Some Basic Features of Apartheid

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Some Basic Features of Apartheid

  1. Basic premise: The races must be separated and allowed to develop their own way – in reality a system to keep white South Africans in control of the country.

  1. Put into effect when the Afrikaners gained control of the government (Afrikaners outnumbered other whites)

  1. For years the system was supported theologically by a perversion of the Calvinist doctrine of predestination held in the South African Dutch Reformed Church

  1. The population was classified into four racial groups and had to carry internal passports which stated to which group the person belonged

    1. European – whites – Afrikaners and British

    1. Asians – from India – brought over by the British to build the railroads – became a class of small shop owners

    1. Coloureds – people of mixed racial background – the largest number being in the Capetown area

    1. Bantu – the black residents of South Africa from numerous tribes

  1. There was no mixing or intermarriage allowed

  1. Only the white South Africans were considered full citizens – The Bantu were considered foreigners living in South Africa.

  1. Residence and jobs were determined by racial category – separate jobs, water fountains, benches in the park, residences, hospitals, schools – separate, but never equal

  1. Criticism of the government was considered a Communist activity and was punishable by imprisonment

  1. Under the 90-day detention act, a person could be held in jail without baing charged with a crime for 90 days (could be extended for a second 90 days)

  1. International sanctions and embargoes helped bring an end to the system – today all people are equal citizens of South Africa and Nelson Mandela (imprisoned for 27 yrs.) led the country, as president, into an era of real freedom and equality for all.

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