chapter 2 - BEFORE YOU READ Apartheid is a political system...

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B EFORE YOU R EAD • ‘Apartheid’ is a political system that separates people according to their race. Can you say which of the three countries named below had such a political system until very recently? (i) North America (ii) South Africa (iii) Australia • Have you heard of Nelson Mandela? Mandela, and his African National Congress, spent a lifetime fighting against apartheid. Mandela had to spend thirty years in prison. Finally, democratic elections were held in South Africa in 1994, and Mandela became the first black President of a new nation. In this extract from his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom , Mandela speaks about a historic occasion, ‘the inauguration’. Can you guess what the occasion might be? Check your guess with this news item (from the BBC) of 10 May 1994. Mandela Becomes South Africa’s First Black President Nelson Mandela has become South Africa’s first Black President after more than three centuries of white rule. Mr Mandela’s African National Congress (ANC) party won 252 of the 400 seats in the first democratic elections of South Africa’s history. The inauguration ceremony took place in the Union Buildings amphitheatre in Pretoria today, attended by politicians and dignitaries from more than 140 countries around the world. “Never, never again will this beautiful land experience the oppression of one by another, ” said Nelson Mandela in his address. … Jubilant scenes on the streets of Pretoria followed the ceremony with blacks, whites and coloureds celebrating together. .. More than 100,000 South African men, women and children of all races sang and danced with joy.
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17 Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (i) A rainbow gathering of different colours and nations (ii) The seat of white supremacy (iii) Be overwhelmed with a sense of history (iv) Resilience that defies the imagination (v) A glimmer of humanity (vi) A twilight existence – A great ability (almost unimaginable) to remain unchanged by suffering (not losing hope, goodness or courage) – A half-secret life, like a life lived in the fading light between sunset and darkness – A sign of human feeling (goodness, kindness, pity, justice, etc.) – A beautiful coming together of various peoples, like the colours in a rainbow – The centre of racial superiority – Feel deeply emotional, remembering and understanding all the past events that have led up to the moment T ENTH May dawned bright and clear. For the past few days I had been pleasantly besieged by dignitaries and world leaders who were coming to pay their respects before the inauguration. The inauguration would be the largest gathering ever of international leaders on South African soil. The ceremonies took place in the lovely sandstone amphitheatre formed by the Union Buildings in Pretoria. For decades this had been the seat of white supremacy, and now it was the site of a rainbow gathering of different colours and nations for the installation of South Africa’s first democratic, non-racial government.
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chapter 2 - BEFORE YOU READ Apartheid is a political system...

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