Netherlands-South African Railway Company
The Netherlands–South African Railway Company or NZASM was a railway company established in 1887. The company was based in Amsterdam and Pretoria, operated in the South African Republic during the late 19th century. At the request of ZAR president Paul Kruger, the NZASM constructed a railway line between Pretoria and Lourenço Marques in Portuguese East Africa; the British conquered the Dutch Cape Colony in 1806. The new administration was not universally accepted by the Dutch colonists and after the 1830s thousands of Dutch-speaking colonists migrated to the interior of Southern Africa; this migration, known as the Great Trek, resulted in the establishment of 14 independent republics. By the mid 19th century these republics had merged into the two larger republics: The South African Republic and the Republic of the Orange Free State; the British Empire recognized the independence of these republics in 1852 and 1854. The relationship between the British and the Boers remained strained throughout the 19th century as a result of the First Boer War.
Both republics were located in the interior of what is now South Africa, with no route to the coast that did not pass through the British-held Cape Colony and Colony of Natal. Paul Kruger, president of the ZAR, decided that an alternative trade route to the ocean was a priority for the ZAR; the Witwatersrand Gold Rush after 1886 resulted in the rapid industrialization of the ZAR, making access to the ocean more important, allowed the cash-flush republic to invest in large-scale infrastructure projects. It will set an indelible seal upon the freedom, the independence, the nationality of the Republics, will put an effectual barrier on the extension of British dominion over the Vaal and Orange Rivers, it will make it immaterial to us whether the Liberals or Conservatives in England, or Molteno or Patterson at the Cape, are in power. In 1874 the Volksraad of the ZAR decided that a railway would be built connecting the ZAR with Lourenço Marques on Delagoa Bay in Portuguese East Africa. A commission was established in 1874 to create a plan for the construction of this railway.
After initial success in raising capital and acquiring a railway concession from the Portuguese government, the project was stalled by the outbreak of the First Boer War. After the end of the war in 1881 the project was resumed, this time with renewed enthusiasm due to the threat of British domination over the Boer Republics. In 1884 a concession was granted to a group of Dutch investors, this was followed by the official establishment of the Netherlands-South African Railway Company on 21 June 1887 in Amsterdam in the Netherlands, funded by Dutch and Boer investors; the Pretoria - Delagoa Bay line, with a length of 562 kilometres, was opened on 6 November 1894 and is still in use today. The railway company employed about 3000 people. Of these, about 1500 were employed in the construction of the Pretoria - Delagoa Bay Line, it adopted the 3 ft 6 in of the neighbouring Cape Government Railways. On 19 February 1896, a train loaded with dynamite was struck by a shunter while being unloaded; the resulting Braamfontein Explosion was one of the largest artificial non-nuclear explosions in history, resulting in more than 70 deaths and 200 injuries.
In 1897, a new station was constructed in Johannesburg. The building was constructed in 1895 in Rotterdam and was used in the Amsterdam Exhibition before being dismantled and shipped to Johannesburg, where it was rebuilt in 1897. Although Johannesburg Park Station has twice been reconstructed, the 1897 building was preserved and moved a short distance to Newtown where it still stands, today. By 1899, the NZASM had constructed 1147 kilometres of railway; as a result of the rapid development of the goldfields on the Witwatersrand in the 1880s and the demand for coal by the growing industry, on 20 July 1888 the ZAR government granted a concession to the NZASM to construct a 16 miles railway line from Johannesburg to Boksburg. The line was opened on 17 March 1890, with the first train being hauled by a 14 Tonner locomotive, it became known as the "Randtram" though it was a railway in every aspect and not singularly dedicated to tram traffic. This was the first working railway line in the Transvaal.
The concession was extended the following year to continue the line eastward to Springs, where coal was known to exist, westward via Roodepoort to Krugersdorp. The entire 49-mile line was opened to traffic on 10 February 1891. In 1889 and 1890, the NZASM obtained three tramway steam locomotives with an 0-4-0T wheel arrangement for use on the Randtram line. Since the railway classified its locomotives according to their weight, these tank locomotives were known as the 10 Tonners; as the Randtram line was expanded to the west and east to become the Reef line between Roodepoort and Springs, the 14 Tonners remained in service on that line though their range of operation was somewhat limited by their small coal and water carrying capacities. The first locomotive, No. 1, named Transvaal, entered service on 18 July 1889. It hauled the first train on the Randtram line when it was opened on 17 March 1890, was retired in December 1903, by which time it had covered a distance of 113,309 miles. By 1899 the Randtram Line had expanded to a length of 82 kilometres.
