Apartheid is a form of racial segregation established in 1948 by the South African National Party that governed until 1994. The term means separation. This ensured that the whites dominated the country even when they were the minority being 20% of the country’s population (Louw, 2004). Racial discrimination had deep roots in South Africa though apartheid officially began in 1948. The creation of the union of South Africa in 1910 and the 1910-1948 segregation periods are the main cause of apartheid. Racial segregation restricted the Afrikaners’ lives in South Africa. Apartheid was characterized by slavery, the discovery of gold and diamond which was called the mineral revolution, loss of independence by the Africans, and creation of the Union of South Africa. Dr. D.F Malan was the prime architect of the apartheid (Clark & Worger, 2004). He led the National Party to a campaign on racial appeal towards the whites. The national party won with 80 seats from Afrikaner voters while the united party followed with 64 seats. The party ensured that the white race survived.
The following are the some of the acts passed by the National Party. First was the prohibition of mixed marriages of 1949. This ensured that there was no marriage between the European and Afrikaners. Secondly, sexual intercourse between the Europeans and the Afrikaners was banned. Third, the population registration act of 1950 was passed. This categorized South Africans by race and required people to carry a card every time which stated their racial identity. The population registration act was in 1952 modified. Cards were replaced with reference books. Failure to carry the reference book was worth a fine or imprisonment. Fourth there was the Reservation of Separate Amenities Act of 1953.The act ensured that the Europeans and Afrikaners didn’t share public amenities.
The Africans came up with three movements to stop Apartheid. First, was the African National Congress established in 1912. Later, the Pan Africanist Congress was founded from ANC in 1958. The two were banned and the South African Students Organization was formed which is currently known as the Black Consciousness Movement. Apartheid ended in 1994 after Nelson Mandela was elected the first president of South Africa (Louw, 2004).