Apartheid (South African English
Afrikaans: [aˈpartɦəit], lit. "separateness") was a system of
institutionalised racial segregation and discrimination that existed
South Africa between 1948 and 1994. The system was based on white
supremacy and the repression of the black majority (Africans,
coloureds and Asian South Africans) for the benefit of the politically
and economically dominant
Afrikaners and other whites. Despite the end
of official legislation in 1991, apartheid laws remained in effect
and black South Africans still had no representation in government.
Furthermore, the economic legacy and generational[further explanation
needed] effects of apartheid continue to this day.
Broadly speaking, apartheid was delineated into petty apartheid, which
entailed the segregation of public facilities and social events, and
grand apartheid, which dictated housing and employment opportunities
by race. Prior to the 1940s, some aspects of apartheid had already
emerged in the form of minority rule by white South Africans and the
socially enforced separation of black South Africans from other races,
which later extended to pass laws and land apportionment.
Apartheid was adopted as a formal policy by the South African
government after the ascension of the National Party (NP) during the
country's 1948 general elections.
A codified system of racial stratification began to take form in South
Africa under the
Dutch Empire in the late eighteenth century, although
informal segregation was present much earlier due to social cleavages
between Dutch colonists and a creolised, ethnically diverse slave
population. With the rapid growth and industrialisation of the
British Cape Colony
British Cape Colony in the nineteenth century, racial policies and
laws became increasingly rigid. Cape legislation that discriminated
specifically against black Africans began appearing shortly before
1900. The policies of the
Boer republics were also racially
exclusive; for instance, the Transvaal constitution barred nonwhite
participation in church and state.
The first apartheid law was the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act,
1949, followed closely by the
Immorality Act of 1950, which made it
illegal for most South African citizens to marry or pursue sexual
relationships across racial lines. The Population Registration
Act, 1950 classified all South Africans into one of four racial groups
based on appearance, known ancestry, socioeconomic status, and
cultural lifestyle: "black", "white", "coloured", and "Indian", the
last two of which included several sub-classifications. Places of
residence were determined by racial classification. From 1960 to
1983, 3.5 million nonwhite South Africans were removed from their
homes and forced into segregated neighbourhoods, in one of the largest
mass removals in modern history. Most of these targeted removals
were intended to restrict the black population to ten designated
"tribal homelands", also known as bantustans, four of which became
nominally independent states. The government announced that
relocated persons would lose their South African citizenship as they
were absorbed into the bantustans.
Apartheid sparked significant international and domestic opposition,
resulting in some of the most influential global social movements of
the twentieth century. It was the target of frequent condemnation
United Nations and brought about an extensive arms and trade
embargo on South Africa. During the 1970s and 1980s, internal
resistance to apartheid became increasingly militant, prompting brutal
crackdowns by the National Party administration and protracted
sectarian violence that left thousands dead or in detention. Some
reforms of the apartheid system were undertaken, including allowing
for Indian and coloured political representation in parliament, but
these measures failed to appease most activist groups.
Between 1987 and 1993 the National Party entered into bilateral
negotiations with the African National Congress, the leading
anti-apartheid political movement, for ending segregation and
introducing majority rule. In 1990, prominent ANC leaders such
Nelson Mandela were released from detention. Apartheid
legislation was abolished in mid-1991, pending multiracial
elections set for April 1994.
3.1 Election of 1948
3.3 Disenfranchisement of
3.4 Division among whites
4.1 International recognition of the Bantustans
5 Forced removals
6 Petty apartheid
8 Women under apartheid
9 Sport under apartheid
10 Asians during apartheid
12 Internal resistance
13 International relations during apartheid
13.2 United Nations
13.3 Catholic Church
13.4 Organisation for African Unity
13.5 Outward-looking policy
13.6 Sports and culture
13.6.3 Verwoerd years
18.104.22.168 Vorster years
13.6.4 Cultural boycott
13.7 Western influence
Cold War and "Total Onslaught"
13.8.1 Foreign military operations
14 State security
14.1 State of emergency
15 Final years of apartheid
15.1.1 Institutional racism
15.1.2 Economic contradictions
15.1.3 Western influence
15.2 Tricameral parliament
15.3 Reforms and contact with the ANC under Botha
15.4 Presidency of F.W. de Klerk
15.6 1994 election
17 See also
19 Further reading
20 External links
Apartheid is an Afrikaans word meaning "separateness", or "the
state of being apart", literally "apart-hood" (from Afrikaans
"-heid"). Its first recorded use was in 1929.
Main articles: History of
South Africa (1815–1910) and History of
South Africa (1910–1948)
Under the 1806 Cape Articles of Capitulation the new British colonial
rulers were required to respect previous legislation enacted under
Roman Dutch law and this led to a separation of the law in South
Africa from English Common Law and a high degree of legislative
autonomy. The governors and assemblies that governed the legal process
in the various colonies of
South Africa were launched on a different
and independent legislative path from the rest of the British Empire.
In the days of slavery, slaves required passes to travel away from
their masters. In 1797 the
Landdrost and Heemraden of
Graaff-Reinet extended pass laws beyond slaves and ordained that all
Khoikhoi (designated as Hottentots) moving about the country for any
purpose should carry passes. This was confirmed by the British
Colonial government in 1809 by the Hottentot Proclamation, which
decreed that if a
Khoikhoi were to move they would need a pass from
their master or a local official. Ordinance No. 49 of 1828 decreed
that prospective black immigrants were to be granted passes for the
sole purpose of seeking work. These passes were to be issued for
Coloureds and Khoikhoi, but not for other Africans, who were still
forced to carry passes.
The United Kingdom's
Slavery Abolition Act 1833 (3 & 4 Will. IV c.
73) abolished slavery throughout the
British Empire and overrode the
Cape Articles of Capitulation. To comply with the act the South
African legislation was expanded to include Ordinance 1 in 1835, which
effectively changed the status of slaves to indentured labourers. This
was followed by Ordinance 3 in 1848, which introduced an indenture
system for Xhosa that was little different from slavery. The various
South African colonies passed legislation throughout the rest of the
nineteenth century to limit the freedom of unskilled workers, to
increase the restrictions on indentured workers and to regulate the
relations between the races.
Franchise and Ballot Act of 1892 instituted limits based on
financial means and education to the black franchise, and the
Natal Legislative Assembly Bill of 1894 deprived Indians of the right
to vote. The
Glen Grey Act of 1894, instigated by the government
of Prime Minister
Cecil John Rhodes
Cecil John Rhodes limited the amount of land
Africans could hold. In 1905 the General Pass Regulations Act denied
blacks the vote, limited them to fixed areas and inaugurated the
infamous Pass System. The Asiatic Registration Act (1906) required
all Indians to register and carry passes. In 1910 the Union of
South Africa was created as a self-governing dominion, which continued
the legislative programme: the
South Africa Act (1910) enfranchised
whites, giving them complete political control over all other racial
groups while removing the right of blacks to sit in parliament,
the Native Land Act (1913) prevented blacks, except those in the Cape,
from buying land outside "reserves", the Natives in Urban Areas
Bill (1918) was designed to force blacks into "locations", the
Urban Areas Act (1923) introduced residential segregation and provided
cheap labour for industry led by white people, the Colour Bar Act
(1926) prevented black mine workers from practising skilled trades,
the Native Administration Act (1927) made the British Crown, rather
than paramount chiefs, the supreme head over all African
affairs,[better source needed] the Native Land and Trust
Act (1936) complemented the 1913 Native Land Act and, in the same
year, the Representation of Natives Act removed previous black voters
from the Cape voters' roll and allowed them to elect three whites to
Parliament.[better source needed] One of the first
pieces of segregating legislation enacted by Jan Smuts' United Party
government was the Asiatic Land Tenure Bill (1946), which banned land
sales to Indians.
The United Party government began to move away from the rigid
enforcement of segregationist laws during World War II. Amid fears
integration would eventually lead to racial assimilation, the
legislature established the
Sauer Commission to investigate the
effects of the United Party's policies. The commission concluded that
integration would bring about a "loss of personality" for all racial
Election of 1948
Main article: South African general election, 1948
Daniel François Malan, the first apartheid-era prime minister
The Union of
South Africa had allowed social custom and law to govern
the consideration of multiracial affairs and of the allocation, in
racial terms, of access to economic, social, and political status.
Most white South Africans, regardless of their own differences,
accepted the prevailing pattern. Nevertheless, by 1948 it remained
apparent that there were occasional gaps in the social structure,
whether legislated or otherwise, concerning the rights and
opportunities of nonwhites. The rapid economic development of World
War II attracted black migrant workers in large numbers to chief
industrial centres, where they compensated for the wartime shortage of
white labour. However, this escalated rate of black urbanisation went
unrecognised by the South African government, which failed to
accommodate the influx with parallel expansion in housing or social
services. Overcrowding, spiking crime rates, and disillusionment
resulted; urban blacks came to support a new generation of leaders
influenced by the principles of self-determination and popular
freedoms enshrined in such statements as the Atlantic Charter. Whites
reacted negatively to the changes, allowing the Herenigde Nasionale
Party (or simply National Party) to convince a large segment of the
voting bloc that the impotence of the United Party in curtailing the
evolving position of nonwhites indicated that the organisation had
fallen under the influence of Western liberals. Many Afrikaners,
whites chiefly of Dutch descent but with early infusions of Germans
and French Huguenots who were soon assimilated, also resented what
they perceived as disempowerment by an underpaid black workforce and
the superior economic power and prosperity of white English
speakers. In addition, Jan Smuts, as a strong advocate of the
United Nations, lost domestic support when
South Africa was criticised
for its colour bar and the continued mandate of
South West Africa
South West Africa by
other UN member states.
Afrikaner nationalists proclaimed that they offered the voters a new
policy to ensure continued white domination. This policy was
initially expounded from a theory drafted by
Hendrik Verwoerd and was
presented to the National Party by the Sauer Commission. It called
for a systematic effort to organise the relations, rights, and
privileges of the races as officially defined through a series of
parliamentary acts and administrative decrees. Segregation had thus
been pursued only in major matters, such as separate schools, and
local society rather than law had been depended upon to enforce most
separation; it should now be extended to everything. The party
gave this policy a name – apartheid (apartness). Apartheid
was to be the basic ideological and practical foundation of Afrikaner
politics for the next quarter of a century.
The National Party's election platform stressed that apartheid would
preserve a market for white employment in which nonwhites could not
compete. On the issues of black urbanisation, the regulation of
nonwhite labour, influx control, social security, farm tariffs, and
nonwhite taxation the United Party's policy remained contradictory and
confused. Its traditional bases of support not only took mutually
exclusive positions, but found themselves increasingly at odds with
each other. Smuts' reluctance to consider South African foreign policy
against the mounting tensions of the
Cold War also stirred up
discontent, while the nationalists promised to purge the state and
public service of communist sympathisers.
First to desert the United Party were
Afrikaner farmers, who wished to
see a change in influx control due to problems with squatters, as well
as higher prices for their maize and other produce in the face of the
mineowners' demand for cheap food policies. Always identified with the
affluent and capitalist, the party also failed to appeal to its
working class constituents. Populist rhetoric allowed the National
Party to sweep eight constituencies in the mining and industrial
centres of the
Witwatersrand and five more in Pretoria. Barring the
predominantly English-speaking landowner electorate of the Natal, the
United Party was defeated in almost every rural district. Its urban
losses in the nation's most populous province, the Transvaal, proved
equally devastating. As the voting system was disproportionately
weighted in favour of rural constituencies and the Transvaal in
particular, the 1948 election catapulted the Herenigde Nasionale Party
from a small minority party to a commanding position with an
eight-vote parliamentary lead.
