Apartheid In South Africa Essay

1294 words - 6 pages

South Africa is a country tormented by a past of enforced racism and separation of itsmulti-racial community. The 'superior' white Europeans invaded the country and imposed apolitical system known as 'Apartheid' (meaning 'apartness'). This system severely restricted therights and lifestyle of the non-white inhabitants of the country forcing them to live separatelyfrom the white Europeans. This system of imposed racial ideas although now ended, has left animprint on the thoughts and actions of society in South Africa today.Dutch farmers known as the Boers settled the African lands. Eventually, a rising greatBritain noted the rich resources and strategic location of the country. Britain ...view middle of the document...

They also neededseparate passes to be out after 9 pm" (Aylett, p. 9). These laws severly restricted the rights of thenon-white population and caused the white people to look down upon them even more than theyalready did.The enforced segregation of white and black led to many petty apartheid laws. Signs wentup throughout the country, For use of white persons only. "Whites and non-whites were bannedfrom sitting on the same park benches or on adjacent seats on public transport. Those in charge ofparks, swimming pools or other amenities were punished if they allowed races to mix" (Evans, p. 10)The worst of all was that only whites could vote. These segregation laws achieved their purposeof separating the races, and caused a legacy of racism to be imprinted on the people of SouthAfrica.There was always internal opposition to apartheid in South Africa. In parliament, in thepress and in the churches, people from all classes of society, and from all races showedopposition to apartheid. The major opponent was the African National Congress (ANC), this wasthe first black nationalist movement. In 1952 the ANC waged the 'Defense Campaign' whichinvolved seven months of civil disobedience, including strikes boycotts burning passbooks. Fromthis period the famous Freedom Charter emerged. "The freedom charter is a mixture of practicalgoals and poetic language.... It welcomes all who embrace freedom and participate in the making of ademocratic non-racial South Africa" (Mandela, p.203).A vocal criticism from the outside world was also largely apparent. In 1961 after enduringsteady criticism from members of the Commonwealth of Nations, and threatened with expulsion,South Africa resigned from the organization and became a Republic. Over time South Africa wasalso expelled from most UN bodies. Unfortunately this opposition to the apartheid system wasnot shown by all citizens of South Africa, which has effected the way some still think and acttoday.Reforms to the apartheid system began in the 80's instigated by Prime Minister Botha.Some of the petty apartheid rules slowly disappeared such as the segregated amenities. Blacktrade unions and multi racial organizations also were permitted. Although these reforms were agreat step towards freedom for the black South Africans, they were still denied...

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