In order to have an outlet to a harbour, a railway line from Delagoa Bay in Portuguese East Africa to Pretoria had been proposed to the Volksraad of the ZAR by President F. T. Burgers as far
Second Boer War
The Second Boer War was fought between the British Empire and two Boer states, the South African Republic and the Orange Free State, over the Empire's influence in South Africa. It is known variously as the Boer War, Anglo-Boer War, or South African War. Initial Boer attacks were successful, although British reinforcements reversed these, the war continued for years with Boer guerrilla warfare, until harsh British counter-measures brought them to terms; the war under-prepared. The Boers were well armed and struck first, besieging Ladysmith and Mahikeng in early 1900, winning important battles at Colenso and Stormberg. Staggered, the British fought back. General Redvers Buller was replaced by Lord Kitchener, they relieved the three besieged cities, invaded the two Boer republics in late 1900. The onward marches of the British Army, well over 400,000 men, were so overwhelming that the Boers did not fight staged battles in defense of their homeland; the British seized control of all of the Orange Free State and Transvaal, as the civilian leadership went into hiding or exile.
In conventional terms, the war was over. The British annexed the two countries in 1900. Back home, Britain's Conservative government wanted to capitalize on this success and use it to maneuver an early general election, dubbed a "khaki election" to give the government another six years of power in London. British military efforts were aided by Cape Colony, the Colony of Natal and some native African allies, further supported by volunteers from the British Empire, including Southern Africa, the Australian colonies, Canada and New Zealand. All other nations were neutral, but public opinion was hostile to the British. Inside the UK and its Empire there was significant opposition to the Second Boer War; the Boers refused to surrender. They reverted to guerrilla warfare under new generals Louis Botha, Jan Smuts, Christiaan de Wet and Koos de la Rey. Two years of surprise attacks and quick escapes followed; as guerrillas without uniforms, the Boer fighters blended into the farmlands, which provided hiding places and horses.
The UK's response to guerilla warfare was to set up complex nets of block houses, strong points, barbed wire fences, partitioning off the entire conquered territory. In addition, civilian farms and live stock were destroyed in the scorched earth strategy. Survivors were forced into concentration camps. Large proportions of these civilians died of hunger and disease the children. British mounted infantry units systematically tracked down the mobile Boer guerrilla units; the battles at this stage were small operations. Few died during combat, though many of disease; the war ended in surrender and British terms with the Treaty of Vereeniging in May 1902. Both former republics were incorporated into the Union of South Africa in 1910, as part of the British Empire; the conflict is referred to as the Boer War, since the First Boer War was a much smaller conflict. "Boer" is the common term for Afrikaans-speaking white South Africans descended from the Dutch East India Company's original settlers at the Cape of Good Hope.
It is known as the Anglo-Boer War among some South Africans. In Afrikaans it may be called the Anglo-Boereoorlog, Tweede Boereoorlog, Tweede Vryheidsoorlog or Engelse oorlog. In South Africa it is called the South African War; the complex origins of the war resulted from more than a century of conflict between the Boers and Britain, but of particular immediate importance was the question as to who would control and benefit most from the lucrative Witwatersrand gold mines. The first European settlement in South Africa was founded at the Cape of Good Hope in 1652, thereafter administered as part of the Dutch Cape Colony; the Cape was governed by the Dutch East India Company until its bankruptcy in the late 1700s, thereafter directly by the Netherlands. The British occupied the Cape three times during the Napoleonic Wars as a result of political turmoil in the Netherlands, the occupation became permanent after British forces defeated the Dutch at the Battle of Blaauwberg in 1806. At the time, the colony was home to about 26,000 colonists settled under Dutch rule.
