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Grade 9 - Term 3: Turning points in South African History, 1960, 1976 and 1990

Turning points in modern South African History since 1948&

In 1948 South Africa held a general election which was to be decided by the white population of the country. A manifesto outlined how Apartheid would be implemented in practice which was enforced by the National Party (NP) when they won the election. The focus of this lesson will be on some of the key turning points in South African history, including the coming of apartheid in 1948 and non-violent resistance to apartheid in the 1950s.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights after World War II

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), also known as the Magna Carta, was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948. Due to the experience and effects of the Second World War, the international community vowed to prevent the atrocities and conflicts that occurred during the Second World War to take place again. After approximately six million Jews, Gypsies homosexuals and people with various disabilities were exterminated, the idea of Human rights grew and there was a need to protect every inpidual from these heinous crimes.The United Nations was born from various governments with the principle aim to bolster international peacE and prevent crime and conflict. World leaders then decided to codify these rights that are attributed to each inpidual within a single document, hence the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This document aimed to be the fundamental document of all countries with regard to human rights and strove to secure these rights to all inpiduals.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights captured the international community’s need to guarantee that no one would ever be unjustly denied life, freedom, food, shelter and nationality; as occurred during World War II. The Commission of Human Rights was established within the United Nations which laid out the basic fundamental rights and freedoms as proclaimed in the Charter. One of the most significant aspects of the UDHR is legitimization of the notion that how a government treats its citizens is, especially after World War II, an international concern, and not just a domestic issue. The importance of the UDHR can be seen in the fact that some of the principles have been adopted into national constitutions. 

In its preamble and in Article 1, the Declaration unequivocally proclaims the inherent rights of all human beings: “Disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people...All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

The Declaration of Human Rights is the most universal human rights document in existence, delineating the thirty fundamental rights that form the basis for a democratic society.

Definition of racism

According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary definition, racism can be described as the “poor treatment of or violence against people because of their race”, and it supports the notion that “some races of people are better than others”. Throughout history race has been associated with the belief that it is a primary determinant of human traits, and it has played a significant factor in the way that power relations occur. Below follows two different discourses regarding the definition and understanding of racism throughout history, as well as South African history.

Human evolution and our common ancestry

Human Evolution describes the extensive process of change where people originated from apelike creatures. Aspects of Human Evolution has been proved by scientific evidence and one of the the main findings that forms the fundamental basis of Evolution is that physical and behavioural traits, which are shared by all humans, originated from these apelike ancestors and have evolved for approximately six million years. 

Apartheid and the myth of ‘race’

The construct can be seen as a highly notorious term, despite it having no physical basis. This term was, however, heavily used in South Africa’s pre- democracy phase, Apartheid. During this period between 1948 and 1994, race was used as a measure to categorize and distinguish people from each other, and determined their position within society. To be more specific, this system categorized people on the basis of their skin colour. All aspects of society were pided to facilitate the complete pision of all race groups. Certain activities and privileges were only reserved for certain people of a specific race. In short, Apartheid was the system during which Africans were legally, socially, politically and economically disenfranchised while the National Party governed South Africa. It is a fact that in any society, race is never an objective, biological characteristic; race is a socially created construct. 

Apartheid, literally meaning (if translated into Afrikaans) “to be in a state of being apart”, was further facilitated by institutionalized Apartheid laws, which further dictated the everyday lives of South Africans. These laws determined where blacks would stay, work, and even who they would marry. During modern times, the indicators of the pision of people are class, status, education, etc. During Apartheid, race was the only aspect that pided society.

1948 National Party and Apartheid 

Racial segregation before Apartheid 

Before the official institutionalisation of Apartheid in 1948, some historians saw it as a complex development that started during the 20th century which was linked to the evolution of South African Capitalism. After the Mineral Revolution took place in South Africa, cheap labour became widely used (which was advocated by Cecil John Rhodes), which the dominating notion that Black labour was cheaper to use in mines and on farms. It is also believed that Apartheid was an outcome of earlier racial prejudices and policies imposed by the British and Dutch. Various sources can be attributed to the cause of Apartheid, or rather the idea of racism. These include colonial conquest, land dispossession, economic impoverishment and exclusion from citizenship for black Africans. These factors shaped the way the world saw Africans and influenced the negative manner in which they were perceived. 

Uneven and, in some cases limited, capitalist growth was facilitated by the colonial conquests of the British and Dutch during the 17th and 18th centuries. The Dutch East India Company (VOC) was established in 1795 with the aim of being a refreshment station for passing ships. When it was established, it was done so at the expense of indigenous citizens, such as the KhoiKhoi and Xhosa people. The Khoi societies sustained their livelihood through their land and livestock, and when the VOC took over their land, the Khoi were subjected to becoming underclass domestic farm workers. They were further disenfranchised when the VOC imported slaves imported from Angola, Mozambique, Madagascar and South East Asia, which curtailed the Khoi’s chances of earning a decent wage. 

Apartheid arose when the National Party, who represented ethnic Afrikaner Nationalism, won the National election on the basis of racism and segregation in 1948. It significantly extended the reach of the racist state and led to a systematic and fundamental deterioration of the position of black people in South Africa until 1994.

The victory of the NP in 1948 can be attributed to the rise in Afrikaner Nationalism during the 1920’s and 1930’s. Afrikaners constituted a majority in terms of quantity of the white electorate, but they were pided by class, regional and educational fault lines. When the Afrikaner Broederbond, a secret Afrikaner society, was established in 1918, Afrikaner nationalism grew from a Calvinist perspective which was united by a common language. The Dutch Reformed Church provided a foundation for the theological justification of Apartheid. In terms of capital, the Afrikaners grew and expanded their financial support through the insurance company Sanlam, the Volksklas Bank and Spoorbond. The rise of the use of cheap labour was induced by the emergence of mines, factories and farms. White-owned businesses accumulated big profits by supporting a government that denied blacks the vote and paid artificially low wages. Many white factory workers and World War II veterans voted for apartheid in 1948 to protect their economic advantages and to oppose black urbanization and social welfare. Furthermore, many white families benefited from the work of black domestic servants who provided childcare, cooking, and house care. D.F. Malan and Hendrik Verwoerd can be considered as the architects of Apartheid. 

Main apartheid laws in broad outline 

The period of the 1950’s can be described as “Petty Apartheid” where Nationalists imposed the laws that created a racially segregated and unequal social order. One of these laws was the 1953 Reservation of Separate Amenities Act that imposed segregation on all public facilities; including post offices, beaches, stadiums, parks, toilets, and cemeteries, and buses and trains as well. In other words, the Act was to provide for the reservation of public premises and vehicles or portions thereof for the exclusive use of persons of a particular race or class, for the interpretation of laws which provide for such reservation, and for matters incidental thereto.

The Pass Laws Act of 1952 was implemented to ensure that a supply of cheap African labour, and increasingly they were made more restrictive. This law required all black South Africans over the age of 16 to carry a pass book, known as a dompas, everywhere and at all times.  It was a criminal offense for Africans to be without a pass and made movement and residence dependent upon a pass. Within the pages of an inpidual's dompas was their fingerprints, photograph, personal details of employment, permission from the government to be in a particular part of the country, qualifications to work or seek work in the area, and an employer's reports on worker performance and behavior. If a worker displeased their employer and they in turn declined to endorse the book for the pertinent time period, the worker's right to stay in the area was jeopardized. 

Two laws that were implemented during this time had arguably the biggest impact on the country. 

The Population Registration Act, which commenced 7 July, classified all South Africans as members of the White, African, Coloured, or Indian racial groups, and because racial identities were (and are) historically and socially constructed, the government created Racial Classification Boards to officially determine a person’s "race." A person’s race was reflected in their identification numbers.

The Group Areas Act imposed strict residential racial segregation. Apartheid social engineering irreparably damaged countless families, communities, and livelihoods, as the government forcibly removed blacks to African, Coloured, or Indian "townships" (also known as "locations") on the outskirts of cities and towns. In the process of enforcing this plan, government bulldozers destroyed vibrant, racially mixed neighbourhoods, such as Sophiatown in Johannesburg and District Six in Cape Town. In practice this meant that all white, black, coloured and Asian people in South Africa would have to live in group areas allocated to members of their groups. Their ownership of property and business rights would be confined to those areas. This also meant that many people had to move out of their homes where they had lived for years and go and live in unfamiliar places which they knew little or nothing about because they had occupied a Group Area designated for another race.  Township residents tried to rebuild their lives despite inadequate housing, material poverty, and, for Africans, the constant danger of arrest for not carrying a pass book.

The Immorality Act caused couples of differing racial backgrounds to be tracked down by the police who were suspected of being in a relationship. Homes were invaded, and mixed couples caught in bed were arrested. Underwear was used as forensic evidence in court. Most couples found guilty were sent to jail. Blacks were often given harsher sentences than whites.

The impact of Apartheid on education was so profound it can still be seen today. Verwoerd’s 1953 Bantu Education Act established an inferior education system for Africans based upon a curriculum intended to produce manual labourers and obedient subjects. Similar discriminatory education laws were also imposed on Coloureds, who had lost the right to vote in 1956, and Indians. The government denied funding to mission schools that rejected Bantu Education, leading to the closure of many of the best schools for Africans. In the higher education sector, the Extension of University Education Act of 1959 prevented black students from attending "white" universities (except with government permission) and created separate and unequal institutions for Africans, Coloureds, and Indians respectively. The apartheid government also undermined intellectual and cultural life through intense censorship of books, movies, and radio and television programs. Censorship reached absurd proportions, exemplified by the banning of the children’s book Black Beauty and the tardy introduction of television in 1976. After that date, government-controlled broadcast media regularly disseminated apartheid propaganda. Educational ties with the rest of the world gradually diminished as countries applied a cultural boycott on South Africa.

In the 1960s the pursuit of white domination led to a new policy of "Grand Apartheid." As a massive social engineering project, grand apartheid created ethnically defined "Bantustans" (or "Homelands") out of the "Tribal Reserves" carved out by the 1913 Land Act. Between 1960 and 1985, approximately 3.5 million Africans were forcibly removed to alleged "homelands." These rural dumping grounds functioned as reservoirs of cheap black labour for white employers, but the apartheid regime also envisioned them as "independent" territories that would ensure the denial of South African citizenship to millions of Africans. Some of these territories, such as Bophuthatswana, comprised dozens of isolated pieces of territory with no common frontier. Situated in the most unproductive regions of the country, Bantustans were inhabited largely by poverty-stricken women and children since men migrated annually to work in South African cities and towns, and farms as well. Generally, government-approved "tribal" leaders ruled over the Bantustans in violent and corrupt fashion with the full support of the South African government, which was responsible for their entire budgets and provided military assistance.

Case study: Group Areas Act: Sophiatown forced removal 

Sophiatown was established in 1904. Before 1913 black South Africans had freehold rights, and they bought properties in the suburb. By the 1920s whites had moved out, leaving behind a vibrant community of blacks, coloureds, Indians and Chinese.

