The Republic of South Africa became independent in 1961, making the country 54 years old as of 2015. The first European colonists were the Dutch, who founded Cape Town on April 7, 1652. However, native inhabitants lived in the area long before then.
South Africa is located on the southern tip of Africa. The British took control of the area from the Dutch in 1806. After a series of wars, the Afrikaners and British formed a joint rule in 1910 as the Union of South Africa. Apartheid, a separation of people by race, was established in 1948 and South Africa was established as a country by a whites-only referendum in 1961. Apartheid ended in 1994.