The Ending of White Minority Rule in South Africa Essay

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The Ending of White Minority Rule in South Africa

Apartheid was a major historical event, and perhaps the biggest event in South Africa’s history. Apartheid is a policy of racial segregation, the word means ‘separateness’ in Afrikaans. It was introduced in 1948 by the white minority and made sure that the whites were superior in every possible way. However, the whites ruled over the blacks before this, using them as slaves for agricultural work and mining during the 1800s, and such racism was not new.

Apartheid did not last for fifty years, and it was officially abolished in 1994. This was because the black people fought back, the most memorable and famous black person to do so being a man
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The trial did not end until 1961 but he, and all the other defendants were found not guilty. After the Sharpeville massacre, the ANC and PAC (Pan-African Congress) were both banned. These two organisations then turned their thoughts to more violent means of protest – the ANC’s group was named ‘Umkhonto we Sizwe’, meaning ‘Spear of the Nation’ or MK for short. The commander-in-chief of this guerrilla army was Mandela. MK bombed government buildings and other targets such as pass offices, post offices and electricity pylons.

Mandela was put on trial in 1962 for visiting other countries and drumming up support; for this he was charged with five years imprisonment. Later in the same year, the government passed a new law known as the Sabotage Act. This meant anyone found guilty of sabotage could be sentenced to death. Mandela was one of several accused of sabotage at the Rivonia Trial in October 1963. Here, the police produced evidence of a campaign of sabotage planned at Rivonia HQ. Mandela, who knew he was facing a life sentence no matter how good his defence, gave in and admitted to planning acts of sabotage and helping to set up MK. This courtroom was also the setting of his four and a half hour statement, which some said was a ‘milestone in South African history’. Mandela was inevitably handed his life sentence along with some other defendants. But, with Mandela in jail, could
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