Apartheid In South Africa
Apartheid, the Afrikaans word for apartness was the system used in South Africa from the years 1948 to 1994. During these years the nearly 31.5 million blacks in South Africa were treated cruelly and without respect. They were given no representation in the National party even though they made up most of the country.
It was not until 1994 when a black man name Nelson Mandela came to power in the South Africa congress. Once elected Mandela removed all racist laws against blacks and all other minorities.
Nelson Mandela is one of the great leaders of our time. A hero whose lifelong strugal to the fight against Apartheid in South Africa won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country. Since his release from prison in 1990, Mandela has been at the center of a struggle against the white minority in South Africa.
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born on July 18, 1918. After receiving an education at a local mission school, he was sent to Healdtown, a secondary school. He then enrolled at the University of Fort Hare for a Bachelor of Arts Degree where he was elected onto the Student s Representative Council. He was expelled from college, for joining in a boycott. Mandela then went to Johannesburg where he completed his BA by correspondence and studied for his LLB. He entered politics while studying in Johannesburg by joining the African National Congress in 1942.
During the 50's, Mandela was one of the many tried in the Treason Trial. Shortly after the 1960 massacre of peaceful black demonstrators in Sharpeville, most movements, including the ANC, were banned. Nelson Mandela was forced to go underground and live apart from his family. However, his successful evasion of the police earned him the title of the Black Pimpernel. At this time, he and other leaders of the ANC created a new section of the liberation movement, Umkhonto we Sizwe, with a view to preparing for armed struggle, Mandela said, "I and some colleagues came to the conclusion that as violence in this country was inevitable; it would be wrong and unrealistic for African leaders to continue preaching peace and non-violence at a time when the government met our peaceful demands with force." He was elected President of the ANC in 1991, and on May 10th 1994, he was inaugurated as President of South Africa.
I definitely have to say that Nelson Mandella had a totally positive influence on everyone in South Africa, not just the black majority but everyone. The reason is because things were really bad under the all white leadership and many white people did not agree with the apartheid system.
It is difficult to pick just one or two significant event in apartheid history, so I would like to just briefly mention some laws that were made. The White South Africa government came up with many unfair laws to keep the black people of the country segregated, these are just a few of the most unfair ones.
- Mines & Works Act 1911 & 1926 -Imposed color ban on certain jobs, a white salary was to be higher than a black at all times.
-Natives (Urban Areas) Act 1923 -Provided for residential segregation in cities. The blacks had to carry special papers to be allowed to stay in the cities.
-Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act 1949 Banned marriages between races.
-Population Registration Act 1950 Forced all South Africans to register as Black, White, Asian or Colored.
-Immorality Act 1950 Banned sexual relations between people from different racial groups.
-Criminal Law Amendment Act 1953 -Imposed stiff penalties for protest or incitement to protest.
-Separate Representation of Colored Voters Act 1956 Removed franchise from coloreds.
-Industrial Conciliation Act 1956 Empowered the Minister of Labor to reserve any job on a racial basis and to dissolve racially mixed trade unions.
-Promotion of Bantu Self-government Act 1959 Removed all black representation in the parliament and created separate black homelands.
-Constitutional Act 1983 Set up a tricameral parliament with separate chambers for whites, colored and Asians, while denying representation for blacks.
Considering all of my research I feel that the world is a much better place because of people like Nelson Mandella, and because of his lifelong struggle racism no longer exists in the country of South Africa.
Of all the books that we have read in class so far the only one that we have read that deals with apartheid or South Africa is Waiting For The Rain. Half of the story took place on a farm so not many things that I researched came up. A few things did though, in the story the young black boy named Tango was involved in riots, which was a big part of the revolution in South Africa.
Through my research I have come to understand the story Waiting For The Rain a lot better. I now know that the apartheid system was on a much larger scale than just the characters in the book. The story may be a fiction but now after doing all my research if I had read the book I would have totally believed it.