A relative majority still represented old Dutch families brought to the Cape during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Cleavages were likelier to occur along socio-economic rather than ethnic lines and broadly speaking the colonists included a number of distinct subgroups, namely the Boers; the Boers were itinerant farmers who lived on the colony's frontiers, seeking better pastures for their livestock. Many Boers who were dissatisfied with aspects of British administration, in particular with Britain's abolition of slavery on 1 December 1834, elected to migrate away from British rule in what became known as the Great Trek. Around 15,000 trekking Boers followed the eastern coast towards Natal. After Britain annexed Natal in 1843, they journeyed further northwards into South Africa's vast eastern interior. There they established two independent Boer republics: the South African Republic and the Orange Free State. Britain recognised the two Boer republics in 1852 and 1854, but attempted British annexation of the Transvaal in 1877 led to the First Boer War in 1880–81
Cape Government Railways
The Cape Government Railways was the government-owned railway operator in the Cape Colony from 1874 until the creation of the South African Railways in 1910. The first railways at the Cape were owned; the Cape Town Railway and Dock Company started construction from Cape Town in 1859, reaching Eerste River by 1862 and Wellington by 1863. Meanwhile, by 1864 the Wynberg Railway Company had connected Cape Wynberg. For the moment, railway development at the Cape did not continue eastwards beyond Wellington because of the barrier presented by the mountains of the Cape Fold Belt; the discovery of diamonds, the consequent rush to Kimberley that started in 1871, gave impetus to the development of railways in South Africa. Shortly afterwards, in 1872, the Cape Colony attained responsible government under the leadership of Prime Minister John Molteno, who presented plans for an enormous network of railways to connect the Cape Colony's main ports to its interior and to the Diamond fields. In his first speech to the Cape Parliament he announced the purchase of all existing lines and the founding of the Cape Government Railways.
The announced expansion was to see the construction of a network over ten times more extensive than the total length of railway that existed in the whole of southern Africa at the time. The management of this system –, to become the nucleus of the future South African Railways – fell under his Public Works Department, until July 1873, when Molteno established a separate Railway Department under the renowned engineer William Brounger; the first few rudimentary lines at Cape Town were built at dimensions close to 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in standard gauge, the British Empire's standard. However their width, designed for England's landscape, made it impossible at the time to penetrate the mountains of the rugged southern African escarpment. Most of the sub-continent was landlocked. In 1871 Molteno had written to the British Governor of the Cape Henry Barkly about the gauge, used to penetrate the mountainous terrain near Trieste in modern Italy, believing it would work in crossing the South African mountains.
A narrower gauge enabled tighter turns and traversing steeper terrain. When the first elected Cape government took power the next year, its select committee set the gauge for all new railways at 3’-6”; the use of a dual system was kept, to ease the transition for the existing wider lines, but in only a few months the government standardised all railway development on what became known as the "Cape Gauge" of 3 ft 6 in. Although it was first meant just to ease construction of railways through mountainous terrain, this gauge went on to become the standard for all railways in southern and central Africa; the government's 1872 plan was for lines to strike northwards, from the three ports of Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and East London, towards Kimberley and the developing hinterland. These three lines became known as the "Cape Western", "Cape Midland" and "Cape Eastern" lines respectively, they were intended to bring the towns of southern Africa's vast hinterland into direct railway connection with the country's ports, thus driving the development of the interior and building an export economy.
The Cape Western Line was charted by the Prime Minister himself. Cape Town was cut off from the highland interior by a triple barrier of steep mountain ranges, but the lines nonetheless progressed fast inland, once the primary obstacle of the Hex River Mountains was overcome in 1876 with a major system of bridges and tunnels. 1876 saw the building of a new central station for Cape Town, over the next few years the line was extended through the Karoo desert to the town of Beaufort West, De Aar, thence to Kimberley. The Cape Midland Line was begun in 1872, when the Cape Government took over the rudimentary and incomplete line of the Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage Railway Company; however building accelerated massively over the next few years, with twin lines reaching northwards to Graaff-Reinet, eastwards to Grahamstown. These thus to Kimberley; the Cape Eastern Line was built to serve the frontier, its network of military forts. The port of East London was chosen for strategic reasons, being the closest port to the frontier for landing and transporting troops.
The line was begun in 1873, when the Prime Minister turning the first spades for both the East London harbour and the Eastern Railway Line on 20 August 1873. Though frontier wars disrupted construction from time to time, the line reached Queenstown in 1880. By 1885 the separate sections were connected and the Cape Western line reached Kimberley, marking the end of an epic which had begun in 1872, with the network completed faithfully according to the original 1872 plans. From an initial total of 92 kilometres in 1872, the Cape was now criss-crossed with over 2,000 kilometres of railway. Considerable development and economic growth followed the construction of the railway system, the news of the Cape's immense railway programme inspired similar moves in neighbouring states, such as the project of the Natal Government Railways to extend its few miles of railway inland towards the Drakensberg, President Burgers' ill-fated attempt to link the Transvaal Republic to Lourenço Marques. In 1886 gold was discovered in the South African Republic.
