What is Apartheid? What horrors did this regime bring to black people of South Africa? Read and learn about it and people, who put an end to the terror.
Apartheid is a word literally meaning apartness. It describes those, who have become separated. It was developed after the World War II. This type of racial segregation, which is actually legal, appeared in England led by the National party and Broederbond organizations, which were Afrikaner-dominated. Afrikaners are those people, who have their roots in France, German and the Netherlands but live in Africa. The first experience of South African apartheid took place in country known today as Namibia.
What is South Africa Apartheid?
National Party came to power in South Africa in far 1948. The members of it started to fight for the supremacy of white population. They enforced already existing policies of racial segregation. Such governmental system became widely known as Apartheid. Within the framework of such political programme, discrimination of races was institutionalized.
South Africa apartheid regime included:
- prohibition of marriages between any non-whites and white people,
- separation of black people from whites in terms of accommodation, hospitals, transports, shops, schools, etc.,
- creation of “whites only” jobs, unavailable for blacks.
By the end of 1950s, all the people of South Africa were classified either as whites or blacks/colored. The separated states were created, among which there were only 13% of homeland for black people. Those places were considered to be no parts of South Africa, but the Parliament still ruled them indirectly. To enter South Africa, the residents of the homelands required passports. In 1969, colored people even lost their right to vote for Parliament members (as the law of 1956 was abolished).
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During that time, there was South Africa apartheid flag, which was represented by a big flag of the Netherlands and miniatures of three other flags, pointing the colonies, which formed the state.
Horrors of the Apartheid regime
This era in the history of South Africa provoked lots of violence. Women were those, who suffered the most – from gender and racial discrimination.
The majority of colored people worked in agricultural sector. But it was hard to find a job even there. The salaries were low, which led to malnutrition and sanitation troubles. As a result, plenty of diseases spread, especially among the kids. Mortality rates kept rising.
During that time, great number of families was separated, as males had to work in urban areas, while their beloveds stayed in rural ones.
In 1953, the situation worsened, as a Criminal law was accepted. The punishments were made stricter for any kind of protests against the existing laws. People could be imprisoned and tortured without any hearing at all. Hundreds of people died being in custody.
Those, who crossed the borders, could be torn into pieces by the savage dogs.
Native people of South Africa had to come through the worst possible things. Blacks experienced the most inhumane treatment.
The end of South African apartheid. Nelson Mandela
This form of the state finally came to the end only in 1994. The first step was made by British Anti-Apartheid organization, which was often called Boycott Movement. Its members tried to support non-white population of South Africa and fight for their rights. The negotiations were initiated by the President Frederik Willem de Klerk. Several meetings took place during the period of 1990 – 1993. The Peace Accord was signed in 1993.
The first negotiations were held in May 1990 between South African government and African National Congress. One of the members of the latest was Nelson Mandela – a well-known protagonist of the regime. He became a part of the Congress right after his graduation from college. His actions started as non-violent resistance against Apartheid. But he soon realized the terrors of the regime. His protests led him to prison, where he was sentenced to spend the whole life there. However, after 27 years after, he was lucky enough to be released. It was 1990, just when the negotiations should have begun. Mandela was a significant figure, as his words and appeals made the US government support the country. Sanctions were ceased and investments resumed. Besides, Mandela advocated peaceful changes.
Soon after the end of peace process, Nelson Mandela was elected as a President of South Africa. In May 1994, he made his oath. The same year, Government of National Unity was established.
Thus, the Apartheid era ended and new Page in the history of South Africa started.