Faces of South Africa

Pictures of South Africas People: Xhosa Boys at Initiation Ceremony
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Afrikaner Rugby Fan

South Africa's white community consists primarily of Afrikaners (descendants of Dutch, French, and German settlers who formed unique cultural traditions and their own language) and "English speakers" (mostly the descendants of immigrants from the United Kingdom).

For more than 300 years the white minority ruled South Africa as colonialists and then through apartheid, a system of government that entrenched white privilege and reserved political power for whites.

The system was abandoned peacefully in 1994—after a long, sometimes bitter struggle by black political and labor movements. Whites and blacks negotiated a constitution based on individual rights, and all South Africans participated in the election of a democratic government. Nelson Mandela was elected the first president of a democratic South Africa.

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—Photograph courtesy South African Tourism
 
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