By Steve Cunningham
HISTORY is being rewritten in South Africa. And the past is becoming far less white.
Six years after the end of apartheid, South Africa is ending the emphasis on 'white' events such as the Great Trek and the frontier wars with African tribesmen.
Now, schoolchildren will be taught a far more balanced history. The government is determined that the modern version will not be prejudiced in favour of any ethnic group.
For generations, the history of South Africa began in 1652 with Jan van Riebeek, who founded the Cape colony as a place for Dutch seafarers to take provisions on board.
A report on South Africa's school history syllabus found it had:
The new version will focus on the history of bushmen who lived in the area for thousands of years and the tribesmen who moved there in the 17th and 18th centuries.
The old view of apartheid will also be rewritten, with more details of the fight led by the African National Congress (ANC) for liberty.
A commission of academics and teachers will be appointed soon by education minister Kader Asmal and will, among other objectives, study text books and recommend improvements.
While many white South Africans will mourn the changing of Johannesburg's name to Egoli - Zulu for 'place of gold' - the rest of the world will see this as a fitting end�for the old white man's empire.
Colonisation for the British Empire started about 1600 and hit a peak around about the time of the First World War, when the 'pink bits' on the map took up 25% of the world's population and area.
The British Empire lasted more than three and a half centuries - almost as long as the Roman Empire.
The empire - rocked to its core when most of Ireland broke away from the Crown in 1922 - faded gradually into the Commonwealth from the 1930s, as former British colonies and protectorates gained independence but retained this last link with the Crown.
Now the Britsh Empire has very few pink bits left.