The Role of Nelson Mandela in Ending Apartheid in South Africa

796 Words4 Pages
Nelson Mandela’s role in bringing Apartheid to an end was very

important, however, there were many other factors that contributed to

the ending of Apartheid.

The African National Congress, also known as the ANC, was a major

factor in ending Apartheid. Even when the ANC became illegal in South

Africa it moved to continue its work against Apartheid. In 1940 Dr.

A. B. Xuma became president of the ANC; he rescued a struggling

organisation. In 1944 he reorganised it, out its finances onto a

secure footing and attracted some able, young, new members who formed

the ANC’s Youth League. These new members consisted of of Nelson

Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Oliver Tambo who all greatly helped bring

Apartheid to an end. By 1848, thanks to the Youth League, the ANC was

ready to give more effective leadership to black resistance than ever


Other black organisations such as the PAC, UDF and COSATU also

contributed to bringing Apartheid to an end. However, these

organisations were not as influential as the ANC of which Mandela was

a member.

There were many individuals who helped to end Apartheid in South

Africa. Together these individuals were extremely important, although

individually Nelson Mandela probably made the most progress. Winnie

Mandela, Mandela’s wife, fought for her husbands release from prison.

She came to symbolise defiance to white rule but in 1989 she was

implicated in the death of a Soweto boy and lost some of her

influence. Archbishop Desmond Tutu spoke out against injustice all

his life. He became an Anglican priest in 1961. In 1984 he won the

Nobel Peace Prize for work against Apartheid. F. W....

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... South Africa’s white


Nelson Mandela contributed largely to the ANC; he was a main

individual in the struggle against Apartheid and devoted his life to

fighting for his beliefs. However, I do not believe that Mandela was

the most important factor in ending Apartheid. I think that the mass

protests were extremely important in ending Apartheid and I feel they

were more so than Mandela. Another factor I believe to have been more

influential than Nelson Mandela was the trading boycotts because

without South Africa’s trade market money would become a problem.

Mandela was, though, probably more important than pressure from white

liberals in South Africa and neighbouring states. On the whole

Mandela’s work largely contributed to the end of Apartheid yet I do

not believe he was the most important factor.

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