South-West Africa

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South-West Africa
Suidwes-Afrika
Zuidwest-Afrika
Südwestafrika
Mandate of South Africa
1915–1990
Flag
Flag (1928-1990)
Location of South-West Africa
Capital Windhoek
Languages English, Afrikaans, Khoekhoe, Dutch (1915-1983) and German (1884-1990)
Political structure League of Nations Mandate
History
 •  Established 1915
 •  Treaty of Versailles 1919
 •  Independence 21 March 1990
Currency South West African pound (1920–61)
South African rand (1961–93)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
German South-West Africa
Namibia

South-West Africa (Afrikaans: Suidwes-Afrika; Dutch: Zuidwest-Afrika; German: Südwestafrika) was the name used for Namibia when it was ruled by the German Empire and later South Africa.

German colony[change | change source]

From 1884 to 1915, South-West Africa was a German colony under the name of German South-West Africa (German: Deutsch-Südwestafrika, DSWA). Germany had a difficult time ruling the territory, and it experienced many insurgencies. The main port city, Walvis Bay, and the Penguin Islands were annexed by Great Britain in 1878 as a part of the Cape Colony, which became a part of the Union of South Africa on 31 May 1910.

South African rule[change | change source]

In 1915, South Africa captured the German colony. It became a League of Nations Mandate territory, with the Union of South Africa administering it. In 1946, the League of Nations was replaced by the United Nations. The Mandate was supposed to become a Trust Territory when the League of Nations Mandates were transferred to the control of the UN. However, South Africa refused, regarding the territory as its fifth province (even though it was never formally incorporated into the Union of South Africa). In 1966, the United Nation terminated the Mandate and said that South Africa had no right to administer South-West Africa any more, but South Africa refused. In 1971, the South African occupation of the territory was illegal and that they should leave, but South Africa still refused.

On 21 March 1990, South Africa granted independence to the territory, which became the Republic of Namibia. However, Walvis Bay and the Penguin Islands only became a part of Namibia in 1994.