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Jacob Cox
Jacob Cox

South Africa: The Rise And Fall Of Apartheid WORK



"Rise and Fall of Apartheid" offers a comprehensive historical overview of the pictorial response to apartheid, which has never been undertaken before. Through its images, it explores the significance of the civil rights struggle, from how apartheid defined South Africa's identity from 1948 to 1994, to the rise of Nelson Mandela, and finally its lasting impact. It examines the aesthetic power of the documentary form in recording, analyzing, articulating, and confronting apartheid's legacy and effects on everyday life in South Africa.




South Africa: The Rise and Fall of Apartheid


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Since the early 1990s, there have been significant transformations in political systems in many African countries. These institutional changes have resulted in, for example, the demise of the racially based apartheid system in the Republic of South Africa and the introduction of a nonracial democracy. Many civilian and military dictatorships have fallen, paving the way for the establishment of rule-of-law-based governance systems characterized by constitutionalism and constitutional government, including reforms such as term limits. Nevertheless, many of these countries still struggle to deepen and institutionalize democracy and deal effectively and fully with government impunity, particularly that which is associated with the abuse of executive power and the violation of human rights.


The apartheid bureaucracy devised complex (and often arbitrary) criteria at the time that the Population Registration Act was implemented to determine who was Coloured. Minor officials would administer tests to determine if someone should be categorised either Coloured or White, or if another person should be categorised either Coloured or Black. The tests included the pencil test, in which a pencil was shoved into the subjects' curly hair and the subjects made to shake their head. If the pencil stuck they were deemed to be Black; if dislodged they were pronounced Coloured. Other tests involved examining the shapes of jaw lines and buttocks and pinching people to see what language they would say "Ouch" in.[105] As a result of these tests, different members of the same family found themselves in different race groups. Further tests determined membership of the various sub-racial groups of the Coloureds.


The Lusaka Manifesto summarised the political situations of self-governing African countries, condemning racism and inequity, and calling for Black majority rule in all African nations.[153] It did not rebuff South Africa entirely, though, adopting an appeasing manner towards the apartheid government, and even recognizing its autonomy. Although African leaders supported the emancipation of Black South Africans, they preferred this to be attained through peaceful means.[154]


During the 1950s, South African military strategy was decisively shaped by fears of communist espionage and a conventional Soviet threat to the strategic Cape trade route between the south Atlantic and Indian Oceans.[176] The apartheid government supported the US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), as well as its policy of regional containment against Soviet-backed regimes and insurgencies worldwide.[177] By the late-1960s, the rise of Soviet client states on the African continent, as well as Soviet aid for militant anti-apartheid movements, was considered one of the primary external threats to the apartheid system.[178] South African officials frequently accused domestic opposition groups of being communist proxies.[179] For its part, the Soviet Union viewed South Africa as a bastion of neocolonialism and a regional Western ally, which helped fuel its support for various anti-apartheid causes.[180]


The South African experience has given rise to the term "apartheid" being used in a number of contexts other than the South African system of racial segregation. For example: The "crime of apartheid" is defined in international law, including in the 2007 law that created the International Criminal Court (ICC), which names it as a crime against humanity. Even before the creation of the ICC, the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid of the United Nations, which came into force in 1976, enshrined into law the "crime of apartheid."[256]


Social apartheid is segregation on the basis of class or economic status. For example, social apartheid in Brazil refers to the various aspects of economic inequality in Brazil. Social apartheid may fall into various categories. Economic and social discrimination because of gender is sometimes referred to as gender apartheid. Separation of people according to their religion, whether pursuant to official laws or pursuant to social expectations, is sometimes referred to as religious apartheid. Communities in northern Ireland for example, are often housed based on religion in a situation which has been described as "self imposed apartheid".[262] The treatment of non-Muslims and women by the Saudi rulers has also been called apartheid.


Apartheid, the Afrikaans name given by the white-ruled South Africa's Nationalist Party in 1948 to the country's harsh, institutionalized system of racial segregation, came to an end in the early 1990s in a series of steps that led to the formation of a democratic government in 1994. Years of violent internal protest, weakening white commitment, international economic and cultural sanctions, economic struggles, and the end of the Cold War brought down white minority rule in Pretoria. U.S. policy toward the regime underwent a gradual but complete transformation that played an important conflicting role in Apartheid's initial survival and eventual downfall. Although many of the segregationist policies dated back to the early decades of the twentieth century, it was the election of the Nationalist Party in 1948 that marked the beginning of legalized racism's harshest features called Apartheid. The Cold War then was in its early stages. U.S. President Harry Truman's foremost foreign policy goal was to limit Soviet expansion. Despite supporting a domestic civil rights agenda to further the rights of black people in the United States, the Truman Administration chose not to protest the anti-communist South African government's system of Apartheid in an effort to maintain an ally against the Soviet Union in southern Africa. This set the stage for successive administrations to quietly support the Apartheid regime as a stalwart ally against the spread of communism.


Crime is another area in which South Africa has a profoundly complicated history. To undergird apartheid, white South Africans frequently accused black South Africans of criminality. Apologists for the apartheid government point to the sudden rise in homicides and property crime in 1994 as proof that the current government could not rule.


  • Spend two weeks in Cape Town learning about the history, life and culture of South Africa first hand.You will be introduced to South Africa's history from its origins to the establishment of black majority rule in 1995.Through a mix of history and literature, we chart the course of South African society from the first Dutch clashes with the Khoisan people through the British imperial wars with Zulu, Xhosa and 'Boer,' the rise and fall of apartheid in the late 20th-century, to the emergence of the Rainbow Nation in the 1990s. We will focus on the landmark Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the post-apartheid era. Our history lessons are enriched by recent films and literature -- the novels of Nobel laureates, Nadine Gordimer and J M Coetzee among them.The course is complemented by several field trips including a moving visit to the late Nelson Mandela's prison cell on Robben Island. Field trips include: Guided City Walking Tour

  • Castle of Good Hope

  • District 6 Museum

  • Local Townships: Langa, Gugulethu, Mzoli's

  • Robben Island Museum & Mandela's cell

  • Table Mountain National Park

  • Boulders Penguin Colony

  • Cape Point Nature Reserve

  • Cape Winelands

  • Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

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