Nelson Mandela & the Fight Against Apartheid (2022)

To the Teacher:

Nelson Mandela's deathon December 5, 2013,is beingmarked by peoplearound the world. Mandela,the former president of the Republic of South Africa and Nobel Peace laureate,spent more than 40 years—27 of them in prison—as a central figure in the struggle against South Africa's brutal and restrictive racial regime called apartheid. In 1994, shortly after the fall of apartheid, Mandela was elected President of South Africa in a multiracial, democratic election, making him the country's first black president.

Mandelahas been an inspirational figure to people around the world—especially to proponents of racial justice and equality. In addition to being an icon of resistance and perseverance, Mandela was also a symbol of peace, having presided over the transition from apartheid to multiracial democracy and having pursued a plan of national reconciliation.

This exercise invites students to think about the history of apartheid in South Africa, the long struggle against it, and Nelson Mandela's legacy as a leader in that struggle. The first reading provides an historical overview of the apartheid system, the origins of the African National Congress, and the freedom struggle against apartheid. This reading describes Mandela's role as an anti-apartheid activist. The second reading examines the fall of apartheid in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the transition to multiracial democracy, and the opening of Nelson Mandela's presidency—particularly his establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Questions for discussion follow each reading.

Following the readings, this lesson includes an extended research and critical thinking activity. Students are invited to do independent or group research on the Jim Crow system of segregation that long prevailed in the American South and to compare and contrast it with South African apartheid.


Student Reading 1:
Apartheid and Its Opponents

Although Europeans first colonized what is now the country of South Africa in the middle of the 17th century, it was not until the 1948 election of the Afrikaner-led National Party that the system of apartheid—with which the nation of South Africa came to be so closely associated for the second half of the 20th century—was formally instated. While this strict system of racial classification and segregation drew on a variety of existing measures that had limited the rights of non-whites, the 1950s saw a dramatic expansion of discriminatory laws.

Under apartheid, the South African population was divided into four distinct racial groups: white (including Afrikaners, who speak a Germanic language called Afrikaans), black, colored, and Indian. Strict residential, economic, and social segregation was enforced on the basis of these racial categories. Non-whites were not allowed to vote in national election. Moreover, apartheid saw the institution of the "homeland system," in which the government sought to establish separate states for members of each of the country's many black ethnic groups. This often involved the forced removal of families from their original homes to the newly-created "bantustans" (or ethnic states). In other cases, it meant breaking up interracial and inter-ethnic families. While non-whites were confined to squalid ghettoes with few decent educational and employment opportunities, whites were afforded the basic privileges of life in a democracy.

In a 1955 article, Nelson Mandela—then a leading activist in the growing fight against apartheid—described the horrors of the system and the brutal means by which it was enforced:

The breaking up of African homes and families and the forcible separation of children from mothers, the harsh treatment meted out to African prisoners, and the forcible detention of Africans in farm colonies for spurious statutory offenses are a few examples of the actual workings of the hideous and pernicious doctrines of racial inequality. To these can be added scores of thousands of foul misdeeds committed against the people by the government: the denial to the non-European people of the elementary rights of free citizenship; the expropriation of the people from their lands and homes to assuage the insatiable appetites of European land barons and industrialists; the flogging and calculated murder of African laborers by European farmers in the countryside for being "cheeky to the baas"; the vicious manner in which African workers are beaten up by the police and flung into jails when they down tools to win their demands; the fostering of contempt and hatred for non-Europeans; the fanning of racial prejudice between whites and non-whites, between the various non-white groups; the splitting of Africans into small hostile tribal units; the instigation of one group or tribe against another; the banning of active workers from the people`s organizations, and their confinement into certain areas.

