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South African Apartheid

Apartheid dominated the society of South Africa up until 1990. Blacks were banned from certain areas and forced to use inferior facilities as those of whites. This cultural separation brought on many bad feelings from black South Africans, and much of this resentment is still prevalent in today’s society despite the fact that it was since ended by white South Africans who were sick of the system.

Cultural separation

The apartheid government prior to 1990 believed that it was of utmost importance to separate the cultures of blacks and whites. Interracial relationships were strictly prohibited and often resulted in imprisonment. There were also many buildings, public facilities, and restaurants that were off limits to black people. Instead of embracing cultural differences, the old apartheid government alienated white people from blacks.

The end of apartheid

Pressure from the world started to mount more and more during the eighties. People from other countries came to South Africa to rally against the injustice of apartheid. Many companies boycotted South Africa and even certain sporting events excluded the country from participation. Because of this pressure, it was becoming more and more evident that the world—and white South Africans—wanted change. In 1990 president FW de Klerk started negotiations to end apartheid once and for all. This also resulted in the freeing of political prisoner Nelson Mandela and allowing him to become politically active once more.

Who ended apartheid?

Many of those who still believe that apartheid was a good system believe that apartheid was ended by FW de Klerk; and that he went against the wishes of the country. However, they fail to realize that it was the white people of South Africa who had had enough of apartheid and wanted change. This anti-apartheid attitude came due to a moral dilemma: why should people be treated differently based on the colour of their skin? In the end, it was white South Africans who went against the idea of apartheid, and voted in favour of complete political freedom.

Whether or not the black government have acted morally since their rise to power is inconsequential to the 1993 decision of many white South Africans. To them, the apartheid system was morally flawed and had to end. The people of South Africa now have a right to vote into power whoever they choose. This democratic system does still have some flaws, but it is a far cry from what it was before 1990.


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