The Origins of the Apartheid in South Africa

Topics: South Africa, Black people, White people Pages: 5 (1665 words) Published: March 20, 2011
The Origins of The Apartheid in South Africa
Apartheid represents a mordant period in the history of South Africa. At this time the policy of segregation and political and economic discriminating against non-European groups in The Republic of South Africa was the norm. The Afrikaners are a South African people of Dutch or French Huguenot descent. In 1998, 2.7 million Afrikaners inhabited South Africa, consisting of about 56% of the white population. Their language is Afrikaans, a derivative of Dutch. The Nationalist party of South Africa was founded in 1914 by James Barry Munnik Hertzog to protect and promote the interests of Afrikaners against what were considered the pro-British policies of the South African party, led by Louis Botha and Jan Smuts. On May 26, 1948, the Nationalists reigned victorious. They won the parliamentary elections and gained control of the South African government, despite the fact that they constituted no more than 12% of the population. The party, under new Premier Dr. Daniel F. Malan, began taking steps toward implementing apartheid, the political policy of racial separation. Over the next several decades, they consolidated their power. The National Party used its control of the government to fulfill Afrikaners ethnic goals as well as white racial goals. In 1961, South Africa became a republic and completed its separation from Great Britain. Apartheid turned into a drastic, systematic program of social injuring based on four ideas. First, the population of South Africa comprised four racial groups; white, colored, Indian, and African. Second, whites, as the civilized race, were entitled to have absolute control over the state. Third, white interests should prevail over black interests; the state was not obliged to provide equal facilities for the subordinate races. Finally, the white racial group formed a single nation, with Afrikaans, while Africans belonged to several distinct nations or potential nations, a formula that made the white nation the largest in the country. Over the years, the government introduced a series of repressive laws. The implementation of the apartheid policy, later referred to as "separate development", was made possible by the Population Registration Act of 1950. It is widely considered the cornerstone of the entire system. It provided for the racial classification of every person. The law put all South Africans into three racial categories: Bantu, White, or “Colored”. The state has variously sought to demarcate the category "Colored" on the basis of descent, parentage, physical appearance, language preference, cultural criteria, and general acceptance by the community. The Population Registration Act defined a "Colored" as someone "who in appearance is obviously not white or Indian, and who is not a member of an aboriginal race or African tribe." The Group Areas Act of 1950 assigned races to different residential and business sections in urban areas, and the Land Acts of 1954 and 1955 restricted nonwhite residence in specific areas. These laws further controlled the already limited right of black Africans to own land, entrenching the white minority's control of over 80 % of South African land. The laws are based on a fear of black insurgence and the desire to present the world with a picture of South Africa showing whites less heavily outnumbered by non-whites than they really are. During this time even the media was under very strict restrictions in opposing the Apartheid. For example, reporter Sharon I. Sopher was conducting an interview of two Africans in reference to the horrors of the Apartheid. While filming soldiers arrived and surrounded the house, demanding for everyone inside to exit. Once she and the crew came out they were immediately separated from the family they interviewing and then taken into custody at gunpoint. While being taken to the police compound she states, “The voices of torture that I interviewed flashed through...
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