Because of the injustices it perpetuated, the apartheid system gave rise to a broad resistance movement. The primary organization leading the struggle against apartheid was the African National Congress (ANC). The ANC was founded in 1913 in response to the oppression of non-white South Africans at the hands of the white ruling class. In 1943, Nelson Mandela—then a law student—joined the ANC and co-founded its youth division, the ANCYL. Mandela and other young activists had begun to advocate for a mass campaign of agitation against apartheid. In 1949, the ANCYL gained control of the ANC and a year later Mandela was elected national president of the ANCYL. Around this time, Mandela's political outlook began to shift: while he had previously opposed cross-racial unity in the fight against apartheid, he came to be influenced by the writings of socialist thinkers who supported organizing across racial lines. He was also influenced by the nonviolent strategies of Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi was himself a resident of South Africa for more than 20 years, from 1893 to 1914.

The new leadership of the ANC steered the organization towards a strategy of nonviolent direct action—including strikes, boycotts, and other acts of civil disobedience. This was known as the "Defiance Campaign." In a 1950 conference that launched the campaign, the ANC-led coalition released a statement saying:

(Video) Apartheid Explained | Nelson Mandela’s Battle

All people, irrespective of the national group they belong to and irrespective of the color of their skin, who have made South Africa their home, are entitled to live a full and free life.

Full democratic rights with direct say in the affairs of the government are the inalienable right of every South African - a right which must be realized now if South Africa is to be saved from social chaos and tyranny and from the evils arising out of the existing denial of the franchise of vast masses of the population on the grounds of race and color.

The struggle which the national organizations of the non-European people are conducting is not directed against any race or national group. It is against the unjust laws which keep in perpetual subjection and misery vast sections of the population. It is for the creation of conditions which will restore human dignity, equality and freedom to every South African.

Mandela later recalled of the effort:

Prior to the campaign, the ANC was more talk than action. We had no paid organizers, no staff, and a membership that did little more than pay lip-service to our cause. As a result of the campaign... the ANC emerged as a truly mass-based organization with an corps of experienced activists who had braved the police, the courts, and the jails... From the Defiance Campaign onward, going to prison became a badge of honor among Africans.
(The Long Walk To Freedom, Abacus Edition, pg. 159).


During their nonviolent resistance, many protesters were rounded up and arrested as the government moved to outlaw any opposition. Mandela and several colleagues were arrested in the 1950s, but they were ultimately acquitted at the end of a long treason trial in 1961.

In an attempt to squash resistance, the South African government also resorted to violent repression. The bloodiest incident was in 1960, when police opened fire on a group of 7000 protesters in the town of Sharpeville, killing 69 of them. In response to this growing repression by security forces and the clampdown on nonviolent forms of dissent, Mandela and other ANC leaders decided that the movement should have an armed wing, similar to other revolutionary movements against colonialism in Africa at the time. In the early 1960s, Mandela traveled internationally to raise money for an armed struggle. The armed wing of the ANC (Umkhonto we Sizwe, or Spear of the Nation) carried out acts of sabotage designed to destroy government property without killing civilians—detonating bombs to destroy government military installations, transportation infrastructure, and power plants. In two trials in 1962 and 1963, Mandela was found guilty of inciting workers' strikes and sabotage and conspiracy to violently overthrow the government. He was sentenced to life in prison and spent the next 27 years of his life behind bars, often under brutal conditions. While in prison, Mandela and other political prisoners engaged in many political debates and discussion. The prison on Robben Island,where Mandela stayed for 20 years, was sometimes called "University of Robben Island."

Although he was sidelined from direct participation in the movement while in prison, Mandela became a symbol—both in South Africa and internationally—of the struggle against injustice. During his imprisonment on Robben Island, the fight against apartheid continued. New organizations and leaders emerged to advance the cause, and thousands of average South Africans risked their lives to resist the brutal system. A powerful international movement included boycotts and bans of South African goods; protests, including massive civil disobedience; and an explosion of music and art demanding the end of apartheid and the freeing of Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners.

Violence and instability grew within South Africa. The apartheid government faced increasing domestic and international pressure. In1985, then President P.W. Botha offered to release Mandela from prison if he agreed to "unconditionally reject violence as a political weapon." Mandela refused the offer. He wrote: "What freedom am I being offered while the organization of the people [the ANC] remains banned? Only free men can negotiate. A prisoner cannot enter into contracts."