The Cape government and the government of the Orange Free State reached an agreement, by which the Cape Government Railways would build and operate a railway line, through the OFS, to the growing city of Johannesburg. This line reached Bloemfontein
South Africa the Republic of South Africa, is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by 2,798 kilometres of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans. South Africa is the largest country in Southern Africa and the 25th-largest country in the world by land area and, with over 57 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation, it is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Eastern Hemisphere. About 80 percent of South Africans are of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different African languages, nine of which have official status; the remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of European and multiracial ancestry. South Africa is a multiethnic society encompassing a wide variety of cultures and religions, its pluralistic makeup is reflected in the constitution's recognition of 11 official languages, the fourth highest number in the world. Two of these languages are of European origin: Afrikaans developed from Dutch and serves as the first language of most coloured and white South Africans.
The country is one of the few in Africa never to have had a coup d'état, regular elections have been held for a century. However, the vast majority of black South Africans were not enfranchised until 1994. During the 20th century, the black majority sought to recover its rights from the dominant white minority, with this struggle playing a large role in the country's recent history and politics; the National Party imposed apartheid in 1948. After a long and sometimes violent struggle by the African National Congress and other anti-apartheid activists both inside and outside the country, the repeal of discriminatory laws began in 1990. Since 1994, all ethnic and linguistic groups have held political representation in the country's liberal democracy, which comprises a parliamentary republic and nine provinces. South Africa is referred to as the "rainbow nation" to describe the country's multicultural diversity in the wake of apartheid; the World Bank classifies South Africa as an upper-middle-income economy, a newly industrialised country.
Its economy is the second-largest in Africa, the 34th-largest in the world. In terms of purchasing power parity, South Africa has the seventh-highest per capita income in Africa; however and inequality remain widespread, with about a quarter of the population unemployed and living on less than US$1.25 a day. South Africa has been identified as a middle power in international affairs, maintains significant regional influence; the name "South Africa" is derived from the country's geographic location at the southern tip of Africa. Upon formation, the country was named the Union of South Africa in English, reflecting its origin from the unification of four separate British colonies. Since 1961, the long form name in English has been the "Republic of South Africa". In Dutch, the country was named Republiek van Zuid-Afrika, replaced in 1983 by the Afrikaans Republiek van Suid-Afrika. Since 1994, the Republic has had an official name in each of its 11 official languages. Mzansi, derived from the Xhosa noun umzantsi meaning "south", is a colloquial name for South Africa, while some Pan-Africanist political parties prefer the term "Azania".
South Africa contains human-fossil sites in the world. Archaeologists have recovered extensive fossil remains from a series of caves in Gauteng Province; the area, a UNESCO World Heritage site, has been branded "the Cradle of Humankind". The sites include one of the richest sites for hominin fossils in the world. Other sites include Gondolin Cave Kromdraai, Coopers Cave and Malapa. Raymond Dart identified the first hominin fossil discovered in Africa, the Taung Child in 1924. Further hominin remains have come from the sites of Makapansgat in Limpopo Province and Florisbad in the Free State Province, Border Cave in KwaZulu-Natal Province, Klasies River Mouth in Eastern Cape Province and Pinnacle Point and Die Kelders Cave in Western Cape Province; these finds suggest that various hominid species existed in South Africa from about three million years ago, starting with Australopithecus africanus. There followed species including Australopithecus sediba, Homo ergaster, Homo erectus, Homo rhodesiensis, Homo helmei, Homo naledi and modern humans.
Modern humans have inhabited Southern Africa for at least 170,000 years. Various researchers have located pebble tools within the Vaal River valley. Settlements of Bantu-speaking peoples, who were iron-using agriculturists and herdsmen, were present south of the Limpopo River by the 4th or 5th century CE, they displaced and absorbed the original Khoisan speakers, the Khoikhoi and San peoples. The Bantu moved south; the earliest ironworks in modern-day KwaZulu-Natal Province are believed to date from around 1050. The southernmost group was the Xhosa people, whose language incorporates certain linguistic traits from the earlier Khoisan people; the Xhosa reached the Great Fish River, in today's Eastern Cape Province. As they migrated, these larger Iron Age populations
Sir Édouard Percy Cranwill Girouard, was a Canadian railway builder and Governor of Northern Nigeria and the East Africa Protectorate. Born in Montreal, the son of Désiré Girouard and Essie Cranwill, he attended Collège de Montréal and College St. Joseph in Trois-Rivières and graduated from the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario, in 1886. Girouard's father was a wealthy French-Canadian lawyer who went on to become a Conservative MP and Supreme Court justice while his mother was an Irish immigrant. Unlike most of the other members of the French-Canadian elite of Montreal, Girourad was not educated at Laval University, the traditional training ground of the Francophone elite, instead electing for an education in English at the Royal Military College. Girouard graduated first in his class as an engineer, was the first Roman Catholic to be awarded a degree in engineering at the Royal Military College. Girouard worked for two years on the Canadian Pacific Railway's "International Railway of Maine" in Greenville, before he was commissioned in the Royal Engineers in 1888.
