Karen Lesmerises (Berry)
GE350 World Geography
July 7, 2011
South Africa’s Apartheid
South Africa is a beautiful country with an abundance of natural resources and farmlands. But then in 1948 the Enactment of Apartheid Laws happened, racial discrimination was institutionalized. These race laws touched the lives of everyone. There was a prohibition of whites and non-whites getting married, and jobs were sanctions as white only jobs.
In 1950 the Population Registration Act required that all South Africans be racially classified into one of three different categories- white, black, or colored ( of mixed decent).Classification into these categories was based on appearance, social acceptance and descent. The Department of Home Affairs (government bureau) was responsible for the classification of the citizens of the country. “Any and all non compliance of these laws was harshly dealt with. All blacks (Africans) were made to carry “pass books” containing vital statistics- fingerprints, photo etc. In 1951 the Bantu Authorities Act established “homelands” – these were independent states to which each African was assigned by the government according to the record of origin.” (Dugard, 1992) They were able to vote in their homelands not in South Africa. They were citizens of their homelands- not South Africa anymore. In 1953, The Public Safety Act and Criminal Law Amendment were passed. The Act empowered the government to declare stringent states of emergency and increased penalties for protesting against or supporting the repeal of the law. In 1960 a large group of blacks in Sharpeville refused to carry their passes: this lead to the government declaring a state of emergency. This emergency lasted for 156 days. Wielding the public Safety Act and the Criminal Law Amendment Act, the white regime had no intention of changing the unjust laws of apartheid. During the states of emergency which continued intermittently until 1989; citizens could be detained without a hearing by low-level police for up to 6 months. “Those who were tried were sentenced to death, banished or imprisoned like Nelson Mandela.”(Dugard, 1992)
South African novelist and short-story writer, who received Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991. Most of Nadine Gordimer's works deal with the moral and psychological tensions of her racially divided home country. She was a founding member of Congress of South African Writers, and even at the height of the apartheid regime, she never considered going into exile.' A line in a statute book has more ...
During the 1970s and 80s Apartheid was reinvented- a result of increasing internal and international pressures, and worsening economic difficulties. “Reforms to apartheid in the 1980s failed to quell the mounting opposition, and in 1990 President Frederik Willem de Klerk began negotiations to end apartheid, culminating in multi-racial democratic elections in 1994, which were won by the African National Congress under Nelson Mandela. The vestiges of apartheid still shape South African politics and society.”(DeKlerk, 1990).
1. John Dugard, Nicolas Haysom and Gilbert Marcus. “The Last Years of Apartheid: Civil Liberties in South Africa” Ford Foundation, New York, 1992
2. “De Klerk dismantles apartheid in South Africa”. BBC News. 2 February 1990. http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/february/2/newsid_2524000/2524997.stm.