(Video) What is Apartheid? - Nelson Mandela, and South Africa's history explained

Despite his recognition as a central figure in the fight against apartheid, Mandela has always been quick to note that he was not personally responsible for its overthrow. As he said upon his release from prison in 1990: "I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people. Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. I therefore place the remaining years of my life in your hands."

For Discussion:

  1. Do students have any questions about the reading? How might they be answered?

  2. According to the reading, what were some of the defining features of the apartheid system?

  3. How did young people influence the mounting struggle against apartheid in the 1950s?

  4. What was the Defiance Campaign and what were its aims?

  5. Many South Africans took action against apartheid despite great risk to themselves and their families. Are there any causes or issues that are important enough to you today that would motivate you to speak out, even at personal risk?

    (Video) How Nelson Mandela Fought for Equality and Freedom

Student Reading 2:
The End of Apartheid and the Beginning of National Reconciliation

By the 1980s, resistance to apartheid had reached its peak. Many feared that a civil war in South Africa was inevitable. At last,leaders of the ruling National Party were left with little choice but to consider a drastic change of course. In 1989, F.W. de Klerk assumed the presidency of South Africa. He promptly began discussions to free Mandela and to legalize the ANC. By February 1990, both had been done.

With Mandela free and with the ANC serving as the primary political party of the country's non-white majority, apartheid appeared to be on its last legs. Nevertheless, as representatives of the ANC and the ruling National Party held often-contentious negotiations, government security forces collaborated with tribal nationalists to spread violence. Finally, the ANC and the National Party came to an agreement that a multiracial national election would be held. In April of 1994, Nelson Mandela—the ANC's candidate—became to the first black president in South Africa's history.This victory represented the official end of apartheid and a moment of major triumph for black South Africans.

For several years before the fall of apartheid, white South Africans had been dreading its end, fearing that it would be the beginning of a campaign of retaliatory genocide against whites. In June 1990, David Zucchino, a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, spoke with a white South African who expressed such concerns:

[Johan] Fuhri, a stolid rancher who traces his South African ancestors to 1789, knows in his Afrikaner heart that de Klerk has violated the cardinal rule of his nation and his people: Black and white shall remain forever apart.

Fuhri senses the walls of apartheid falling. Blacks are beginning to demand the white man's rights. He believes de Klerk is giving away too much too fast to the blacks."To them, justice and kindness is weakness. Violence and power is what they understand," Fuhri, 40, said one evening after his house had been locked up for the night, with his family tucked safely inside. "They'll murder each other, these blacks, and then they'll murder us."

Fear crept into his voice. The once docile blacks of the lowveld are starting to talk back to whites, he said. They are getting "cheeky" and stoning whites who drive too close to the black townships.

Instead, under Mandela's leadership, the ANC led the country a path toward reconciliation. Rather than seeking revenge for decades of oppression, Mandela and his administration pursued a policy to smooth the transition from apartheid to multiracial democracy. The push for national reconciliation was motivated partly by a desire to prevent any further racial violence and to keep South Africa's white population from fleeing the country in mass. Mandela made numerous high-profile visits to important figures in the apartheid regime, aiming to exemplify forgiveness. To this end, his government also established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In a 2001 discussion of the commission in the New York Times, U.S. District Court Judge Mark Wolf described its purpose and function:

The commission was established in 1995, as a constitutional compromise to avert continued bloodshed. Many members of the African National Congress demanded Nuremberg-style trials of white officials, who were seeking a general amnesty before agreeing to relinquish power. In principle, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission offered amnesty from prosecution only to individuals who candidly confessed their political crimes in public. Government reparations replaced victims' rights to bring civil suits, and those who did not receive amnesty were to be subject to prosecution. [T]he commission's main goal was to heal wounds.

The transition to democracy did not solve all of South Africa's problems. Today, many South Africans continue to face crime and poverty, and the freedom struggle did not achieve its goal of establishing economic justice. Nevertheless, Mandela will be remembered for his personal dedication to healing the nation's wounds after the downfall of a regime as brutal and entrenched as apartheid. As Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Trudy Rubin wrote in a June 9, 2013 article:

(Video) Nelson Mandela Day: Why his fight for racial equality is still relevant

Mandela's genius was his ability to forgive, and a charisma that let him convince his black countrymen to do likewise, and convinced his white countrymen that he meant what he said. Not all South Africans believed him, but - at least in his lifetime - they accepted his approach.