Earning a reputation as a able and tough railroad man due to his work in Maine led to Girouard being offered a position in Britain in 1890. Girouad's family wanted him to stay in Canada, but Girouard wanted to see the world by building railroads all over the British Empire. From 1890–1895 he was in charge of the Woolwich Arsenal Railway before he joined the Dongola Expedition in 1896 and was asked by Kitchener to supervise the extension of the old Wadi-Halfa to Akasha railroad, which marked the beginning of the Sudan Military Railroad. Kitchener had asked for Girouard as he was reputably the best railroad builder in the entire British Empire. On 20 March 1896, the town of Akasheh was taken by Sir Archibald Hunter, Girouard went to work building a railroad across the desert. By 4 August 1896 Girouard reported to Kitchener the railroad now extended from Wali Halfa to Kosheh, covering some 116 miles of arid desert. Building a railroad in the desert in the 19th century presented major challenges such as attacks from the Ansar, a workforce of about 800 Sudanese who knew nothing about building railroads and had to be taught everything, the occasional heavy rain that washed away the track, the need to import everything, a cholera epidemic which killed off most of the workers in August 1896.
Girouard had to establish two technical schools to train his Sudanese workers about how to work as station masters, yard shunters and signalers as none of those skills were known in the Sudan which had never known railroads. In his 1899 book The River War, Winston Churchill praised Girouard as an extraordinarily capable man who made the advance into the Sudan possible. Sitting in his hut at Wadi Halfa, he drew up a comprehensive list. Nothing was forgotten; every want. The questions to be decided were involved. How much carrying capacity was required? How much rolling stock? How many engines? What spare parts? How much oil? How many lathes? How many cutters? How many punching and shearing machines? What arrangements of signals would be necessary? How many lamps? How many points? How many trolleys? What amount of coal should be ordered? How much water would be wanted? How should it be carried? To what extent would its carriage affect the hauling power and influence all previous calculations? How much railway plant was needed?
How many miles of rail? How many thousand sleepers? Where could they be procured at such short notice? How many fishplates were necessary? What tools would be required? What appliances? What machinery? How much skilled labour was wanted? How much of the class of labour available? How were the workmen to be fed and watered? How much food would they want? How many trains a day must be run to feed them and their escort? How many must be run to carry plant? How did these requirements affect the estimate for rolling stock? The answers to all these questions, to many others with which I will not inflict the reader, were set forth by Lieutenant Girouard in a ponderous volume several inches thick. After the British defeated the Ansar at the Battle of Hafir on 19 September 1896, Dongola was taken on 24 September 1896; these victories were made possible by the railroad Girouard built, which allowed Kitchener to bring in enough supplies and men to apply crushing firepower against the Ansar. In 1897 he was ordered by Kitchener to build a railway from Wadi Halfa to Abu Hamed, 235 miles directly across the Nubian Desert, which eliminated 500 miles of navigation up the Nile River.
