Modern human beings have inhabited South Africa for more than 100,000 years. At the time of European contact, its indigenous peoples reflected migrations from other parts of Africa. Two major groups were Xhosa and Zulu peoples. The discovery of diamonds and later gold in 1886 triggered war, as the Boers and the British fought for the control of the mineral wealth. Apartheid was established by law in 1948 and additional legislation outlawed relations between different racial groups. South Africa achieved its political independence in 1961 when it was declared a republic. In 1990 then-president F.W. de Klerk began to dismantle apartheid. In 1994 South Africa held its first democratic election and Nelson Mandela and his ANC party came to power. South Africa is known for its diversity in cultures, languages, and religious beliefs. It has three capital cities: Cape Town is the legislative capital; Pretoria is the administrative capital; and Bloemfontein is the judicial capital. Nevertheless, Johannesburg Joburg is the largest city.

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