This combination - charisma and a strategic willingness to forgive one's ethnic oppressors - is so rarely found among leaders of other troubled countries as to be almost unique to Mandela. To grasp the full significance of this man you only need to look at states that desperately need a Mandela but aren't lucky enough to have one...

Mandela's policy of reconciliation quelled the most lurid fears of South African whites. When the Philadelphia Inquirer revisited the Fuhri family in 1997, their position had softened significantly—in no small part thanks to Nelson Mandela:

Like many Afrikaners, Fuhri stockpiled food and weapons before the 1994 elections, anticipating that blacks would come rushing over the prairie to take his house - and his daughter, too.

But even after blacks won political control of South Africa - something unimaginable to many whites seven years ago - the wave of revenge never happened. ...In 1990, Fuhri called Mandela "Satan himself.'' The moment Mandela came out of the prison gate, Fuhri said then, "it struck me with such fear I wanted to hide.''

His views have since softened, somewhat. ``Now we call Mandela a gentle old man,'' said Fuhri.

While the struggle for justice continues for South Africans facing poverty and inequality, Mandela stands as an inspirational figure for people around the world—especially to opponents of racial discrimination.

For Discussion:

  1. Do students have any questions about the reading? How might they be answered?
  2. According to the reading, what were some of the fears of white South Africans upon the fall of apartheid? How did racism fuel these fears?
  3. What was the Truth and Reconciliation Commission? Why did Mandela's administration pursue a policy of reconciliation with its long-time opponents?
  4. What do you think of this? Do you think those who were in positions of power under apartheid should have been more severely punished? Why or why not?
  5. While they have gained political rights, many black South Africans still face poverty and inequality. Do you think the methods of the freedom struggle have relevance in confronting these continuing injustices?

Research and Critical Thinking Activity

By the time apartheid was being formalized in South African law in 1948, blacks in the southern United States had been living under a system of racial segregation for more than half a century. This system, known as Jim Crow, was a set of laws and informal practices put in place in the late 19th century, following the abolition of slavery and the US government's effective abandonment of post-Civil War Reconstruction.

Supporters of Jim Crow tried to justify it by arguing that although blacks and whites were separate, they were equal. But in reality, racial segregation meant vastly inferior conditions for blacks.

(Video) Nelson Mandela: The Fight for Freedom BBC Full Documentary 2013 Nelson Mandela (1918 - 2013)

Apartheid and Jim Crow bore many similarities, but in other ways they were quite different. What were some of those similarities and differences?

For this activity, assign students, in groups or individually, to visit the library or search the internet for information on the apartheid and Jim Crow systems. Then have students create a Venn diagram noting the similarities and differences between the two systems. Ask students to present their findings to the class.

FAQs

What was the role of Nelson Mandela in the fight against apartheid? ›

At first, Mandela and his fellow members of the ANC used nonviolent tactics like strikes and demonstrations to protest apartheid. In 1952, Mandela helped escalate the struggle as a leader of the Defiance Campaign, which encouraged Black participants to actively violate laws.

What was the outcome of Nelson Mandela's fight for human rights? ›

After 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela was freed in 1990 and negotiated with State President F. W. de Klerk the end of apartheid in South Africa, bringing peace to a racially divided country and leading the fight for human rights around the world. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.

How did people fight against apartheid? ›

It laid out plans for strikes, boycotts, and civil disobedience, resulting in mass protests, stay-aways, boycotts, strikes and occasional violent clashes. The 1950 May Day stay-away was a strong, successful expression of black grievances.

What is the conclusion of the apartheid? ›

Apartheid, the Afrikaans name given by the white-ruled South Africa's Nationalist Party in 1948 to the country's harsh, institutionalized system of racial segregation, came to an end in the early 1990s in a series of steps that led to the formation of a democratic government in 1994.

How did apartheid affect people's lives? ›

Pass laws and apartheid policies prohibited Black people from entering urban areas without immediately finding a job. It was illegal for a Black person not to carry a passbook. Black people could not marry white people. They could not set up businesses in white areas.

