Ending Of Apartheid In South A Essay

This essay has a total of 650 words and 4 pages.

Ending Of Apartheid In South A


There were many factors which contributed to the ending of apartheid. After years of
segregation and oppression of blacks, many different chronological events put together led
to an eventual reform in South Africa of equality and democracy for everybody.


However, the factor which I think played the most important part in the ending of
apartheid was releasing ANC leader Nelson Mandela in 1990. Not only did it symbolise a
fresh start for the country, but also a new found uniformity of its people.


At the time, this move by the government was quite unexpected, but in retrospect, an
inevitability. The prime minister of South Africa in 1989 was PW. Botha, however after
having a stroke, and being forced into bitter resignation, was replaced by FW de Klerk. De
Klerk was commonly thought to be conservative and agree with segregation but his first
speech announced plans to legalise the ANC, PAC and SACP and also that political prisoners
would be released. He said he wanted to work with political groups to form a new
constitution for South Africa.


Although De Klerk's decision was a great step forward for blacks, there were many possible
reasons for his drastic change in government. A journalist in Cape Town at the time
wondered if De Klerk fully realised what he was doing. Perhaps De Klerk thoguht he could
remain in power by sharing it with the ANC. There were also economic pressures; business
men were meeting with the ANC and liking them. De Klerk was practical as he was trained as
a lawyer, and also religious. Apparently his brother had said he thought God had chosen
him to lead South Africa ‘at a crossroads'.


However, the most probable reason was that apartheid was no longer practical or possible
to maintain in the country. This underlying fact had been brought about by several events.


Fourteen years prior to Mandela's release in 1976 school pupils had rioted in Soweto, the
result of which had been many deaths amongst the children. The cause of the riot had been
because of the appauling conditions in black township schools. Classes were over-crowded,
there were no facilities and most importantly the pupils were being taught in Afrikaan.
The language was not spoken anywhere else in the world, and they felt that they were
simply being prepared as slaves for the whites.


The horrifying incident caused uproar in many other townships which lasted for months.
Although the government claimed the riots were unpolitical, the Soweto troubles let loose
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