One of the most controversial actions occurred in the mid-1950s when blacks living in Sophiatown, Johannesburg, were compelled to move along with many others to a vast new black township southwest of Johannesburg, called Soweto. In 1955, army trucks and armed police removed 60,000 people from Sophiatown to areas that were designated for Africans such as Meadowlands, Lenasia, Western Coloured Township (now Westbury) and Noordgesig. 

Sophiatown was rezoned for whites only and renamed Triomf (Triumph). The removals sparked the creation of a song called “Meadowlands”, in reference to the Meadowlands township to which many Sophiatown residents were forced relocate.  Another removal that caused particular outrage occurred in the second half of the 1960s, when 65 000 Coloured people from District Six, a vibrant inner city ward of Cape Town, were forced to leave. 

One white observer remarked:

“It was a fantastic sight. In the yard [opposite the local bus station] military lorries were drawn up. Already they were piled high with the pathetic possessions which had come from the row of rooms in the background. A rusty kitchen stove; a few blackened pots and pans; a wicker chair; mattresses belching out their coir stuffing; bundles of heaven-knows-what; and people, all soaked to the skin by the drenching rain”.

When the removals scheme was promulgated, Sophiatown residents united to protest the forced removals, creating famous the slogan "Onsdaknie, onspholahier" (We won't move). Another source states that "We got a notice that we were going to be moved on 12 February 1955, but we were taken by surprise by thousands of policemen and soldiers, who were heavily armed, "We were still preparing ourselves to protest the removals, and we had no choice because no one was ready for them - and besides, they were armed" .  Some people did not qualify for resettlement, so they had to find their own accommodation. Many people moved to Orlando East and other parts of Soweto. 

The Forced Removals Act disrupted the existing family dynamic due to racial classifications and separation of group areas. 

Dr Alfred Xuma, who lived in Toby Street, was one of the last residents to leave Sophiatown in 1959. Today, his house is one of only two houses that managed to escape the destruction of Sophiatown by the apartheid government.

The removals continued for over eight years. Blue-collar Afrikaners were moved in, and still largely occupy the small houses that replaced the lively but desperately poor three-bedroomed homes and backyard shacks of Sophiatown.

Case study: Bantustans: Forced removal: People of Mogopa to Bophuthatswana 

For over 70 years, these people had lived on good land which their forefathers purchased before the 1913 Land Act made this impossible. Then their land was designated a “black spot” in a white area and they were ordered to move to Pachsdraai, in Bophuthatswana. They refused to move. The government, confronted by organized and strong resistance, mounted a counterattack. It imposed a new corrupt chief whom the community refused to recognize. Bulldozers razed the school, the church, and some houses. It withdrew services, no pensions were paid out, no annual labour contracts were issued and the bus service was suspended. Still the people of Mogopa stood fast.

Then a removal squad arrived, complete with tractors, trucks and buses, and camped on their land. Challenged in court for trespass, the government backed down temporarily. But soon the people of Mogopa received an order to leave by November 29, 1983. Hundreds of supporters, black and white church people, students, political groups and the press arrived to wait with the Mogopa people for the government trucks. They did not come. The supporters returned home.

The Mogopa people began to rebuild their battered community. They raised money to buy a new water pump. The men rebuilt the school. The women repaired the roads.

But in the early hours of the morning of February 14, 1984, heavily armed police arrived in Mogopa and declared it an “operational zone” a term usually reserved for the war zones of Namibia. No outsiders were allowed in. Lawyers, priests, diplomats and the press were all turned away at the entrance. The police, working with dogs, forcibly loaded people and belongings onto buses and trucks and took them to Pachsdraai. They arrived to a barren welcome, with their furniture broken, many belongings lost, their cattle sold at a pittance to white farmers, who were the only civilians allowed into the area. Pachsdraai offered little. It was far from towns and job opportunities. The depleted soil was unsuitable for the non-irrigated farming that was the basis of their subsistence agriculture, and the hated imposed headman was given complete control of the allocation of all resources.

The Mogopa people refused to stay, and moved to another area of Bophuthatswana, Bethanie, which is under the jurisdiction of their paramount chief. But their lives are still painfully difficult; the strong community now lives, pided into three groups, without water, without permission to hold meetings, without grazing grounds, without plots to farm, a witness to the real meaning of the bantustan system.

1950s: Repression and non-violent resistance to apartheid  

SACP banned

Initially known as the Communist Party of South Africa (CPSA) which was founded in July 1921, its name was changed to the South African Communist Party (SACP) during the 1950’s. The Party was founded on the foundation of various leftist movements, including the International Socialist League (ISL), the Social Democratic Federation, the Durban Marxist Club, the Cape Communist Party, and the Jewish Socialist Society, and affiliated itself with the Communist International (Comintern) which was headquartered in Moscow. By the mid-1940s, CPSA membership was increasing, and the party had gained influence after a few CPSA members (all white) won political office. After the 1948 NP election victory, however, the government quickly restricted black political activity and in 1950 banned the CPSA. The party went underground temporarily but also strengthened its ties to local nationalist organizations, such as the ANC. During the years it was banned, while the ANC continued to operate legally, the CPSA viewed the ANC as the primary expression of black aspirations for a multiracial socialist state under eventual communist leadership. The SACP and the ANC in the 1950s held similar views about policy and tactics as embodied in the ANC's Freedom Charter; in addition, they both advocated the use of guerrilla warfare against the apartheid regime in order to bring about the dual-phase revolution of political liberation followed by economic transformation. 

In 1950, the Apartheid Government introduced a bill called the Unlawful Organisation Bill, but later its name was changed to the Suppression of Communism Bill to focus on the undermining and limiting of communism within South Africa due to the government’s concern of a large number of communists infiltrating non- White political organisations.

When the SACP was unbanned in February 1990, its strength was difficult to estimate because many party members had been underground for years. In July 1990, a party spokesman publicized the names of twenty-two SACP members who were prominent in national politics but said that the names of others would remain secret. In 1991 SACP leaders estimated that the party had 10,000 dues-paying members, but refused to publish the party's membership rolls.

ANC programme of action

A Programme of Action was introduced on 17 December 1949 at the December conference which could be considered as a major turning point in the existence of the party. After the victory of the National Party, which was representative of an Apartheid government, the ANC, who stood for the deals of national freedom, wanted to introduce a policy that would counter the NP’s decision. Through this Programme of Action, the ANC was transformed from a party that was run by Middle Class liberals, to a militant liberation movement. The Programme of Action called on the ANC to partake in mass action, including civil disobedience, strikes, boycotts, and other forms of non- violent resistance.

The ANC Programme of Action was based on the principle of national freedom, which is meant by the freedom from white domination and the attainment of political independence. This would also include the rejection of the notion of segregation, apartheid, trusteeship, and white leadership which are motivated by the idea of white domination over blacks. Another basis for the Programme of Action is the Africans’ desire to claim the right of self determination. 

Brief biography: Albert Luthuli, his role in the ANC, and resistance to apartheid 

Albert John Luthuli (1898- 1967), was a South African statesman and the first African to win the Nobel Prize for peace. He was born in Solusi mission station, Rhodesia, where his father served American missionaries as an interpreter. On completing a teacher’s course from a Methodist Institution at Edendale around 1917, Luthuli took up a job as principal in an intermediate school in Natal. In 1920, he attended a higher teacher’s training course at Adams College with a scholarship provided by the government and joined the training college staff afterward. Albert Luthuli was elected as the secretary of the African Teacher’s Association in 1928 and subsequently as its president in 1933. It was while he was teaching at Adams that the Groutville community requested him to become its chief. Sugarcane production, which was the reservation's main source of income, had run into difficulties. Luthuli accepted the invitation and saved the community's economy from collapse.

Luthuli regarded the traditional evaluation of the person as transcending all barriers of race because the infinite consciousness has no colour, and that black and white people are bound together by the common humanity they have. He believed that Christian values can unite black and white in a democratic coalition. Apartheid's preoccupation with colour and the particular experience of the Afrikaner outraged him because it gave a meaning to Christian values which used race to fix the person's position in society and set a ceiling beyond which the African could not develop his/her full potential as a human being.

For holding these views Luthuli was later to be deposed, banned, and brought to trial for treason. The law under which he was charged (1956) was the Suppression of Communism Act. South African law recognizes two forms of communism: the Marxist-Leninist, and the statutory. Whoever opposes apartheid with determination or advocates race equality seriously was a statutory Communist.

Luthuli had involved himself directly in his people's political struggle and, in 1946, had been elected to the Natives Representative Council, a body set up by James Munnik Hertzog to advise the government on African affairs. Luthuli became president of the Natal section of the African National Congress (ANC) in 1951. In this capacity he led the 1951-1952 campaign for the defiance of six discriminatory laws. 

In 1936, the government imposed total restriction on the non-white community, circumscribing every aspect of their lives. Luthuli’s concern for all black people made him join ANC (American National Congress) in 1944. The Africans were denied the right to vote, and in 1948 the government adopted the policy of racial segregation, known as ‘Apartheid’; the Pass Laws were tightened in the 1950's. The objective of the ANC was to secure human rights for the black community, bringing them the rights to justice and equality.

He was elected to the committee of the Natal Provincial pision in 1945 and soon after, he became the president of the pision in 1951. The following year, he came in contact with other ANC leaders and decided to join them in a struggle for justice and equality for all South African people. He organized non-violent campaigns to raise voice against discriminatory laws and racial segregation. He was charged with treason and was asked to pull out with the ANC or leave his office as tribal chief. Luthuli refused to do either and subsequently, he was fired from his chieftainship. In the same year, he was elected president-general of ANC.

For around fifteen years before his death, Luthuli suffered from high blood pressure and he suffered a slight stroke. Over time his sight and hearing also became impaired. In July of 1967, he was fatally injured when a freight train struck him at the age of sixty nine. 

The Defiance Campaign (including the influence of Mahatma Gandhi) 

The ‘Defiance of Unjust Laws Campaign’, as it was formally known, was launched on 26 June 1952 by the ANC and South African Indian Congress (SAIC) in the tradition of Mahatma Gandhi. A tremendous number of people demonstrated against the existing Apartheid Laws by disobeying them to combat Apartheid. The Defiance campaign embraced Gandhi’s notion of Satyagraha, the term he coined in 1907 when he led a batch of volunteers to defy anti-Asian legislation in the Transvaal. Satyagraha entails a firm but non-violent struggle for a good cause. This non-racial initiative raised the controversial issue of the different ‘locations’ of the perse communities it aimed at mobilising, in contrast to the more homogeneous nature of the earlier campaigns, which comprised of Indians only. More than 8000 people of various race groups were arrested for defying the laws of Apartheid by using bathrooms that are not reserved for them, by riding in busses not reserved for them and by committing other offences that were against the law. A major tactic employed by the resistors was choosing to be imprisoned, rather than paying a fine, after arrests which allowed demonstrators to burden the government economically, while giving them a chance to voice their opinions on apartheid when they were tried in court.

