The Men Of Aparthied
From 1948 to 1994 apartheid was enforced in South Africa. Apartheid was the name given to a form of legal segregation is South Africa. Apartheid first came about in 1948 when South Africas National party took power. South Africas government broke the countrys population into four groups. Those groups were the whites, who consisted of approximately 13 percent of the population, Africans, who were 77 percent of the population, people who were of mixed descent comprised eight percent of the population, and Asians who were only 2 percent of the population. South Africas government set aside certain lands for each of the groups, and those groups were forced to live in those homelands. Besides residential segregation many other restrictions were placed on the black men and women of South Africa.
For half of a century, these racist laws remained in place, completely unchanged. In the 1970s and 1980s the government in South Africa relaxed the laws slightly. Some of these changes included desegregating certain public facilities, lifting some occupational restriction, and repealing the law prohibiting intermarriage that had been in use since apartheid began. In 1983, the constitution allowed Asians and coloureds, but not blacks to have limited representation in the usually all white parliament. Thanks to the help of many people, apartheid was completely abolished in 1994.
In 1990 President F.W. de Klerk committed himself to the abolition of apartheid. De Klerk knew that one of the first steps that he would have to take was to reincorporate the homelands (Homelands, are places where a certain race is forced to live away from other races.) into South Africa. In order to do that deKlerk had to repeal The Group Areas Act of 1966, and the Lands Act of 1913, and 1936. The same month that both those laws were repealed The Population Registration Act of 1950 was also erased. The Population Registration Act required that all South Africa’s record their race with the government. In 1991, de Klerk’s government started to make a new constitution that would make South Africas government a nonracial democracy. The whites in South Africa agreed with the new congress, and in 1993 The African National congress agreed to change their government. South Africas first non racist election took place in 1994, and the African National Congress won that election. The new president was a recently released inmate by the name of Nelson Mandella.
Nelson Mandela has played an important and controversial role in the history of South Africa and establishing South Africa as a Democratic country. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born in Umtata, in the Transkei territory of South Africa. His father was a tribal chief. Mandela became a lawyer and helped form the Youth League of the African National Congress (ANC) in 1944. Mandela gained national importance as a black leader for protest against the government and apartheid which occurred in the 1950’s. In 1956, Mandela was arrested and charged with treason and other serious crimes, but was found not guilty. In 1961 Mandella abandoned peaceful protest and became head of the ANCs new military wing. He began to protest again against apartheid and the government. He went into hiding and was arrested in 1962, and was convicted of sabotage and conspiracy and sentenced to life imprisonment on July 1964.
Even in prison, Mandela was able continue his struggle for a nonracial, united and democratic South Africa. While in prison he wrote many papers and speeches which have been collected and published. He received many international prizes as well as a number of honorary doctorates from universities. His most prestigious award was the Nobel prize that he shared with Frederick W. de Klerk, for negotiating South Africas peaceful transition to multiracial democracy.
On February 11, 1990 Nelson Mandela was freed from prison on Robbed Island by Frederick W. de Klerk. De Klerk freed Mandela because he knew that abolishing apartheid was the only way to protect South Africa from destruction. This destruction would have been caused by rent strikes, hunger strikes, and boycotts which was the way some south Africans rebelled. The MDM (Mass Democratic Movement) was the combined black groups opposed to apartheid and South Africas all white government. The MDM called a two day general strike in which 3 million South Africans took part on the day elections were held. South Africa depends on the labor of its 6 million black workers. Whites rely on South Africas black population which gives the blacks some power over the whites.
On April 27,1994 Nelson Mandela became the first black President of the most developed country in Africa, South Africa. Mandelas political party has become the majority in the national assembly, the first black majority ever in South Africa.
For the people of South Africa apartheid was a terrible thing, it separated neighbors, and took away peoples jobs. Thanks the help of people such as Nelson Mandella and President F.W. de Klerk apartheid was abolished in South America after nearly 50 years of legalized racism.
1) Grolier Multimedia encyclopedia Mindscape inc. copyright 1997 Nelson Mandella and apartheid
2) Apartheid Lapping, B. copyright 1988
3) In the Name of Apartheid Merideth, M. copyright 1989
The Men Of Aparthied