South African first distinguished black President his Excellency Nelson Mandela once said, “to be free is not to cast off one’s chains but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others”. Mandiba strongly believe that one’s freedom should not be taken away from anyone, freedom is the greatest necessity one can have, therefore those who are obliged to do so should be questioned and challenged. Democracy should not be judged or classified according to skin color, all people are equal this is what Mandiba proposed and emphasized. This was the situation in South Africa, there was a certain group of people who believed they were superior and had the power in their hands to deprived others freedom and exploit one’s well-being, rights specifically.
South Africa was a highly segregated state by 1940 but racial discrimination was not achieved or complete as it later becomes under Apartheid. The majority population of South Africa, consisting of the various categories such as the “native” (a person who is or is generally accepted as a member any aboriginal race or tribe of African), “coloured” (a person is not a white or native) the coloured category included major subgroups like the Asians and Indians (people who migrated to South Africa to make a living, they worked in sugar plantations and so forth). The non-whites were adversely affected ever since the establishment of the Union of South Africa in 1910 and they ended up been victims of the newly introduce social system apartheid while the Whites lived a fortunate life, apartheid was just another significant and advance step towards segregation.
The only difference is that the apartheid government made segregation part of the law. Until then segregation of races was a norm. But as journalist Allister Sparksnoted, “What happened automatically before was codified in law and intensified when possible. Racism became a matter of doctrine, ideology, of theologized faith infused with a special fanaticism, a religious zeal.” – Apartheid was more cruel and intense, it forcibly separated people into racial groups, it introduce segregation laws and had fearsome methods to deal and punish those that were against it or disagreed. It is essential to understand the fundamental of apartheid what it was and to evaluate the significance of the apartheid laws for South Africans.
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