Daniel François Malan
Daniel François Malan became
the first nationalist prime minister, with the aim of implementing the
apartheid philosophy and silencing liberal opposition.
in South Africa
Precursors (before 1948)
Franchise and Ballot Act (1892)
Glen Grey Act (1894)
Natal Legislative Assembly Bill (1894)
Transvaal Asiatic Registration Act (1906)
South Africa Act (1909)
Mines and Works Act (1911)
Natives Land Act (1913)
Natives (Urban Areas) Act (1923)
Immorality Act (1927)
Native Administration Act (1927)
Women's Enfranchisement Act (1930)
Franchise Laws Amendment Act (1931)
Representation of Natives Act (1936)
Native Trust and Land Act (1936)
Native (Urban Areas) Consolidation Act (1945)
Asiatic Land Tenure Act (1946)
Malan to Verwoerd (1948–66)
Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act
Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act (1949)
Immorality Amendment Act † (1950)
Population Registration Act
Population Registration Act (1950)
Group Areas Act
Group Areas Act (1950)
Suppression of Communism Act
Suppression of Communism Act (1950)
Native Building Workers Act (1951)
Separate Representation of Voters Act
Separate Representation of Voters Act (1951)
Prevention of Illegal Squatting Act (1951)
Bantu Authorities Act (1951)
Native Laws Amendment Act † (1952)
Pass Laws Act (1952)
Public Safety Act (1953)
Native Labour (Settlement of Disputes) Act (1953)
Bantu Education Act
Bantu Education Act (1953)
Reservation of Separate Amenities Act
Reservation of Separate Amenities Act (1953)
Natives Resettlement Act (1954)
Group Areas Development Act (1955)
Riotous Assemblies Act (1956)
Industrial Conciliation Act (1956)
Natives (Prohibition of Interdicts) Act (1956)
Immorality Act (1957)
Bantu Investment Corporation Act
Bantu Investment Corporation Act (1959)
Extension of University Education Act (1959)
Promotion of Bantu
Self-government Act (1959)
Unlawful Organizations Act (1960)
Indemnity Act (1961)
Coloured Persons Communal Reserves Act (1961)
South Africa Constitution Act (1961)
Urban Bantu Councils Act (1961)
General Law Amendment Act (1963)
Coloured Persons Representative Council Act (1964)
After Verwoerd to Botha (1966–90)
Terrorism Act (1967)
Separate Representation of Voters Amendment Act (1968)
Prohibition of Political Interference Act (1968)
Bantu Homelands Citizenship Act (1970)
Bantu Homelands Constitution Act (1971)
Aliens Control Act (1973)
Indemnity Act (1977)
National Key Points Act (1980)
List of National Key Points
Internal Security Act (1982)
Black Local Authorities Act (1982)
South Africa Constitution Act (1983)
Negotiations to end
Interim Constitution (1993)
Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act (1995)
† No new legislation introduced, rather
the existing legislation named was amended.
NP leaders argued that
South Africa did not comprise a single nation,
but was made up of four distinct racial groups: white, black, coloured
and Indian. Such groups were split into 13 nations or racial
federations. White people encompassed the English and Afrikaans
language groups; the black populace was divided into ten such groups.
The state passed laws that paved the way for "grand apartheid", which
was centred on separating races on a large scale, by compelling people
to live in separate places defined by race. This strategy was in part
adopted from "left-over" British rule that separated different racial
groups after they took control of the
Boer republics in the Anglo-Boer
war. This created the black-only "townships" or "locations", where
blacks were relocated to their own towns. In addition, "petty
apartheid" laws were passed. The principal apartheid laws were as
The first grand apartheid law was the
Population Registration Act
Population Registration Act of
1950, which formalised racial classification and introduced an
identity card for all persons over the age of 18, specifying their
racial group. Official teams or boards were established to come to
a conclusion on those people whose race was unclear. This caused
difficulty, especially for coloured people, separating their families
when members were allocated different races.
The second pillar of grand apartheid was the
Group Areas Act
Group Areas Act of
1950. Until then, most settlements had people of different races
living side by side. This Act put an end to diverse areas and
determined where one lived according to race. Each race was allotted
its own area, which was used in later years as a basis of forced
removal. The Prevention of Illegal Squatting Act of 1951 allowed
the government to demolish black shanty town slums and forced white
employers to pay for the construction of housing for those black
workers who were permitted to reside in cities otherwise reserved for
Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act
Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act of 1949 prohibited marriage
between persons of different races, and the
Immorality Act of 1950
made sexual relations with a person of a different race a criminal
Reservation of Separate Amenities Act
Reservation of Separate Amenities Act of 1953, municipal
grounds could be reserved for a particular race, creating, among other
things, separate beaches, buses, hospitals, schools and universities.
Signboards such as "whites only" applied to public areas, even
including park benches. Blacks were provided with services greatly
inferior to those of whites, and, to a lesser extent, to those of
Indian and coloured people.
Further laws had the aim of suppressing resistance, especially armed
resistance, to apartheid. The
Suppression of Communism Act
Suppression of Communism Act of 1950
banned any party subscribing to Communism. The act defined Communism
and its aims so sweepingly that anyone who opposed government policy
risked being labelled as a Communist. Since the law specifically
Communism aimed to disrupt racial harmony, it was
frequently used to gag opposition to apartheid. Disorderly gatherings
were banned, as were certain organisations that were deemed
threatening to the government.
Education was segregated by the 1953 Bantu Education Act, which
crafted a separate system of education for black South African
students and was designed to prepare black people for lives as a
labouring class. In 1959 separate universities were created for
black, coloured and Indian people. Existing universities were not
permitted to enroll new black students. The
Afrikaans Medium Decree of
1974 required the use of
Afrikaans and English on an equal basis in
high schools outside the homelands.
The Bantu Authorities Act of 1951 created separate government
structures for blacks and whites and was the first piece of
legislation to support the government's plan of separate development
in the bantustans. The Promotion of Black Self-Government Act of 1959
entrenched the NP policy of nominally independent "homelands" for
blacks. So-called "self–governing Bantu units" were proposed, which
would have devolved administrative powers, with the promise later of
autonomy and self-government. It also abolished the seats of white
representatives of black South Africans and removed from the rolls the
few blacks still qualified to vote. The Bantu Investment Corporation
Act of 1959 set up a mechanism to transfer capital to the homelands to
create employment there. Legislation of 1967 allowed the government to
stop industrial development in "white" cities and redirect such
development to the "homelands". The
Black Homeland Citizenship Act
Black Homeland Citizenship Act of
1970 marked a new phase in the
Bantustan strategy. It changed the
status of blacks to citizens of one of the ten autonomous territories.
The aim was to ensure a demographic majority of white people within
South Africa by having all ten Bantustans achieve full independence.
Interracial contact in sport was frowned upon, but there were no
segregatory sports laws.
The government tightened pass laws compelling blacks to carry identity
documents, to prevent the immigration of blacks from other countries.
To reside in a city, blacks had to be in employment there. Until 1956
women were for the most part excluded from these pass requirements, as
attempts to introduce pass laws for women were met with fierce
Coloured vote constitutional crisis
Coloured children in Bonteheuwel
Annual per capita personal income by race group in South Africa
relative to white levels.
In 1950, D. F. Malan announced the NP's intention to create a Coloured
Affairs Department. J.G. Strijdom, Malan's successor as Prime
Minister, moved to strip voting rights from black and coloured
residents of the Cape Province. The previous government had introduced
the Separate Representation of Voters Bill into Parliament in 1951;
however, four voters, G Harris, W D Franklin, W D Collins and Edgar
Deane, challenged its validity in court with support from the United
Party. The Cape Supreme Court upheld the act, but reversed by the
Appeal Court, finding the act invalid because a two-thirds majority in
a joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament was needed to change the
entrenched clauses of the Constitution. The government then
introduced the High Court of Parliament Bill (1952), which gave
Parliament the power to overrule decisions of the court. The Cape
Supreme Court and the Appeal Court declared this invalid too.
In 1955 the Strijdom government increased the number of judges in the
Appeal Court from five to 11, and appointed pro-Nationalist judges to
fill the new places. In the same year they introduced the Senate
Act, which increased the Senate from 49 seats to 89. Adjustments
were made such that the NP controlled 77 of these seats. The
parliament met in a joint sitting and passed the Separate
Representation of Voters Act in 1956, which transferred coloured
voters from the common voters' roll in the Cape to a new coloured
voters' roll. Immediately after the vote, the Senate was restored
to its original size. The Senate Act was contested in the Supreme
Court, but the recently enlarged Appeal Court, packed with
government-supporting judges, upheld the act, and also the Act to
remove coloured voters.
The 1956 law allowed
Coloureds to elect four people to Parliament, but
a 1969 law abolished those seats and stripped
Coloureds of their right
to vote. Since Asians had never been allowed to vote, this resulted in
whites being the sole enfranchised group.
A 2016 study in the Journal of Politics suggests that
South Africa had a significant negative impact
on basic service delivery to the disenfranchized.
Division among whites
South Africa became a republic in 1961, politics among white
South Africans was typified by the division between the mainly
Afrikaner pro-republic conservative and the largely English
anti-republican liberal sentiments, with the legacy of the Boer
War still a factor for some people. Once
South Africa became a
republic, Prime Minister
Hendrik Verwoerd called for improved
relations and greater accord between people of British descent and the
Afrikaners. He claimed that the only difference was between those
in favor of apartheid and those against it. The ethnic division would
no longer be between
Afrikaans and English speakers, but between
blacks and whites.
Afrikaners supported the notion of unanimity of white people to
ensure their safety. White voters of British descent were divided.
Many had opposed a republic, leading to a majority "no" vote in
Natal. Later, some of them recognised the perceived need for white
unity, convinced by the growing trend of decolonisation elsewhere in
Africa, which concerned them. British Prime Minister Harold
Macmillan's "Wind of Change" speech left the British faction feeling
that the UK had abandoned them. The more conservative English
speakers supported Verwoerd; others were troubled by the severing
of ties with the UK and remained loyal to the Crown. They were
displeased by having to choose between British and South African
nationalities. Although Verwoerd tried to bond these different blocs,
the subsequent voting illustrated only a minor swell of support,
indicating that a great many English speakers remained apathetic and
that Verwoerd had not succeeded in uniting the white population.
Main article: Bantustan
South Africa showing the location of bantustans
Rural area in Ciskei, one of the apartheid era homelands
Under the homeland system, the government attempted to divide South
Africa into a number of separate states, each of which was supposed to
develop into a separate nation-state for a different ethnic group.
Territorial separation was hardly a new institution. There were, for
example, the "reserves" created under the British government in the
nineteenth century. Under apartheid, 13 percent of the land was
reserved for black homelands, a relatively small amount compared with
the total population, and generally in economically unproductive areas
of the country. The Tomlinson Commission of 1954 justified apartheid
and the homeland system, but stated that additional land ought to be
given to the homelands, a recommendation that was not carried out.
When Verwoerd became Prime Minister in 1958, the policy of "separate
development" came into being, with the homeland structure as one of
its cornerstones. Verwoerd came to believe in the granting of
independence to these homelands. The government justified its plans on
the ostensible basis that "(the) government's policy is, therefore,
not a policy of discrimination on the grounds of race or colour, but a
policy of differentiation on the ground of nationhood, of different
nations, granting to each self-determination within the borders of
their homelands – hence this policy of separate
development". Under the homelands system, blacks would no longer
be citizens of South Africa, becoming citizens of the independent
homelands who worked in
South Africa as foreign migrant labourers on
temporary work permits. In 1958 the Promotion of Black Self-Government
Act was passed, and border industries and the Bantu Investment
Corporation were established to promote economic development and the
provision of employment in or near the homelands. Many black South
Africans who had never resided in their identified homeland were
forcibly removed from the cities to the homelands.
Ten homelands were allocated to different black ethnic groups: Lebowa
(North Sotho, also referred to as Pedi),
QwaQwa (South Sotho),
KaNgwane (Swazi), Transkei
Venda (Venda) and KwaNdebele
(Ndebele). Four of these were declared independent by the South
Transkei in 1976,
Bophuthatswana in 1977,
Ciskei in 1981 (known as the TBVC states). Once a homeland
was granted its nominal independence, its designated citizens had
their South African citizenship revoked and replaced with citizenship
in their homeland. These people were then issued passports instead of
passbooks. Citizens of the nominally autonomous homelands also had
their South African citizenship circumscribed, meaning they were no
longer legally considered South African. The South African
government attempted to draw an equivalence between their view of
black citizens of the homelands and the problems which other countries
faced through entry of illegal immigrants.
