Resistance to Apartheid in South Africa

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Resistance to Apartheid in South Africa

Apartheid in South Africa was one of the major defining events and factors in the history of the country as it made a lasting impact on its independence. It also defined the place of the whites and the place of the blacks in the country. The citizens of South Africa at that time were of great concern towards how they were treated by the whites and therefore had to develop ways of combating this. Due to the different effects of apartheid, they made decisions which to some extent were considered crude and therefore had to be used. However other people especially nelson Mandela opted for peaceful ways of making sure that there was no destruction which took place and therefore he led a group of South Africans who made sure that the resistance was a peaceful one and not one which led to the shedding of blood as some citizens and individuals suggested (Clark,20).

The effects of apartheid were seen in that the wealthy class was all whites while the poor class was all blacks and therefore this infuriated the blacks and it was the time for them to come up with a revolution that made the whites realize that what they were doing was wrong. It is also this resistance that came up that made the country to be sane and balanced in terms of the end to the apartheid practice whereby the blacks were discriminated against in line with their color of skin.

The ANC youth league emerged in 1940 after its president who was called Albert Luthuli made a rigorous attempt to revive it and make sure that the black folk could be respected by the whites(Clark et.al, 59). He was assisted by his fellow leaders and friends who were; Oliver Tambo, Nelson Mandela, water Sisulu. These four individuals were a great source of change for the South African people. Their unity and power to change the country led many into positivity and therefore there was hope that it will be possible for the whites to be equal and treated the same as blacks. The population hoped that with their assistance the whites could stop treating the blacks as evil people but rather begin treating them as equal human beings who deserve respect. In addition to the ANC youth league, the Indians who were living in South Africa also formed their movement which they called the South African Indian congress which voiced their lamentations and complaints about the way they were treated negatively by the whites.

These two groups organized a defiance campaign in 1952 and it was one of the most successful times for the fight against apartheid rule and the superiority with which the whites treated themselves with. This can be said to have been the birth of the congress of the people which happened 3 years later after the defiance campaign. All these efforts were important steps in the fight against the apartheid rule by the blacks. It was during this congress of the people when the freedom charter was adopted and therefore they came up with the statement that the whole country of South Africa belongs to all the people who live in it and not only to the whites. It also stated that no government can be justified to bring about rules and the manner of leadership they want as long as it is not based upon the people. This sounded closer to the democratic tenet that freedom belongs to the people and therefore the country belongs to the people and they are the ones who make decisions on how they want to be ruled through the different ways in which they come up with.,

At this time of the demonstrations and resistance, the government was always involved in disrupting the peace and the unity of the protestors by using force and making them feel unable to continue with the protest and the resistance. This was true for the congress of the people whereby the government broke in and arrested around 150 individuals. This was supposed to scare them however it never made the campaign die. In 1968 the government of South Africa came up with more ways to block the blacks and other people of color from resistance by creating laws to ban such kinds of activities. This was done when the prohibition of the political interference act was passed. This to some extent made the government win against its citizens.

However, with the rising need for liberation, Robert Sobukwe led a group of individuals to form a different movement from the ANC to address some of the issues which they felt were not being addressed. Through his efforts, they founded the pan-Africanist congress. This movement focused solely on black liberation and they did not include other groups like the Indians. This they did because they believed the progress of the ANC was being undermined by its incorporation of other groups. However with all these efforts the police still never gave peace to the blacks and they still pushed ahead to start a fire at Sharpeville which harmed many people and killed others. This was one of the cruelest ways which were adopted to make the blacks and people of color silent about what they were going through (Roger, 25).

Even though the government was successful in maintaining apartheid under control for almost a decade it was not completely successful since after the decade it came back with even more power and more resistance which proved difficult to control and hold. In 1973 the black trade unions organized a series of strikes and this was not only for apartheid and racism but for better working wages and better working conditions. However, on the 26th of July 1976 thousands of children in the Soweto slums demonstrated against the several policies of the government and one of them was the insistence of the government for them to be taught in Afrikaans rather than English. This was one of the greatest events in the history of southern Africa and it aroused international concerns which had a great impact tot eh country. The struggle continued and it was a difficult time for the black people until the time Nelson Mandela was president when everything came to a standstill and it was possible for the blocks to feel at peace with their land.

Therefore the period of resistance was a difficult one for all kinds of people in South Africa. Even though it affected blacks more than the whites it still affected the whites like the hate which the blacks and other people of color harbored and therefore it was possible for any white person to be done badly by any black group of individuals. The effects of apartheid and racial discrimination range from personal, communal, and national ones. As discussed above the main methods of resistance were organizing movements together and using them to demonstrate and to bring a collective voice together to air their issues which were never listened to. This is a very crucial method of resistance because there is always power in the voice of large numbers (Tom, 726).

Therefore in conclusion we can say that the resistance was successful after a long time of rejection and being pissed off by the government. The rule of nelson Mandela was a very positive thing for the blacks and this acted as one of the best ways of liberation from how they were doing their things.

Works cited

Clark, Nancy L., and William H. Worger. South Africa: The rise and fall of apartheid. Routledge, 2016.History.com Editors. “Apartheid.” HISTORY, A&E Television Networks, 7 Oct. 2010, www.history.com/topics/africa/apartheid.‌Lodge, Tom. “The rise and fall of Apartheid.” Canadian Journal of political science 45.3 (2012): 726.

Southall, Roger. “The ANC & black capitalism in South Africa.” Review of African Political Economy 31.100 (2004): 313-328.