Apartheid in South Africa

Hva var apartheid? Kort om bakgrunn og realitet. Karakter 6.
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Actually South Africa was a British and Dutch colony for a while. As a result of an English domination of the two countries, the Dutchers (known as the Boers or the Afrikaners) established new colonies in South Africa, where they discovered diamonds. The British people got quite envois of the Boers, and started a war, by invading them.


South Africa became an independent state in 1910, but the power only went to the white descents. Despite the English victory of the Boer war, they still shared some power. It wasn’t easy, indeed, but it lasted to the forty’s. Then the Afrikaner National party got strong again. In 1948 the National party von the election, only white people were allowed to vote.


The party wanted control over the economic and the social system, Apartheid became the solution. The systems initially aim, was the racial segregation.


First the white regime made a lot of laws, who allowed the white majority to segregate, exploit and terrorize Africans (blacks, also called Bantu), mostly, but also Asians and coloured (people of mixed race).

All the population of South Africa got classified as black, coloured, Asian and white. Each race also got separated from each other. Although the black majority where the definitely largest, the whites “owned” their country. Apartheid dictated in details how the different races had to live, work and die.


To argument this policy, the National party used the bible story “Tower of Babel”. Unlike the black people, they interpreted it as if God wanted to separate the people.


As time went by, Apartheid developed itself to become even worse. The government established separate sections for each race. Members of different races were forbidden to live and work in other sections.

Non-whites had to carry “pass books” to prove they had permission to travel in white areas. The pass books should contain fingerprints, photo and information about race and access.


Many Bantus created small “nations”, just to feel citizenship. They called the nations homelands. The people in homelands were regardless of where they lived, and excluded from the government of South Africa.


Everything were unfair and inhumanly. The apartheid laws forbade social contacts between different races. For instance there were illegal marriages despite races, “white only” jobs/places, and general lower standards for non-white. They were poor, badly off and treated like animals. While most of the white people were pleasured, the non-whites experienced the worst suffering.


Most of the black majority of South Africa, had resisted apartheid for many years, and started rioting. During political protests, a lot of people got shot, hurt, banished, killed or imprisoned for life. Nelson Mandela was one of them. He was imprisoned for life, because of protests against the pass laws.


In 1976 there was a riot in the black township Soweto. The government tried to force the black children to learn “Afrikaans”, one of the languages of the white majority. Many people got hurt, and many died.

The Africans continued rioting, demonstrating and holding strikes in fourteen years, till the apartheid laws were repealed.


At last, in 1990 the white regime surrendered to the world. After almost thirty years Nelson Mandela, who had devoted his life to democracy, got released. Three years later, all races could vote, and Mandela received Nobel peace prize. Only a year after, he was elected as South Africa’s first black president, in a truly democratic election.


When I think of apartheid, I really get afraid. The black majority, who had more than 75 percent of the population in South Africa, was totally maltreated. Just the fact that it’s only some decades since apartheid practical existed, scares me. The world should have moved in. I feel a kind of hate to the people who had conscience to hurt people this way, also those who “just watched”. They should have fought to the end, without worrying about the consequences. Nothing would have changed if nobody tried. If more people had engaged the enemy in battle, the problem could have been solved earlier. I admire the people who did fight, it shore takes courage. But, can related situations arise again? …and ravage in many years before the world reacts enough? I don’t know.

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