In the 1830s and 40s the Transkei was the scene of fighting between European settlers and Africans over the possession of cattle and grazing land. The territory was gradually annexed by Britain in the late 19th cent. and incorporated into Cape Colony (later Cape Province). Transkei was separated from Cape Province in 1963 to become the first of ten black areas within South Africa that were ostensibly internally self-governing. In 1976 Transkei became the first of the homelands to be granted independence. The South African government then revoked the citizenship of its residents. Transkei's assembly controlled many internal matters, but its decisions were subject to the control of the South African government. From 1978 to 1980 territorial disputes prompted Transkei to sever diplomatic relations with South Africa. Like the other homelands, it was not recognized internationally as an independent state. In 1994, after a multiracial election, the establishment of a new South African government, and the end of apartheid, Transkei and the other nine homelands were reabsorbed into South Africa.

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