What were the difficulties faced by Nelson Mandela? ›

He was declared an outlaw for demanding equality for all his fellow black Africans. He was punished, isolated and put into jail. He and his comrades were oppressed and tortured beyond tolerance. He suffered hunger, oppression and injustice but kept the flame of independence burning in his heart.

How did Mandela affect others? ›

After retiring as president, Mandela worked to educate people about the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa. He also helped broker peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi. Decades before the end of Apartheid, Mandela also served as an inspiration for civil rights movements around the world, including in the US.

Why is the apartheid important? ›

Apartheid (“apartness” in the language of Afrikaans) was a system of legislation that upheld segregationist policies against non-white citizens of South Africa. After the National Party gained power in South Africa in 1948, its all-white government immediately began enforcing existing policies of racial segregation.

Why is it important to learn about apartheid? ›

But more than anything else, learning about apartheid is important because it gives us a glimpse not only into the darkness of our past, but also into the courage, determination and creativity of the ordinary people who eventually defeated apartheid. Studying apartheid will help to shape our values and world-view.

What caused apartheid in South Africa? ›

Apartheid begins

After facing opposition during World War II, the National Party returns to power and defeats the United Party in the General Election, promising to make laws severely restricting black-South African rights.

How did the apartheid affect South Africa? ›

Officially beginning in 1948, black South Africans were stripped of their land and relocated to racially segregated developments far outside the city, where homeownership was practically impossible. Between 1960 and 1980, 3.5 million people were forcibly removed by police officers from city centers to rural townships.

What was the result of apartheid in South Africa? ›

The end of legislated apartheid

Systematic racial segregation remained deeply entrenched in South African society, though, and continued on a de facto basis. A new constitution that enfranchised Blacks and other racial groups was adopted in 1993 and took effect in 1994.

What can we learn from Mandela to become a better leader? ›

The first lesson I've learned from the life of Nelson Mandela is that great leaders are able to forgive others. When you study the life of Mr. Mandela, he was able to forgive people who did him wrong while forgiving them so that he was able to actually work with his enemies to fulfill his purpose in the earth.

Why Nelson Mandela is an inspiration? ›

Nelson Mandela was a great man who was loved and respected by everyone in our country and the rest of the world. He led by example, kept no grudges and loved his country and its people more than himself. He encouraged togetherness. It was on this day 25 years ago, that he was freed from prison after 27 years.

What were the main laws of apartheid? ›

Pass laws and influx control
  • Natives (Urban Areas) Act, 1923.
  • Natives (Urban Areas) Consolidation Act, 1945.
  • Prevention of Illegal Squatting Act, 1951.
  • Native Laws Amendment Act, 1952.
  • Natives (Abolition of Passes and Co-ordination of Documents) Act, 1952.
  • Natives Resettlement Act, 1954.

How long did apartheid last? ›

The apartheid era in South African history refers to the time that the National Party led the country's white minority government, from 1948 to 1994.

Who ended apartheid in South Africa? ›

On 27 April 1994, a date later celebrated as Freedom Day, South Africa held its first elections under universal suffrage. The ANC won a resounding majority in the election and Mandela was elected president.

What did Nelson Mandela do to help build democracy in South Africa? ›

Leading a broad coalition government which promulgated a new constitution, Mandela emphasised reconciliation between the country's racial groups and created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate past human rights abuses.

Who fought for freedom in South Africa? ›

There were many freedom fighters involved in creating the united republic we live in today, including former president Nelson Mandela, leader of the Black Consciousness movement Steve Biko, mother of the nation Winnie Madikizela Mandela, and former president of the African National Congress Oliver Tambo, to name a few.

What is true freedom according to Mandela? ›

According to Mandela, true freedom means freedom not to be obstructed in leading a lawful life.

What is the most important thing about Nelson Mandela? ›

Nelson Mandela is known for several things, but perhaps he is best known for successfully leading the resistance to South Africa's policy of apartheid in the 20th century, during which he was infamously incarcerated at Robben Island Prison (1964–82).

