A Brief History Of Apartheid In South

Africa Essay, Research Paper

Apartheid is not a new thing. Ever since Dutch colonists landed in 1652, “Blacks” and “Whites” have lived apart in South Africa. Officially started in 1948 when the Afrikaner Nationalist party came to power, apartheid is a system of racial laws devised to “Preserve and promote a white majority over a black majority.” It has a lot of opposition and it led to an international boycott of South Africa because of it. When the Dutch first landed and established a strong colony there, they got on relatively peacefully with the natives. Then British and French landed. Theye wer lured by the prospect of all the gold and diamonds that were rich in South Africa’s mines. They were much more greedy than the Dutch, pushing the native blacks back, who were powerless against the invader’s guns. Over the years, the races got even more segregated, having isolated territories. The whites felt they were far superior to the black people in every way. They took slaves from black communities, and just dominated the race entirely. This disgraceful treatment was not without opposition from within the white race itself. These few people fought (unsuccessfuly) for black rights. Eventually, this led to interracial relationships. Children born of these relationships were known as “coloureds” and were regarded with shame as little better than blacks themselves. They were particularly in a fix bacause they were never truly accepted into the black or white communities. In a similar predicament were the Indian peoples, brought over by the British from their colnies. These were treasted with only a tiny bit more respect, and thier plight in the 50″s went mestly unrecognised. The main political party of the whites was the “Afrikaners Nationalist Party” which thouroghly supported the idea of aparthied. Since black people were not allowed to vote (being subhuman). they came to power in 1948 . The first thing the ANP did was to officialy instate apartheid. Many new measures were taken, first of which was the Race Rlassification Act, which made sure that the entire population was split up into 4 groups- White, Black, Colored and Indian. Of these groups, only the “Whites” (15% of the population) had the right to vote. The second act of the ANP was the Population Regulation Act. It was made to reinforce the first act. It”s details defined to races thouroughly. In one incident, it was used to decide wether an abandoned child was white or coloured. A strand of the child”s hair was taken to a labratory experiment and it”s width measured. It was deemed to be thicker than a normal white persons hair and so the child was classed as “colored”. One polititian was quoted to say “This [act] put”s blacks in their place. After the first two acts, 317 laws were passed involvinc Apartheid of the races. These are just a few of them. The SAF of the dividing of the land. 84% of the land was given to the “Whites”, 14% was all the blacks had and the remaining 2% was where the colored”s and the Indian’s were shunted off to. Because of this act, Black slaves and workers were forced to carry passes with them at all times when in “White territory”. It included identification and the timetable of when they were allowed to enter and leave. Falire to carry correct papers meant immediate imprisonment. The Immorality Act. It was against the law for a white person to have a sexual relationship with a person of a different race. The police were granted with the power to shine torches into cars and to raid houses and take bedsheets for examination. The Bantu Education Act. Blacks were restricted to only menial jobs. They were not allowed to attend school after 14 except with the express permision of a high class white person (usually to make a good slave).The school work they were given was of a strikingly different syllabus to the whites and they had far lower expectations. An example of how the blacks work was restricted is that blacks are allowed to hammer a nail but are not allowed to use the claw of the hammer to extract a nail, which is considered to be more refined work for more intelligent whites. In Apartheid, amenities were all separated. beaches, hospitals, toilets, schools -everything. Black men were allowed into white churches to clean them but not to pray in them. Under no circumstances were the black people allowed to make use of the white amenties, even if a black child was run over by a truck, and the closest black hospital was an hours drive away while the white hospital was just around the corner, the child would not be admited. Black human rights were obviously not recognised at all. Imprisonment without trial was not uncommon, the right to speak publicly and write for publication was absolutedly forbidden. Because of his activism against Apartheid, Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. the The black people were made to suffer this reigeme for a total of 46 years before Apatheid ended, but racism still continues regardless.


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