In response to the campaign being spread to small rural areas, the South African Security Police, a branch of the government, implemented in August 1952 the biggest police raids on both the offices of the liberation campaign and the homes of liberation leaders. Many of these raids were carried out without legitimate search warrants and if the offices or homes were locked, the police would simply break in. This was a major effort by the South African government to repress the movement, intimidate the people, and find evidence for a trial that would remove the leadership of the campaign. The courts also got involved in the repression by levying the maximum sentence in each case of a resistor. Police brutality also escalated as spectators at trials of protesters were often roughed up by police officers. In prisons, especially, the resistors were targeted by officers for punishment and beatings.

An increasing number of people joined the movement despite the government trying to curtail it. The government aimed all attacks at the leaders of the movement in an attempt to combat the growing popularity of the movement. Nelson Mandela, who was the president of the ANC Youth League at that time, was one of the Defiance Campaign leaders, and was charged with leading the Campaign with the goal of effecting change in both the industrial and social structure of the country using “constitutional and illegal tactics”. This trial provided the foundation for campaigners to spread their message on a national level. 

Although this campaign had been non- violent since its formation, a turning point at this trial occurred when riots broke out, which started in New Brighton and moved to Port Elizabeth, continuing to Denver (in Southern Transvaal) on 18 December 1952. An African person was shot by a railway officer in New Brighton after being accused of stealing paint, which was followed by a group of other Africans who witnessed the commotion and threw rocks at the station where the man was shot, which led to the police opening fire on the crowd, killing seven people. The riots of Denver had a different cause than the one in New Brighton. The residents of the Denver African Hostel refused to pay the increased rental fee. This sparked a conflict in which police fired into the hostel, killing three people. Five days later, after three people gave an ANC salute when they finished their drinks in a Municipal African Beer Hall; they were thrown out of the bar. A group accumulated outside the bar and they began throwing rocks at the hall. Police arrived and opened fire on the crowd, killing thirteen Africans and injuring seventy-eight.

At the end of November 1952, the government prohibited all meetings of more than ten Africans throughout the country and then followed by instituting two laws, the Criminal Law Amendment Act (which targeted any person who broke any law in protest or support of a campaign) and the Public Safety Act (which allowed the Cabinet to temporarily suspend all laws whenever they declared a state of emergency and to enact emergency rules for anything necessary). These new laws were meant to directly suppress the campaign. In the middle of April 1953, after the two laws were passed and all of the damage had been done by the riots, Chief Albert John Mvubi Luthuli, the President-General of the ANC, proclaimed that the Defiance Campaign would be called off so that the resistance groups could reorganize, taking into consideration the new climate in South Africa. The Defiance of Unjust Laws campaign had not been successful and the further movement against apartheid would go on for several more decades.

Freedom Charter and Treason Trial

The initiative for the adoption of the Freedom Charter came from a multiracial coalition of political organisations, including the ANC, Congress of Democrats, Indian National Congress, and South African Coloured People’s Congress. The Freedom Charter’s basic principles rested on the demands for human and political rights, as well as the image of the society it envisioned to replace the Apartheid System, including ideals of the sharing of wealth, adequate housing, education, and healthcare. In other words, the Freedom Charter consists of the political parties’ emphasis on non-racialism is enshrined in a single seminal document of the liberation movement. It also asserts that South Africa belongs to everyone who owns it - which had a strong socialist basis to it. These statements were sued by the government to ascribe communist influence to the movement, and they arrested 153 leaders of the alliance who were charged with high treason. 

The Freedom Charter grew from a campaign to collect the citizens’ ideas for alternative regimes other than Apartheid, which were gathered at meetings. On the June the 26th, 1955 at a Congress where delegates were discussing the Freedom charter, police arrived in force armed with stun guns, and they formed a cordon around the sports field where the discussions were held. Fifteen security policemen then mounted the platform to address the crowd. They claimed that all people present at the congress were committing treason. They then confiscated all documents, posters and film and proceeded taking names and addresses of all the delegates. Everybody was under arrest. A few days later Congress Alliance proceeded to gain the charter's ratification by inpidual member organizations, and launched a campaign to get a million signatures endorsing the document.

A few months after the discussion of the Freedom Charter, the police conducted the raid of 500 activists’ homes, including the homes of Chief Albert Luthuli (president of the ANC) and Nelson Mandela, seizing documents related to the Freedom charter, and also searching for possible evidence of high treason or sedition. The following week, another 12 people, including Walter Sisulu, were arrested. In total the police arrested 156 people: 105 Blacks, 21 Indians, 23 Whites and 7 Coloureds. Banning and restriction were served to hundreds of activists as the Apartheid government stepped up pressure on the liberation movements.In December 1956 police organized a nationwide crackdown on the anti-apartheid movements; top leaders of these movements were arrested and driven or flown in military aircraft to Johannesburg where they were incarcerated in The Fort Prison. In 1957 the "Treason Trial" began in the Johannesburg Drill Hall. The trial lasted until 1961. During this time the leaders of the various liberation movements had the opportunity to share ideas and make future plans.

The accused were represented by a legal team which included Izrael Maisels, Sydney Kentridge, Vernon Berrangé and Bram Fisher. A Treason Trial Defense Fund was started up by Bishop Ambrose Reeves, writer Alan Paton, and Alex Hepple to pay the bail of the accused.

The trial required two stages, a preparatory examination in a magistrates court which would determine if there was sufficient evidence to support a trial, and then, if evidence existed, a trial by the Supreme Court. The preparatory examination of the case lasted until January 1958 (over a year), and resulted in charges against 61 of the accused being dropped - 95 people were still facing trial.

The treason trial proper started on 3 August of 1958

International observers flocked to the trial. Supporters of the liberation movement from all over the world rallied around the black leaders in prison. Funds started pouring in to sustain the accused, their families, and to pay legal costs. Most of those charged were subsequently freed without going to trial. In 1961 the remaining 30 prisoners were freed. The trial lasted for more than 4 years 

Within a week of the trial starting, one of the two charges under the Suppression of Communism Act was dropped. Two months later the Crown announced that the whole indictment was being dropped, only to issue a new indictment against 30 people - all members of the ANC. Additional indictments against another 61 people were threatened but were never realized.

Chief Albert Luthuli and Oliver Tambo were released for lack of evidence. Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu (ANC secretary-general) were among the final 30 accused.

On 29 March 1961 Justice FL Rumpff interrupted the defense summation with a verdict. He announced that although the ANC was working to replace the government and had used illegal means of protest during the Defiance Campaign, the Crown had failed to show that the ANC was using violence to overthrow the government, and were therefore not-guilty of treason. The Crown had failed to establish any revolutionary intent behind the defendant's actions. Having been found non-guilty, the remaining 30 accused were discharged.

Women’s March

The women’s march was greatly a response to one of the Apartheid laws that were originally imposed on African men alone.  Although African men had been required to carry passes for many decades, only in the 1950s did the government impose pass laws on African women. The first attempt to make black women in South Africa carry passes was in 1913 when the Orange Free State introduced a new requirement that women, in addition to existing regulations for black men, must carry reference documents. The resulting protest that was by a multi-racial group of women, many of whom were professionals (a large number of teachers, for example), took the form of passive resistance - a refusal to carry the new passes. African women were not allowed to live in towns unless they had permission to be employed there, and extending pass laws to them made it more difficult for women without jobs to take their children and join their husbands in town. Many of these women were supporters of the recently formed South African Native National Congress (which became the African National Congress in 1923, although women were not allowed to become full members until 1943). The protest against passes spread through the Orange Free State, to the extent that when World War I broke out, the authorities agreed to relax the rule. Across the country, dozens of protests against pass laws for African women took place before the Federation of South African Women (formed in 1955) and the African National Congress Women’s League organized a massive protest march in Pretoria. 

At the end of World War I, the authorities in the Orange Free State tried to re-instate the requirement, and again opposition built up. The Bantu Women's League (which became the ANC Woman's League in 1948 - a few years after membership of the ANC was opened to women), organized by its first president, Charlotte Maxeke, coordinated further passive resistance during late 1918 and early 1919. By 1922 they had achieved success - the South African government agreed that women should not be obliged to carry passes. However, the government still managed to introduce legislation which curtailed the rights of women and the Native (Black) Urban Areas Act No 21 of 1923 extended the existing pass system such that the only black women allowed to live in urban areas were domestic workers.

With the Blacks (Abolition of Passes and Co-ordination of Documents) Act No 67 of 1952, the South African government amended the pass laws, requiring all black persons over the age of 16 in all provinces to carry a 'reference book' at all times - thereby enforcing influx control of blacks from the homelands. The new 'reference book', which would now have to be carried by women, required an employer's signature to be renewed each month, authorization to be within particular areas, and certification of tax payments.

During the 1950s women within the Congress Alliance came together to combat the inherent sexism that existed within various anti-Apartheid groups, such as the ANC. Lillian Ngoyi (a trade unionist and political activist), Helen Joseph, Albertina Sisulu, Sophia Williams-De Bruyn, and others formed the Federation of South African Women. The prime focus of the FSAW soon changed, and in 1956, with the cooperation of the ANC's Women's League, they organized a mass demonstration against the new pass laws.

On August 9, 1956, 20,000 women, representing all racial backgrounds, came from all over South Africa to march on the Union Buildings, where they stood in silent protest for 30 minutes while petitions with 100,000 signatures were delivered to Prime Minister JG Strijdom’s office. These petitions were in favour of the introduction of new Pass Laws and the Group Areas Act No. 41 of 1950. Many men in the anti-apartheid movement were surprised by the women’s militancy, and the protest contributed to women playing a bigger role in the struggle for freedom and democracy. August 9th now is celebrated as National Women’s Day in South Africa.

During the march the women sang a freedom song: Wathint' abafazi, Strijdom!

wathint' abafazi,

wathint' imbokodo,

[When] you strike the women,

you strike a rock,

you will be crushed [you will die]!

Brief biographies: Helen Joseph and Lillian Ngoyi and their roles in resistance to apartheid

Helen Joseph: Helen May Fennell was born in Sussex, England, in 1905 and grew up with her parents and brother. She graduated from King’s College, University of London, in 1927 with a degree in English. She then went to India to teach at a school for girls in Hyderabad for three years. In 1931 Helen came to Durban, South Africa where she met her husband, Billie Joseph. 

During the Second World War Helen served as an Information and Welfare officer for the Women's Auxiliary Air force where she decided to become a social worker. In 1951 she took a job with the Garment Worker’s Union, led by Solly Sachs. During this time, and as a result of working closely with Sachs, Helen came to see and experience the "true face" of Apartheid, which angered her tremendously due to its blatant injustice. Helen was a founding member of the Congress of Democrats (the ANC's white ally). In 1955 Helen was selected as one of the people who read out clauses of the Freedom Charter at the Congress of the People in Kliptown. In 1956, Helen led a march of 20 000 women to Pretoria's Union Buildings in protest of the Pass Laws.

