Ryanair is set to face regulatory action after using the Afrikaans test for South Africans, Lords has urged

Apartheid was a system of institutionalized racial segregation that dictated the social structure in South Africa and South West Africa (now Namibia) from 1948 until the early 1990s, after South Africans whites voted to abolish it in a referendum on March 17, 1992 after decades of racial struggle.

Apartheid was characterized by an authoritarian political culture rooted in white supremacy, or “baasskap”, which enshrined South Africa’s minority white population as the dominant group in politics, society and its economy.

Under the apartheid system of social stratification, white citizens of the country had the highest status, followed by Asians and Coloreds, followed by black Africans.

Prior to 1948, some aspects of apartheid were in place and enforced by white minority rule in South Africa, segregating public facilities and separating black Africans from other races. This was called “little apartheid”, while “big apartheid” dictated housing and employment opportunities based on race.

As a codified system of racial stratification began to take shape in South Africa under the Dutch Empire in the 18th century, the first apartheid law was passed in 1949 – the Prohibition of Intermarriage Act 1949 , followed closely by the Immorality Amendment Act of 1950. .

These made it illegal for most South Africans to parry or have sex across the racial divisions defined by the classifications that would later follow.

Pictured: Photo taken March 1, 1989 of a sign reading ‘Whites Only / Slegs Blankes’ in the empty mining town of Carletonville due to protest by black consumers after traditional apartheid law was reintroduced

The Population Registration Act 1950 classified all South Africans into one of four racial groups based on appearance, known ancestry, socio-economic status and cultural lifestyle : “Black”, “White”, “Colored” and “Indian”. The last two classifications included several sub-classifications.

Places of residence became determined by racial classification, and between 1960 and 1983, 3.5 million black Africans were expelled from their homes and forced to live in neighborhoods separated from others.

These were some of the largest mass expulsions in modern history, with legislation and expulsions aimed primarily at restricting South Africa’s black population to ten designated “tribal homelands”, four of which became independent states. . The South African government announced that the relocated people would lose their citizenship.

However, the authoritarian system of racial oppression did not go unnoticed abroad and apartheid provoked a violent reaction. It was frequently condemned at the United Nations and led to an extensive arms and trade embargo, as well as cultural boycotts, such as artists asking that their works not be exhibited in the country.

South Africa has also been boycotted in sports, with FIFA banning the football team from major events. White South Africans ranked the lack of international sport as one of the three most damaging consequences of apartheid.

1959: South African <a class=police beat black women with batons after raiding and burning a beer hall in protest against apartheid, Durban, South Africa” class=”blkBorder img-share” style=”max-width:100%” />

1959: South African police beat black women with batons after raiding and burning a beer hall in protest against apartheid, Durban, South Africa

In South Africa and abroad, some of the most influential social movements of the 20th century formed as a result of oppression, and during the 1970s and 1980s resistance to the system became increasingly militant, while countries – such as Sweden – lent their support to the ANC.

Growing resistance prompted brutal crackdowns by the ruling National Party government, with protracted sectarian violence that left thousands dead or detained by officials including the most prominent figure in the anti-apartheid movement, Nelson Mandela, who served 27 years in prison. and was the leader of the African National Congress (ANC).

Statistics show that between 1960 and 1994, the Inkatha Freedom Party suffered 4,500 deaths, the South African security forces 2,700 deaths and the ANC 1,300 deaths.

Government agents assassinated opponents both in South Africa and abroad and carried out cross-border military and aerial attacks on suspected ANC and PAC bases. In return, resistance groups detonated bombs in restaurants, shopping malls and government buildings. A state of emergency was declared in 1985.

While South Africa has undergone some reforms to the system, such as allowing political representation of Indians and Coloreds in parliament, this has done little to appease the majority of activist groups who wanted the abolition of apartheid.

Finally, in 1987, the then ruling National Party entered into negotiations with the ANC – leading the anti-apartheid movement – to end segregation and introduce majority rule, which led to the liberation of Mandela in 1990.

The apartheid legislation was repealed on June 17, 1991, with the 1992 referendum held two years earlier by then state president FW de Klerk. In his opening speech in parliament in 1990, de Klerk announced that the ban on certain political parties such as the African National Congress and the South African Communist Party would be lifted and that Nelson Mandela would be released.

Pictured: Nelson Mandela, South African anti-apartheid leader and member of the African National Congress (ANC), greets the press on his arrival at the Elysee Palace, June 7, 1990

Pictured: Nelson Mandela, South African anti-apartheid leader and member of the African National Congress (ANC), greets the press on his arrival at the Elysee Palace, June 7, 1990

On March 21, 1990, South West Africa became independent as Namibia, and in May of the same year the government began talks with the ANC. June saw the lifting of the state of emergency and the ANC agreed to a ceasefire.

In 1991, laws limiting land ownership, separating living spaces and classifying people according to their race were abolished.

The National Party and the Democratic Party campaigned for a “Yes” vote, while the pro-apartheid conservative right was led by the Conservative Party, which campaigned for a “No” vote.

De Klerk, who with Mandela led the negotiations to abolish apartheid, has staked his political career on the referendum. He would have resigned and general elections would have been held if the “no” had been successful. However, with support from abroad, the media and major political parties, the odds were against the ‘No’ campaign.

Although questions were raised about the decision to allow only white people to vote in the referendum, the election result was a landslide victory for the “yes” side (with 68.73%), which led to the lifting of apartheid, while universal suffrage was introduced two years later.

In the 1994 elections – the first fully representative democratic election – Nelson Mandela was elected South Africa’s first black president, serving in the post from 1994 to 1999.

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