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IN History & Culture ON 22 Jun, 2015
'Apartheid' was lawfully enforced by the National Party (NP), the governing party of South Africa from 1948 to 1994. The word 'Apartheid' means apart-hood in Afrikaans, the official language of South Africa, i.e. "the state of being apart". It was passed by legislation by the National party to racially discriminate the native Africans and the Europeans. Apartheid was brought into existence after the World War II by the National Party and Broederbond organization. It was also enforced in South-West Africa, until 1990, when it gained independence as Namibia. The legislation passed by the National party divided the inhabitants into four racial groups, namely the 'Whites', 'Blacks', 'Colored' and 'Indians'. The 'Colored' and 'Indians' were subdivided into many other groups and were forced to live in segregated homes. From 1960 to 1983, about 3.5 million people were forced to leave their homes and move to a segregated neighborhood with their races. It was the one of the largest mass removal in modern history.
In 1970, the Non-whites were not allowed to enter politics and the Blacks were deprived of their citizenship. Rules were different for different races. The blacks were then made the citizens of ten tribal self-governed homelands called 'Bantustans'. The government segregated hospitals, schools, public washrooms, buses, trains, beaches under Apartheid.The facilities given to the Blacks were generally inferior to the those given to the Whites.
Time to time, Apartheid was opposed by the natives. They sat in compartments reserved for Whites, sat in the benches reserved for Whites in parks and did protest rallies to show their disapproval towards Apartheid.
Apartheid was supported and practiced at all the public places by the South African government in all the Government properties and offices.
Children's Parks were racially segregated all over the country. Many such ponds and swings were exclusive to the White European children only.
Signboards were installed at city entrances warning the people to stay safe and cautious from the native Blacks.
There were separate parks for White and Non-White men and women. Park entrance gates carried signboards regarding the races allowed inside.
Taxi and bus services were also different for the different races. Those provided to the Whites were much better in state than those of the Blacks and Coloreds.
Many beaches were also reserved for the Whites only.
Parks and lawns were reserved for European women to walk around with their babies.
Apartheid provoked internal resistance between the people and many natives as well as politicians were also punished and killed for opposing Apartheid.
Olof Palme, Sweden's Prime Minister said 'Apartheid cannot be reformed; It has to be eliminated.' In February 1986, he was murdered a week later.
Tests were done to categorize people into Whites/Blacks/Colored or Indians, based on facial features, skin color and appearance of head (and other) hair.
The 'Pencil Test' mandated that if an individual could hold a pencil in their hair and shook their head without the pencil falling, they could not be classified as White.
The Petty Apartheid of South Africa refrained the people from inter-racial marriages, 'unlawful racial intercourse' or 'any immoral or indecent act'.
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