Apartheid in South Africa Essay

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Apartheid, the Afrikaans word for “apartness” was the system used in South Africa from the years 1948 to 1994. During these years the nearly 31.5 million blacks in South Africa were treated cruelly and without respect. They were given no representation in parliament even though they made up most of the country. It was not until 1994 when a black man named Nelson Mandela came to power in the South Africa congress. Once elected Mandela removed all racist laws against blacks and all other minorities. Nelson Mandela is one of the great leaders of our time.

A hero whose lifelong struggle to the fight against Apartheid in South Africa won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country. Since his release from prison in 1990, Mandela has been at the center of a struggle against the white minority in South Africa. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born on July 18, 1918. After receiving an education at a local mission school, he was sent to Healdtown, a secondary school. He then enrolled at the University of Fort Hare for a Bachelor of Arts Degree where he was elected onto the Student’s Representative Council. He was expelled from college, for joining in a boycott.

Mandela then went to Johannesburg where he completed his BA by correspondence and studied for his LLB. He entered politics while studying in Johannesburg by joining the African National Congress in 1942. During the 50's, Mandela was one of the many tried in the Treason Trial. Shortly after the 1960 massacre of peaceful black demonstrators in Sharpeville, most movements, including the ANC, were banned. Nelson Mandela was forced to go underground and live apart from his family. However, his successful evasion of the police earned him the title of the Black Pimpernel.

At this time, he and other leaders of the ANC created a new section of the liberation movement, Umkhonto we Sizwe, with a view to preparing for armed struggle, Mandela said, "I and some colleagues came to the conclusion that as violence in this country was inevitable; it would be wrong and unrealistic for African leaders to continue preaching peace and non-violence at a time when the government met our peaceful demands with force." He was elected President of the ANC in 1991, and on May 10th 1994, he was inaugurated as President of South Africa. I definitely have to say that Nelson Mandella had a totally positive influence on everyone in South Africa, not just the black majority but everyone. The reason is because things were...

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