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South African apartheid - source related study.

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Introduction

south African apartheid assignment 3 South Africans felt very angry about the injustice placed on them by the apartheid system, and the passbook. There were parties who opposed the government. These were such organisations as the P.A.C and the A.N.C both were the main opposition to the government and organised many demonstrations. One demonstration organised by the P.A.C ended in tragedy. This is know commonly known as the Sharpsville massacre, were police killed 69 protestors and wounded 180 others. This protest didn't end the pass book system but I will examine the evidence to find out what happened why it happened and most importantly did those demonstrators die unnecessarily. 1. Source A tells me that on the 21st March 1960 there was a rumour in the town of Sharpeville that an important person was to make a statement about passbooks outside the towns police station, at some time during the day. People started to gather at 8:00am to wait for this important speaker. The source also tells me that according to the police report 20,000 people surround the police-station, although it seems very unlikely that there were more than 5,000 people there at any one time according to the photographs taken. ...read more.

Middle

4. Source B "South African High commissioner, London, 1960" contradicts sources C, D and E in several ways. Source B claims that the protestors fired first and that the police were forced to defend themselves. We cannot judge this further as neither sources C nor D mention the protestors using or carrying firearms during the demonstration. Although in source E "a photograph of dead demonstrators" there isn't any firearms on the ground, were we would expect to find them. Another claim made by source B is the numbers of demonstrators involved was 20,000 making the small police force very vulnerable as they were faced by a large number of aggressive and armed demonstrators. Source C "an article taken from The Times British newspaper, March 22nd 1960" challenges this figure by stating that there were only several hundred protestors involved. The vulnerability of the police force is challenged by Source C which states that the police force were stoned by the demonstrators, riot amour would have easily of protected the police. ...read more.

Conclusion

The P.A.C believed that South Africa was solely for the black people, and that the blacks shouldn't join forces with the whites. A short-term cause of the break up was when the A.N.C began planning an anti-pass campaign which was to be carried out during March 1960. The P.A.C also announced a similar anti-pass day for the 21st March 1960. This was the demonstration in Sharpeville. 7. I believe that the continued use of passbooks was a reason for the violence by the A.N.C during the sixties and seventies but there were more. I think that they were campaigning against the apartheid laws. For instance the laws that stated that blacks had to use a different entrance into shops than the whites (this was also opposed by the shopkeepers who had to have two doors) The pass books were also campaigned against, for instance the A.N.C launched its Defiance campaign, during the campaign people were encouraged to burn their passes in protest. This was an illegal offence, obviously the state could not arrest every member of the A.N.C, as the funds for such a mass operation were not there. However, in a few months, more than 8,500 members of the A.N.C were arrested. ...read more.

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