Venda (vĕndˈə) [key], former black "homeland" and nominal republic, NE South Africa. It comprised two connected areas near the Zimbabwe border in what is now Limpopo prov. Kruger National Park bordered on its northeast, and the former homeland of Gazankulu bordered on the southeast. The capital was Thohoyandou.

Under acts of the South African Parliament, land was set aside for blacks in pseudoindependent territories (originally called "bantustans"), allegedly to allow blacks self-government and cultural preservation. Venda was designated for Venda-speaking people. In reality the homelands allowed the white government to control blacks and exclude them from the political process.

In 1973, Venda was granted "self-government," and in 1979 it became the third homeland to be granted "independence" from South Africa. As an independent state, all residents of Venda were treated as foreigners in the remainder of South Africa. The UN Security Council condemned the homelands policy as an attempt by the white government to further their policies of apartheid and Venda was not recognized internationally as an independent state. Venda was reabsorbed into South Africa in 1994.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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