What is Apartheid?
Apartheid basically means segregation and it is related to a political system. In 1948 up until 1993, the Republic of South Africa was dominated by apartheid. Apartheid in South Africa was based on segregation and racial discrimination. The apartheid system can be traced back from the start of the 20th century. Every policy were all established on racial separation. Under the apartheid system, white people are the dominant ones. They get complete privileges while the black people were deprived of any privileges or rights.
Apartheid was a political system characterized by a variety of races, which are divided into regions. It permits discrimination against the colored people. Moreover, discrimination is legally established. Colored people are deprived of having the priority especially in housing, education, jobs and most importantly political power. This apartheid system brought South Africa to a lot of criticisms not only from their region but from all over the world.
The beginning of the apartheid downfall began in the year 1991. In 1993, when President Nelson Mandela was elected, the apartheid political system was completely thrown out altogether. Nelson Mandela was the first black who was democratically elected. At last apartheid was demolished and black people are now enjoying democracy. The political system was criticized internationally due to the government’s tolerance, instead of confronting it.
The apartheid (an Afrikaan word meaning separate or apart) legislation can be traced back in the 1950s thru the Group Areas Act. This Act separated living areas where white people were given the most privilege. White people were permitted to live in cities and on the other hand, colored people were forced out and live in the far-flung rural areas. Apartheid not just segregated the whites from the blacks. Moreover, this inhuman political system created fraternization of the different tribes in Africa.
Apartheid did not pay attention or did not give importance to earlier residential or social status. The political system divided the country by the color of the people living in it. Different occupations were held by whites and blacks, where black works on harder labor. Moreover, the black people gets lower pay compared to white people. Education and health care privileges are mostly given to white people. Life was difficult then if you were born black. On the other hand, being born white means you are privileged.
Fortunately, for the African people, the election of Nelson Mandela was certainly a blessing. Along with other members of the African National Congress, Nelson Mandela worked hard to put an end to the long era of apartheid. Right after the end of the World War II or WWII, Nelson Mandela joined the group. Their grouped pushed for the incorporation of ethics focusing on non-violent opposition. The group did non-violent mass rallies and strikes to fight for the right to equality.
Due to Mandela’s participation in movements to overthrow the apartheid system, he was sent to prison for the Campaign of Just Defiance participation. He spent his time in prison and later became an attorney, which led him to help black people who are victims of the apartheid system. Again, in 1962, Mandela was imprisoned and got a life sentence but was released in 1990. As the apartheid was beginning to fall in 1991, the ANC was reformed. On the year 1994 to 1999, Mandela served as the president of South Africa and abolished the apartheid for good.