separate educational standards, restricted each race to certain types of jobs, curtailed nonwhite labour unions, and denied nonwhite participation (through white representatives) in the national government. Under the Bantu Authorities Act of 1951 the government reestablished tribal organizations for black Africans, and the Promotion of Bantu Self-Government Act of 1959 created 10 African homelands, or Bantustans . The Bantu Homelands Citizenship Act of 1970 made every black South African, irrespective of actual residence, a citizen of one of the Bantustans, thereby excluding blacks from the South African body politic . Four of the Bantustans were granted independence as republics, and the remaining had varying degrees of self-government; but all remained dependent, both
politically and economically, on South Africa. The dependence of the South African economy on nonwhite labour, though, made it difficult for the government to carry out this policy of separate development. Although the government had the power to suppress virtually all criticism of its policies, there was always some opposition to apartheid within South Africa. Black African groups, with the support of some whites, held demonstrations and strikes, and there were many instances of violent protest and of sabotage . One of the first—and most violent—demonstrations against apartheid took place in Sharpeville on March 21, 1960; the police response to the protesters’ actions was to open fire, killing about 69 black Africans and wounding many more. An attempt to enforce Afrikaans language requirements for black African students led to the Soweto riots in 1976. Some white politicians called for the relaxation of minor restrictions, referred to as “petty apartheid,” or for the establishment of racial equality.
Nelson Mandela The South African activist and former president Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) helped bring an end to apartheid and has been a global advocate for human rights. A member of the African National Congress party beginning in the 1940s, he was a leader of both peaceful protests and armed. He was a leading member of the African National Congress (ANC), which opposed South Africa’s white minority government and its policy of racial separation known as apartheid . The government outlawed the ANC in 1960. Mandela was captured and jailed in 1962, and in 1964 he was convicted of treason and sentenced to life in prison. He began serving the sentence as prisoner number 46664 on Robben Island, near Cape Town. But instead of disappearing from view, Mandela became a prison-bound martyr and worldwide symbol of resistance to racism. South African President F.W. de Klerk finally lifted the ban on the ANC and released Mandela in 1990. Nelson Mandela used his stature to help dismantle apartheid and form a new multi-racial democracy, and he and de Klerk shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 .
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- South African Native National Congress