Apartheid and the Deceptive Leaders of South Africa


South Africa – The word ‘Apartheid’ is an Afrikaans word meaning the ‘the state of being apart’ or referred to as a racial segregation system. The racial segregation in South Africa began in colonial times under the Dutch and British rule. The African National Party (ANC), the current ruling party of South Africa, often blames apartheid for the bad governance of the current day.

After the Second World War, in 1948 the National Party developed apartheid. There were essentially four races in South Africa, and separate residential and educational areas were urbanized for the whites, coloreds, blacks and Asians. Black people were provided with services considerably inferior to those of whites, and, to a lesser extent, to those of Indian and colored people.

Before South Africa became a republic, a conflict between white South African people existed mainly between the Afrikaans pro-republic conservative and the anti republican liberal sentiments of the English-speaking people. It was during the reign of Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd when he called for improved relations between the British descendants and the Afrikaners. He claimed that the only difference now was between those who supported apartheid and those in opposition to it. He proclaimed the racial divide would not be between Afrikaans speakers and English speakers, but rather white and black people. Most Afrikaners supported this petition to ensure the safety of white people. There was a noticeable divided between the British white voters.

A serious of uprising began as early as 1950, and it was during these years that the Colored people experienced a relaxation of the apartheid laws. The government created a ‘Colored Affairs Department’ and allowed them to have a voice, but a rather lifeless voice. A Trilateral Parliament was created during 1983, giving the colored and Indian people voting rights and allowing representation for public affairs within their communities. This was not an effective way out of apartheid, but another attempt to quell the frightening reality of what was happening to this beautiful country. It was a long struggle for true freedom During the 1980s other reforms were introduced but failed miserably.

During the years after the rise of the National Party, apartheid sparked significant hostility and violence internally. The banned organizations, of which the ANC was one, embarked on terrorist acts, by placing bombs in predominately-white areas, and this caused the death of many innocent victims. Unrest spread throughout the country and state organizations responded with repression and violence. This remained a harrassing situation for the government of that day, coupled with rising international sanctions to act on reform within the country. Not all white voters supported apartheid, and opposition parties during that time fought for the rights of all people irrespective of their color. Helen Suzman, Colin Eglin and Harry Schwarz formed an opposition party calling for justice for the citizens of South Africa.

The continued reforms failed to quell the mounting opposition, and during 1990, President Frederick Willem de Klerk began negotiations to end apartheid. This proved to be a welcome reprieve from the terrorist organizations that were committed to a free and fair election and to preserve the new constitution of South Africa. Nelson Mandela was at that time a key negotiator for a peaceful resolution between all parties to be reached. Fears were real among the different ethnic groups. A backlash among right wing white opposition saw a strong commitment to achieve an equality solution for all citizens. A continued violence added to tensions during the negotiations and the intense rivalry between the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the ANC, and the outbreak of some tribal rivalries between the Zulu and Xhosa affinities. Mandela and Buthelezi met and settled their differences, but they could not contain the violence. The worst case was the ANC-IFP Biopatong massacre in June 1992.

Two days before the first democratic elections were to be held a car bomb exploded in Johannesburg, killing nine people, another bomb went off a day before the elections and injured several people. Finally, on April 27, 1994, the election took place, the former apartheid flag lowered and the new freedom flag raised, and a landslide victory for the ANC.

FW de Klerk, Martinus van Schalkwyk, Adriaan Vlok, and Leon Wessels are among the top leaders who publicly apologies for the wretched apartheid system.

Nelson Mandela, the first black democratic president of South Africa, served his term well. He undeniably did a fabulous job to restructure the remnants of apartheid and brought freedom and unity to the residents. A successful five years with international trade embargo’s lifted saw the rise of a flourishing new democratic country.

Thabo Mbeki took over the reins from Nelson Mandela and he proved to be a leader with admirable qualities, but the cracks within the National Executive of the ANC were beginning to become visible. An increase of illegal immigrants and a dramatic rise in crime became a focal point for this government. Squatter camps erected in and around central cities became a disgusting site for all to see. The decline in public services started to produce concern. Thabo Mbeki was ousted before his second term had ended, and Motlanthe, the vice president at that time, took over the reins.

The infamous Jacob Zuma was sworn in as President during 2009, and since then the country is on a continual downward spiral of injustice. The volume of crime is escalating at an alarming rate. Corruption is the new gateway for success. South Africa is considered one of the three most dangerous countries in the world.

The deceptive leaders of South Africa, a magnificent country dominated by the ravages of violence throughout its history, has not eliminated apartheid. The racist divide continues to raise its ugly head within the democratic country, and this time is worse than before.

Written by Laura Oneale

3 Responses to "Apartheid and the Deceptive Leaders of South Africa"

  1. kznwatch   January 4, 2014 at 3:59 am

    I posted my comment but there was a problem on this web page, so possibly my comment was deleted. Still I have a plan on how to take South Africa forward and bring us together as a nation. I hope the author of the essay above would honor me by contacting me with a follow up comment

  2. Adrian Arendse   August 30, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    apartheid in South Africa became worse after the so called Democracy in 1994.
    Murders threw out the country before 1994 were approx 200 per annum. After 1994 elections it has increase, even with your false god and terrorist mandela to the astronomical figure of 24000 murders per annum. More and more whites get tortured in the most cruel method on a daily basis . At this the murders on white farmers, since 1994 stand at the figure of 30200. If this anc guys continue to kill the farmers of this awesome country, there will be nobody to produce food and South Africa will become one of the coutries like the rest of africa, begging for bread and mealies.

  3. A.B   July 18, 2013 at 12:59 am

    Please explain to me how “The racist divide continues to raise its ugly head within the democratic country”? As a white South African, Living in Hillbrow, Johannesburg, I find that statement, and the rest of your article offensive and of very little substance.
    A Refurbished Wikipedia article with the author’s own racial undertones

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