This was risky as Girouard had always built his railroad close to the Nile, where there were gunboats to protect his workers from Ansar attacks, but he accepted the risk and went to work. Girouard traveled up and down the railroad, supervising the work as he had little faith in the ability of his Sudanese workers to build a railroad on their own; when Kitchener purchased several locomotives that Girouard deemed too light to operate in the desert, the latter went to Britain to buy heavier locomotives from the United States and while borrowing several more from Cecil Rhodes in South Africa. The millionaire Rhodes, who made a fortune in the diamond and gold mines of South Africa had a great dream of building the Cape to Cairo Railway that would run from Cape Town across Africa to Cairo. In turn, the "Cape to Cairo railroad" would be the device for the British colonization of much of Africa as Rhodes had grandiose plans for settling millions of British settlers in Africa; as su
Union of South Africa
The Union of South Africa is the historical predecessor to the present-day Republic of South Africa. It came into being on 31 May 1910 with the unification of the Cape Colony, the Natal Colony, the Transvaal, the Orange River Colony, it included the territories that were a part of the South African Republic and the Orange Free State. Following the First World War, the Union of South Africa was granted the administration of South West Africa as a League of Nations mandate, it became treated in most respects as another province of the Union, but it never was formally annexed. Like Canada and Australia, the Union of South Africa was a self-governing autonomous dominion of the British Empire, its independence from the United Kingdom was confirmed in the Balfour Declaration 1926 and the Statute of Westminster 1931. It was governed under a form of constitutional monarchy, with the Crown being represented by a governor-general; the Union came to an end with the enactment of the constitution of 1961, by which it became a republic and temporarily left the Commonwealth.
The Union of South Africa was a unitary state, rather than a federation like Canada and Australia, with each colony's parliaments being abolished and replaced with provincial councils. A bicameral parliament was created, consisting of the House of Assembly and Senate, with members of the parliament being elected by the country's white minority. During the course of the Union, the franchise changed on several occasions always to suit the needs of the government of the day. Parliamentary supremacy was a convention of the constitution, inherited from the United Kingdom. Owing to disagreements over where the Union's capital should be, a compromise was reached in which every province would be dealt a share of the benefits of the capital: the administration would be seated in Pretoria, Parliament would be in Cape Town, the Appellate Division would be in Bloemfontein. Bloemfontein and Pietermaritzburg were given financial compensation; the Union remained under the British Crown as a self-governing dominion of the British Empire.
With the passage of the Statute of Westminster in 1931, the Union and other dominions became equal in status to the United Kingdom and it could no longer legislate on behalf of them. The Monarch was represented in South Africa by a Governor-General, while effective power was exercised by the Executive Council, headed by the Prime Minister. Louis Botha a Boer general, was appointed first Prime Minister of the Union, heading a coalition representing the white Afrikaner and English-speaking British diaspora communities. Prosecutions before courts were instituted in the name of the Crown and government officials served in the name of the Crown. An entrenched clause in the Constitution mentioned Dutch and English as official languages of the Union, but the meaning of Dutch was changed by the Official Languages of the Union Act, 1925 to include both Dutch and Afrikaans. Most English-speaking whites in South Africa supported the United Party of Jan Smuts, which favoured close relations with the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.
Unlike the Afrikaans-speaking National Party, which had held anti-British sentiments, was opposed to South Africa's intervention in the Second World War. Some Nationalist organisations, like the Ossewa Brandwag, were supportive of Nazi Germany during the Second World War. Most English-speaking South Africans were opposed to the creation of a republic, many of them voting "no" in the 5 October 1960 referendum, but due to the much larger number of Afrikaans-speaking voters, the referendum passed, leading to the establishment of a republic in 1961. The Afrikaner-dominated Government withdrew South Africa from the Commonwealth. Following the results of the referendum, some whites in Natal, which had an English-speaking majority, called for secession from the Union. Five years earlier, some 33,000 Natalians had signed the Natal Covenant in opposition to the plans for a republic. Subsequently, the National Party government had passed a Constitution that repealed the South Africa Act; the features of the Union were carried over with little change to the newly formed Republic.
The decision to transform from a Union to Republic was narrowly decided in the referendum. The decision together with the South African Government's insistence on adhering to its policy of apartheid resulted in South Africa's de facto expulsion from the Commonwealth of Nations; the South Africa Act dealt with race in two specific provisions. First it entrenched the liberal Cape Qualified Franchise system of the Cape Colony which operated free of any racial considerations; the Cape Prime Minister at the time, John X. Merriman, fought hard, but unsuccessfully, to extend this system of multi-racial franchise to the rest of South Africa. Second it made "native affairs" a matter for the national government; the practice therefore was to establish a Minister of Native Affairs. According to Stephen Howe, colonialism in some cases—most among white minorities in South Africa—meant that these violent settlers wanted to maintain more racial inequalities than the colonial empire found just. Several previous unsuccessful attempts to unite the colonies were made, with proposed political models ranging from unitary, to loosely federal.
