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On Apartheid

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On Apartheid



Thesis Statement



I. South Africa

II. Seperateness

A. Black

B. White

C. Colored (Mixed Race)

D. Asian

III. Segregation

A. Housing

B. Education

C. Employment

D. Public Accomodations

E. Transportation



"Apartheid, pronounced ah PAHRT hayt or pronounced ah PAHRT hyt, was, from 1948 until 1991, the South African government's policy of rigid racial segregation. The word apartheid means separateness in Afrikaans, one of South Africa's official languages.

Built on earlier South African laws and customs, apartheid classified every South African by race as either (1) black, (2) white, (3) Colored (mixed race), or (4) Asian. Apartheid required segregation in housing, education, employment, public accommodations, and transportation. It segregated not only almost all whites from nonwhites but also major nonwhite groups from each other. It also limited the rights of nonwhites to own and occupy land, and to enter white neighborhoods."


"The South African government tried to justify apartheid by claiming that peaceful coexistence of the races was possible only if the races were separated from one another. However, white South Africans used apartheid chiefly as a way to control the vast nonwhite majority.

Most South Africans strongly opposed apartheid. Leading opposition groups included the African National Congress (ANC). Most ANC members were blacks. Between 1948 and 1991, large numbers of people protested apartheid by staging boycotts, demonstrations, and strikes. Violence often broke out, and thousands of people, most of them blacks, were killed."


"But apartheid's effects continued even after the laws were repealed. Today, many blacks and other nonwhites continue to face unofficial segregation and discrimination in South Africa."

Apartheid is the policy of racial segregation formerly followed in South Africa. The word apartheid means separateness in the Afrikaans language, and it described the rigid racial division between the governing white minority population and the nonwhite majority population. Apartheid was the political policy for South Africa from 1948 until the early 1990s.

Apartheid laws classified people according to three major racial groups: white; Bantu, or black African; and Coloured, or people of mixed descent. Later, Asians, or Indians and Pakistanis, were added as a fourth category. The laws determined where members of each racial group could live, prohibited most social contact between races, and denied representation of nonwhites in the national government.

Before apartheid became the official policy, South Africa had a long history of racial segregation. In 1910 parliamentary membership was limited to whites, and legislation passed in 1913 restricted black land ownership. In 1912 the African National Congress (ANC) was founded to fight these policies. From the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s the government implemented a series of reforms, but apartheid continued to be criticized internationally. In 1990 South Africa finally ended apartheid.

South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, formed to uncover past events without further polarizing society, released its final report on human rights abuses under apartheid in 1998. Its conclusions were attacked by all of the country's main political parties, none of which escaped criticism in the report.



South Africa gains independence from Great Britain after the passage of the Statute of Westminster by the British Parliament in December 1931 and its acceptance by South Africa in June 1934. From the formation of the independent country, the white minority controls the government and moves to limit the powers of nonwhites and create special designated areas, or homelands, for them to live.

Dec. 8, 1946

The United Nations adopts a resolution condemning the South African government's treatment of its Indian minority and asks both South Africa and India to report back as to whether conditions had improved to conform with the U.N. charter. A highly publicized effort by India to prevent South Africa from discriminating against the Indian minority marks the most prominent criticism to date of South Africa's increasingly divisive racial policies. [See Facts On File print edition 1946, p.39A]

May 26, 1948

The conservative Afrikaner-dominated National Party wins parliamentary elections and gains control of the South African government. The party, under new Premier Dr. Daniel F. Malan, begins taking steps toward implementing apartheid (apartness), the national policy of racial separation. [See Facts On File print edition 1948, p. 171C2]

June 13, 1950

Group Areas Act is enacted. It segregates communities and relegates the black population to a minor percentage of the nation's land. [See Facts On File print edition 1950, p. 189M]

July 7, 1950

Population Registrations Act is enacted. It requires all South Africans to register their race with the government.


Enactment of pass laws. The laws require blacks to carry passbooks so that the government can regulate their travel through the country.


Separate Amenities Act is enacted, establishing separate public facilities for whites and nonwhites.

June 26, 1955

The African National Congress and other opposition groups adopt the Freedom Charter, calling for equal political rights for all races.

March 21 - April 5, 1960

Police kill 69 unarmed protesters in Sharpeville. The government bans all opposition groups, may of which begin underground armed struggles for black and mixed-race liberation, including the African National Congress. [See Facts On File print edition 1960, pp. 109F3, 103D3]

May 31, 1961

South Africa becomes a republic. The decision to break from the Commonwealth is prompted by Asian and African Commonwealth member sates' denunciation of South Africa's apartheid policies, which it refuses to alter. [See Facts On File print edition 1961, p. 97A1]

Nov. 12, 1963

U.N. General Assembly President Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria suspends South Africa from participating in the remainder of assembly sessions for that year. The following day South Africa recalls it U.N. ambassador and freezes its $1 million annual contribution to the organization. [See Facts On File print edition 1963, p. 935F2]

June 12, 1964

Nelson Mandela, an ANC leader, is convicted of sabotage and trying to overthrow the government. He is sentenced to life in prison. [See Facts On File print edition 1964, p. 197C1]

June 16, 1976

A student protest in the black township of Soweto against mandatory education in Afrikaans spreads. The government, in an effort to suppress the civil unrest, kills 575 people over eight months. [See Facts On File print edition 1976, p. 425F1]

Oct. 26, 1976

Transkei becomes the first homeland granted nominal independence. The 10 homelands eventually make up about 13% of South African territory. [See Facts On File print edition 1976, p. 813A1]

Sept. 12, 1977

Steven Biko, one of the most influential black student leaders in South Africa, is reported to have died from a hunger strike while in police detention. [See Facts On File print edition 1977, p. 707C3]

Nov. 2, 1983

White voters approve a new constitution that creates separate chambers in the legislature for Asians and Coloreds (people of mixed race), although not for blacks.

June 12, 1986

A national state of emergency is imposed following widespread strikes and riots. The decree gives virtually unlimited powers to the security forces and imposes restrictions on the press.

July 1, 1986

Laws requiring blacks to carry passbooks for identification are scrapped.

Sept. 29, 1986

U.S. Congress overrides President Ronald Reagan's veto and imposes strict economic ...

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Keywords: on apartheid definition, on apartheid regime, apartheid on south africa, apartheid on south african history, apartheid on sentence, apartheid on new zealand, apartheid on zambia, apartheid on spanish

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