International recognition of the Bantustans
Bantustans within the borders of
South Africa were classified as
"self-governing" or "independent". In theory, self-governing
Bantustans had control over many aspects of their internal functioning
but were not yet sovereign nations. Independent Bantustans (Transkei,
Venda and Ciskei; also known as the TBVC states) were
intended to be fully sovereign. In reality, they had no significant
economic infrastructure and with few exceptions encompassed swaths of
disconnected territory. This meant all the Bantustans were little more
than puppet states controlled by South Africa.
Throughout the existence of the independent Bantustans, South Africa
remained the only country to recognise their independence.
Nevertheless, internal organisations of many countries, as well as the
South African government, lobbied for their recognition. For example,
upon the foundation of Transkei, the Swiss-South African Association
encouraged the Swiss government to recognise the new state. In 1976,
leading up to a United States House of Representatives resolution
urging the President to not recognise Transkei, the South African
government intensely lobbied lawmakers to oppose the bill. Each
TBVC state extended recognition to the other independent Bantustans
South Africa showed its commitment to the notion of TBVC
sovereignty by building embassies in the TBVC capitals.
Group Areas Act
Group Areas Act and Abolition of Racially Based Land
Measures Act, 1991
During the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s, the government implemented a
policy of "resettlement", to force people to move to their designated
"group areas". Millions of people were forced to relocate. These
removals included people relocated due to slum clearance programmes,
labour tenants on white-owned farms, the inhabitants of the so-called
"black spots" (black-owned land surrounded by white farms), the
families of workers living in townships close to the homelands, and
"surplus people" from urban areas, including thousands of people from
Western Cape (which was declared a "
Coloured Labour Preference
Area") who were moved to the
Ciskei homelands. The
best-publicised forced removals of the 1950s occurred in Johannesburg,
when 60,000 people were moved to the new township of
abbreviation for South Western Townships).
Sophiatown had been one of the few urban areas where black
people were allowed to own land, and was slowly developing into a
multiracial slum. As industry in
the home of a rapidly expanding black workforce, as it was convenient
and close to town. It had the only swimming pool for black children in
Johannesburg. As one of the oldest black settlements in
Johannesburg, it held an almost symbolic importance for the 50,000
black people it contained. Despite a vigorous ANC protest campaign and
worldwide publicity, the removal of
Sophiatown began on 9 February
1955 under the Western Areas Removal Scheme. In the early hours,
heavily armed police forced residents out of their homes and loaded
their belongings onto government trucks. The residents were taken to a
large tract of land 19 kilometres (12 mi) from the city centre,
known as Meadowlands, which the government had purchased in 1953.
Meadowlands became part of a new planned black city called Soweto.
Sophiatown was destroyed by bulldozers, and a new white suburb named
Triomf (Triumph) was built in its place. This pattern of forced
removal and destruction was to repeat itself over the next few years,
and was not limited to black South Africans alone. Forced removals
from areas like Cato Manor (Mkhumbane) in Durban, and
District Six in
Cape Town, where 55,000 coloured and Indian people were forced to move
to new townships on the Cape Flats, were carried out under the Group
Areas Act of 1950. Nearly 600,000 coloured, Indian and Chinese people
were moved under the Group Areas Act. Some 40,000 whites were also
forced to move when land was transferred from "white South Africa"
into the black homelands. These whites however had the benefit of
support from the government which the black population did not.
Signs enforcing petty apartheid
Sign designating a public space as "for use by white persons"
Sign reserving a Natal beach "for the sole use of members of the white
race group", in English, Afrikaans, and Zulu
The NP passed a string of legislation that became known as petty
apartheid. The first of these was the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages
Act 55 of 1949, prohibiting marriage between whites and people of
other races. The Immorality Amendment Act 21 of 1950 (as amended in
1957 by Act 23) forbade "unlawful racial intercourse" and "any immoral
or indecent act" between a white and a black, Indian or coloured
Blacks were not allowed to run businesses or professional practices in
areas designated as "white South Africa" unless they had a permit.
They were required to move to the black "homelands" and set up
businesses and practices there. Transport and civil facilities were
segregated. Trains, hospitals and ambulances were segregated.
Because of the smaller numbers of white patients and the fact that
white doctors preferred to work in white hospitals, conditions in
white hospitals were much better than those in often overcrowded and
understaffed black hospitals. Blacks were excluded from living or
working in white areas, unless they had a pass, nicknamed the dompas,
also spelt dompass or dom pass. The most likely origin of this name is
Afrikaans "verdomde pas" (meaning accursed pass),
although some commentators ascribe it to the
Afrikaans words meaning
"dumb pass". Only blacks with "Section 10" rights (those who had
migrated to the cities before World War II) were excluded from this
provision. A pass was issued only to a black with approved work.
Spouses and children had to be left behind in black homelands. A pass
was issued for one magisterial district (usually one town) confining
the holder to that area only. Being without a valid pass made a person
subject to arrest and trial for being an illegal migrant. This was
often followed by deportation to the person's homeland and prosecution
of the employer for employing an illegal migrant. Police vans
patrolled white areas to round up blacks without passes. Blacks were
not allowed to employ whites in white South Africa.
Although trade unions for black and coloured (mixed race) workers had
existed since the early 20th century, it was not until the 1980s
reforms that a mass black trade union movement developed. Trade unions
under apartheid were racially segregated, with 54 unions being white
only, 38 for Indian and coloured and 19 for black people. The
Industrial Conciliation Act (1956) legislated against the creation of
multi-racial trade unions and attempted to split existing multi-racial
unions into separate branches or organisations along racial lines.
In the 1970s the state spent ten times more per child on the education
of white children than on black children within the Bantu Education
system (the education system in black schools within white South
Africa). Higher education was provided in separate universities and
colleges after 1959. Eight black universities were created in the
Fort Hare University
Fort Hare University in the
Ciskei (now Eastern Cape) was
to register only Xhosa-speaking students. Sotho, Tswana, Pedi and
Venda speakers were placed at the newly founded University College of
the North at Turfloop, while the University College of Zululand was
launched to serve Zulu students.
Coloureds and Indians were to have
their own establishments in the Cape and Natal respectively.
Each black homeland controlled its own education, health and police
systems. Blacks were not allowed to buy hard liquor. They were able
only to buy state-produced poor quality beer (although this was
relaxed later). Public beaches were racially segregated. Public
swimming pools, some pedestrian bridges, drive-in cinema parking
spaces, graveyards, parks, and public toilets were segregated. Cinemas
and theatres in white areas were not allowed to admit blacks. There
were practically no cinemas in black areas. Most restaurants and
hotels in white areas were not allowed to admit blacks except as
staff. Blacks were prohibited from attending white churches under the
Churches Native Laws Amendment Act of 1957, but this was never rigidly
enforced and churches were one of the few places races could mix
without the interference of the law. Blacks earning 360 rand a year or
more had to pay taxes while the white threshold was more than twice as
high, at 750 rand a year. On the other hand, the taxation rate for
whites was considerably higher than that for blacks.
Blacks could never acquire land in white areas. In the homelands, much
of the land belonged to a "tribe", where the local chieftain would
decide how the land had to be used. This resulted in whites owning
almost all the industrial and agricultural lands and much of the
prized residential land. Most blacks were stripped of their South
African citizenship when the "homelands" became "independent", and
they were no longer able to apply for South African passports.
Eligibility requirements for a passport had been difficult for blacks
to meet, the government contending that a passport was a privilege,
not a right, and the government did not grant many passports to
Apartheid pervaded culture as well as the law, and was
entrenched by most of the mainstream media.
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Part of a series on
Race / Ethnicity / Nationality
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White power music
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Cleanliness of blood
Crime of apartheid
Gender pay gap
Jim Crow laws
Law for Protection of the Nation
MSM blood donor controversy
Numerus clausus (as religious or racial quota)
Same-sex marriage (laws and issues prohibiting)
Racial bias in criminal news
Racism by country
Second-generation gender bias
Main article: Coloured
The population was classified into four groups: African, White, Indian
Coloured (capitalised to denote their legal definitions in South
African law). The
Coloured group included people regarded as being of
mixed descent, including of Bantu, Khoisan, European and Malay
ancestry. Many were descended from people brought to
South Africa from
other parts of the world, such as India, Sri Lanka,
China as slaves and indentured workers.
The apartheid bureaucracy devised complex (and often arbitrary)
criteria at the time that the
Population Registration Act
Population Registration Act was
implemented to determine who was Coloured. Minor officials would
administer tests to determine if someone should be categorised either
Coloured or Black, or if another person should be categorised either
Coloured or White. Different members of the same family found
themselves in different race groups. Further tests determined
membership of the various sub-racial groups of the Coloureds. Many of
those who formerly belonged to this racial group are opposed to the
continuing use of the term "coloured" in the post-apartheid era,
though the term no longer signifies any legal meaning. The expressions
"so-called Coloured" (
Afrikaans sogenaamde Kleurlinge) and "brown
people" (bruinmense) acquired a wide usage in the 1980s.
Discriminated against by apartheid,
Coloureds were as a matter of
state policy forced to live in separate townships, in some cases
leaving homes their families had occupied for generations, and
received an inferior education, though better than that provided to
Africans. They played an important role in the anti-apartheid
movement: for example the
African Political Organization established
in 1902 had an exclusively
Voting rights were denied to
Coloureds in the same way that they were
denied to Blacks from 1950 to 1983. However, in 1977 the NP caucus
approved proposals to bring
Coloureds and Indians into central
government. In 1982, final constitutional proposals produced a
referendum among Whites, and the
Tricameral Parliament was approved.
The Constitution was reformed the following year to allow the Coloured
and Asian minorities participation in separate Houses in a Tricameral
Parliament, and Botha became the first Executive State President. The
idea was that the
Coloured minority could be granted voting rights,
but the Black majority were to become citizens of independent
homelands. These separate arrangements continued until the abolition
of apartheid. The Tricameral reforms led to the formation of the
(anti-apartheid) United Democratic Front as a vehicle to try to
prevent the co-option of
Coloureds and Indians into an alliance with
Whites. The battles between the UDF and the NP government from 1983 to
1989 were to become the most intense period of struggle between
left-wing and right-wing South Africans.
Women under apartheid
Colonialism and apartheid had a major impact on Black and coloured
women, since they suffered both racial and gender
discrimination. Jobs were often hard to find. Many Black and
coloured women worked as agricultural or domestic workers, but wages
were extremely low, if existent. Children suffered from diseases
caused by malnutrition and sanitation problems, and mortality rates
were therefore high. The controlled movement of black and coloured
workers within the country through the Natives Urban Areas Act of 1923
and the pass laws separated family members from one another, because
men could prove their employment in urban centres while most women
were merely dependents; consequently, they risked being deported to
Sport under apartheid
See also: Rugby union and apartheid
By the 1930s, association football mirrored the balkanised society of
South Africa; football was divided into numerous institutions based on
race: the (White) South African Football Association, the South
African Indian Football Association (SAIFA), the South African African
Football Association (SAAFA) and its rival the South African Bantu
Football Association, and the South African
Association (SACFA). Lack of funds to provide proper equipment would
be noticeable in regards to black amateur football matches; this
revealed the unequal lives black South Africans were subject to, in
contrast to Whites, who were obviously much better off
financially. Apartheid's social engineering made it more difficult
to compete across racial lines. Thus, in an effort to centralise
finances, the federations merged in 1951, creating the South African
Soccer Federation (SASF), which brought Black, Indian, and Coloured
national associations into one body that opposed apartheid. This was
generally opposed more and more by the growing apartheid government,
and – with urban segregation being reinforced with ongoing
racist policies – it was harder to play football along
these racial lines. In 1956, the
Pretoria regime – the
administrative capital of South Africa – passed the first
apartheid sports policy; by doing so, it emphasised the White-led
government's opposition to inter-racialism.
