Apartheid in South Africa

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Apartheid In South Africa

APARTHEID
Apartheid is the political policy of racial segregation. In Afrikaans, it means apartness, and it was pioneered in 1948 by the South African National Party when it came to power.
Not only did apartheid separate
whites from non-whites, it also segregated
the Blacks (Africans) from the Coloureds (Indians, Asians).
All things such as jobs, schools, railway stations, beaches, park benches, public toilets and even parliament.
Apartheid also prevented blacks from living in white areas. This brought about the hated "pass laws". These laws required any non-white to carry a pass on him or her. Unless it was stamped on their pass, they were not allowed to stay in a white area for more than 72 hours.

Despite the fact that the whites only make up just over 14% of the population, they own 86.3% of the land. However, it must be said that the Afrikaaners are entitled to the Orange Free State and Transvaal as they were first to use it after the Great Trek of 1836.

The average South African White earns eight times as much as the average black man. Coloureds earn three times as much as black while colords earn well over half of what whites earn.
During Apartheid, media censorship was at an all time high. People were even banned from showing Soweto on television. It was common to see a newspaper shut down, and then start again after being halted by the government. Up until 1985, mixed marriages were banned. This meant that a person of one race cold not marry a person of another race. Apartheid was not only used in theory, but also by law. Every person was classifed, just like an animal, as white, black or coloured.

The system of Apartheid began to deteriorate in the mid to late 1980's. In 1985, mixed marriages were allowed, the Pass laws repealed, and a general weakening of petty segregation laws regarding parks and beaches. In 1994, the entire system collapsed after Pres. F.W. de Klerk gave non- whites to vote. Nelson Mandella was elected tooffice following his prison release in February 1990.

GROUP AREAS ACT
A Group Areas Act, froom 1948, set aside most of the coutntry for use by the whites. Smaller, and less desiracle areas called 'bantustans' were set aside for blacks. These areas are over crowded, un sanitory, and most of all, unhygenic. Soweto, a large bantustan, is the size of Brighton, yet has over two million peopl in it.

Blacks were told to regard these desolate and unfertile areas as their 'homelands'. Over half of the black South African population lived, not in these batustans, but in the white areas of the country for cheap labour. Nonwhites had to live in shanty towns, while the whites lived comfortably.

KEY GROUPS AND FIGURES

AWB
The AWB ( Afrikaans for Afrikaaners Resistance Movement) are an extreme right wing group who seek the formation of a Volkstaat. A Volkstaat would be entirely made up of Afrikaaners. Led by Eugene Terre'blanche, they resort to terrorist activities such as bombings, shootings, weapon theft and raids on black townships to achieve their aim. They are totally for segregation.

STEVE BIKO
Born in 1946, he attended Natal University in 1966 to study medacine. After leaving the white dominated National Union of students to form the all- black South African Students Organisation. Aleading figure in the Black Conciosness Movement, he formed the Black Peoples Convention, and several communtity based organisations. In 1975, he was held without arrest for 137 days. Not surprisingly, he died in 1977 after being beaten in police custody after being taken from Port Elisabeth to Pretoria.

NELSON MANDELLA
Born into the Royal Family of the Tembu in Transkei. For involvement in student politics, he was expelledfrom Fort Haire University, but obtained a law degree by correspondance. He established the first African law practise in Johannesburg along with...
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