How Successful Were the Methods Used to Fight Apartheid in South Africa?
How Successful were the Methods used to Fight Apartheid in South Africa? This essay will be discussing Apartheid and what methods were used to fight it, also whether they were successful or not. The word Apartheid is an Afrikaans word for apart or separateness. This was a law put in place by an Afrikaans Prime Minister called Dr. Daniel Malan, Dr. Malan put this law in place in 1948 to keep the Afrikaans race pure of any Black or Coloured blood, and there was always separation between blacks and whites but this law made it legal and legitimate.
Apartheid was generally just a different approach to segregation. Blacks and Coloureds were not allowed to do certain things that they could do before the apartheid. As time went on the Apartheid laws got worse and worse because the White race had to keep in control over the black population even though the white were in major minority, such as the Group Areas Act (1950) this law divided South Africa into different areas based on race White people had larger more fertile areas when Black and Coloureds were forced into small shanty towns.
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Another law that was constantly resisted was the Native Act (1952) which was every non- white person at the age of 16 and over had to carry a pass book, this had 96 pages with all sorts of information but the most important was the page that states the owners, job, name, fingerprint and race. If a non-white person was found without their pass book would be arrested. There were many Black and Coloured South African people who hated apartheid and fought it in many ways and different methods. (aylett 8-10).
One method of fighting apartheid was demonstrations, such as the one at Sharpeville. On March 21st there was an anti-pass demonstration in the small township of Sharpeville, a crowd of black citizens grouped around the police office to protest. It was uncertain whether the crowd was violent or peaceful but it was certain that in the afternoon the large and excited crowd was confronted by 75 white police men with automatic guns and a Saracen moored car. Suddenly the officers open fire on the crowd. 67 black Africans died and 186 were wounded.
This means that the actual method of the anti-pass demonstration was not successful but the repercussions of the massacre were large and photos were published in newspapers all around the world. Others countries were appalled by the damage apartheid caused, the UN asked South Africa to abandon Apartheid but the South African government refused and insisted that apartheid was good for the black citizens. Another demonstration was on March 28th were ANC (African National Congress) organized a protest day were many people stayed home from work and then ended with a mass burning of the passes.
Also another protest was in Cape Town were thirty thousand people marched through the city. Another method of fighting Apartheid was creating organizations that were for black civil rights. The African National Congress was an organization the fought that discrimination against black civil rights, this group was created in1912 to unite the different tribes of black Africans so they could fight white dominancy as a combined force, Coloureds and Indians were not included in this organization. When the Apartheid laws were put in place the ANC (African National Congress) jumped to attention.
On May 1 1950 the ANC organized a ‘Freedom Day’ when black workers went on strike to protest Apartheid. This was not successful in ending Apartheid because the white government did not want this to happen again so they created the Suppression of Communism Act, this act meant that anyone found guilty of communist behavior could be sent to jail for up to ten years. In 1952 the ANC and Indian Congress reacted by creating the ‘defiance campaign ‘ which targeted six laws the two organizations thought unjust including the law above.
By the end of 1952, 8065 protesters were arrested and sent to jail. The defiance campaign ended in 1953 and was not successful in ending Apartheid but it did have a major effect on the ANC; 3000 members joined the ANC during these protests. (aylett 14-15) Nelson Mandela was a very important person in fighting Apartheid because he was a leader to black people as the ANC volunteer leader and part of the first black law firm in South Africa. He also created a new method of fighting Apartheid.
Before the Massacre at Sharpeville peacefully and non-violent methods had been used to fight Apartheid but the Youth League did not think these methods were improving anything and moving too slowly for their liking. So violent methods were introduced to the now secret ANC organization and a new organization was created called Umkhonto we Sizwe or MK for short. The methods were to blow up buildings to do with the government like post offices, pass offices and electricity pylons making sure there were no people in them.
Mandela left South Africa to recruit supports of the MK and when he came back to South Africa he was immediately arrested and accused of sabotage which Mandela admitted to doing. At the trial Nelson Mandela did not go out without a fight at his trial he had a four and an half hour speech. This method was a failure because Apartheid did not end and Nelson Mandela was sent to jail for life but it was in some way a success because the government is taking them seriously also thousands of people all over the world did not want Mandela to go to jail and protested for Mandela’s release.
Another method for fighting apartheid was sanctions this is when some countries cut off South Africa from international events and games because the deplorable actions taking place there during Apartheid. Sanctions were however not very efficient of successful because some countries did not take part in these sanction, only because they depended on South African goods for everyday life. Also South Africa with its many functions was almost self-sufficient so sanctions did not affect Apartheid that deeply.
The only success in this method is that it put more pressure on the white government. Violence was a huge part of Apartheid in 1985-86 the violence in South Africa was incredible it became so bad that a state of emergency was declared on the country. Most of the violence occurred in townships, large black slums, when the police appeared. Violence was not a planned method of fighting Apartheid but it certainly was successful because the white government by this point had completely lost control of the black populace. And by doing so was slowly losing the fight of Apartheid.
In conclusion none of these methods worked the only thing that truly ended Apartheid is when the white government decided to actually talk to nelson Mandela and other ANC leaders about Apartheid . Once a new Governor was elected petty Apartheid was out lawed and Nelson Mandela was released from jail. Still discussions proceeded until December 1993 a TEC was set up until the initial elections started this council included blacks and whites and Apartheid had ended. In May of 1993 Nelson Mandela was the first black president of South Africa. Words: 1210