While football was plagued by racism, it also played a role in
protesting apartheid and its policies. With the international bans
FIFA and other major sporting events,
South Africa would be in
the spotlight internationally. In a 1977 survey, white South Africans
ranked the lack of international sport as one of the three most
damaging consequences of apartheid. By the mid-1950s, Black South
Africans would also use media to challenge the "racialisation" of
sports in South Africa; anti-apartheid forces had begun to pinpoint
sport as the "weakness" of white national morale. Black journalists
Johannesburg Drum magazine were the first to give the issue
public exposure, with an intrepid special issue in 1955 that asked,
"Why shouldn't our blacks be allowed in the SA team?" As time
progressed, international standing with
South Africa would continue to
be strained. In the 1980s, as the oppressive system was slowly
collapsing the ANC and National Party started negotiations on the end
of apartheid. Football associations also discussed the formation of a
single, non-racial controlling body. This unity process accelerated in
the late 1980s and led to the creation, in December 1991, of an
incorporated South African Football Association. On 3 July 1992, FIFA
South Africa back into international football.
Sport has long been an important part of life in South Africa, and the
boycotting of games by international teams had a profound effect on
the white population, perhaps more so than the trade embargoes did.
After the re-acceptance of South Africa's sports teams by the
international community, sport played a major unifying role between
the country's diverse ethnic groups. Mandela's open support of the
predominantly white rugby fraternity during the 1995 Rugby World Cup
was considered instrumental in bringing together South African sports
fans of all races.
Asians during apartheid
Further information: Indian South Africans, Asian South Africans, and
Chinese South Africans
Defining its Asian population, a minority that did not appear to
belong to any of the initial three designated non-white groups, was a
constant dilemma for the apartheid government.
For political reasons, the classification of "honorary white" was
granted to immigrants from Japan,
South Korea and
Taiwan – countries with which
South Africa maintained
diplomatic and economic relations – and to their
Indian South Africans
Indian South Africans during apartheid were classified many ranges of
categories from "Asian" to "black" [clarification needed] to
"Coloured" [clarification needed] and even the mono-ethnic category of
"Indian", but never as white, having been considered "nonwhite"
throughout South Africa's history. The group faced severe
discrimination during the apartheid regime and were subject to
numerous racialist policies.
Chinese South Africans – who were descendants of migrant
workers who came to work in the gold mines around
Johannesburg in the
late 19th century – were initially either classified as
"Coloured" or "Other Asian" and were subject to numerous forms of
discrimination and restriction. It was not until 1984 that South
African Chinese, increased to about 10,000, were given the same
official rights as the Japanese, to be treated as whites in terms of
the Group Areas Act, although they still faced discrimination and did
not receive all the benefits/rights of their newly obtained honorary
white status such as voting.
Indonesians arrived at the Cape of Good Hope as slaves until the
abolishment of slavery during the 1800s. They were predominantly
Muslim, were allowed religious freedom and formed their own ethnic
group/community known as Cape Malays. They were classified as part of
Coloured racial group. This was the same for South Africans of
Malaysian descent who were also classified as part of the Coloured
race and thus considered "not-white". South Africans of Filipino
descent were classified as "black" due to historical outlook on
Filipinos by White South Africans, and many of them lived in
Alongside apartheid the NP government implemented a programme of
social conservatism. Pornography  and gambling were banned.
Cinemas, shops selling alcohol and most other businesses were
forbidden from operating on Sundays. Abortion,
homosexuality and sex education were also restricted; abortion
was legal only in cases of rape or if the mother's life was
Television was not introduced until 1976 because the government viewed
English programming as a threat to the
Television was run on apartheid lines – TV1 broadcast in
Afrikaans and English (geared to a white audience), TV2 in Zulu and
Xhosa and TV3 in Sotho, Tswana and Pedi (both geared to a black
audience), and TV4 mostly showed programmes for an urban-black
Main article: Internal resistance to apartheid
Painting of the
Sharpeville Massacre of March 1960
Apartheid sparked significant internal resistance. The government
responded to a series of popular uprisings and protests with police
brutality, which in turn increased local support for the armed
resistance struggle. Internal resistance to the apartheid system
South Africa came from several sectors of society and saw the
creation of organisations dedicated variously to peaceful protests,
passive resistance and armed insurrection.
In 1949, the youth wing of the
African National Congress
African National Congress (ANC) took
control of the organisation and started advocating a radical black
nationalist programme. The new young leaders proposed that white
authority could only be overthrown through mass campaigns. In 1950
that philosophy saw the launch of the Programme of Action, a series of
strikes, boycotts and civil disobedience actions that led to
occasional violent clashes with the authorities.
In 1959, a group of disenchanted ANC members formed the Pan Africanist
Congress (PAC), which organised a demonstration against pass books on
21 March 1960. One of those protests was held in the township of
Sharpeville, where 69 people were killed by police in the Sharpeville
In the wake of Sharpeville, the government declared a state of
emergency. More than 18,000 people were arrested, including leaders of
the ANC and PAC, and both organisations were banned. The resistance
went underground, with some leaders in exile abroad and others engaged
in campaigns of domestic sabotage and terrorism.
In May 1961, before the declaration of
South Africa as a Republic, an
assembly representing the banned ANC called for negotiations between
the members of the different ethnic groupings, threatening
demonstrations and strikes during the inauguration of the Republic if
their calls were ignored.
When the government overlooked them, the strikers (among the main
organisers was a 42-year-old, Thembu-origin Nelson Mandela) carried
out their threats. The government countered swiftly by giving police
the authority to arrest people for up to twelve days and detaining
many strike leaders amid numerous cases of police brutality.
Defeated, the protesters called off their strike. The ANC then chose
to launch an armed struggle through a newly formed military wing,
Umkhonto we Sizwe
Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), which would perform acts of sabotage on
tactical state structures. Its first sabotage plans were carried out
on 16 December 1961, the anniversary of the Battle of Blood River.
In the 1970s, the
Black Consciousness Movement was created by tertiary
students influenced by the Black Power movement in the US. BC endorsed
black pride and African customs and did much to alter the feelings of
inadequacy instilled among black people by the apartheid system. The
leader of the movement, Steve Biko, was taken into custody on 18
August 1977 and was beaten to death in detention.
In 1976, secondary students in
Soweto took to the streets in the
Soweto uprising to protest against the imposition of
Afrikaans as the
only language of instruction. On 16 June, police opened fire on
students protesting peacefully. According to official reports 23
people were killed, but the number of people who died is usually given
as 176, with estimates of up to 700. In the following
years several student organisations were formed to protest against
apartheid, and these organisations were central to urban school
boycotts in 1980 and 1983 and rural boycotts in 1985 and 1986.
In parallel with student protests, labour unions started protest
action in 1973 and 1974. After 1976 unions and workers are considered
to have played an important role in the struggle against apartheid,
filling the gap left by the banning of political parties. In 1979
black trade unions were legalised and could engage in collective
bargaining, although strikes were still illegal. Economist Thomas
Sowell wrote that basic supply and demand led to violations of
Apartheid "on a massive scale" throughout the nation, simply because
there were not enough white South African business owners to meet the
demand for various goods and services. Large portions of the garment
industry and construction of new homes, for example, were effectively
owned and operated by blacks, who either worked surreptitiously or who
circumvented the law with a white person as a nominal, figurehead
In 1983, anti-apartheid leaders determined to resist the tricameral
parliament assembled to form the United Democratic Front (UDF) in
order to coordinate anti-apartheid activism inside South Africa. The
first presidents of the UDF were Archie Gumede,
Oscar Mpetha and
Albertina Sisulu; patrons were Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Dr Allan
Boesak, Helen Joseph, and Nelson Mandela. Basing its platform on
abolishing apartheid and creating a nonracial democratic South Africa,
the UDF provided a legal way for domestic human rights groups and
individuals of all races to organise demonstrations and campaign
against apartheid inside the country. Churches and church groups also
emerged as pivotal points of resistance. Church leaders were not
immune to prosecution, and certain faith-based organisations were
banned, but the clergy generally had more freedom to criticise the
government than militant groups did. The UDF, coupled with the
protection of the church, accordingly permitted a major role for
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who served both as a prominent domestic voice
and international spokesperson denouncing apartheid and urging the
creation of a shared nonracial state.
Although the majority of whites supported apartheid, some 20 percent
did not. Parliamentary opposition was galvanised by Helen Suzman,
Colin Eglin and Harry Schwarz, who formed the Progressive Federal
Party. Extra-parliamentary resistance was largely centred in the South
African Communist Party and women's organisation the Black Sash. Women
were also notable in their involvement in trade union organisations
and banned political parties.
International relations during apartheid
International opposition to
apartheid in South Africa
South Africa Movement
International anti-apartheid music
Instruments and legislation
1962 UN Resolution 1761
1973 Crime of
1977 Gleneagles Agreement
1977 Sullivan principles
1986 Comprehensive Anti-
Artists United Against Apartheid
Commonwealth of Nations
Halt All Racist Tours
Organisation of African Unity
Special Committee against Apartheid
1964 Conference for Economic Sanctions
1978 World Conference against Racism
UN Security Council
UN Security Council Resolutions
Resolution 134 (
Resolution 181 (voluntary arms embargo)
Resolution 191 (sanctions feasibility)
Resolution 282 (arms embargo strengthening)
Resolution 418 (mandatory arms embargo)
Resolution 435 (
South-West Africa ceasefire)
Resolution 591 (arms embargo strengthening)
Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute
Equity television programming ban
Rugby union and apartheid
Main article: Foreign relations of
South Africa during apartheid
The flag of
South Africa under the apartheid regime
South Africa's policies were subject to international scrutiny in
1960, when Macmillan criticised them during his celebrated Wind of
Change speech in Cape Town. Weeks later, tensions came to a head in
Sharpeville Massacre, resulting in more international
condemnation. Soon afterwards Verwoerd announced a referendum on
whether the country should become a republic. Verwoerd lowered the
voting age for whites to 18 and included whites in South West Africa
on the roll. The referendum on 5 October that year asked whites, "Are
you in favour of a Republic for the Union?", and 52 percent voted
As a consequence of this change of status,
South Africa needed to
reapply for continued membership of the Commonwealth, with which it
had privileged trade links.
India had become a republic within the
Commonwealth in 1950, but it became clear that African and Asian
member states would oppose
South Africa due to its apartheid policies.
As a result,
South Africa withdrew from the Commonwealth on 31 May
1961, the day that the Republic came into existence.
We stand here today to salute the
United Nations Organisation and its
Member States, both singly and collectively, for joining forces with
the masses of our people in a common struggle that has brought about
our emancipation and pushed back the frontiers of racism.
— Nelson Mandela, address to the
United Nations as South African
President, 3 October 1994
At the first UN gathering in 1946,
South Africa was placed on the
agenda. The primary subject in question was the handling of South
African Indians, a great cause of divergence between
South Africa and
India. In 1952, apartheid was again discussed in the aftermath of the
Defiance Campaign, and the UN set up a task team to keep watch on the
progress of apartheid and the racial state of affairs in South Africa.
Although South Africa's racial policies were a cause for concern, most
countries in the UN concurred that this was a domestic affair, which
fell outside the UN's jurisdiction.
In April 1960, the UN's conservative stance on apartheid changed
Sharpeville massacre, and the Security Council for the
first time agreed on concerted action against the apartheid regime,
demanding an end to racial separation and discrimination. From 1960
the ANC began a campaign of armed struggle of which there would later
be a charge of 193 acts of terrorism from 1961 to 1963, mainly
bombings and murders of civilians.
Instead, the South African government began further suppression,
banning the ANC and PAC. In 1961, UN Secretary-General Dag
Hammarskjöld stopped over in
South Africa and subsequently stated
that he had been unable to reach agreement with Prime Minister
In 1961, dismissing an Israeli vote against South African apartheid at
the United Nations, Verwoerd famously said, "
Israel is not consistent
in its new anti-apartheid attitude … they took
Israel away from the
Arabs after the Arabs lived there for a thousand years. In that, I
agree with them. Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid
On 6 November 1962, the
United Nations General Assembly passed
Resolution 1761, condemning apartheid policies. In 1966, the UN held
the first of many colloquiums on apartheid. The General Assembly
announced 21 March as the International Day for the Elimination of
Racial Discrimination, in memory of the
Sharpeville massacre. In
1971, the General Assembly formally denounced the institution of
homelands, and a motion was passed in 1974 to expel
South Africa from
the UN, but this was vetoed by France, the United Kingdom and the
United States, all key trade associates of South Africa.
