Apartheid In South Africa Essay

1347 words - 5 pages

Nelson Mandela helped bring an end to Apartheid in South Africa because he was a believer in basic human rights, leading both peaceful and violent protests against the white South African Government. His beliefs landed him in prison for twenty-seven years, almost three decades. In doing so, he became the face of the apartheid movement both in his country and around the world. When released from prison in 1990, he continued to honor his commitment to fight for justice and equality for all people in South Africa. In 1994, Nelson Mandela was elected to become the first black president of South Africa and formed a government that represented the people of South Africa.
What was Apartheid? Apartheid was when people were segregated into different groups: White, Black, Indian, and Colored, as a government policy. In the South African language apartheid means separateness. In 1958 Blacks were deprived of their citizenship. There were separate schools, buses, shops and hospitals for blacks and colored people and the services available were well under the standard provided for the white people. Even laws were different. Apartheid touched every part of social life, including a prevention of marriage between non-whites and whites, and the sanctioning of "white-only" jobs. This spiraled out of control under Dr. Daniel Malan when he became Prime Minister because the Afrikaans (white South Africans) were worried black people had started taking over skilled and semi-skilled jobs and black workers were moving into the cities/towns and staying. Many didn’t know what apartheid meant but they did know it kept the white people separate from the black people.
Life during apartheid was difficult. During this time The National Party kept making new laws to keep people in charge. They needed to know who belonged to which racial group and in 1950 passed the Population Registration Act. This act resulted in the creation of a racial register. The makeup of the population in South Africa was 71% Blacks, 16% Whites, 10% Colored and 3% Asian. Another law passed was The Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act of 1949. This act consisted of trying to keep the white race white by banning mixed marriages. Next was the Group Arrest Law of 1950. This act divided South Africa into different section based on race; only one race could live in an area. This forced people out of their homes and kept non-whites out of the city. This left most of the country reserved for whites, this second smallest race population. Then there was the Pass Laws. This meant that people now had to carry a document to prove who they were and where they lived. Any black man found without a document was put in prison and lost their job. In 1952, this Pass Law was amended to the Natives (Abolition of Passes and Coordination of Documentation) Act. This law added to the Pass Law. Now black people had to carry a reference book which contained a photo, their name, address, job and fingerprint. They also had to...

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