ANC leaders, such as Nelson MANDELA, spent decades in South Africa's prisons. Internal protests and insurgency, as well as boycotts by some Western nations and institutions, led to the regime's eventual willingness to negotiate a peaceful transition to majority rule. The first multi-racial elections in 1994 brought an end to apartheid and ushered in majority rule under an ANC-led government.
- Frederik Willem de Klerk (₩) (August 15, 1989 - May 10, 1994)
South African Polities
- The CIA World Factbook: Introduction - Background