On 7 August 1963 the
United Nations Security Council passed Resolution
181, calling for a voluntary arms embargo against South Africa. In the
same year a
Special Committee Against
Apartheid was established to
encourage and oversee plans of action against the regime. From 1964
the US and the UK discontinued their arms trade with South Africa. The
Security Council also condemned the
Soweto massacre in Resolution 392.
In 1977, the voluntary UN arms embargo became mandatory with the
passing of Resolution 418.
Economic sanctions against
South Africa were also frequently debated
as an effective way of putting pressure on the apartheid government.
In 1962, the UN General Assembly requested that its members sever
political, fiscal and transportation ties with South Africa. In 1968,
it proposed ending all cultural, educational and sporting connections
as well. Economic sanctions, however, were not made mandatory, because
of opposition from South Africa's main trading partners.
In 1973, the UN adopted the
Apartheid Convention which defines
apartheid and even qualifies it as a crime against humanity which
might lead to international criminal prosecution of the individuals
responsible for perpetrating it. This convention has however only
been ratified by 107 of the 193 member states as of August 2008. The
convention was initially drafted by the former USSR and Guinea, before
being presented to the UN General Assembly. The convention was adopted
with a vote of 91 for, and 4 (Portugal, South Africa, the United
Kingdom and the United States) against the convention.
In 1978 and 1983 the UN condemned
South Africa at the World Conference
After much debate, by the late 1980s the United States, the United
Kingdom, and 23 other nations had passed laws placing various trade
sanctions on South Africa. A disinvestment from
South Africa movement
in many countries was similarly widespread, with individual cities and
provinces around the world implementing various laws and local
regulations forbidding registered corporations under their
jurisdiction from doing business with South African firms, factories,
Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II was an outspoken opponent of apartheid. In 1985,
while visiting the Netherlands, he gave an impassioned speech at the
International Court of Justice
International Court of Justice condemning apartheid, proclaiming that
"no system of apartheid or separate development will ever be
acceptable as a model for the relations between peoples or
races." In September 1988 he made a pilgrimage to countries
bordering South Africa, while demonstratively avoiding South Africa
itself. During his visit to Zimbabwe, he called for economic sanctions
against South Africa's government.
Organisation for African Unity
Organisation of African Unity
Organisation of African Unity (OAU) was created in 1963. Its
primary objectives were to eradicate colonialism and improve social,
political and economic situations in Africa. It censured apartheid and
demanded sanctions against South Africa. African states agreed to aid
the liberation movements in their fight against apartheid. In
1969, fourteen nations from Central and East Africa gathered in
Lusaka, Zambia, and formulated the
Lusaka Manifesto, which was signed
on 13 April by all of the countries in attendance except Malawi.
This manifesto was later taken on by both the OAU and the United
Lusaka Manifesto summarised the political situations of
self-governing African countries, condemning racism and inequity, and
calling for black majority rule in all African nations. It did
South Africa entirely, though, adopting an appeasing manner
towards the apartheid government, and even recognising its autonomy.
Although African leaders supported the emancipation of black South
Africans, they preferred this to be attained through peaceful
South Africa's negative response to the
Lusaka Manifesto and rejection
of a change to its policies brought about another OAU announcement in
October 1971. The Mogadishu Declaration stated that South Africa's
rebuffing of negotiations meant that its black people could only be
freed through military means, and that no African state should
converse with the apartheid government.
B. J. Vorster
B. J. Vorster became Prime Minister. He was not prepared to
dismantle apartheid, but he did try to redress South Africa's
isolation and to revitalise the country's global reputation, even
those with black-ruled nations in Africa. This he called his
Vorster's willingness to talk to African leaders stood in contrast to
Verwoerd's refusal to engage with leaders such as Abubakar Tafawa
Nigeria in 1962 and
Kenneth Kaunda of
Zambia in 1964. In
1966, he met the heads of the neighbouring states of Lesotho,
Swaziland and Botswana. In 1967, he offered technological and
financial aid to any African state prepared to receive it, asserting
that no political strings were attached, aware that many African
states needed financial aid despite their opposition to South Africa's
racial policies. Many were also tied to
South Africa economically
because of their migrant labour population working on the South
African mines. Botswana,
Swaziland remained outspoken
critics of apartheid, but depended on South Africa's economic aid.
Malawi was the first country not on South African borders to accept
South African aid. In 1967, the two states set out their political and
economic relations, and, in 1969,
Malawi became the only country at
the assembly which did not sign the
Lusaka Manifesto condemning South
Africa' apartheid policy. In 1970, Malawian president Hastings Banda
made his first and most successful official stopover in South Africa.
Mozambique followed suit and were sustained after
that country won its sovereignty in 1975.
Angola was also granted
South African loans. Other countries which formed relationships with
South Africa were Liberia, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Mauritius, Gabon,
Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and the Central
African Republic. Although these states condemned apartheid (more than
ever after South Africa's denunciation of the
Lusaka Manifesto), South
Africa's economic and military dominance meant that they remained
South Africa to varying degrees[clarification needed].
Sports and culture
Main articles: Sporting boycott of
South Africa and Rugby union and
South Africa's isolation in sport began in the mid-1950s and increased
throughout the 1960s.
Apartheid forbade multiracial sport, which meant
that overseas teams, by virtue of their having players of diverse
races, could not play in South Africa. In 1956, the International
Table Tennis Federation severed its ties with the all-white South
African Table Tennis Union, preferring the non-racial South African
Table Tennis Board. The apartheid government responded by confiscating
the passports of the Board's players so that they were unable to
attend international games.
In 1959, the non-racial South African Sports Association (SASA) was
formed to secure the rights of all players on the global field. After
meeting with no success in its endeavours to attain credit by
collaborating with white establishments, SASA approached the
International Olympic Committee
International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1962, calling for South
Africa's expulsion from the Olympic Games. The IOC sent
South Africa a
caution to the effect that, if there were no changes, they would be
barred from the 1964 Olympic Games. The changes were initiated, and in
January 1963, the South African Non-Racial Olympic Committee (SANROC)
was set up. The
Anti-Apartheid Movement persisted in its campaign for
South Africa's exclusion, and the IOC acceded in barring the country
from the 1964 Games in Tokyo.
South Africa selected a multi-racial
team for the next Games, and the IOC opted for incorporation in the
1968 Games in Mexico. Because of protests from AAMs and African
nations, however, the IOC was forced to retract the invitation.
Foreign complaints about South Africa's bigoted sports brought more
isolation. Racially selected New Zealand sports teams toured South
Africa, until the 1970
All Blacks rugby tour allowed Maori to go under
the status of "honorary whites". Huge and widespread protests occurred
in New Zealand in 1981 against the Springbok tour – the
government spent $8 million protecting games using the army and police
force. A planned All Black tour to
South Africa in 1985 remobilised
the New Zealand protesters and it was cancelled. A "rebel
tour" – not government sanctioned – went ahead
in 1986, but after that sporting ties were cut, and New Zealand made a
decision not to convey an authorised rugby team to
South Africa until
the end of apartheid.
Vorster replaced Verwoerd as Prime Minister in 1966 following the
latter's assassination and declared that
South Africa would no longer
dictate to other countries what their teams should look like. Although
this reopened the gate for international sporting meets, it did not
signal the end of South Africa's racist sporting policies. In 1968
Vorster went against his policy by refusing to permit Basil
Coloured South African-born cricketer, to join the
English cricket team on its tour to South Africa. Vorster said that
the side had been chosen only to prove a point, and not on merit.
After protests, however, "Dolly" was eventually included in the team.
Protests against certain tours brought about the cancellation of a
number of other visits, including that of an England rugby team
South Africa in 1969/70.
The first of the "White Bans" occurred in 1971 when the Chairman of
the Australian Cricketing Association – Sir Don
Bradman – flew to
South Africa to meet Vorster. Vorster
had expected Bradman to allow the tour of the Australian cricket team
to go ahead, but things became heated after Bradman asked why black
sportsmen were not allowed to play cricket. Vorster stated that blacks
were intellectually inferior and had no finesse for the game.
Bradman – thinking this ignorant and
repugnant – asked Vorster if he had heard of a man named
Garry Sobers. On his return to Australia, Bradman released a one
sentence statement: "We will not play them until they choose a team on
a non-racist basis."
In South Africa, Vorster vented his anger publicly against Bradman,
African National Congress
African National Congress rejoiced. This was the first time
a predominantly white nation had taken the side of multiracial sport,
producing an unsettling resonance that more "White" boycotts were
coming. Almost twenty years later, on his release from prison,
Nelson Mandela asked a visiting Australian statesman if Donald
Bradman, his childhood hero, was still alive (Bradman lived until
In 1971, Vorster altered his policies even further by distinguishing
multiracial from multinational sport. Multiracial sport, between teams
with players of different races, remained outlawed; multinational
sport, however, was now acceptable: international sides would not be
subject to South Africa's racial stipulations.
Nigeria boycotted the Commonwealth Games because New
Zealand's sporting contacts with the South African government were not
considered to be in accordance with the 1977 Gleneagles Agreement.
Nigeria also led the 32-nation boycott of the 1986 Commonwealth Games
because of British prime minister Margaret Thatcher's ambivalent
attitude towards sporting links with South Africa, significantly
affecting the quality and profitability of the Games and thus
thrusting apartheid into the international spotlight.
In the 1960s, the Anti-
Apartheid Movements began to campaign for
cultural boycotts of apartheid South Africa. Artists were requested
not to present or let their works be hosted in South Africa. In 1963,
45 British writers put their signatures to an affirmation approving of
the boycott, and, in 1964, American actor
Marlon Brando called for a
similar affirmation for films. In 1965, the Writers' Guild of Great
Britain called for a proscription on the sending of films to South
Africa. Over sixty American artists signed a statement against
apartheid and against professional links with the state. The
presentation of some South African plays in Britain and the United
States was also vetoed. After the arrival of television in South
Africa in 1975, the British Actors Union, Equity, boycotted the
service, and no British programme concerning its associates could be
sold to South Africa. Sporting and cultural boycotts did not have the
same impact as economic sanctions, but they did much
to lift consciousness amongst normal South Africans of the global
condemnation of apartheid.
Boycott Apartheid" bus, 1989
While international opposition to apartheid grew, the Nordic
countries – and
particular – provided both moral and financial support for
the ANC. On 21 February 1986 – a week before he was
murdered – Sweden's prime minister
Olof Palme made the keynote
address to the Swedish People's Parliament Against
Apartheid held in
Stockholm. In addressing the hundreds of anti-apartheid
sympathisers as well as leaders and officials from the ANC and the
Anti-Apartheid Movement such as Oliver Tambo, Palme declared:
Apartheid cannot be reformed; it has to be eliminated."
Other Western countries adopted a more ambivalent position. In
Swiss-South African Association lobbied on behalf of
the South African government. In the 1980s, the US Reagan and UK
Thatcher administrations followed a "constructive engagement" policy
with the apartheid government, vetoing the imposition of UN economic
sanctions, justified by a belief in free trade and a vision of South
Africa as a bastion against
Marxist forces in Southern Africa.
Thatcher declared the ANC a terrorist organisation, and in 1987
her spokesman, Bernard Ingham, famously said that anyone who believed
that the ANC would ever form the government of
South Africa was
"living in cloud cuckoo land". The American Legislative Exchange
Council (ALEC), a conservative lobbying organisation, actively
campaigned against divesting from
South Africa throughout the
By the late 1980s, with the tide of the
Cold War turning and no sign
of a political resolution in South Africa, Western patience began to
run out. By 1989, a bipartisan Republican/Democratic initiative in the
US favoured economic sanctions (realised as the Comprehensive
Apartheid Act of 1986), the release of
Nelson Mandela and a
negotiated settlement involving the ANC. Thatcher too began to take a
similar line, but insisted on the suspension of the ANC's armed
The UK's significant economic involvement in
South Africa may have
provided some leverage with the South African government, with both
the UK and the US applying pressure and pushing for negotiations.
