Apartheid (meaning apartness↔ in the Afrikaans language) was a system of authorised racial segregation that existed in South Africa until the early 1990s.

It was characterised by a political culture based on white supremacy✊, which ensured that the country was dominated politically, socially and economically by the nation’s minority white population👨.

How it started?

Though white supremacy was a central aspect of South African policy since early 20th century🗓, its enforcement was undertaken by the country’s National Party (NP) govt. in 1948.

It called for separate development of different racial groups👥 in the country.

Nothing but Injustice

While on paper📃 it appeared to call for equal growth and freedom of cultural expression, but the way it was implemented made it impossible.

Non-whites👨🏾‍🦱 who formed the majority of the population were forced to live in separate areas from whites.

They were also made to use separate public facilities🚌 and social integration between the communities was severely limited.

Opposition to it

There was a widespread resistance👊 to apartheid in the form of demonstrations, protests, strikes and armed resistance.

South African brutally repressed👿 all opposition and imprisoned prominent anti-apartheid activist and leader Nelson Mandela for 27 years.

Meanwhile, Desmond Tutu, one of country’s leading human rights activists😇, won the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in resolving and ending apartheid.

The govt. also faced severe condemnation🗣 from the international community for its policies.

It was forced to withdraw from the Commonwealth in 1961 and later faced economic sanctions🚫.

The country’s national cricket🏏 team was suspended from playing at the international level by the ICC from 1970 till 1991.

Came to an end

In 1991, the govt. of South African president F.W. de Klerk revoked👎 most of the social legislations that provided the legal basis for apartheid.

His govt. reached an agreement🤝 with Nelson Mandela to draw up a new constitution for the country.

Both of them shared the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize🏵 for their efforts.

The next year’s national elections produced a coalition govt. with Mandela becoming the country’s first black president✌.

Although these developments marked the end of legislated apartheid, its social and economic effects in the South African society can be felt even to this day🙁.