Like some of South Africa’s black leaders during that time, Helen was arrested on a charge of high treason, followed by her being banned in 1957 as well as being the first person to be placed under house arrest. When she was 80, she regained her freedom when her final ban was lifted in 1985. 

Helen died on 25 December 1992 in Johannesburg, Gauteng. 

Lillian Ngoyi: Lillian Ngoyi was one of the women leading the Women’s March on 9 August 1956. She was born on 25 September 1911 and she, a widowed seamstress supporting two children and an elderly mother, joined the ANC Women’s League in 1952.  She went on to become the first woman elected to the executive committee of the African National Congress.

She travelled to Switzerland in 1955 to participate in the World Congress of Mothers held by the Women’s International Democratic Federation to plead the cause of black women in South Africa.  Then she went on to visit England, Germany, Romania, China and Russia before returning to South Africa as a “wanted woman”. She was arrested in 1956, spent 71 days in solitary confinement and for eleven more years was banned and confined to her home in Orlando, Soweto, causing great suffering for her and her family.  Mangosuthu Buthelezi and Beyers Naudé wrote several letters pleading Lilian Ngoyi’s cause. Naudé discussed her various domestic and financial needs, while raising the possibility of her banning order being lifted. 

Amongst the many honours since the fall of apartheid that have been heaped on her, a community health centre in Soweto, a Hall at Rhodes University, as well as an environmental patrol vessel is named in her honour.

Lilian Masediba Ngoyi died on 13 March 1980, many years before the country would reap the fruits of her labour despite her express wish:  “I am hoping with confidence that, before I die, I will see change in this country.”

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Apartheid in South Africa Essay

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South Africa is one of the countries with rich and fascinating history in the world. It is regarded as the most developed state in Africa and among the last to have an elected black president towards the end of the 20 th century. Besides its rich history, the South African state has abundant natural resources, fertile farms and a wide range of minerals including gold.

The country is the world’s leading miner of diamonds and gold with several metal ores distributed around the country like platinum (Rosmarin & Rissik, 2004). South Africa experiences a mild climate that resembles that of San Francisco bay.

With its geographical location and development, South Africa is one of the most accessible African countries. All these factors contribute to South Africa’s global prominence, especially before and after the reign of its first black President, Nelson Mandela in 1994.

However, these alone do not add up to what the country’s history. In fact, South Africa’s history sounds incomplete without the mention of Apartheid, a system that significantly shaped and transformed the country in what it is today.

Without apartheid, many argue that South Africa would have probably been a different country with unique ideologies, politics and overall identity. In other words, apartheid greatly affected South Africa in all spheres of a country’s operation. From segregation to all forms of unfairness, apartheid system negatively affected South Africans and the entire country (Pfister, 2005).

On the other hand, some people argue that apartheid positively affected South Africa in countless ways. This essay gives a detailed coverage of the issue of apartheid in South Africa and its impact to the economy, politics and social life of South Africans.

To achieve this task, the analysis is divided into useful sections, which give concise and authentic information concerning the topic. Up to date sources were consulted in researching the topic to ensure that data and information used in describing the concept is up to date, from reputable and recommended authors.

Among important segments of the essay include but not limited to the literature review, history, background information and recommendations.

Research questions

In addressing the issue of Apartheid in South Africa, this essay intends to provide answers to the following questions:

  • What was apartheid system?
  • What are the factors that led to the apartheid system?
  • What were the negative effects of the apartheid system?
  • What were the positive effects of the apartheid system?
  • Why was it necessary to end apartheid in South Africa?

Literature Review

Apartheid in South Africa is one of the topics which have received massive literature coverage even after the end of the regime. Most of the documented information describes life before 1994 and what transpired after Nelson Mandela took leadership as the first black African President of the state.

This segment, therefore, explores the concept concerning what authors, scholars and researchers have recorded in books, journals and on websites as expounded in the following analytical sections.

Apartheid in South Africa

Apartheid refers to a South African system that propagated racial discrimination imposed between 1948 and 1994 by National Party regimes. During this period of decades, the rights of the majority “blacks” were undermined as white minority settlers maintained their supremacy and rule through suppressive tactics.

Apartheid was primarily developed after the Second World War by the Broederbond and Afrikaner organizations and was extended to other parts of South West Africa, currently known as Namibia until it became an independent state four years before the end of apartheid.

According to Allen 2005, discrimination of black people in South Africa began long before apartheid was born during the colonial era. In his survey, Allen noted that apartheid was ratified after the general election which was held in 1948.

The new legislation that the governments adopted classified all South African inhabitants into four groups based on their racial identity (Allen, 2005). These groups were Asians, whites, natives and colored. This led to all manners of segregation that ensured complete distinction among these groups, achieved through forced displacement of the oppressed groups without necessarily thinking about their rights.

The practice continued throughout the period, reaching heightened moments when non-whites were deprived of political representation in 1970, the year when blacks were denied citizenship right causing them to become members of Bantustans who belonged to self-governing homes (Allen, 2005).

Besides residential removal and displacement, other forms of discrimination dominated in public institutions like education centers, hospitals and beaches among other places which were legally meant for everybody regardless of their skin color, gender or country of origin.

In rare cases where black accessed these services, they were provided with inferior options as compared to what whites received (Allen, 2005). As a result, there was significant violence witnessed across the country, accompanied by internal resistance from people who believed that they were being exploited and languishing in poverty at the expense of white minorities.

Consequently, the country suffered trade embargoes as other countries around the world distanced themselves from South African rule as a way of condemning it and raising their voices in support for those who were considered less human in their own country.

Overwhelmed by the desire for equality, South Africa witnessed countless uprisings and revolts, which were welcomed with imprisoning of political and human rights activists who were strongly opposed to the apartheid rule.

Banning of opposition politics was also adopted in order to suppress leaders who believed in justice for humanity (Edwards & Hecht, 2010). As violence escalated around the country, several state organizations responded by sponsoring violence and increasing the intensity of oppression.

The peak of apartheid opposition was in 1980s when attempts to amend apartheid legislation failed to calm black people forcing President Frederik Willem de Klerk to enter into negotiations with black leaders to end apartheid in 1990.

The culmination of the negotiations was in 1994 when a multi-racial and democratic election was held with Nelson Mandela of African National Congress emerging the winner and the first black president in South Africa (Edwards & Hecht, 2010). Although apartheid ended more than a decade ago, it is important to note its impact and ruins are still evident in South Africa.

Background Information

Segregation took shape in the Union of South Africa in order to suppress the black people’s participation in politics and economic life. White rulers believed that the only way of maintaining their rule was to ensure that black people do not have opportunities to organize themselves into groups that would augment their ability to systematize themselves and fight back for their rights.

However, despite these efforts, black people in South Africa became integrated into the economic and industrial society than any other group of people in Africa during the 20 th century (Edwards & Hecht, 2010).

Clerics, educations and other professionals grew up to be key players as the influence of blacks sprouted with Mission Christianity significantly influencing the political landscape of the union. Studying in abroad also played a major role as blacks gained the momentum to fight for their rights as the move received support from other parts of the world (Burger, 2011).

There were continuous attempts from the government to control and manipulate black people through skewed policies, which were aimed at benefiting whites at the expense of the majority. The year 1902 saw the formation of the first political organization by Dr Abdurrahman which was mainly based in Cape Province.

However, the formation of the African National Congress in 1912 was a milestone as it brought together traditional authorities, educationists and Christian leaders (Burger, 2011). Its initial concern was defined by constitutional protests as its leaders demanded recognition and representation of the blacks.

Efforts by union workers to form organizations for the purpose of voicing their concerns were short-lived as their efforts were short down by white authorities. This led to strikes and militancy, which was experienced throughout 1920s. The formation of the Communist Party proved to be a force to last as it united workers’ organizations and non-racialism individuals (Beinart & Dubow, 1995).

Segregation of blacks was also witnessed in job regulations as skilled job opportunities remained reserved for white people. The introduction of pass-laws further aimed at restricting African mobility thus limiting their chances of getting organized.

These laws were also designed to have all blacks participate in forced labor as they did not have a clear channel to air their views. According to historic findings, all these efforts were inclined towards laying the foundation for apartheid in later years.

Noteworthy, there were divisions among whites as they differed with regard to certain ideologies and stances. For instance, they could not agree on their involvement in First World War I as the National Party dislodged from the South African Party (Beinart & Dubow, 1995). Conversely, allocation of skilled jobs to whites targeted high productivity from people who had experience while pass-laws prevented aimless movement.

Labor issues continued to emerge through organized strikes though these efforts were constantly thwarted by the government using brutal and inhumane ways like seclusion of migrant residential houses using compounds.

Miners also protested against low payment and poor living standards, conditions which promoted hostility between black and white labor forces, culminating into a bloody rebellion in 1922 (Beinart & Dubow, 1995).

Intensified discrimination against blacks mounted to serve the interests of white rulers through reinforcement of the unfair government policies and employment bar in certain areas like the railway and postal service to address the infamous “poor-white problem”.

The world depression of early 1930s led to the union of major white parties which was closely followed by the breakaway by a new Afrikaner led by Dr. DF Malan. The entrenchment of the white domination led to the elimination of Africans from the voters’ role in 1936 (Burger, 2011).

These continued up to the end of the Second World War when the government intensified segregation rules in 1948 that led to the conception and birth of Apartheid in South Africa.

Desmond Tutu against Apartheid

As mentioned above, Mission Christianity played a major role in the fight against apartheid and restoration of justice in South Africa. This saw several leaders rise to the limelight as they emerged to be the voice of the voiceless in the South African State.

One of these Christian leaders was Archbishop Desmond Tutu who has remained in the history of South Africa, featuring prominently in the reign of apartheid (BBC, 2010). He is well known worldwide for his anti-apartheid role and for boldly speaking for the blacks.

He served a very important role, especially during the entire time when Nelson Mandela was serving his prison term making him nominated for the highly coveted and prestigious Nobel Peace Prize award in 1984 for his relentless anti-apartheid efforts.

This was a real implication that the world had not only observed Tutu’s efforts but also raised its voice against the discriminatory rule in South Africa.

After Nelson Mandela was elected democratically in 1984, he appointed Archbishop Desmond Tutu to steer the South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission which was mandated to investigate all forms of crimes committed by blacks and whites during the whole period of apartheid.

Although Tutu was a teacher by training, he dropped the career after the adoption of the Bantu Education Act in 1953 (BBC, 2010). The act was meant to extend apartheid to black schools around the country, causing several schools to close down due to lack of finances after the government discontinued subsidized programs for those that did not comply.

