An introduction to the issue of apartheid

The young founders of the Pan Africanist Congress PACformed inbelieved that only an all-black African organization, in league with anti-colonial Africans throughout the continent, could adopt the forceful posture necessary to overcome apartheid.

apartheid timeline

A long period of colonial rule and the recent decades of apartheid helped determine how all of these groups conceive of their identities as well as the identities of others.

Although their role has often been overlooked in historical accounts of resistance to apartheid, black South African women played an important part in opposing the system of racial segregation. The British often exploited the divisions between the other inhabitants of the region.

Apartheid examples

Racial segregation, sanctioned by law, was widely practiced in South Africa before , but the National Party , which gained office that year, extended the policy and gave it the name apartheid. During apartheid, people were divided into four racial groups and seperated by law. The first multiracial election in which all races could vote, was held on 27 April The bad conditions on the reserves and policies such as a requirement that taxes be paid in cash drove many black South Africans—particularly men—to farms and cities in search of employment opportunities. In some cases, the legislation split families; parents could be classified as white, while their children were classified as colored. The earliest known inhabitants were the Khoisan peoples. A new constitution, which enfranchised blacks and other racial groups, took effect in , and elections that year led to a coalition government with a nonwhite majority, marking the official end of the apartheid system. To maintain their way of life, Boer farmers moved north in search of new land outside British control. The government declared martial law and employed military force to restore order, but the white strikers were ultimately successful: they won concessions that shored up and exacerbated the two-tiered pay scale for whites and blacks. They wanted the world to know what they had done and why.

Among the laws were restrictions on the mobility of black South African laborers, most of whom were required to live in designated areas and prohibited from bringing their families with them. In andCecil Rhodes consolidated a number of individual diamond mine claims around Kimberley to form a single company called De Beers Consolidated Mines.

Apartheid laws

Eventually, however, diamonds and gold were discovered on the lands the Trekboers claimed. In , concerned about the increasing links between political and economic protest, the government appointed a commission of enquiry, led by Professor N. The men and women who created, opposed, maintained, resisted, and dismantled apartheid are the subject of this book. Apartheid Becomes Law By , the government had banned marriages between whites and people of other races, and prohibited sexual relations between black and white South Africans. Ceremonies such as namings, weddings, and burials often follow the traditions of specific ethnic communities. Black education was grossly underfunded in comparison to white but South Africa had a handful of black universities, whose students found themselves in an untenable position as the elite portion of a servant class. The British capitalists crafted a compromise to co-opt the Afrikaner miners by reserving managerial and skilled-labor positions for whites, while low-skilled and heavy labor jobs, which paid much less, were to be held by blacks. Botswana, the only exception, was itself hemmed in by the white states and economically dependent on Pretoria. In , the Public Safety Act and the Criminal Law Amendment Act were passed, which empowered the government to declare stringent states of emergency and increased penalties for protesting against or supporting the repeal of a law. Many other workers, on returning home, would develop cancer, pneumonia, or tuberculosis from their time in the mines. At this time, however, there was a change from the strictly constitutional means of protest which had been employed in the past. Ten defendants, including six black Africans, three white Jews, and the son of an Indian immigrant, were charged with sabotage and attempting to violently overthrow the government of South Africa.

After killing or violently driving out these local black South African populations, like the Ndebele, and decisively defeating the Zulu in the Battle of Blood River inthe Trekboers occupied large portions of land, particularly in a fertile plateau area known as the Highveld.

Those who were tried were sentenced to death, banished, or imprisoned for life, like Nelson Mandela. These racist attitudes shaped European interactions with black South Africans and served to justify the increasing oppression of the majority of the population in the territory.

Apartheid in south africa facts

The penalties imposed on political protest, even non-violent protest, were severe. The Freedom Charter served as the guiding document for the ANC in its struggle against apartheid and beyond, as its nonracialism ultimately became a basis for ANC policies after the fall of apartheid. The Broederbond included many influential Afrikaners in its membership and had considerable political influence. Slaves who had been formally freed from slavery lacked freedom in practice, as by the s they could leave their area of residence only by permission of the colonial authorities. In South Africa itself, meanwhile, the late s saw the development of a highly successful domestic weapons industry, manufacturing everything from small-arms ammunition to jet aircraft. He wanted to reform the system. With the enactment of apartheid laws in , racial discrimination was institutionalized. Although Black South Africans were granted equal rights by law after a long fought campaign, there is still huge economic inequality between Blacks and Whites. In his inaugural speech, Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe, head of the PAC, outlined their approach: [W]e reject both apartheid and so-called multi-racialism as solutions of our socio-economic problems. While these groups once occupied much of what is today South Africa, newcomers migrating from other parts of Africa gradually displaced them. As the number of Dutch-speaking colonists grew, they began to push farther inland and up the coast, forcibly taking over land for their farms and causing a great deal of conflict with indigenous African peoples. Nevertheless, Africans living in the homelands needed passports to enter South Africa: aliens in their own country. Having lived as independent pioneer farmers for many decades, the Boers resented British rule. With protest nearly impossible within the country and so many top ANC leaders in prison, Tambo looked for new ways to fight against the apartheid regime. He was succeeded as prime minister in October by P.

Many opposed to, and persecuted by, this new system of government fled South Africa to the surrounding territories of Mozambique, Swaziland, Basutoland and Bechuanaland.

Independence facilitated the process by which black South Africans were legally erased from the country: inaccording to official figures, there were In spite of this extraordinary opportunity to enrich themselves, the Boers chose to maintain their rural agrarian lifestyle, allowing outside interests to exploit the new resources—particularly British investors, who established mines.

Afrikaners revisited military victories over black South Africans, emphasizing their own innate superiority to the groups they defeated.

An introduction to the issue of apartheid

Although the government had the power to suppress virtually all criticism of its policies, there was always some opposition to apartheid within South Africa. As the migrants settled in various parts of the territory, people living in close proximity gradually developed distinct languages and cultures, creating new ethnic groups. The purpose of the Peace Accord was "to bring an end to political violence" in South Africa. Nelson Mandela spent the majority of his life fighting against apartheid laws, and without his activism; many of the changes would never have happened. This nineteenth-century map depicts the known boundary lines, cities, rivers, lakes and elevation changes in Africa. All political rights, including voting, held by an African were restricted to the designated homeland. Their economic power swelled at that time, and in coal mines they made up Under the leadership of several powerful kings, especially Shaka Zulu, who came to power in , the Zulu conquered a number of neighboring groups. The apartheid policy was highly effective of achieving its goal of preferential treatment for whites, as is demonstrated by the statistics in Figure 1. Because Transvaal and the Orange Free State were far from the coast and seemed to have little value, the British allowed them to exist for a while as independent states. This put an abrupt end to the protests and ushered in a period of harsh repression that lasted for more than a decade. Alerted to the protest ahead of time, the prime minister, J. Since obvious leaders would be arrested, none came forward. The structure was designed by Gerard Moerdijk and was completed in This was followed in by the State Security Council, effectively a war cabinet which oversaw policing, intelligence-gathering and clandestine counter-insurgency operations throughout the country.
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The History of Apartheid in South Africa