Essay on Politics and Apartheid in South Africa

Essay on Politics and Apartheid in South Africa

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Politics and Apartheid
Bloodshot eyes and skin stretched over bones, these people were living skeletons. These people can attribute their misfortune due to the state of politics in South Africa, which was prejudice against dark skinned people ran as rampant as disease and poverty. Due to politics working against dark-skinned people beginning three years after South Africa gained its independence, apartheid was established and fought for by racists and fought by activists until it was ended in 1991. The story of Kaffir Boy filled with personal insight and memories provides information on how apartheid made it legal for dark skinned to be discriminated against and the people politics involved with beginning and ending it, as well as the author’s role of ending apartheid.
Legal segregation began in 1913, only three years after South Africa gained its independence. Poverty struck when the Great Depression and the aftershocks of World War II took their toll, and needing a scapegoat fingers were pointed to the black Africans. In 1948, the Afrikaner National Party won the election and apartheid began in 1950 with the Population Registration Act. (history.com) During the events of the book, apartheid is in full swing. The author’s parents must carry around passes that they can’t afford to keep in date and do their best to acquire jobs in the places where they are permitted. There are often raids done on the town to ‘cleanse’ them- leaving many children without parents and any way to earn a meager living to support even the most basic needs for life. The author Mark was a part of the eighty percent of the population that was oppressed because of their dark skin color. He was blessed with the fact that all of his family was ...


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...rue state of affairs. Some required more convincing than others, but in the end, Mark utilized his unique situation of being in contact with those of lighter skin and more political power to spread awareness to make a difference.

“In 1953, the Public Safety Act and the Criminal Law Amendment Act were passed, which empowered the government to declare stringent states of emergency and increased penalties for protesting against or supporting the repeal of a law. The penalties included fines, imprisonment and whippings. In 1960, a large group of blacks in Sharpeville refused to carry their passes; the government declared a state of emergency. The emergency lasted for 156 days, leaving 69 people dead and 187 people wounded. Wielding the Public Safety Act and the Criminal Law Amendment Act, the white regime had no intention of changing the unjust laws of apartheid.”

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