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What genetic analysis reveals about the ancestry of SA’s ...


What genetic analysis reveals about the ancestry of SA’s Afrikaners

Their ancestors were mostly Dutch, French and German, with 4.7% of their DNA found to be non-European

Jaco Greeff and Carina Schlebusch

The story of human history is one of migrations over the globe and admixture — the exchange of DNA — between populations.

Two of the most dramatic of these migrations were slavery and European colonisation. The subsequent admixture between slaves, Europeans and indigenous populations led to the formation of new populations. One, at the southern tip of Africa, was a group that became known as Afrikaners.

Afrikaners predominantly stem from Dutch, French and German immigrants who settled in the Cape during the second half of the 17th century and the first half of the 18th. Though later European immigrants were also absorbed into the population, their genetic contribution was comparatively small. Another small but significant genetic contribution came from slaves and the local, indigenous Khoekhoe and San populations. These groups were, respectively, pastoralists and hunter-gatherers and in this article we refer to them as the Khoe-San...

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