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Timeline of Major Historical Moments in South Africa

2,500,000 BCEEarly human ancestors evolve in South Africa
42,000 BCEThe San hunter-gatherer culture develops in South Africa
300Khoi pastoralists migrate into the Western Cape of South Africa
300Bantu Expansion: Bantu tribes, including the Zulu & the Xhosa, extend into South Africa displacing the KhoiSan people
900-1300Kingdom of Mapungubwe: KhoiSan kingdom develops trade with India, Arabia & China
1652-1795Dutch Cape Colony: Dutch traders become the first Europeans to settle in South Africa & founds the Cape Colony as a Dutch East India Company port
1795-1803British Cape Colony: Britain takes control of the Cape Colony
1803-1806Batavian Cape Colony: The Netherlands reestablish control of the Cape Colony
1806-1910Cape of Good Hope: Britain is ceded the Cape Colony & renames it the Cape of Good Hope
1818-1897Zululand Kingdom: Zulus establish a powerful military empire in South Africa
1818-1840Mfecane: The Zulu Kingdom's expands, displacing & kiling up to 2 million indigenous South Africans
1834Slavery is abolished in South Africa
1835-1840Great Trek: The Boers, Dutch-speaking farmers, migrate & settle northern-east of the British-controlled Cape Colony
1847Britain annexes the Boer republic of Natalia, renaming it Natal
1852-1902South African Republic: The Boers establish a the Transvaal as an independent nation-state
1854-1902Free State Republic: The Boers found the independent republic of the Orange Free State
1860-1911Thousands of Indian workers & traders arrive in South Africa
1861-1874Griqualand: The Griquas, the mixed-race culture descended from white Dutch men & black African women, found settlements away from British & Dutch control
1866Diamonds are discovered in the present-day town of Kimberley
1877Britain forceably annexes the Transvaal
1879Britain forceably annexes the Zululand Kingdom
1880-1881First Anglo-Boer War: South African War between the British & Dutch in the Transvaal results in the reestablishment of the Transvaal as a Boer republic independent of Britain
1886Gold is discovered in Johannesburg, sparking the South African gold rush
1899-1902Second Anglo-Boer War: South African War between the British & Dutch, resulting in British sovereignty of the Transvaal & the Orange Free State
1910-1961Union of South Africa: The former British colonies & Boer republics unite as a single semi-autonomous state within the British Empire
1913Land Act bans black South Africans from buying land except in Cape Province & in "reserves" or "homelands." Thousands of black Africans are forcibly resettled
1914-1918WWI: South Africa fights for Britain
1924Platinum is discovered in the Transvaal
1939-1945WWII: South African ports are used by the British Royal Navy to intercept Axis ships
1948-1990Apartheid: Institutional racist policies & suppression of black South Africans
1952Campaign for Defiance of Unjust Laws: The African National Congress, co-led by Nelson Mandela, start a movement for black civil rights
1961-1994Republic of South Africa: South Africa defects from the British Commonwealth
1962-1990Mandela is arrested & imprisoned at Robben Island
1967The world's first human heart transplant is performed in Cape Town
1970-1979Blacks are forcibly resettled
1993Mandela is awarded the Nobel Peace Price
1994-1999All South Africans gain voting rights & Mandela is elected president
1994-presentCommonwealth Republic of South Africa: The Government of National Unity is founded & South Africa is reestablished as a British Commonwealth
1995South Africa hosts the World Cup rugby championship & wins
2010South Africa hosts the World Cup