However, neither the UK nor the US was willing to apply economic
pressure upon their multinational interests in South Africa, such as
the mining company Anglo American. Although a high-profile
compensation claim against these companies was thrown out of court in
US Supreme Court
US Supreme Court in May 2008 upheld an appeal court
ruling allowing another lawsuit that seeks damages of more than US$400
billion from major international companies which are accused of aiding
South Africa's apartheid system.
Cold War and "Total Onslaught"
Apartheid-era propaganda leaflet issued to South African military
personnel in the 1980s. The pamphlet decries "Russian colonialism and
During the 1950s, South African military strategy was decisively
shaped by fears of communist espionage and a conventional Soviet
threat to the strategic Cape trade route between the south Atlantic
and Indian Oceans. The apartheid government supported the
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), as well as its
policy of regional containment against Soviet-backed regimes and
insurgencies worldwide. By the late 1960s, the rise of Soviet
client states on the African continent, as well as Soviet aid for
militant anti-apartheid movements, was considered one of the primary
external threats to the apartheid system. South African officials
frequently accused domestic opposition groups of being communist
proxies. For its part the Soviet Union viewed
South Africa as a
bastion of neocolonialism and a regional Western ally, which helped
fuel its support for various anti-apartheid causes. From 1973
onward much of South Africa's white population increasingly looked
upon their country as a bastion of the free world besieged militarily,
politically, and culturally by communism and radical black
nationalism. The apartheid government perceived itself as being
locked in a proxy struggle with the
Warsaw Pact and by implication,
armed wings of black nationalist forces such as
Umkhonto we Sizwe
Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK)
People's Liberation Army of Namibia
People's Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN), which often
received Soviet arms and training. This was described as "Total
South African initiatives designed to counter "Total Onslaught" were
known as "Total Strategy" and involved building up a formidable
conventional military and counter-intelligence capability. Total
Strategy was built on the principles of counter-revolution as espoused
by noted French tactician André Beaufre. Considerable effort was
devoted towards circumventing international arms sanctions, and the
government even went so far as to develop nuclear weapons,
allegedly with covert assistance from Israel. In 2010, The
Guardian released South African government documents that revealed an
Israeli offer to sell the apartheid regime nuclear weapons.
Israel categorically denied these allegations and claimed that the
documents were minutes from a meeting which did not indicate any
concrete offer for a sale of nuclear weapons.
Shimon Peres said that
The Guardian's article was based on "selective interpretation... and
not on concrete facts."
From the late 1970s to the late 1980s, defence budgets in South Africa
were raised exponentially. Covert operations focused on espionage
and domestic political manipulation became common, the number of
special forces units swelled, and the
South African Defence Force
South African Defence Force had
amassed enough sophisticated conventional weaponry to pose a serious
threat to the "front-line states", a regional alliance of neighbouring
countries opposed to apartheid.
Foreign military operations
See also: South African Border War
South African paratroops on a raid in Angola, 1980s
South Africa had a policy of attacking insurgent bases and safe houses
of PLAN and MK in neighbouring countries beginning in the early
1980s. These attacks were in retaliation for acts of sabotage,
urban terrorism, and guerrilla raids by MK, PLAN, and the Azanian
People's Liberation Army (APLA). The country also aided organisations
in surrounding countries who were actively combating the spread of
communism in southern Africa. The results of these policies included:
Support for guerrilla groups such as
South African Defence Force
South African Defence Force (SADF) raids into front-line states (e.g.
the Raid on Gaborone). Bombing raids were also conducted into
neighbouring states. Air and commando raids into Zimbabwe, Zambia, and
Botswana occurred the same day, against ANC targets.
An assassination attempt on Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister and future
President of Zimbabwe, on 18 December 1981.
A full-scale intervention into Angola: this was partly in support of
UNITA, but was also an attempt to strike at PLAN bases.
Bomb attacks in Lesotho.
Kidnapping of refugees and ANC members in
Swaziland by security
An unsuccessful South African organised coup in the
Seychelles on 25
Terrorist targeting of exiled ANC leaders abroad: Joe Slovo's wife
Ruth First was killed by a parcel bomb in Maputo, and death squads of
Civil Cooperation Bureau
Civil Cooperation Bureau and the Directorate of Military
Intelligence attempted to carry out assassinations on ANC targets in
Brussels, Paris, Stockholm, and London.
In 1984, Mozambican president
Samora Machel signed the Nkomati Accord
with South Africa's president P.W. Botha, in an attempt to end South
African support for the opposition group RENAMO.
South Africa agreed
to cease supporting anti-government forces, while the MK was
prohibited from operating in Mozambique. This was a setback for the
ANC. Machel hoped the agreement would alliterate[clarification needed]
the civil war and allow
Mozambique to rebuild its economy. Two years
later, President Machel was killed in an air crash in mountainous
South Africa near the Mozambican border after returning
from a meeting in Zambia.
South Africa was accused by the Mozambican
government and US Secretary of State
George P. Shultz
George P. Shultz of continuing
its aid to RENAMO. The Mozambican government also made an unproven
allegation that the accident was caused intentionally by a false radio
navigation beacon that scrambled the aircraft's navigational
system. These charges were never proven and is still a
subject of some controversy, despite the South African Margo
Commission finding that the crash was an accident. A Soviet delegation
that did not participate in the investigation issued a minority report
implicating South Africa.
Beginning in 1966, PLAN, armed wing of the South West African People's
Organisation (SWAPO), contested South Africa's occupation of South
West Africa (now Namibia). This conflict deepened after
its independence in 1975 under the leadership of the leftist Popular
Movement for the Liberation of
Angola (MPLA) aided by Cuba. South
Zaire and the United States sided with the Angolan rival UNITA
party against the MPLA's armed force, FAPLA (People's Armed Forces for
the Liberation of Angola). The following struggle turned into one of
Cold War flashpoints. The Angolan civil war
developed into a conventional war with
South Africa and
UNITA on one
side against the
MPLA government, the Soviet Union, the Cubans and
SWAPO on the other.
During the 1980s the government, led by P.W. Botha, became
increasingly preoccupied with security. It set up a powerful state
security apparatus to "protect" the state against an anticipated
upsurge in political violence that the reforms were expected to
trigger. The 1980s became a period of considerable political unrest,
with the government becoming increasingly dominated by Botha's circle
of generals and police chiefs (known as securocrats), who managed the
various States of Emergencies.
Botha's years in power were marked also by numerous military
interventions in the states bordering South Africa, as well as an
extensive military and political campaign to eliminate
Namibia. Within South Africa, meanwhile, vigorous police action and
strict enforcement of security legislation resulted in hundreds of
arrests and bans, and an effective end to the ANC's sabotage campaign.
The government punished political offenders brutally. 40,000 people
annually were subjected to whipping as a form of punishment. The
vast majority had committed political offences and were lashed ten
times for their crime. If convicted of treason, a person could be
hanged, and the government executed numerous political offenders in
As the 1980s progressed, more and more anti-apartheid organisations
were formed and affiliated with the UDF. Led by the
Boesak and Albertina Sisulu, the UDF called for the government to
abandon its reforms and instead abolish apartheid and eliminate the
State of emergency
Serious political violence was a prominent feature from 1985 to 1989,
as black townships became the focus of the struggle between
anti-apartheid organisations and the Botha government. Throughout the
1980s, township people resisted apartheid by acting against the local
issues that faced their particular communities. The focus of much of
this resistance was against the local authorities and their leaders,
who were seen to be supporting the government. By 1985, it had become
the ANC's aim to make black townships "ungovernable" (a term later
replaced by "people's power") by means of rent boycotts and other
militant action. Numerous township councils were overthrown or
collapsed, to be replaced by unofficial popular organisations, often
led by militant youth. People's courts were set up, and residents
accused of being government agents were dealt extreme and occasionally
lethal punishments. Black town councillors and policemen, and
sometimes their families, were attacked with petrol bombs, beaten, and
murdered by necklacing, where a burning tyre was placed around the
victim's neck, after they were restrained by wrapping their wrists
with barbed wire. This signature act of torture and murder was
embraced by the ANC and its leaders.
On 20 July 1985, Botha declared a
State of Emergency
State of Emergency in 36 magisterial
districts. Areas affected were the Eastern Cape, and the PWV region
("Pretoria, Witwatersrand, Vereeniging"). Three months later the
Western Cape was included. An increasing number of organisations were
banned or listed (restricted in some way); many individuals had
restrictions such as house arrest imposed on them. During this state
of emergency about 2,436 people were detained under the Internal
Security Act. This act gave police and the military sweeping
powers. The government could implement curfews controlling the
movement of people. The president could rule by decree without
referring to the constitution or to parliament. It became a criminal
offence to threaten someone verbally or possess documents that the
government perceived to be threatening, to advise anyone to stay away
from work or oppose the government, and to disclose the name of anyone
arrested under the
State of Emergency
State of Emergency until the government released
that name, with up to ten years' imprisonment for these offences.
Detention without trial became a common feature of the government's
reaction to growing civil unrest and by 1988, 30,000 people had been
detained. The media was censored, thousands were arrested and
many were interrogated and tortured.
On 12 June 1986, four days before the tenth anniversary of the Soweto
uprising, the state of emergency was extended to cover the whole
country. The government amended the Public Security Act, including the
right to declare "unrest" areas, allowing extraordinary measures to
crush protests in these areas. Severe censorship of the press became a
dominant tactic in the government's strategy and television cameras
were banned from entering such areas. The state broadcaster, the South
African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), provided propaganda in
support of the government. Media opposition to the system increased,
supported by the growth of a pro-ANC underground press within South
In 1987, the
State of Emergency
State of Emergency was extended for another two years.
Meanwhile, about 200,000 members of the National Union of Mineworkers
commenced the longest strike (three weeks) in South African history.
1988 saw the banning of the activities of the UDF and other
Much of the violence in the late 1980s and early 1990s was directed at
the government, but a substantial amount was between the residents
themselves. Many died in violence between members of Inkatha and the
UDF-ANC faction. It was later proven that the government manipulated
the situation by supporting one side or the other when it suited it.
Government agents assassinated opponents within
South Africa and
abroad; they undertook cross-border army and air-force attacks on
suspected ANC and PAC bases. The ANC and the PAC in return exploded
bombs at restaurants, shopping centres and government buildings such
as magistrates courts. Between 1960 and 1994, according to statistics
from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Inkatha Freedom
Party was responsible for 4,500 killings, South African security
forces were responsible for 2,700 killings and the ANC was responsible
for 1,300 killings.
The state of emergency continued until 1990, when it was lifted by
State President F.W. de Klerk.
Final years of apartheid
Main article: Negotiations to end apartheid in South Africa
Apartheid developed by racism of colonial factors and due to South
Africa's "unique industrialization". The policies of
industrialisation led to segregation of and classing of people, which
was "specifically developed to nurture early industry such as mining
and capitalist culture". Cheap labour was the basis of the
economy and this was taken from what the state classed as peasant
groups and the migrants. Furthermore, Philip Bonner highlights
the "contradictory economic effects" as the economy did not have a
manufacturing sector, therefore promoting short term profitability but
limiting labour productivity and the size of local markets. This also
led to its collapse as "Clarkes emphasises the economy could not
provide and compete with foreign rivals as they failed to master cheap
labour and complex chemistry".
The contradictions[clarification needed] in the traditionally
capitalist economy of the apartheid state led to considerable debate
about racial policy, and division and conflicts in the central
state. To a large extent the political ideology of apartheid had
emerged from the colonisation of Africa by European powers which
institutionalised racial discrimination and exercised a paternal
philosophy of "civilising inferior natives." Some scholars have
argued that this can be reflected in
Afrikaner Calvinism, with its
parallel traditions of racialism; for example, as early as 1933
the executive council of the Broederbond formulated a recommendation
for mass segregation.
Anti-apartheid protest at
South Africa House in London, 1989
External western influence can be seen as one of the factors that
arguably greatly influenced political ideology, particularly due to
the influences of colonisation.
South Africa in particular is argued
to be an "unreconstructed example of western civilisation twisted by
racism". However, western influence also helped end apartheid.
"Once the power of the Soviet Union declined along with its Communist
influence, western nations felt
Apartheid could no longer be tolerated
and spoke out, encouraging a move towards democracy and
self-determination".[this quote needs a citation]
In the 1960s,
South Africa experienced economic growth second only to
that of Japan. Trade with Western countries grew, and investment
from the United States, France and Britain poured in.
