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Apartheid

Apartheid (Miscellaneous)

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Apartheid—meaning separateness in Afrikaans (which is cognate to the English apart and -hood)—was a system of legal racial segregation enforced by the National Party government in South Africa between 1948 (71 years ago) and early 1994 (25 years ago).

Racial segregation in South Africa began in colonial times, but Apartheid as an official policy was introduced following the general election of 1948 (71 years ago). New legislation classified inhabitants into racial groups ("black", "white", "coloured", and "Indian"), and residential areas were segregated by means of forced removals. From 1958 (61 years ago), Blacks were deprived of their citizenship, legally becoming citizens of one of ten tribally based self-governing homelands called bantustans, four of which became nominally independent states. The government segregated education, medical care, and other public services, and provided black people with services inferior to those of whites.

Apartheid sparked significant internal resistance. A series of popular uprisings and protests were met with the banning of opposition and imprisoning of anti-apartheid leaders. As unrest spread and became more violent, state organizations responded with increasing repression and state-sponsored violence.

Reforms to Apartheid in the 1980 (39 years ago) failed to quell the mounting opposition, and in 1990 (29 years ago) President Frederik Willem de Klerk began negotiations to end Apartheid, culminating in multi-racial democratic elections in 1994 (25 years ago), which were won by the African National Congress under Nelson Mandela. The vestiges of Apartheid still shape South African politics and society.


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