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408 Experience of Apartheid and Its Demise

408 Experience of Apartheid and Its Demise - The End of...

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The End of Apartheid (sa2) 1. The African National Congress (ANC) The leading anti-Apartheid group in South Africa since its founding in 1912 was the African National Congress (ANC). The founders of the ANC were strongly influenced by Gandhi, who had led protests of Indians in South Africa against discrimination. (The designation African National Congress was taken from the Indian National Congress, known now as Congress.) The ANC always embraced a non-racial platform, arguing that all South Africans of whatever ethnic origins should enjoy the same rights. While the vast majority of its leaders and members are black, it always had white supporters and leaders. Until the Nationalist victory in 1948, the ANC was primarily a middle-class organization which, following the precedent of nineteenth-century Great Britain, sought gradual extension of suffrage. 2. The ANC and the Communists In the early 1920s, the South African Communist Party did not consider black Africans to be part of the proletariat and was a party of the white working class. Things soon changed and the ANC came to enjoy a good working relationship with the small, largely white, and, long outlawed South African Communist Party, the only other party in South Africa consistently to support the ANC's goal of a nonracial South Africa. This connection between the ANC and the Communists was crucial in efforts by white South Africans and their allies in the United States to demonize the ANC. The 1950 "Suppression of Communism" act was a primary means of repressing dissent since it enrolled the support of the Cold War for Apartheid while allowing the Minister of Justice to punish suspects without a trial or even stating a reason. Although Nelson Mandela was not a member of a Marxist group, he was arrested and condemned under this act. (a) While the South African Communists were a largely white organization, they were the only "white" party to accept blacks as equals. The leader of the South African Communist Party at the end of Apartheid era was Chris Hani, a black and an individual second only to Mandela in popularity in South Africa at the time of his assassination by white racists in 1993. (b) While the West openly or tacitly supported the white South African government, Communist nations supported the ANC. Nelson Mandela did not forget this; his salute to Castro after the end of Apartheid (which understandably angered the Cuban community in Miami) was his recognition that Castro's Cuba had steadfastly supported the ANC's struggle over the years.
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3. The Sharpeville Massacre and After
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408 Experience of Apartheid and Its Demise - The End of...

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