The Role Of Nelson Mandela And President De Klerk In Bringing About The End Of Apartheid In South Africa

2631 words - 11 pages

Apartheid, means "separateness", this was a social system enforced by
white minority governments in twentieth-century upon those of ethnic
minorities in South Africa. Under apartheid, the black majority was
segregated, and was denied political and economic rights equal to
those of whites, this had become a distressing daily routine for the
Africans. Therefore in 1991 when De Klerk announced the end of
Apartheid, this was a momentous moment for the whole of South Africa
and an event, which shall be remembered, in black history forever.
After over 50 years of apartheid policies the Africans were finally
freed from confinements as the law accounted upon them as equals.
However, the question as been raised, as to why did De Klerk put a
sudden end Apartheid, and what had influenced his decision in doing
so. Throughout this section of this coursework, I shall be analysing
the circumstances of South Africa in order to confirm who was more
important in bringing about the end of apartheid and minority rule, De
Klerk or Nelson Mandela?

Nelson Mandela and F.W de Klerk played a vital part in bringing about
the end apartheid and minority rule in South Africa. However, their
reasons for wanting the apartheid to end deviate significantly.

Nelson Mandela was involved in the main resistance against apartheid,
the African National Congress, or ANC for short. This large political
group in South Africa was involved in many protests against apartheid
since its formation in 1912. Mandela joined the Youth League of the
ANC in 1944 but had doubts about his commitment to the party. In 1948
the Youth League elected a new ANC president in response to the
victory of the National Party in the 1948 election. The ANC decided to
adopt more revolutionary tactics against apartheid - strikes,
boycotts, civil disobedience and non-cooperation with the government.
This shows the importance of Mandela?s role in bringing about the end
of Apartheid as by organising these protests more and more publicity
was being gained of their cause hence, increasing international
support for the idea of bringing apartheid to a minority rule.

In 1953 to 1955 the ANC ran a protest campaign against the removal of
blacks from Sophiatown, a black township next to the white areas of
Johannesburg. The ANC refused to contemplate armed resistance, and in
February 1955 4,000 police and military troops blocked off the
township while municipal workers razed the houses to the ground.
Mandela then learnt that the ANC's peaceful protests would not match
the armed resistance of the National party government. This event was
hugely publicised internationally, resulting anti-pass law
demonstrations, such as; Bus Boycotts, The Black Sash, Beer-hall and
Rural protest being held worldwide. This can therefore be said to be
another exemplar of...

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