Sir George Grey, the Governor of Cap
South African Republic
The South African Republic referred to as the Transvaal Republic, was an independent and internationally recognised country in Southern Africa from 1852 to 1902. The country defeated the British in what is referred to as the First Boer War and remained independent until the end of the Second Boer War on 31 May 1902, when it was forced to surrender to the British. After the war the territory of the ZAR became the Transvaal Colony; the land area, once the ZAR now comprises all or most of the provinces of Gauteng, Limpopo and North West in the northeastern portion of modern-day Republic of South Africa. Constitutionally the name of the country was the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek; the ZAR was commonly referred to as Transvaal in reference to the area over the Vaal River, including by the British and European press. The British objected to the use of the name Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek. After the end of the First Boer War, the ZAR became a British Suzerain and in the Pretoria Convention of 3 August 1881, the British insisted on the use of the name Transvaal over Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek.
This convention was renegotiated in the London Convention dated 27 February 1884, a subsequent treaty between Britain and the ZAR, Britain acquiesced and the ZAR reverted to the use of the previous name. The name of the South African Republic was of such political significance that on 1 September 1900, the British declared by special proclamation that the name of the country be changed from Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek to the Transvaal; this proclamation was issued during the British occupation of the region in the Second Boer War and while the ZAR was still nominally an independent country. On 31 May 1902, the Treaty of Vereeniging was signed with the government of the South African Republic, the Orange Free State government, the British government, ending the war, converted the ZAR into the Transvaal Colony. Following the establishment of the Union of South Africa in 1910, the Transvaal Colony became Transvaal Province; the name Transvaal was changed in 1994, when the South African government broke up the province into four provinces and renamed the core region to Gauteng.
In paleolithic times, between 2.2 and 3.3 million years ago, hominids lived within the geographic area of the ZAR. The earliest hominid bones, between 2.2 and 3.3 million years old, were discovered at Sterkfontein in 1994. In 1938 Paranthropus robustus bones were found at Kromdraai, during 1947 several more examples of Australopithecus africanus were uncovered in Sterkfontein; the South African Republic came into existence on 17 January 1852, when the United Kingdom signed the Sand River Convention treaty with about 40,000 Boer people, recognising their independence in the region to the north of the Vaal River. The first president of the ZAR was Marthinus Wessel Pretorius, elected in 1857, son of Boer leader Andries Pretorius, who commanded the Boers to victory at the Battle of Blood River; the capital was established at Potchefstroom and moved to Pretoria. The parliament had 24 members; the South African Republic was forcefully annexed by Britain in 1877, during the British' attempt to consolidate the states of southern Africa under British rule.
Long-standing Boer resentment turned into full-blown rebellion in the Transvaal, the First Boer War broke out in 1880. The conflict ended as soon as it began with a decisive Boer victory at Battle of Majuba Hill; the ZAR became independent on the 27 February 1884, when the London Convention was signed. The country independently entered into various agreements with other foreign countries after that date. On 3 November 1884 the country signed a Postal convention with the government of the Cape Colony and similarly with the Orange Free State. On the November 1859, the independent Republics of Lijdenburg and Utrecht merged with the ZAR. On 9 May 1887, burghers from the territories of Stellaland and Goosen were granted rights to the ZAR franchise. On 25 July 1895 the burghers that took part in the battle at Zoutpansberg, were granted citizenship of the ZAR; the constitution of the South African Republic has been referred to as interesting for its time. It contained provisions for the division between the political leadership and office bearers in government administration.
The legal system had adopted a jury system. Laws were enforced by the South African Republic Police which were divided into Mounted Police and Foot Police. On 10 April 1902, the Magistrates Court powers were extended to increase the civil ceiling amounts and to expand criminal jurisdiction to include all criminal cases not punishable by death or banishment. Established was a Municipal Government, Witwatersrand District court and the High Court of Transvaal; the State and Church were not separated in the constitution of the ZAR, citizens of the ZAR had to be members of the Dutch Reformed Church. In 1858 these clauses were altered in the constitution to allow for the Volksraad to approve other Dutch Christian churches; the Reformed Church was approved by the Volksraad in 1858, which had the effect of allowing Paul Kruger, of the to remain a citizen of the ZAR. The Bible itself was often used to interpret the intention of legal documents; the Bible was used to interpret a prisoner exchange agreement, reached in terms of the Sand River Convention, between a commando of the ZAR, led by Paul Kruger and a Commando of the Orange Free State.
President Jacobus Nicolaas Boshoff had issued a death sentence over two ZAR