n South African Medical Journal - South Africa's first century

Volume 100, Issue 9
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



For better or for worse, the date 31 May will remain embedded in the annals of South African history. On this date in 1902 the second Anglo-Boer War officially ended, and in 1910 the four British colonies of the Cape of Good Hope, Natal, Transvaal and the Orange Free State united to form a single country under British dominion. Bar this event, these colonies would have traversed separate historical trajectories eventually leading to four independent sovereign states. Ironically, the name South Africa (and the ZA international country code) harks back to Paul Kruger's Zuid-Afrikaanse Republiek, itself an amalgamation of several tiny Afrikaner republics in the territory that came to be known as the Transvaal. Finally, on 31 May 1961, South Africa was declared a republic, with Hendrik Verwoerd exulting 'God regeer!' (God reigns!).

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