South Africa has only recently begun to be able to exercise their democratic rights as intended, freely. Much of this work was due to a brilliant man named Nelson Mandela. Mandela worked hard his entire life to bring freedom and democracy through the African National Congress. European occupiers oppressed South Africa for many decades, but Mandela, through his leadership helped to rid South Africa of apartheid. With all his actions that helped end legal racial segregation and promote equality in South Africa, he is quite possibly the most important figure in the transformation of South Africa into the free nation it is today.
In the early 1900s, European figures ruled Southern Africa. Many conflicts raged in the area, resulting in the formation of new colonies. The Union of South Africa became one of those colonies in 1910 (Johns). There was still a lot of fighting in the state, until the Afrikaner National Party came to power in the 1940s (Stadler). The National Party had finally gained a majority and with their new power, they invented apartheid. Apartheid was a legal system created by this party to show that they had control over the economic and social systems of Europe. This governing body contained mostly European loyal leadership; therefore, the apartheid denied rights to coloured people. Some of the requirements of the apartheid banned interracial marriage, allowed for particularly "white" jobs, and made black South Africans carry passbooks. The passbooks contained fingerprints, photos, and information about the carrier. The main goal was to continue white domination and extend racial separation (Johns). In 1950 and 1952, the NP enacted the Groups Areas Act and Native Laws Amendment Acts respectively. These acts allowed for the legal separation and movement of colored people for government reasons (Johns). Even though Africans knew that the penalties were harsh, these laws helped bring together oppressed... [continues]
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