In 1974, resistance to apartheid was encouraged by Portugal's
Mozambique and Angola, after the 1974 Carnation
Revolution. South African troops withdrew from
Angola in early 1976,
failing to prevent the
MPLA from gaining power there, and black
South Africa celebrated.
The Mahlabatini Declaration of Faith, signed by Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Harry Schwarz in 1974, enshrined the principles of peaceful
transition of power and equality for all. Its purpose was to provide a
South Africa by consent and racial peace in a
multi-racial society, stressing opportunity for all, consultation, the
federal concept, and a Bill of Rights. It caused a split in the United
Party that ultimately realigned opposition politics in South Africa,
with the formation of the
Progressive Federal Party
Progressive Federal Party in 1977. It was
the first of such agreements by acknowledged black and white political
leaders in South Africa.
In 1978, the defence minister of the NP, Pieter Willem Botha, became
Prime Minister. Botha's white regime was worried about the Soviet
Union helping revolutionaries in South Africa, and the economy had
slowed down. The new government noted that it was spending too much
money trying to maintain the segregated homelands that had been
created for blacks and the homelands were proving to be
Nor was maintaining blacks as a third class working well. The labour
of blacks remained vital to the economy, and illegal black labour
unions were flourishing. Many blacks remained too poor to make much of
a contribution to the economy through their purchasing
power – although they were more than 70 percent of the
population. Botha's regime was afraid that an antidote was needed to
prevent the blacks from being attracted to Communism.
In July 1979, the Nigerian government claimed that the Shell-BP
Petroleum Development Company of
Nigeria Limited (SPDC) was selling
Nigerian oil to South Africa, although there was little evidence or
commercial logic for such sales. The alleged sanctions-breaking
was used to justify the seizure of some of BP's assets in Nigeria
including their stake in SPDC, although it appears the real reasons
were economic nationalism and domestic politics ahead of the Nigerian
elections. Many South Africans attended schools in
Nigeria, and
Nelson Mandela several times
acknowledged the role of
Nigeria in the struggle against
In the 1980s, the anti-apartheid movements in the United States and
Europe were gaining support for boycotts against South Africa, for the
withdrawal of US firms from
South Africa and for the release of
South Africa was becoming an outlaw in the world community of
nations. Investing in
South Africa by Americans and others was coming
to an end and an active policy of disinvestment ensued.
Main article: Tricameral Parliament
In the early 1980s, Botha's National Party government started to
recognise the inevitability of the need to reform apartheid.
Early reforms were driven by a combination of internal violence,
international condemnation, changes within the National Party's
constituency, and changing demographics – whites
constituted only 16 percent of the total population, in comparison to
20 percent fifty years earlier.
In 1983, a new constitution was passed implementing what was called
the Tricameral Parliament, giving coloureds and Indians voting rights
and parliamentary representation in separate houses – the
House of Assembly (178 members) for whites, the House of
Representatives (85 members) for coloureds and the House of Delegates
(45 members) for Indians. Each House handled laws pertaining to
its racial group's "own affairs", including health, education and
other community issues. All laws relating to "general affairs"
(matters such as defence, industry, taxation and Black affairs) were
handled by a cabinet made up of representatives from all three houses.
However, the white chamber had a large majority on this cabinet,
ensuring that effective control of the country remained in white
hands. Blacks, although making up the majority of the
population, were excluded from representation; they remained nominal
citizens of their homelands. The first Tricameral elections were
largely boycotted by
Coloured and Indian voters, amid widespread
Reforms and contact with the ANC under Botha
Concerned over the popularity of Mandela, Botha denounced him as an
Marxist committed to violent revolution, but to appease black
opinion and nurture Mandela as a benevolent leader of blacks, the
government moved him from
Robben Island to
Pollsmoor Prison in a rural
area just outside Cape Town, where prison life was easier. The
government allowed Mandela more visitors, including visits and
interviews by foreigners, to let the world know that he was being
Black homelands were declared nation-states and pass laws were
abolished. Black labour unions were legitimised, the government
recognised the right of blacks to live in urban areas permanently and
gave blacks property rights there. Interest was expressed in
rescinding the law against interracial marriage and also rescinding
the law against sex between the races, which was under ridicule
abroad. The spending for black schools increased, to one-seventh of
what was spent per white child, up from on one-sixteenth in 1968. At
the same time, attention was given to strengthening the effectiveness
of the police apparatus.
In January 1985, Botha addressed the government's House of Assembly
and stated that the government was willing to release Mandela on
condition that Mandela pledge opposition to acts of violence to
further political objectives. Mandela's reply was read in public by
his daughter Zinzi – his first words distributed publicly
since his sentence to prison twenty-one years before. Mandela
described violence as the responsibility of the apartheid regime and
said that with democracy there would be no need for violence. The
crowd listening to the reading of his speech erupted in cheers and
chants. This response helped to further elevate Mandela's status in
the eyes of those, both internationally and domestically, who opposed
Between 1986 and 1988, some petty apartheid laws were repealed. Botha
told white South Africans to "adapt or die" and twice he wavered
on the eve of what were billed as "rubicon" announcements of
substantial reforms, although on both occasions he backed away from
substantial changes. Ironically, these reforms served only to trigger
intensified political violence through the remainder of the eighties
as more communities and political groups across the country joined the
resistance movement. Botha's government stopped short of substantial
reforms, such as lifting the ban on the ANC, PAC and SACP and other
liberation organisations, releasing political prisoners, or repealing
the foundation laws of grand apartheid. The government's stance was
that they would not contemplate negotiating until those organisations
By 1987, South Africa's economy was growing at one of the lowest rates
in the world, and the ban on South African participation in
international sporting events was frustrating many whites in South
Africa. Examples of African states with black leaders and white
minorities existed in Kenya and Zimbabwe. Whispers of
South Africa one
day having a black President sent more hardline whites into Rightist
parties. Mandela was moved to a four-bedroom house of his own, with a
swimming pool and shaded by fir trees, on a prison farm just outside
Cape Town. He had an unpublicised meeting with Botha. Botha impressed
Mandela by walking forward, extending his hand and pouring Mandela's
tea. The two had a friendly discussion, with Mandela comparing the
African National Congress' rebellion with that of the Afrikaner
rebellion and talking about everyone being brothers.
A number of clandestine meetings were held between the ANC-in-exile
and various sectors of the internal struggle, such as women and
educationalists. More overtly, a group of white intellectuals met the
Senegal for talks.
Presidency of F.W. de Klerk
De Klerk and Mandela in Davos, 1992
Early in 1989, Botha suffered a stroke; he was prevailed upon to
resign in February 1989. He was succeeded as president later that
year by F.W. de Klerk. Despite his initial reputation as a
conservative, de Klerk moved decisively towards negotiations to end
the political stalemate in the country. In his opening address to
parliament on 2 February 1990, de Klerk announced that he would repeal
discriminatory laws and lift the 30-year ban on leading anti-apartheid
groups such as the African National Congress, the Pan Africanist
South African Communist Party
South African Communist Party (SACP) and the United
Democratic Front. The Land Act was brought to an end. De Klerk also
made his first public commitment to release Nelson Mandela, to return
to press freedom and to suspend the death penalty. Media restrictions
were lifted and political prisoners not guilty of common law crimes
On 11 February 1990,
Nelson Mandela was released from Victor Verster
Prison after more than 27 years of confinement.
Having been instructed by the
UN Security Council
UN Security Council to end its
long-standing involvement in
South West Africa
South West Africa / Namibia, and in the
face of military stalemate in Southern Angola, and an escalation in
the size and cost of the combat with the Cubans, the Angolans, and
SWAPO forces and the growing cost of the border war, South Africa
negotiated a change of control;
Namibia became independent on 21 March
Main article: Negotiations to end apartheid in South Africa
Apartheid was dismantled in a series of negotiations from 1990 to
1991, culminating in a transitional period which resulted in the
country's 1994 general elections, the first in
South Africa held with
In 1990 negotiations were earnestly begun, with two meetings between
the government and the ANC. The purpose of the negotiations was to
pave the way for talks towards a peaceful transition towards majority
rule. These meetings were successful in laying down the preconditions
for negotiations, despite the considerable tensions still abounding
within the country.
Apartheid legislation was abolished in 1991.
At the first meeting, the NP and ANC discussed the conditions for
negotiations to begin. The meeting was held at Groote Schuur, the
President's official residence. They released the Groote Schuur
Minute, which said that before negotiations commenced political
prisoners would be freed and all exiles allowed to return.
There were fears that the change of power would be violent. To avoid
this, it was essential that a peaceful resolution between all parties
be reached. In December 1991, the Convention for a Democratic South
Africa (CODESA) began negotiations on the formation of a multiracial
transitional government and a new constitution extending political
rights to all groups. CODESA adopted a Declaration of Intent and
committed itself to an "undivided South Africa".
Reforms and negotiations to end apartheid led to a backlash among the
right-wing white opposition, leading to the Conservative Party winning
a number of by-elections against NP candidates. De Klerk responded by
calling a whites-only referendum in March 1992 to decide whether
negotiations should continue. A 68 per cent majority gave its support,
and the victory instilled in de Klerk and the government a lot more
confidence, giving the NP a stronger position in negotiations.
When negotiations resumed in May 1992, under the tag of CODESA II,
stronger demands were made. The ANC and the government could not reach
a compromise on how power should be shared during the transition to
democracy. The NP wanted to retain a strong position in a transitional
government, and the power to change decisions made by parliament.
Persistent violence added to the tension during the negotiations. This
was due mostly to the intense rivalry between the Inkatha Freedom
Party (IFP) and the ANC and the eruption of some traditional tribal
and local rivalries between the Zulu and Xhosa historical tribal
affinities, especially in the Southern Natal provinces. Although
Mandela and Buthelezi met to settle their differences, they could not
stem the violence. One of the worst cases of ANC-IFP violence was the
Boipatong massacre of 17 June 1992, when 200 IFP militants attacked
the Gauteng township of Boipatong, killing 45. Witnesses said that the
men had arrived in police vehicles, supporting claims that elements
within the police and army contributed to the ongoing violence.
Subsequent judicial inquiries found the evidence of the witnesses to
be unreliable or discredited, and that there was no evidence of
National Party or police involvement in the massacre. When de Klerk
visited the scene of the incident he was initially warmly welcomed,
but he was suddenly confronted by a crowd of protesters brandishing
stones and placards. The motorcade sped from the scene as police tried
to hold back the crowd. Shots were fired by the police, and the PAC
stated that three of its supporters had been gunned down.
Boipatong massacre offered the ANC a pretext to
engage in brinkmanship. Mandela argued that de Klerk, as head of
state, was responsible for bringing an end to the bloodshed. He also
accused the South African police of inciting the ANC-IFP violence.
This formed the basis for ANC's withdrawal from the negotiations, and
the CODESA forum broke down completely at this stage.
Bisho massacre on 7 September 1992 brought matters to a head. The
Ciskei Defence Force killed 29 people and injured 200 when they opened
fire on ANC marchers demanding the reincorporation of the Ciskei
homeland into South Africa. In the aftermath, Mandela and de Klerk
agreed to meet to find ways to end the spiralling violence. This led
to a resumption of negotiations.
Right-wing violence also added to the hostilities of this period. The
Chris Hani on 10 April 1993 threatened to plunge the
country into chaos. Hani, the popular general secretary of the South
African Communist Party (SACP), was assassinated in 1993 in Dawn Park
Johannesburg by Janusz Waluś, an anti-communist Polish refugee who
had close links to the white nationalist
(AWB). Hani enjoyed widespread support beyond his constituency in the
SACP and ANC and had been recognised as a potential successor to
Mandela; his death brought forth protests throughout the country and
across the international community, but ultimately proved a turning
point, after which the main parties pushed for a settlement with
increased determination. On 25 June 1993, the AWB used an
armoured vehicle to crash through the doors of the Kempton Park World
Trade Centre where talks were still going ahead under the Negotiating
Council, though this did not derail the process.