To confirm and affirm that apartheid was not the best regime option in South Africa, Desmond Tutu was highly influenced by white clergymen like Bishop Trevor Huddleston, who strongly opposed the idea of racial discrimination that was being propagated by the white government (BBC, 2010).

Although he was closely involved in active politics, he remained focused on religious motivation, arguing that racialism was not the will of God, and that it was not to live forever. His appointment as the head of the Anglican church in 1986 did not deter him from fighting apartheid as he risked being jailed after he called the public to boycott municipal elections that were held in 1988.

He welcomed President FW De Klerk’s reforms in 1989, which included the release of the one who was later to become the first black president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela and the reinstatement of the African National Congress (BBC, 2010).

Nelson Mandela against Apartheid

Nelson Mandela is regarded as a key player in the fight against apartheid in South Africa as he led black people together with other activists to publicly denounce and condemn the discriminatory regimes of the time. As a way of demonstrating his dissatisfaction and criticism of apartheid, Mandela publicly burnt his “pass”.

All blacks were required to carry their passes as the government prohibited the movement of people to other districts (Atlas College, 2011). While working with ANC, Mandela’s involvement in anti-apartheid efforts was increased as he realized the need to have active resistance in dealing with apartheid.

He was severally charged with treason and acquitted although in 1964, Mandela was life imprisoned a move that was considered to be ill-motivated to maintain the white rule supremacy. He continued his fight while in prison as his message penetrated every village and district in the country.

Although he acted together with like-minded people, Nelson Mandela’s name stands high as the leader of the anti-apartheid campaign which culminated in his election as the first black president of South Africa in 1994 (Atlas College, 2011).

Opposing opinion

Although apartheid was highly condemned and still receives high-charged criticism, some people view it from a different perspective. Did apartheid have any benefit to the people of South Africa and to the nation at large?

Apart from propagating injustices across the country, apartheid is one of the economic drivers of South Africa with some of the policies and strategies used during that time still under active implementation by the government.

For instance, the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) was orchestrated by ANC and served as the core platform during the elections that were held in 1994 (Lundahl & Petersson, 2009). The programme focused on improvement of infrastructure, improvement of housing facilities, free schooling, sharing of land to the landless, clean water and affordable health facilities among others.

This led to the improvement of social amenities in the country. RDP also continued financing the budget revenue. It therefore suffices to mention that those who support apartheid base their argument on the status of the country after 1994 when subsequent governments chose to adopt some strategies from apartheid to drive the reconstruction agenda (Lundahl & Petersson, 2009).

As one of the leading economies in Africa, some of the institutions, factories and companies which were established during apartheid significantly contribute to development in the country. Even though new plans have been adopted, majority have their foundations rocked on apartheid.

As a result of these development initiatives, a lot has changed in South Africa. There has been substantive economic growth augmented by several factors which relate to apartheid (Lundahl & Petersson, 2009). Improved living standards among South Africans cannot also be ignored in any discussion of apartheid.

Many jobs have been created for the skilled people who never found an opportunity to work when the regime was at its operational peak. South Africa also prides on some of the most prestigious learning institutions in the region which are highly ranked on the world list. It therefore suffices to mention that apartheid had several advantages which cannot be overshadowed by its disadvantages.

Against Apartheid

Despite the advantages of apartheid discussed above, there is no doubt that the system negatively impacted South Africans in a myriad of ways. From undermining of human rights to promotion of hostility and violence among residents, there is enough evidence to condemn the regime. It affected several social structures people were not allowed to freely intermarry and interact.

This was coupled with limited expression rights as they were believed not to have rights. Movement was highly restricted as black people were to walk with passes and restricted to move within one district. Additionally, forceful evacuation was a norm as black people never owned land and houses permanently (Burger, 2011). What about employment?

Many skilled jobs were strictly reserved for whites as black people survived on manual duties with little or no pay. This contributed to low living standards and inability to meet their needs, manifested through labor strikes which were continuously witnessed in several organizations.

Consequently, violence escalated with police brutality hitting high levels and several people losing their lives as others spent the rest of their lives in jail. It was a system that needed more condemnation than just protesting in order to allow justice to prevail (Pfister, 2005).

Apartheid in South Africa is one of the most outstanding in the history of the country with millions of people with painful and remarkable memories.

With its culmination in 1994 democratic elections which saw Nelson Mandela rise to power, the regime had severe negative effects, which necessitated the need to end it and pave the way for a fair nation that respects humanity regardless of skin color, ethnicity, country of origin and gender (Pfister, 2005).

Based on the above analysis, it is important for a number of lessons to be learnt from it. World leaders need to establish and implement leadership mechanisms that would prevent recurrence of apartheid in South Africa or in other parts of the world.

To the millions who suffered under rule, reconciliation efforts are essential in allowing them to accept themselves and move on with life as they mingle with thousands of white settlers who continue owning parcels of land in the country. It should however to be forgotten that apartheid was important in transforming South Africa into what it is today. From factories and infrastructure to a stable economy, it had lifetime merits that ought to be acknowledged throughout in history.

Allen, J. (2005). Apartheid South Africa: An Insider’s Overview of the Origin and Effects of Separate Development . Bloomington, Indiana: iUniverse.

Atlas College. (2011). Nelson Mandela and Apartheid. Atlas College . Web.

BBC. (2010). Profile: Archbishop Desmond Tutu . BBC News . Web.

Beinart, W., & Dubow, S. (1995). Segregation and apartheid in twentieth-century South Africa . London: Routledge.

Burger, D. (2011). History. South African Government Information . Web.

Edwards, P., & Hecht, G. (2010). History and the Techno politics of Identity: The Case of Apartheid South Africa. Journal of Southern African Studies, 36 (3), p. 619-639.

Lundahl, M., & Petersson, L. (2009). Post-Apartheid South Africa; an Economic Success Story? United Nations University . Web.

Pfister, R. (2005). Apartheid South Africa and African states: from pariah to middle power, 1961-1994 . London: I.B.Tauris.

Rosmarin, I., & Rissik, D. (2004). South Africa. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish.

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Apartheid Essay for Grade 9 Examples: 300 -1000 Words

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Apartheid Essay for Grade 9 Examples: 300 -1000 Words The apartheid (Afrikaans: “apartness”) regime, which allowed for racial segregation and political and economic discrimination against nonwhites, regulated relations between South Africa’s white minority and nonwhite majority throughout a significant portion of the second half of the 20th century. Even if the laws that supported apartheid were abolished by the early 1990s, the negative social and economic effects of the racist practice continued into the twenty-first century.

From 1948 to 1994, South Africa experienced the intense racial segregation and oppression known as the apartheid era. Understanding history, social dynamics, and human rights are necessary to write an essay on this difficult topic. This approach will assist you in segmenting the subject into manageable pieces for an essay that is properly organized.

Section 1: Introduction to Apartheid

  • Background : Explain what apartheid was, when it began, and who was involved.
  • Thesis Statement : Summarise your main argument or perspective on apartheid.
  • Keyword : Apartheid, racial segregation.

Section 2: Implementation of Apartheid Laws

  • Introduction : Detail how apartheid laws were created and implemented.
  • Examples : Mention laws such as the Population Registration Act, Group Areas Act.
  • Keyword : Laws, racial classification.

Section 3: Effects on South African Society

  • Introduction : Describe how apartheid affected different racial groups.
  • Examples : Provide real-life examples, like forced relocations.
  • Keyword : Discrimination, societal impact.

Section 4: Resistance to Apartheid

  • Introduction : Explain how individuals and groups resisted apartheid.
  • Examples : Talk about movements like the ANC, people like Nelson Mandela.
  • Keyword : Resistance, liberation movements.

Section 5: End of Apartheid

  • Introduction : Discuss how apartheid came to an end and the transition to democracy.
  • Examples : Refer to negotiations, elections, and the role of global pressure.
  • Keyword : Democracy, reconciliation.
  • Summary : Recap the main points and restate your thesis.
  • Closing Thoughts : Offer a reflection on the legacy of apartheid in contemporary South Africa.

Additional Tips

  • Use Simple Language : Write in a way that’s easy to understand.
  • Use South African Context : Focus on facts and examples relevant to South Africa.
  • Research : Back up your points with well-researched facts and theories.


Apartheid , a system of racial segregation that lasted from 1948 to 1994, defined a dark era in South African history. It dictated where people could live, work, and even socialise, based on their racial classification. This essay will explore the genesis of apartheid, its impact on South African society, the brave resistance against it, and finally, its dismantling.

Section 1: Implementation of Apartheid Laws

In 1948, the National Party came to power and implemented apartheid as a legal system. The Population Registration Act classified South Africans into four racial categories: Black, White, Coloured, and Indian. Following this, the Group Areas Act designated different living areas for each racial group. These laws not only separated people but ensured that the majority of the country’s resources were reserved for the white minority.

Section 2: Effects on South African Society

The effects of apartheid were profound and painful. Black South Africans were forcibly relocated to townships with poor living conditions. The Bantu Education Act provided an inferior education for Black children, preparing them only for menial jobs. Families were torn apart, and non-white South Africans were treated as second-class citizens, all in the name of maintaining white supremacy.

Section 3: Resistance to Apartheid

Despite the oppressive regime, many South Africans resisted apartheid. The African National Congress (ANC) and other liberation movements organised protests and strikes. Icons like Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu fought tirelessly against the system. The Soweto Uprising in 1976, where students protested against the use of Afrikaans in schools, is a stark example of how even the youth were involved in the struggle.

Section 4: End of Apartheid

The journey to end apartheid was long and fraught with challenges. International pressure, economic sanctions, and internal unrest gradually weakened the apartheid government. Negotiations began, leading to the release of political prisoners like Mandela. In 1994, South Africa held its first democratic elections, in which all racial groups could vote, marking the official end of apartheid.

South Africa experienced great pain and division as a result of the apartheid system. As the nation struggles with issues of inequality and racial strife, their effects are still felt today. But the end of apartheid also represents the triumph of justice, human rights, and the resilient spirit of the people of South Africa. South Africa’s road towards becoming a more inclusive and compassionate society is still being shaped by the lessons learnt during this time. The history of apartheid serves as a warning to future generations about the value of cooperation, resiliency, and the never-ending pursuit of equality.


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Section 3: Resistance to Apartheid

Despite the oppressive regime, many South Africans resisted apartheid. The African National Congress (ANC) and other liberation movements organised protests and strikes. Icons like Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu fought tirelessly against the system. The Soweto Uprising in 1976, where students protested against the use of Afrikaans in schools, is a stark example of how even the youth were involved in the struggle.

Section 4: End of Apartheid

The journey to end apartheid was long and fraught with challenges. International pressure, economic sanctions, and internal unrest gradually weakened the apartheid government. Negotiations began, leading to the release of political prisoners like Mandela. In 1994, South Africa held its first democratic elections, in which all racial groups could vote, marking the official end of apartheid.

