The African National Congress And The Fight Against South African Apartheid

1680 words - 7 pages

The word “apartheid” means “separateness” in Afrikaans Language. Human Rights, according to “Article 1, UN Declaration of Rights” states that “ All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in spirit of brotherhood”. The native Africans were being segregated from the whites and were treated as second class citizens. The black residents felt that the apartheid policies violated their rights. Human rights of South African natives were violated when a racial segregation system, called Apartheid, based upon skin color was established by the South African government. Although there were various international responses, the actions of such groups as the African National Congress displayed defiance and bravery in the midst of severe situations.
Racial segregation and white domination had become main aspects of South African policy way before apartheid began. Although apartheid in South Africa technically formed in 1948, Africa’s history of racial oppression began as early as the mid-17th century. Unofficial apartheid began the moment when the Dutch East India Company set up a station on the Cape. South Africa is a country blessed with a plentiful abundance of natural resources. These natural resources being fertile farmlands and rare mineral resources. The climate resembles the San Francisco Bay Area more than any other location in the world. This is one of various reasons why the Dutch wanted to colonize it. South Africa was colonized by the English and Dutch in the 17th century. Dutch colonists, also known as Boers or Afrikaners, were controlled by the English resulting in the Dutch forming the new colonies of Orange Free State and Transvaal. The much awaited exploration of diamonds in these locations around 1900 caused an English raid which sparked the second Boer War. Members of the Afrikaner National Party invented apartheid in order to mark their domination over the economic and social system. The arguable Land Act of 1913, passed three years after South Africa obtained its independence, marked the start of territorial segregation by restricting black Africans to live in reserves, or homelands. Opposers of the Land Act established the South African Native National Congress, which later in time became known as the African National Congress (ANC). The initial goal of apartheid was to sustain white dominance while spreading racial separation. This goal was extended to a more intense and brutal level than was initially intended. Then, the government of South Africa eventually enforced the apartheid laws of 1948, which was the point at which racial discrimination was forged. At that moment, all hopes for black South Africans were deceased.

Racial discrimination in South Africa violated every aspect of the Africans’ initial human rights. Apartheid laws impacted every aspect of social life, including prevention of marriage between non-whites and...

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