In addition to the continuing "black-on-black" violence, there were a
number of attacks on white civilians by the PAC's military wing, the
Azanian People's Liberation Army (APLA). The PAC was hoping to
strengthen their standing by attracting the support of the angry,
impatient youth. In the
St James Church massacre on 25 July 1993,
members of the APLA opened fire in a church in Cape Town, killing 11
members of the congregation and wounding 58.
In 1993 de Klerk and Mandela were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace
Prize "for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid
regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South
Violence persisted right up to the 1994 elections. Lucas Mangope,
leader of the
Bophuthatswana homeland, declared that it would not take
part in the elections. It had been decided that, once the temporary
constitution had come into effect, the homelands would be incorporated
into South Africa, but Mangope did not want this to happen. There were
strong protests against his decision, leading to a coup d'état in
Bophuthatswana on 10 March that deposed Mangope, despite the
intervention of white right-wingers hoping to maintain him in power.
Three AWB militants were killed during this intervention, and
harrowing images were shown on national television and in newspapers
across the world.
Two days before the elections, a car bomb exploded in Johannesburg,
killing nine. The day before the elections, another one went
off, injuring 13. At midnight on 26–27 April 1994 the old flag was
lowered, and the old (now co-official) national anthem Die Stem ("The
Call") was sung, followed by the raising of the new rainbow flag and
singing of the other co-official anthem,
Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika
Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika ("God
The new multicoloured flag of
South Africa adopted in 1994 to mark the
end of Apartheid
Main article: South African general election, 1994
The election was held on 27 April 1994 and went off peacefully
throughout the country as 20 million South Africans cast their votes.
There was some difficulty in organising the voting in rural areas, but
people waited patiently for many hours to vote amidst a palpable
feeling of goodwill. An extra day was added to give everyone the
chance. International observers agreed that the elections were free
and fair. The European Union's report on the election compiled at
the end of May 1994, published two years after the election,
criticised the Independent Electoral Commission's lack of preparedness
for the polls, the shortages of voting materials at many voting
stations, and the absence of effective safeguards against fraud in the
counting process. In particular, it expressed disquiet that "no
international observers had been allowed to be present at the crucial
stage of the count when party representatives negotiated over disputed
ballots." This meant that both the electorate and the world were
"simply left to guess at the way the final result was achieved."
The ANC won 62.65 percent of the vote, less than the 66.7
percent that would have allowed it to rewrite the constitution. 252 of
the 400 seats went to members of the African National Congress. The NP
captured most of the white and coloured votes and became the official
opposition party. As well as deciding the national government, the
election decided the provincial governments, and the ANC won in seven
of the nine provinces, with the NP winning in the
Western Cape and the
IFP in KwaZulu-Natal. On 10 May 1994, Mandela was sworn in as South
Africa's president. The Government of National Unity was established,
its cabinet made up of 12 ANC representatives, six from the NP, and
three from the IFP.
Thabo Mbeki and de Klerk were made deputy
The anniversary of the elections, 27 April, is celebrated as a public
holiday known as Freedom Day.
The following individuals, who had previously supported apartheid,
made public apologies:
F. W. de Klerk: "I apologise in my capacity as leader of the NP to the
millions who suffered wrenching disruption of forced removals; who
suffered the shame of being arrested for pass law offences; who over
the decades suffered the indignities and humiliation of racial
Marthinus van Schalkwyk: "The National Party brought development to a
section of South Africa, but also brought suffering through a system
grounded on injustice", in a statement shortly after the National
Party voted to disband.
Adriaan Vlok washed the feet of apartheid victim
Frank Chikane in an
act of apology for the wrongs of the
Leon Wessels: "I am now more convinced than ever that apartheid was a
terrible mistake that blighted our land. South Africans did not listen
to the laughing and the crying of each other. I am sorry that I had
been so hard of hearing for so long".
South Africa portal
Apartheid in international law
Apartheid legislation in South Africa
Africa Hinterland (arms smuggling operation)
Apartheid in art and literature
Born a Crime
Chris Barnard (executioner)
Day of Reconciliation
Disinvestment from South Africa
Foreign relations of
South Africa during apartheid
Israel and the apartheid analogy
J. B. M. Hertzog
Jim Crow laws
Legacies of apartheid
Liberation before education
Music in the movement against apartheid
Paris Peace Conference, 1919#Japanese approach
United Democratic Front (South Africa)
Truth and Reconciliation Commission (South Africa)
White Australia policy
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Publishers. p. 106.
^ Brecher, Michael; Wilkenfeld, Jonathan (1997). A study of crisis,
Part 443. University of Michigan Press. p. 477.
^ a b c d Hanlon, Joseph (1986). Beggar your neighbours: apartheid
power in Southern Africa. James Currey Publishers. p. 27.
^ Heitman, Helmoed-R. (1990). War in Angola: the final South African
phase. Ashanti Pub. p. 10.
^ Watson, Wendy (2007). Brick by brick: an informal guide to the
history of South Africa. New Africa Books.
^ Purkitt, Helen E.; Burgess, Stephen Franklin (2005). South Africa's
weapons of mass destruction. Indiana University Press. p. 152.
^ Gale Research (1995). Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations: Africa.
Gale Research. p. 292.
^ International Peace Academy. (1988). Southern Africa in crisis:
regional and international responses. BRILL. p. 62.
^ Truth and Reconciliation Commission (1998). Truth and Reconciliation
South Africa report. The Commission. p. 498.
^ "Interview with Pik Botha". 20 May 1997.
^ Lisbon Conference of the
African National Congress
African National Congress (March 1977).
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Special Type". Archived from the original on 14 July
2007. Retrieved 28 December 2007.
^ Fox, William; Fourie, Marius; Van Wyk, Belinda (1998). Police
Management in South Africa. Juta and Company Limited. p. 167.
^ Anzovin, Steven (1987). South Africa: apartheid and divestiture.
H.W. Wilson Co. p. 80. ISBN 978-0-8242-0749-6.
^ Foster, Don; Davis, Dennis (1987). Detention & torture in South
Africa: psychological, legal & historical studies. Currey. p. 18.
^ "Political executions in
South Africa by the apartheid government
1961 – 1989". South African History Online. Retrieved 10 May
^ Pomeroy, William J. (1986). Apartheid, imperialism, and African
freedom. International Publishers. p. 226.
^ Legum, Colin (1989). Africa contemporary record: annual survey and
documents, Volume 20. Africana Pub. Co. p. 668.
^ McKendrick, Brian; Hoffmann, Wilman (1990). People and violence in
South Africa. Oxford University Press. p. 62.
^ Blond, Rebecca; Fitzpatrick, Mary (2004). South Africa, Lesotho
& Swaziland. Lonely Planet. p. 40.
^ Volume Five – Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa
^ a b Nigel, Worden, The making of modern South Africa: Conquest,
Segregation and Apartheid, 3rd ed. (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Ltd,
2000) p. 3.
^ Philip Boner, Peter, Delius, Deborah, Posel, "The Shaping of
Apartheid, contradiction, continuity and popular struggle", The Worlds
Knowledge, (1993) pp. 1–47 (p. 6.)
^ Philip Boner, Peter, Delius, Deborah, Posel, "The Shaping of
Apartheid, contradiction, continuity and popular struggle", The Worlds
Knowledge, (1993) pp. 1–47 (p. 7.)
^ a b Paul, Maylam, "The Rise and Decline of Urban
Apartheid in South
Africa", African Affairs, 89.354(1990) pp. 57–84 (p. 54.)
^ a b Dubow, Saul, "
Apartheid and the
conceptualisation of 'Race'", The Journal of African History, 33(1992)
pp. 209–237 (pp. 209, 211)
^ L.H, Gann, "Apartheids Genesis 1935–1962", Business Library,
(1994) pp. 1–6. (p. 1.)
^ Legasick, Martin (1974). "Legislation, Ideology and Economy in
Post-1948 South Africa". Journal of South African Studies. 1 (1):
^ Giliomee, Hermann (1995). "Democratization in South Africa".
Political Science Quarterly.
^ Weymouth Genova, Ann (2007). Oil and Nationalism in Nigeria,
1970–1980. ProQuest. p. 123. ISBN 978-0-549-26666-2.
Retrieved 11 April 2012. Weymouth Genova covers the possibility
of Nigerian oil going to
South Africa in detail from page 113. Heavily
laden tankers have to respect the ocean currents which means they
travel clockwise around Africa; oil for
South Africa would likely come
from the Middle East rather than West Africa.
Nigeria had been taking
over other oil marketing companies to reduce price differentials
across the country; they needed to fill a budget shortfall due to low
oil prices and had a history of disputes with BP and the British
government so BP assets were seized when Shell's stake in SPDC was
^ Weymouth Genova, Ann (2007). Oil and Nationalism in Nigeria,
1970–1980. ProQuest. p. 171. ISBN 978-0-549-26666-2.
Retrieved 11 April 2012.
^ Knox, Colin; Quirk, Pádraic (2000). Peace building in Northern
Israel and South Africa: transition, transformation and
reconciliation. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 151.
^ Beinart, William (2001). Twentieth-century South Africa. Oxford
University Press. p. 202. ISBN 978-0-19-289318-5.
^ Taylor & Francis Group (2004). Europa World Year Book 2, Book 2.
Taylor & Francis. p. 3841.
^ Taylor, Paul (23 December 1993). "S. Africa Approves Charter;
White-Led Parliament Votes for Constitution Canceling Its Powers." The
^ Wople, Harold (1990). Race, class & the apartheid state. Africa
World Press. p. 93. ISBN 978-0-86543-142-3.
^ Marais, D. (1989). South Africa: constitutional development, a
multi-disciplinary approach. Southern Book Publishers. p. 258.
^ Lötter, Hennie P. P. (1997). Injustice, violence and peace: the
case of South Africa. Rodopi. p. 49. ISBN 978-90-420-0264-7.
^ "Cops fight crowds at S. Africa elections." Philadelphia Daily News.
28 August 1984.
^ South Africa: Adapt or Die. Time.
^ Lieberfeld, Daniel (2002). "Evaluating the Contributions of
Track-two Diplomacy to Conflict Termination in South Africa,
1984–90". Journal of Peace Research. 39 (3): 355–372.
^ Roherty, James Michael (1992). State security in South Africa:
civil-military relations under P.W. Botha. M.E. Sharpe. p. 23.
^ Macleod, Scott (7 July 1992). "Enemies: Black vs. Black vs. White".
^ "Turning Points in History Book 6: Negotiation, Transition and
Freedom". Archived from the original on 9 March 2008. Retrieved 3
^ Kemp, Arthur (2008). Victory Or Violence – The Story of the Awb of
South Africa. Lulu.com. pp. 165–166. ISBN 978-1-4092-0187-8.
Nobel Peace Prize
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original on 20 June 2006. Retrieved 27 April 2007.
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^ Truth and reconciliation commission. "New cut-off date opens amnesty
doors for pre-election bombers". South African Department of Justice
and Constitutional Development. Retrieved 13 July 2008.
^ Deegan, Heather (2001). The politics of the new South Africa:
apartheid and after. Pearson Education. p. 194.
^ Jeffery, A. People's War: New Light on the Struggle for South
Africa. Jonathan Ball.
^ "Elections '94". Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). Archived
from the original on 28 June 2008. Retrieved 13 July 2008.
^ Lijphart, Arend. "Spotlight Three: South Africa's 1994 Elections".
FairVote. Retrieved 13 July 2008.
^ De Klerk apologises again for apartheid. South African Press
Association. 14 May 1997.
^ Meldrum, Andrew (11 April 2005).
Apartheid party bows out with
apology. The Guardian.
^ Macharia, James (11 April 2005).
South Africa apartheid party votes
to dissolve. The Boston Globe.
^ "Mr Adrian Vlok extends gesture of penance to Rev Frank Chikane,
Director-General in the Presidency". South African Government
Information. 28 August 2006. Archived from the original on 28 August
2009. Retrieved 22 February 2009.
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Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
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Southern Africa. London, 1985.
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Davies, Rob, Dan O'Meara and Sipho Dlamini. The Struggle For South
Africa: A reference guide to movements, organisations and institution.
Volume Two. London: Zed Books, 1984
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for blacks. As one woman said, 'I've gone from a shack to a
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