South Africa experienced great pain and division as a result of the apartheid system. As the nation struggles with issues of inequality and racial strife, their effects are still felt today. But the end of apartheid also represents the triumph of justice, human rights, and the resilient spirit of the people of South Africa. South Africa’s road towards becoming a more inclusive and compassionate society is still being shaped by the lessons learnt during this time. The history of apartheid serves as a warning to future generations about the value of cooperation, resiliency, and the never-ending pursuit of equality.

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  • Geskiedenis graad 9

Apartheid en apartheidswette

  Geskiedenis graad 9   Page 1 / 1

Sosiale wetenskappe: geskiedenis

Sa vanaf 1948 tot 2000: nasionalisme, apartheid en die apartheidswette.

Die volgende bronne verwys na Apartheid en Apartheidswette

[LU 1, 2, 3]

BRON A: Wet nr. 55 van 1949 – Verbod op Gemengde Huwelike

Die wet het bepaal dat blank en nie-blank nie meer met mekaar kon trou nie.

BRON B: Wet nr. 30 van 1950 – Bevolkingsregistrasiewet

  • Die regering het elke persoon as ‘blank’ of ‘kleurling’, of ‘naturel’ geklassifiseer.
  • Mense wat as ‘kleurling’ of ‘naturel’ geklassifiseer is, is verder in etniese groepe, bv. ‘Maleier,’ ’Griekwa,’ ‘Xhosa’ ‘Zulu’ ens. verdeel.
  • Almal het amptelike identiteitskaarte, wat hulle rasseklassifikasie aangedui het, ontvang.

BRON C: Wet nr. 49 van 1953 – Wet op Aparte Geriewe

  • Aparte toegang tot geboue, aparte sitplekke, toonbanke, teaters, strande, busse ens. vir die onderskeie rassegroepe.
  • Mense wat van die verkeerde geriewe gebruik gemaak het, kon tot ’n boete van £50 of ’n tronkstraf van drie maande gevonnis word.

Op 28 Augustus 1963 het Martin Luther King Jr. sy “I have a Dream” - toespraak by die Lincoln-Monument in Washington gemaak. Hy het hierna verwys as “die grootste demonstrasie van vryheid in ’n volk se geskiedenis.”

Ek het ’n Droom “Ek het ’n droom dat my vier kinders eendag in ’n nasie sal lewe waar hulle nie beoordeel sal word op grond van hul velkleur nie, maar eerder op grond van hulle karakater.

Ek het vandag ’n droom Ek het ’n droom dat die staat van Alabama eendag…verander sal word in ’n toestand waar klein swart seuntjies en dogtertjies in staat sal wees om die hande te vat van klein blanke seuntjies en dogtertjies en soos susters en broers saam sal kan loop.

Ek het vandag ’n droom Ek het ’n droom dat elke vallei eendag verhoog sal word, elke heuwel en berg verlaag sal word, die ruwe plekke vlaktes gemaak sal word, en die krom plekke reguit gemaak sal word, en God se heerlikheid openbaar gemaak sal word en dat die mensdom dit gesamentlik sal sien.”

Lu 3:die leerder is in staat om ’n begrip van historiese interpretasie te toon

1 . Jy is ’n vyftienjarige seun of dogter in die jaar 1965, en jy het ’n brief van ’n penmaat in San Francisco, Kalifornië, ontvang. Hierdie vriend(in) het in ’n koerant gelees van Apartheid in Suid-Afrika. Sy het die woord nog nooit tevore teëgekom nie. Maak gebruik van Bronne A, B en C, asook jou eie kennis om aan haar/hom in ’n brief jou eie interpretasie van die betekenis van die woord “Apartheid” te verduidelik, en ook hoedat jy deur hierdie wette geraak word .

Lu 1:die leerder is in staat om vaardighede te bemeester ten einde die verlede en hede te ondersoek

2 . Bestudeer Bron D.

2.1 Verkry bewyse uit die toespraak dat apartheid nie slegs onder die Nasionale Party-regering in Suid-Afrika bestaan het nie.

3 . Vergelyk Bronne A, B, en C met Bron D.

3.1 Na watter een van die Suid-Afrikaanse Apartheidswette word daar verwys in Martin Luther King se toespraak? Motiveer jou antwoord deur bewyse uit die bronne te verkry.

3.2 Martin Luther King het hierdie toespraak in 1963 gemaak. Na hoeveel jare het hierdie droom van hom in Suid-Afrika waar geword?

4 . Besoek die biblioteek of die Internet om uit te vind deur wie Martin Luther King in ’n sluipmoordaanval gedood is, asook die rede daarvoor.


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Home — Essay Samples — History — Contemporary History — Apartheid

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Essays on Apartheid

Choosing apartheid essay topics.

When it comes to writing an essay on Apartheid, choosing the right topic is crucial. Apartheid was a dark period in South Africa's history, and there are numerous aspects of this topic that can be explored in an essay. Whether you are a history student, a social science student, or simply interested in learning more about this important part of history, choosing the right essay topic is essential for a successful and engaging piece of writing.

The Importance of the Topic

Understanding the impact and legacy of Apartheid is crucial for anyone seeking to understand not only the history of South Africa, but also the ongoing struggle for equality and justice around the world. Apartheid was a system of institutionalized racial segregation and discrimination that had far-reaching effects on the people of South Africa and beyond. Exploring Apartheid in an essay can help shed light on the historical, social, and political complexities of this era, and help foster a deeper understanding of the ongoing fight for racial equality and social justice.

Choosing a Topic

When choosing a topic for your Apartheid essay, it is important to consider both your interests and the specific requirements of your assignment. You may want to focus on a particular aspect of Apartheid, such as its impact on education, healthcare, politics, or culture. Alternatively, you could explore the legacy of Apartheid and its impact on contemporary South Africa. No matter what topic you choose, be sure to conduct thorough research and consider different perspectives to provide a comprehensive analysis of the subject.

Recommended Essay Topics

Impacts of apartheid.

  • The impact of Apartheid on education in South Africa
  • The effects of Apartheid on healthcare and public health in South Africa
  • The role of Apartheid in shaping the political landscape of South Africa

Legacy of Apartheid

  • The ongoing effects of Apartheid on contemporary South Africa
  • The role of Apartheid in shaping race relations in South Africa today
  • The impact of Apartheid on South African culture and identity
  • Examining the Lasting Effects of Apartheid in South Africa
  • The Economic Ramifications of Apartheid in South Africa
  • The Psychological Impact of Apartheid on South Africa

Resistance and Activism

  • The role of key figures in the resistance against Apartheid
  • The impact of international activism and solidarity in the fight against Apartheid
  • The legacy of Apartheid-era activism in contemporary social justice movements

Comparative Analysis

  • Comparing Apartheid to other forms of institutionalized discrimination and segregation
  • Analyzing the similarities and differences between Apartheid and other historical instances of racial oppression
  • Exploring the global impact of Apartheid and its connections to other movements for social justice

These are just a few examples of the many directions you can take when writing an essay on Apartheid. No matter which topic you choose, be sure to approach it with sensitivity, respect, and a commitment to understanding and addressing the complex historical and social issues at hand.

Remember to engage with a variety of sources, including academic articles, primary documents, and personal narratives, to provide a well-rounded and comprehensive analysis of your chosen topic. By choosing a topic that is both meaningful to you and relevant to the broader historical and social context, you can create a compelling and informative Apartheid essay that contributes to a deeper understanding of this important period in history.

The Way Apartheid Affected South Africa

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The Role of Nelson Mandela in The Fight Against Apartheid

Apartheid as a racial socialism in south africa, the influence of colonisation and apartheid on black african communities, opposition to apartheid in the years 1948-1959 was unsuccessful, let us write you an essay from scratch.

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Opportunity to Lead in World of No Conflict

Comparative analysis of gaza and south african apartheid, depiction of south africa during apartheid in master harold and the boys by athol fugard, memories about apartheid in native nostalgia by jacob dlamini, apartheid's policy regarding the language issue in african education.

1948 - early 1990s

South Africa, South West Africa (Namibia)

Apartheid is an Afrikaans word meaning "separateness." Apartheid was a system sanctioned by law, of racial segregation in South Africa and South West Africa (Namibia) from 1948 until the early 1990s.

Sanctioned racial segregation was widely practiced in South Africa before 1948. In 1948, the Afrikaner National Party won the general election and extended the policy that called "apartheid." As result, non-white South Africans would be forced to live in separate areas from whites and use separate public facilities. Apartheid laws remained in effect for the better part of 50 years.

Through the Population Registration Act of 1950, South African population was classified as either Bantu (all Black Africans), Coloured (those of mixed race), or white and a fourth category, Asian which was added later.

The Promotion of Bantu Self-Government Act of 1959 created 10 Bantu homelands known as Bantustans, that were designated by the white-dominated government of South Africa as pseudo-national homelands for the country’s Black African population during the 20th century. From 1961 to 1994, more than 3.5 million people were transfered in the Bantustans.

One of the first and most violent demonstrations against apartheid happened in Sharpeville on March 21, 1960. The police opened fire on a group of unarmed blacks and killed about 69 Black Africans and wounded many more.

Nelson Mandela, leader of the movement to end South African apartheid. In 1944, Mandela joined the African National Congress (ANC) and became a leader of Johannesburg’s youth wing of the ANC. In 1961, he was arrested for treason, and although acquitted he was arrested again in 1962. In June 1964, he was sentenced to life in prison. F.W. de Klerk freed Nelson Mandela on February 11, 1990. A few years later, Mandela was elected South Africa’s president.

The United Nations General Assembly had denounced apartheid in 1973. In 1985, the United Kingdom and United States imposed economic sanctions on the country. De Klerk’s government repealed the Population Registration Act and the other legislation that formed the legal basis for apartheid.

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apartheid essay grade 9 300

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Apartheid Laws for Grade 9 Learners

The apartheid system in South Africa was a complex and multifaceted institution, established primarily to enforce racial segregation and discrimination. This list is not exhaustive, but it provides a basic overview of some of the most significant apartheid laws implemented by the South African government. The aim is to help Grade 9 students gain a deeper understanding of this dark chapter in South Africa’s history.

