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									South Africa



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Racial segregation of people in South Africa; it lasted from 1948 until 1994.

“The penalties imposed on political protest, even non-violent protest, were severe. During the states of emergency which continued intermittently until 1989, anyone could be detained without a hearing by a low-level police official for up to six months. Thousands of individuals died in custody, frequently after gruesome acts of torture. Those who were tried were sentenced to death, banished, or imprisoned for life, like Nelson Mandela” (Stanford University,

Under the South African system of Apartheid, people were classified into 4 racial groups: 1) White, 2) Black, 3) Indian, & 4) Coloured people. The system of Apartheid forced people of differing racial groups to live apart from each other; there were “whites only” jobs, and rights like marriage weren’t allowed between groups. Apartheid was a political move designed to give Whites power over other racial groups.

1) White people: comprised primarily of people from English and Dutch descent; the two groups who settled in South Africa during the 1600’s. 2) Black people: In order to be considered “Black” you “must be a member of an African tribe or race” (Stanford University). Under Apartheid, Black people eventually were stripped of their South African citizenship and they became citizens of particular “home lands.” It is a system that is often compared to American Indian reservations. 3) Indian people: People of Indian descent. 4) Brown people (Coloured people): a group of people who are part sub-Saharan African (meaning their families originate in a part of Africa below the Saharan desert), and part of another race. They are not sub-Saharan enough to be considered black under South African law. Coloured people are the majority in South Africa.

Apartheid and the People of South Africa
Stanford University

Population Land Share of National Income Ratio of average earnings Doctors/People Infant mortality rate

Blacks 19 million 13% < 20% 1 1/44,000 20% (Urban) 40% (Rural)

Whites 4.5 million 87% 75% 14 1/400 2.7%

Money spent per student each school year Teacher/student ratio

$45 1/60

$696 1/22

During the years of Apartheid, the United States stood back and watched as White South Africa oppressed its people. Some US companies, like IBM actually provided the South African government with tools it needed to track people and enforce its system of laws.

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