What did Nelson Mandela achieve? ›

Mandela immersed himself in official talks to end white minority rule and in 1991 was elected ANC President to replace his ailing friend, Oliver Tambo. In 1993 he and President FW de Klerk jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize and on 27 April 1994 he voted for the first time in his life.

How does Mandela Day support the community? ›

On Mandela Day itself, citizens are encouraged to spend 67 minutes of their time in service to others in need. These 67 minutes are in appreciation of the 67 years that Nelson Mandela spent fighting for justice, equality, and human rights for all.

Why is Nelson Mandela a hero? ›

Nelson Mandela Day honors a true leader, who fought against history's worst legacies—racism, poverty, inequality, and hate—for decades. Even from jail. Mandela spent the prime of his life a political prisoner for his role in dismantling the system of racial segregation in South Africa known as Apartheid.

Who supported the apartheid? ›

While some countries and organizations, like the Swiss-South African Association, supported the Apartheid government, most of the international community isolated South Africa.

What is apartheid in South Africa essay? ›

Apartheid: An Institutionalized Racially Discriminatory System In South Africa. Apartheid was an institutionalized racially discriminatory system used by Afrikaners, the white descendants of Dutch colonizers, to oppress native South Africans and other people of color in the country.

What were the foundations of apartheid? ›

Racial segregation became the official policy throughout the Union and laid the foundation for apartheid. The two dominant politicians at the time, Jan Smuts and J B M Hertzog, were the architects of segregation.

Whats apartheid means? ›

Definition of apartheid

1 : racial segregation specifically : a former policy of segregation and political, social, and economic discrimination against the nonwhite majority in the Republic of South Africa.

What are some examples of apartheid? ›

Examples of Key Apartheid Laws

Immorality Act 1950 Prohibited sex between whites and non-whites. Suppression of Communism Act 1950 Outlawed communism. Allowed detention on communism charges of those who objected to or protested apartheid. Bantu Authorities Act 1951 Created black homelands and governments.

What is the another term for apartheid? ›

Synonyms & Near Synonyms for apartheid. discrimination, Jim Crow, segregation, separatism.

How did apartheid affect the economy? ›

Apartheid education policies lead to low rates of investment in human capital of black workers. Consequently, the economy falls to a lower level of physical and human capital in equilibrium and hence to a lower real income per capita in the long-run equilibrium, y*.

How did the apartheid affect education? ›

For instance, Apartheid funding resulted in an average teacher pupil ratio of 1:18 in white schools, 1:24 in Asian schools, 1:27 in Coloured schools, and 1:39 in Black schools (US Library of Congress). Furthermore, the apartheid system also affected the quality of teachers.

What happened after the apartheid ended in South Africa? ›

South Africa since 1994 transitioned from the system of apartheid to one of majority rule. The election of 1994 resulted in a change in government with the African National Congress (ANC) coming to power. The ANC retained power after subsequent elections in 1999, 2004, 2009, 2014, and 2019.

What were the first apartheid laws? ›

The Population Registration Act No 30 of 1950 (commenced 7 July) required people to be identified and registered from birth as one of four distinct racial groups: White, Coloured, Bantu (Black African), and other. It was one of the 'pillars' of Apartheid. Race was reflected in the individual's Identity Number.

How did apartheid cause poverty in South Africa? ›

One of the most important issues for women in South Africa has always been that of poverty. During the apartheid years, black women were forced into the rural areas to live off the land, without opportunities and choices allowing them to build decent lives for themselves.

How did Nelson Mandela change South Africa? ›

Over the next 95 years, Mandela would help topple South Africa's brutal social order. During a lifetime of resistance, imprisonment, and leadership, Nelson Mandela led South Africa out of apartheid and into an era of reconciliation and majority rule.

What are the contribution of Nelson Mandela in South Africa? ›

He won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1993, along with South Africa's president at the time, F.W. de Klerk, for having led the transition from apartheid to a multiracial democracy. Mandela is also known for being the first black president of South Africa, serving from 1994 to 1999. Read more about apartheid.

