In 1976, when thousands of black children in Soweto, a black township outside Johannesburg, demonstrated against the Afrikaans language requirement for black African students, the police opened fire with tear gas and bullets. The protests and government crackdowns that followed, combined with a national economic recession, drew more international attention to South Africa and shattered all illusions that apartheid had brought peace or prosperity to the nation. The United Nations General Assembly had denounced apartheid in 1973, and in 1976 the UN Security Council voted to impose a mandatory embargo on the sale of arms to South Africa. In 1985, the United Kingdom and United States imposed economic sanctions on the country.
Under pressure from the international community, the National Party government of Pieter Botha sought to institute some reforms, including abolition of the pass laws and the ban on interracial sex and marriage. The reforms fell short of any substantive change, however, and by 1989 Botha was pressured to step aside in favor of F.W. de Klerk. De Klerk’s government subsequently repealed the Population Registration Act, as well as most of the other legislation that formed the legal basis for apartheid. A new constitution, which enfranchised blacks and other racial groups, took effect in 1994, and elections that year led to a coalition government with a nonwhite majority, marking the official end of the apartheid system.
South African Apartheid Essay
1499 Words6 Pages
Have you ever wondered how it would feel to be considered inferior because of your race? The people of South Africa had to endure racial inferiority during the era of apartheid. The apartheid laws the government of South Africa made led to an unequal lifestyle for the blacks and produced opposition.
South Africa really began to suffer when apartheid was written into the law. Apartheid was first introduced in the 1948 election that the Afrikaner National Party won. The plan was to take the already existing segregation and expand it (Wright, 60). Apartheid was a system that segregated South Africa’s population racially and considered non-whites inferior (“History of South Africa in the apartheid era”). Apartheid was designed to make it…show more content…
The Mixed Marriages Act made marriage between the races against the law (Evans, 9). In 1952 a system of “pass laws” required blacks to carry identity papers or pass books so the government could identify and restrict them (Wright, 68). The “pass laws” were designed to separate the population and was the base of the apartheid system (“History of South Africa in the apartheid era”). Apartheid had a major effect on the development of South Africa.
The government of South Africa played a huge role in apartheid. During apartheid the government of South Africa worked to take away the citizenship of the Blacks with the laws (“History of South Africa in the apartheid era”). “Social rights, political rights, educational opportunities, and economic status were all determined by the group a person belonged to” (History of South Africa in the apartheid era). Black people were denied by the government the option of appealing courts against forced removals (“History of South Africa in the apartheid era”). Since the government had established laws prohibiting social contact between the races separate schools and public places were set up for the different races (“History of South Africa in the apartheid era”). The government even tried to segregate churches in 1957 but failed (Pascoe, 80) The law system was very