  • Population Registration Act (1950) : This law required all South Africans to be classified into racial groups (Black, White, Coloured, or Asian). The classification was largely arbitrary but had significant repercussions for individuals’ daily lives.
  • Group Areas Act (1950) : This law segregated residential areas by racial groups. Non-whites were forcibly removed from their homes to designated “group areas.”
  • Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act (1949) : This act outlawed marriages between white South Africans and South Africans of other racial backgrounds.
  • Immorality Act (1950) : This law banned sexual relationships between white South Africans and non-whites.
  • Bantu Authorities Act (1951) : This established tribal “homelands” and regional authorities, giving traditional leaders administrative power but under the overarching control of the South African government.
  • Suppression of Communism Act (1950) : Although not explicitly a racial law, this act was often used to suppress opposition to apartheid by labeling anti-apartheid activists as “communists.”
  • Bantu Education Act (1953) : This act established a separate education system for Black South Africans designed to prepare them for lives as a laboring class.
  • Reservation of Separate Amenities Act (1953) : This law mandated racial segregation in all public amenities, public buildings, and public transport with the aim of eliminating contact between whites and other racial groups.
  • Natives (Abolition of Passes and Coordination of Documents) Act (1952) : Commonly known as the Pass Laws, this act required black South Africans to carry “pass books” at all times when outside designated areas, restricting their movement within the country.
  • Native Labour (Settlement of Disputes) Act (1953) : This act prohibited black workers from striking and limited their capacity to negotiate for better labor conditions.
  • Extension of University Education Act (1959) : This act prevented black students from attending white universities , except with government permission.
  • Natives Resettlement Act (1954) : This act permitted the removal of blacks from any area within and next to the magisterial district of Johannesburg.
  • Promotion of Bantu Self-Government Act (1959) : This act established separate government structures for blacks and was aimed at stripping black South Africans of their citizenship, making them citizens of their designated “homelands” instead.
  • Urban Bantu Councils Act (1961) : This act aimed at creating “representative councils” for blacks within urban communities, though these councils had very little power.
  • Terrorism Act (1967) : This act gave broad authority to the government to detain without trial any person deemed a threat to the state.

Understanding these laws and their implications can offer a comprehensive view of how apartheid permeated every aspect of South African society, laying the groundwork for the social and economic disparities that the nation continues to grapple with today.

Lesson Plan: Understanding Apartheid Laws in South Africa – Grade 9

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Understand what apartheid was and the social and political climate that led to its establishment in South Africa.
  • Identify key apartheid laws and their impact on South African society.
  • Analyze the resistance movements against apartheid.
  • Recognize the significance of the end of apartheid and its ongoing impact on South Africa today.
  • Engage in discussion and critical thinking about social justice, inequality, and human rights.

Materials Needed

  • Whiteboard or projector
  • Handouts on key apartheid laws
  • Video clips showing interviews with people who lived during apartheid
  • Maps of South Africa showing segregated areas
  • Computers or tablets for research (optional)

Introduction (10 minutes)

  • Briefly discuss what students already know about apartheid in South Africa.
  • Introduce the main objectives of the lesson.

Activity 1: What is Apartheid? (15 minutes)

  • Show a short video or presentation to introduce the concept of apartheid.
  • Why was apartheid implemented?
  • How did it affect the lives of South Africans?

Class Discussion (10 minutes)

  • Ask students to share their initial thoughts and feelings about apartheid.

Activity 2: Key Apartheid Laws (20 minutes)

  • Divide the class into small groups.
  • Hand out information sheets on different apartheid laws like the “Population Registration Act,” “Group Areas Act,” and “Bantu Education Act.”
  • What the law entailed
  • How it affected South Africans
  • Any resistance to it

Group Presentations (20 minutes)

  • Each group will present their findings to the class.

Activity 3: Resistance to Apartheid (15 minutes)

  • Discuss the different forms of resistance against apartheid.
  • Show video clips or provide readings about key figures in the resistance such as Nelson Mandela, Albertina Sisulu, and Steve Biko.

Individual Activity: Reflective Writing (10 minutes)

  • Ask students to write a paragraph reflecting on what they find most shocking or intriguing about apartheid and its resistance.

Conclusion and Homework (10 minutes)

  • Summarize the key points of the lesson.
  • Homework Assignment: Research one person who was influential in ending apartheid and write a one-page report on them.
  • Participation in group activities and discussions
  • Quality of group presentations
  • Reflective writing assignment
  • Homework assignment

This lesson aims to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of apartheid laws and their impact, as well as inspire thoughtful conversation and reflection on social justice issues.

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apartheid essay grade 9 300

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Theme Analysis

Apartheid and Racism Theme Icon

Tsotsi represents South African apartheid (a system of legally enforced segregation and discrimination) as a racist structure that destroys Black South Africans’ lives—even when they aren’t experiencing direct, interpersonal racism. Many of the Black characters’ lives are destroyed by racist apartheid laws despite having little direct contact with racist white people. For example, the Black South African protagonist, Tsotsi , lost his mother in childhood because white police rounded up Black people, including her, whom they suspected of living or working in white areas without the required pass. While one of the policemen did display clear racist attitudes—he called Tsotsi’s mother “kaffir,” a South African racial slur—it was the law, not his individual beliefs, that empowered him to destroy Tsotsi’s family. Tsotsi’s mother’s abduction propelled Tsotsi into homelessness and gang membership. In this sense, though Tsotsi rarely interacts with white people, the racist and white supremacist structure of apartheid changed the direction of his whole life.

Other Black characters similarly suffer from the racist economic and legal structures of apartheid, whether or not they come into regular contact with racist white people: the beggar Morris Tshabalala is crippled in a mining accident as a Black worker in an industry where the profits and gold go to white people. The young mother Miriam Ngidi experiences the disappearance of her husband during his participation in a bus boycott—and although the novel does not explicitly state this fact, major bus boycotts in apartheid South Africa were often protests by the Black population against segregation and economic exploitation of Black workers, which exposed protesters like Miriam’s husband to retaliatory racial violence. And Tsotsi’s fellow gang member Boston becomes a criminal after he forges an employment history for an acquaintance who will go to jail due to racist apartheid laws unless he can prove he has a previous employer. Thus, Tsotsi represents how a racist legal and economic structure like apartheid can harm oppressed people independent of and in addition to the interpersonal prejudice they experience. 

Apartheid and Racism ThemeTracker

Tsotsi PDF

Apartheid and Racism Quotes in Tsotsi

The knife was not only his weapon, but also a fetish, a talisman that conjured away bad spirits and established him securely in his life.

apartheid essay grade 9 300

He didn’t see the man, he saw the type.

apartheid essay grade 9 300

Gumboot had been allocated a plot near the centre. He was buried by the Reverend Henry Ransome of the Church of Christ the Redeemer in the township. The minister went through the ritual with uncertainty. He was disturbed, and he knew it and that made it worse. If only he had known the name of the man he was burying. This man, O Lord! What man? This one, fashioned in your likeness.

[Morris] looked at the street and the big cars with their white passengers warm inside like wonderful presents in bright boxes, and the carefree, ugly crowds of the pavement, seeing them all with baleful feelings.

It is for your gold that I had to dig. That is what destroyed me. You are walking on stolen legs. All of you.

Even in this there was no satisfaction. As if knowing his thoughts, they stretched their thin, unsightly lips into bigger smiles while the crude sounds of their language and laughter seemed even louder. A few of them, after buying a newspaper, dropped pennies in front of him. He looked the other way when he pocketed them.

Are his hands soft? he would ask himself, and then shake his head in anger and desperation at the futility of the question. But no sooner did he stop asking it than another would occur. Has he got a mother? This question was persistent. Hasn’t he got a mother? Didn’t she love him? Didn’t she sing him songs? He was really asking how do men come to be what they become. For all he knew others might have asked the same question about himself. There were times when he didn’t feel human. He knew he didn’t look it.

So she carried on, outwardly adjusting the pattern of her life as best she could, like taking in washing, doing odd cleaning jobs in the nearby white suburb. Inwardly she had fallen into something like a possessive sleep where the same dream is dreamt over and over again. She seldom smiled now, kept to herself and her baby, asked no favours and gave none, hoarding as it were the moments and things in her life.

On she came, until a foot or so away the chain stopped her, and although she pulled at this with her teeth until her breathing was tense and rattled she could go no further, so she lay down there, twisting her body so that the hindquarters fell apart and, like that, fighting all the time, her ribs heaving, she gave birth to the stillborn litter, and then died beside them.

Petah turned to David. ‘Willie no good. You not Willie. What is your name? Talk! Trust me, man. I help you.’

David’s eyes grew round and vacant, stared at the darkness. A tiny sound, a thin squeaking voice, struggled out: ‘David…’ it said, ‘David! But no more! He dead! He dead too, like Willie, like Joji.’

So he went out with them the next day and scavenged. The same day an Indian chased him away from his shop door, shouting and calling him a tsotsi. When they went back to the river that night, they started again, trying names on him: Sam, Willie, and now Simon, until he stopped them.

‘My name,’ he said, ‘is Tsotsi.’

The baby and David, himself that is, at first confused, had now merged into one and the same person. The police raid, the river, and Petah, the spider spinning his web, the grey day and the smell of damp newspapers were a future awaiting the baby. It was outside itself. He could sympathize with it in its defencelessness against the terrible events awaiting it.

‘What are you going to do with him?’

‘Keep him.’

He threw back his head, and she saw the shine of desperation on his forehead as he struggled with that mighty word. Why, why was he? No more revenge. No more hate. The riddle of the yellow bitch was solved—all of this in a few days and in as short a time the hold on his life by the blind, black, minute hands had grown tighter. Why?

‘Because I must find out,’ he said.

To an incredible extent a peaceful existence was dependent upon knowing just when to say no or yes to the white man.

It was a new day and what he had thought out last night was still there, inside him. Only one thing was important to him now. ‘Come back,’ the woman had said. ‘Come back, Tsotsi.’

I must correct her, he thought. ‘My name is David Madondo.’

He said it aloud in the almost empty street, and laughed. The man delivering milk heard him, and looking up said, ‘Peace my brother.’

‘Peace be with you’, David Madondo replied and carried on his way.

The slum clearance had entered a second and decisive stage. The white township had grown impatient. The ruins, they said, were being built up again and as many were still coming in as they carried off in lorries to the new locations or in vans to the jails. So they had sent in the bulldozers to raze the buildings completely to the ground.

They unearthed him minutes later. All agreed that his smile was beautiful, and strange for a tsotsi, and that when he lay there on his back in the sun, before someone had fetched a blanket, they agreed that it was hard to believe what the back of his head looked like when you saw the smile.

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Eight narrative units arranged chronologically form the backbone of this site. Units 3 through 7 contain the greatest wealth of material, focusing on apartheid (Unit 3), the struggle against apartheid (Units 4 and 5), negotiations (Unit 6), and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (Unit 7). All resources can be accessed from these units. Also, a full list of Units, Essays, and Multimedia Pages appears in Contents .

Apartheid describes a system of racist laws and policies of total segregation in South Africa that began in 1948, when the National Party came to power, and ended in 1994, when Nelson Mandela was elected President in the first democratic elections. This unit briefly summarizes the region's pre-colonial past and its connections to world history. It describes South Africa's diversity and highlights how African societies underwent important transformations before the arrival of European colonizers in 1652.

