Collapse Of Apartheid In South Africa

Submitted By hzambardi
Words: 1207
Pages: 5

Collapse of Apartheid in South Africa From 1948 to 1994 South Africa was under the laws of apartheid. Apartheid was a policy made by the white minority government who ruled South Africa (Horvitz, 1). The laws restricted blacks of their most basic human rights (Horvitz, 1). In 1910 the British government gave independence back to South Africa, but only to the white race. (Horvitz, 2). Since then, the government had been discussing the segregation of races, but did not formally begin until after World War II, when Jans Smits, the prime minister of South Africa, instituted laws of complete segregation (Davis, 1). Once introduced, an election was held for the law to pass. In 1948, the National Party won the election, then began to establish apartheid (Davis, 1). In 1960, apartheid began to go into full effect. Since apartheid was based on racial segregation, blacks were forced into ‘homelands’, which were isolated from white society (Davis, 3). An individuals ‘homeland’ was determined by where it was believed the person was supposedly born, but were often wrong. This resulted in many people being brought to totally foreign locations where they had not come from. The homelands were slums or shanty town that were small and overpopulated (Davis, 2). They were located away from the cities on tribal farmlands. These homelands were divided intentionally to keep blacks separated from other homelands so they could not organize to form a riot (Davis, 2). Also, laws were put into place telling blacks where to live, what jobs they could have and also banning interracial marriages (Davis, 3). Another law required all blacks to carry identification papers at all times to identify which homeland they belonged to (Davis, 3). This law was called the pass system. If anyone refused to carry their identification card around, they would be arrested (Davis, 3). Blacks were only allowed in cities for short amounts of time, in fear that they might begin a riot (Davis, 3). All blacks in South Africa were stripped of their citizenship; they were foreigners in their own country. From the beginning of apartheid in 1948 to the end of apartheid in 1994 many rules changed, and it was the South African people as well as international pressure that influenced these changes. In 1952, Nelson Mandela, who became known as the symbol of repression in South Africa, began the fight against apartheid. He joined the African National Congress and organized it into a massive movement (Rasmussen, 2). Mandela’s approach was to protest through non-violent demonstrations (Rasmussen, 2). While most of Africa was becoming more independent, in 1960, South Africa was becoming more repressed (Davis, 1). Blacks in South Africa started to face extreme poverty while whites thrived and became richer (Davis, 1). However, blacks were beginning to fight back against the white government. For example, Black Consciousness Movement and South African students organization formed to try to obtain independence from whites, and regain some basic human rights (Davis, 1). As the blacks began to rebel, the government just got worse and harder on blacks by declaring state of emergency (Davis, 1). In 1961 there were protests in three major cities in South Africa including a major protest of 5,000 people in the city of Sharpeville (Davis, 1). Although it was a peaceful protest, police opened fire on the crowd killing 69 Africans and resulting in thousands of arrests (Davis, 1). The massacre was reported to the international communities and was condemned by the United Nations Security Council (Davis, 1). The Sharpeville massacre was the end of the non-violent movements (Davis, 1). In 1962, Nelson Mandela was arrested for treason, and sentenced to life (Rasmussen, 3). He ultimately served 27 years of his life sentence. Most of his time served was on Robbin Island prison, the toughest prison in South Africa. Even the prisons were segregated with black prisons being much harsher than