Introduction: The Afrikaner ideal of a republic
South Africa only became a Republic on the 31st May 1961, but the formation of a Republic had been the dream of many Afrikaners since the nineteenth century, and was not something that was thought about only after National Party (NP) victory in 1948. In the 1830s when some Afrikaners left the Cape on the Great Trek, their ideal was to create an Afrikaner republic. After facing much opposition from the British, this was at last achieved in both the Zuid Afrikaanse Republic (ZAR) and the Orange Free State (OFS). This however was short-lived, and by 1902 at the end of the Anglo-Boer or South African War, the Afrikaners had once again lost their republics and were again brought under British rule. From this time, until the formation of the Republic of South Africa in 1961, the forming of a republic was an issue in the minds of many Afrikaners.
Celebrating Republic Day 1961 © Bailey's Archives