This unit explores the history of South Africa from the colonial occupation of the Cape in 1652 through the creation of the Union of South Africa in 1910 and the segregation period (1910-1948). The emphasis is on patterns of economic and political transformation and how racism and segregation increasingly restricted the lives of black South Africans. Topics include: slavery at the Cape; the mineral revolution caused by the discovery of diamonds (1867) and gold (1886); loss of African independence and the South African War (1899-1902); the creation of the Union of South Africa (1910) which enforced racial separation in economy and society and promulgated an ideology of white supremacy before the advent of apartheid.

This unit examines the rise of apartheid and its subsequent development. In 1948 the Afrikaner ethnic nationalist Reunited National Party (renamed National Party in 1951) won a national election on a racist platform of total segregation under the slogan of "apartheid" - or "apartness" in the Afrikaans language. Apartheid built upon earlier laws, but made segregation more rigid enforced it far more aggressively. With the support of big business and other white interest groups, the state signifcantly extended its power and control. Apartheid led to a systematic and profound deterioration of the position of black people in South Africa for the next four decades.

This section investigates the activities of twentieth-century political movements and individuals who fought for freedom, democracy, and equal rights in a racist South Africa. It charts the rise of the African National Congress, the South African Indian Congress, and the Communist Party of South Africa and their adoption of polite constitutional protest tactics before the 1940s. After 1948, the liberation struggle gained mass support at home and abroad; a powerful leadership propelled the movement's growth as tactics changed from polite protest to direct challenges to apartheid guided by the principle of "one person, one vote." Brutal government repression resulted in the banning of the main liberation organizations and to the arrest of Nelson Mandela and many other leaders; others fled into exile. A decade of relative quiescence followed.

After a decade of relative quiescence due to the government crackdown on liberation movements in the early 1960s, black workers and students reignited resistance against apartheid in the 1970s. The apartheid regime responded with a mix of harsh repression and modest reforms inside South Africa and violent attacks on the liberation movements and their allies outside the country. Yet a combination of growing protest, international support, and significant changes in the political context of the region changed the balance of power by 1990, when Nelson Mandela was released from prison and negotiations for a new democratic South Africa began in earnest.

The final stage of apartheid's demise happened so quickly as to have taken many people in South Africa and throughout the world by surprise. As the Cold War ended, Nelson Mandela was released from prison in February 1990 and the ban of the African National Congress (ANC) and other liberation movements was lifted, thus leading to political negotiations out of which emerged a democratic constitution and the first free election in the country's history. The final transfer of power was remarkably peaceful; it is often is described as a "miracle" because many thought that South Africa would erupt into violent civil war. But democracy did not emerge spontaneously; it had to be built laboriously, brick by brick.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was almost certainly the most extensive investigation into past human rights abuses the world has known. It was more successful than other truth commissions, for example in Chile or Guatemala, and often is seen as a model of effective conflict resolution. A product of political compromise and of South Africa's need for political stability, the TRC helped reveal the worst excesses of apartheid and its lessons to the world for conflict resolution were profound. Despite its shortcomings, the TRC process had a cathartic effect that enabled the country to transcend the violence and acrimony of the apartheid years.

After almost two decades of freedom, South Africa's democracy is a work-in-progress. Economic growth, a stable currency, and the respect of international financial institutions has come at the cost of jobs and wealth redistribution. While the government has built many houses, it has been unable to meet demand. Land redistribution stands at less than 5 percent, well short of the ANC's targets. The government made some serious mistakes, as in the case of HIV-AIDS policy. Also, corruption is an increasingly serious concern. On the other hand, South Africa has achieved impressive gains in a relatively short time. Basic services now reach millions of people previously denied access to them, and the government has established a progressive constitutional democracy, maintained peace, and fostered unity and reconciliation in a divided society.

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    Apartheid Essay for Grade 9 Examples: 300 -1000 Words. January 13, 2024 by My Courses Editor. The apartheid era in South Africa was a time of extreme racial segregation and discrimination that lasted from 1948 to 1994. Writing an essay about this complex subject requires an understanding of history, social dynamics, and human rights.

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    Grade 9 - Term 3: Turning points in South African History, 1960, 1976 and 1990 ... The Apartheid Government transporting all non- whites from Sophiatown to other surrounding townships. When the removals scheme was promulgated, Sophiatown residents united to protest the forced removals, creating famous the slogan "Onsdaknie, onspholahier" (We ...

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    Activity 9: How apartheid laws affected people's lives Link one of the apartheid laws listed above to each of the situations described below. Apartheid Museum. The people resist - 1950s to 1960s The origins of the Freedom Charter Campaign of 1955 can be traced to the Defiance Campaign of 1952.

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    Get a custom essay on Apartheid in South Africa. The country is the world's leading miner of diamonds and gold with several metal ores distributed around the country like platinum (Rosmarin & Rissik, 2004). South Africa experiences a mild climate that resembles that of San Francisco bay.

  5. PDF Social Sciences: Grade 9

    Research an Apartheid Law of your choice Write an essay on the law - it must not be more than three (300) words Your essay must include a minimum of 2 illustrations with captions (you can add more) e.g. your own drawings. Pictures from newspapers or magazines, photographs, signs, posters etc. (illustrations must be relevant to the law you chose)

  6. Apartheid Essay for Grade 9 Examples: 300 -1000 Words

    Apartheid Essay for Grade 9 Examples: 300 -1000 Words The apartheid (Afrikaans: "apartness") regime, which allowed for racial segregation and political and economic discrimination against nonwhites, regulated relations between South Africa's white minority and nonwhite majority throughout a significant portion of the second half of the 20th century.

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    10. Write an essay outlining the reasons why the homeland system was doomed to failure. [20] Resistance to Apartheid. It was soon obvious that the National Party government was not prepared to change its Apartheid policy and the laws regarding segregation. The National Party was determined to maintain white domination.

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    NON-VIOLENT PROTEST IN THE 1950s. "Open the jail doors, we want to enter!": The Defiance Campaign. Repressive government legislation and actions. "The People shall govern": The Freedom Charter. The Treason Trial. "Strijdom, you have struck a rock!": Women's resistance.

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    Apartheid Essay for Grade 9 Examples: 300 -1000 Words The apartheid (Afrikaans: "apartness") regime, which allowed for racial segregation and political and economic discrimination against nonwhites, regulated relations between South Africa's white minority and nonwhite majority throughout a significant portion of the second half of the 20th century.

  10. PDF The Origins of Apartheid

    MEMORY AND THE APARTHEID MUSEUM. • "The struggle of memory against forgetting". EXPLAINING APARTHEID: DIFFERENT APPROACHES. • How did apartheid come about? 1. The Afrikaner Nationalist Approach 2. The Liberal Approach 3. The Radical Approach 4. The Social History Approach.


    Mandela questions the accuser, Mrs. De Kok, a white woman, to see if she can identify the stolen property. 1. Form the class into small groups of two to three students. 2. Have students view the film clip "Mandela Defends an Alleged Thief" (found on the film's website.) 3.

  12. Graad 9, Apartheid en apartheidswette, By OpenStax

    Graad 9 Sa vanaf 1948 tot 2000: nasionalisme Module 5 Apartheid en die apartheidswette. Die volgende bronne verwys na Apartheid en Apartheidswette [LU 1, 2, 3] BRON A: Wet nr. 55 van 1949 - Verbod op Gemengde Huwelike. Die wet het bepaal dat blank en nie-blank nie meer met mekaar kon trou nie. BRON B: Wet nr. 30 van 1950 ...

  13. Apartheid Essay 300 Words + PDF

    Apartheid Essay 300 Words + PDF. Apartheid was a system of racial segregation and discrimination that was implemented in South Africa between 1948 and 1994. The term "apartheid" means "separateness" in Afrikaans, the language spoken by white South Africans of Dutch descent. Under apartheid, the South African government enforced strict ...

  14. Grade 9 Social Sciences 15 July 2020 Main Apartheid laws in broad

    💭If you would like to join our lessons live, head over to the link below.💭 https://stemdigitalschool.africateengeeks.co.za/ Students with access...

  15. Essays on Apartheid

    A Research of Apartheid Racism in South Africa. 4 pages / 1771 words. Introduction The motive of this essay is to state and define the term racism. It is commonly the belief in the superiority of one group of people to another, which often feedback in injustice and discrimination based on their lives where individuals come from.

  16. Apartheid Laws for Grade 9 Learners » My Courses

    Activity 2: Key Apartheid Laws (20 minutes) Divide the class into small groups. Hand out information sheets on different apartheid laws like the "Population Registration Act," "Group Areas Act," and "Bantu Education Act.". Ask each group to study their law and prepare a short presentation on: What the law entailed. How it affected ...

  17. READ: Apartheid (article)

    Activists from every corner of the Earth, inspired by the actions of black South Africans, demanded an end to an unjust system known as apartheid. Apartheid is an Afrikaans 1 word meaning "apartness." It was a policy of legal discrimination and segregation directed at the black majority in South Africa.

  18. South Africa: Overcoming Apartheid

    Unit 1. Introduction Apartheid describes a system of laws and policies of total racial segregation in South Africa that began in 1948, when the National Party came to power, and ended in 1994, when Nelson Mandela was elected President in the first democratic elections. This online, multimedia educational resource explores apartheid ("apartness" in the Afrikaans language) and its historical ...

  19. PDF The Implementation of Apartheid

    The Population Registration Act, No 30 of 1950. The Prevention of Illegal Squatting Act, No 52 of 1951. The Group Areas Act, No 41 of 1950. The Bantu Education Act, No 47 of 1953. The Reservation of Separate Amenities Act, No 49 of 1953. The Natives Abolition of Passes and Co-ordination of Documents Act of 1952. THE PHOTOGRAPHS OF ERNEST COLE.

  20. Apartheid and Racism Theme in Tsotsi

    Tsotsi represents South African apartheid (a system of legally enforced segregation and discrimination) as a racist structure that destroys Black South Africans' lives—even when they aren't experiencing direct, interpersonal racism. Many of the Black characters' lives are destroyed by racist apartheid laws despite having little direct contact with racist white people.

  21. South Africa: Overcoming Apartheid

    Units 3 through 7 contain the greatest wealth of material, focusing on apartheid (Unit 3), the struggle against apartheid (Units 4 and 5), negotiations (Unit 6), and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (Unit 7). All resources can be accessed from these units. Also, a full list of Units, Essays, and Multimedia Pages appears in Contents.

  22. PDF Resistance to apartheid

    Grade 9 LO 1: The learner will be able to use enquiry skills to investigate the past and present. AS 3: Analyses the information in the sources [works with sources]. Grade 11 LO 1: The learner is able to acquire and apply historical enquiry skills. AS 3: Analyse the information and data gathered from a variety of sources. Assessment evidence:

  23. Apartheid Essay

    Apartheid Research Paper. Apartheid Essay Apartheid was the laws that separated different races in South Africa. Apartheid started in 1948 and ended in 1991. During Apartheid, the whites didn't treat the blacks as equals. Harsh living conditions, awful events, and determined people contributed to the end of Apartheid in South Africa.