Who is Nelson Mandela and why is he important? ›

Mandela is considered the father of Modern South Africa. He was instrumental in tearing down the oppressive government and installing democracy. Mandela received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 for peacefully destroying the Apartheid regime and laying the foundation for democracy.

What did Nelson Mandela do as the president of South Africa? ›

He was the first non-White head of state in South African history, as well as the first to take office following the dismantling of the apartheid system and the introduction of full, multiracial democracy. Mandela was also the oldest head of state in South Africa's history, taking office at the age of 75.

Who fought apartheid in South Africa? ›

Nelson Mandela was an important person among the many that were anti apartheid. Members included Vella Pillay, Ros Ainslie, Abdul Minty and Nanda Naidoo. Julius Nyerere would summarise its purpose: We are not asking you, the British people, for anything special.

Who started apartheid in South Africa? ›

Called the 'Architect of the Apartheid' Hendrik Verwoerd was Prime Minister as leader of the National Party from 1958-66 and was key in shaping the implementation of apartheid policy.

What were the difficulties faced by Nelson Mandela? ›

He was declared an outlaw for demanding equality for all his fellow black Africans. He was punished, isolated and put into jail. He and his comrades were oppressed and tortured beyond tolerance. He suffered hunger, oppression and injustice but kept the flame of independence burning in his heart.

What was Nelson Mandela's famous speech? ›

"I Am Prepared to Die" is the name given to the three-hour speech given by Nelson Mandela on 20 April 1964 from the dock of the defendant at the Rivonia Trial. The speech is so titled because it ends with the words "it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die".

What was Nelson Mandela most famous for? ›

Nelson Mandela is known for several things, but perhaps he is best known for successfully leading the resistance to South Africa's policy of apartheid in the 20th century, during which he was infamously incarcerated at Robben Island Prison (1964–82).

Why is Nelson Mandela a hero? ›

Nelson Mandela Day honors a true leader, who fought against history's worst legacies—racism, poverty, inequality, and hate—for decades. Even from jail. Mandela spent the prime of his life a political prisoner for his role in dismantling the system of racial segregation in South Africa known as Apartheid.

When did apartheid start in Africa? ›

The apartheid era in South African history refers to the time that the National Party led the country's white minority government, from 1948 to 1994.

What was the apartheid government? ›

Apartheid (“apartness” in the language of Afrikaans) was a system of legislation that upheld segregationist policies against non-white citizens of South Africa. After the National Party gained power in South Africa in 1948, its all-white government immediately began enforcing existing policies of racial segregation.

How did Nelson Mandela affect others? ›

After retiring as president, Mandela worked to educate people about the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa. He also helped broker peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi. Decades before the end of Apartheid, Mandela also served as an inspiration for civil rights movements around the world, including in the US.

What were the main apartheid laws? ›

The Immorality Act, 1927 forbade extramarital sex between white people and black people. The Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act, 1949 forbade marriages between white people and people of other races. The Immorality Amendment Act, 1950 forbade extramarital sex between white people and people of other races.

Who was killed during apartheid? ›

List
TargetPositionDate
Frederick John HarrisAfrican Resistance Movement activist1 April 1965
Mthuli ka SheziBlack People's Convention activist1972
Steve BikoBlack Consciousness activist12 September 1977
Rick TurnerDurban Moment activist8 January 1978
16 more rows

How did Nelson Mandela change people's life? ›

Nelson Mandela, along with others that came before and after him, helped to restore basic human rights of the black South Africans. He organized and participated in protests, sit-ins, boycotts and other non-violent activities. Mandela even sought the support of external countries for his cause.

Videos

1. Nelson Mandela, Anti-Apartheid Activist and World Leader | Biography
(Biography)
2. The Fight Against Apartheid / Nelson Mandela
(Rough Gravel)
3. How Did Nelson Mandela End Apartheid in Africa?
(Captivating History)
4. Apartheid: The rise and fall of South Africa's 'apartness' laws
(Global News)
5. Mandela Led Fight Against Apartheid, But Not Against Extreme Inequality
(The Real News Network)
6. The Life of Nelson Mandela - Animation
(Past To Future)

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