The English and Dutch colonized South Africa in the seventeenth century. English domination of the Dutch descendents (known as Boers or Afrikaners) resulted in the Dutch establishing the new colonies of Orange Free State and Transvaal. The discovery of diamonds in these lands around 1900 resulted in an English invasion that sparked the Boer War. Following independence from England, an uneasy power-sharing between the two groups held sway until the 1940's, when the Afrikaner National Party
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a stain on Nelson Mandela's prestige.
Mandela consistently urged that the new South Africa be a forum for reconciliation in which consensus could ultimately be achieved. Despite his long struggle to achieve liberation from a white community that rejected black participation, he sought to include whites in the new government. His efforts at reconciliation culminated in May 1995 with the approval of a new South African constitution that barred discrimination against the country's minorities, including whites.