Question #f837f

1 Answer
Feb 21, 2018

They were bitterly opposed to it and suffered in every sphere of life.


The apartheid system (I assume you are asking about South Africa), was, ostensibly an equal separation of different ethnic groups because of cultural differences. This was the arguments put forward by a series of white Afrikaan governments who implemented the policy after World War 2. It is important to note however that racial discrimination both indirect and direct had been a feature of South African society for centuries.

In reality it was means whereby the white minority exercised control over the black majority as well as Asians and coloureds, the term given to those of a mixed racial background.

All political, social and economic rights were denied them. They were confined to certain areas and needed a pass to work in white areas.

There was no political representation, no trade unions and widespread political repression, frequently violent. Any opposition was ruthlessly suppressed, e.g. the Sharpeville Massacre. Opposition leaders such as Nelson Mandela were imprisoned or executed.

Needless to say this made South Africa an extremely attractive source of investment for Western companies. as a consequence little or no effective action was taken by Western countries in ending apartheid.