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South Africa 1945-1994 The end of Apartheid.

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Introduction

1) Select and explain the most important turning points in Nelson Mandela's life. Nelson Mandela had experienced many turning points in his life, some more important and visible than others. Nelson Mandela was born on 18 July 1918 at Qunu near Umtata, the capital village of the Transkei 'reserve'. As one of the royal family of the Thembu, his upbringing was traditional and a sense of responsibility was bred in him. He attended mission school where he had to wear his father's cast-off clothes, with shortened sleeves and trousers. Nelson Mandela did not care that he was a laughing stock, as he was so keen to learn. He moved to Johannesburg in 1937 and experienced what many black people at the time were experiencing - hardship. This was definitely a major turning point for Mandela. Being from quite a wealthy family Mandela was originally protected from poverty however at the age of 19, wanting to study law and escape from an arranged marriage, he escaped to Johannesburg. This was an important turning point for him because the moment he arrived in Johannesburg, he realised what the black people of South Africa were really experiencing in their own country. If he had not had gone to Johannesburg he may not have been exposed to these harsh realities but just have heard about them. The fact that he saw them most likely encouraged him to take further action. Mandela's course at University was difficult and he lacked proper study facilities. One of the people he worked with urged him to concentrate on becoming a good lawyer and to avoid politics but Mandela could not agree to this and was attracted to the African National Congress (ANC). In 1942, after a period of decline, the ANC had lost members who broke away to form the African Democratic Party. Mandela thought this was wrong, and thought their duty was to stay in the ANC and to prove a historic team as they worked with other young people to activate Congress. ...read more.

Middle

At the General Election in September 1989, he promised that apartheid would be reformed. Just days later, Cape Town had its biggest anti-apartheid march in 30 years. De Klerk could have banned it but he let it go ahead. In October 1989, De Klerk released Walter Sisulu and some other black prisoners. He began to demolish petty apartheid. He announced that the Separate Amenities Act would be repealed; this law had segregated public places such as parks. The beaches were now also open to people of all races. In December, De Klerk met Mandela, who asked him to lift the ban on the ANC. The cabinet agreed to do this probably because they may have thought that the ANC didn't offer a major threat at the time. On February 2nd, De Klerk told parliament that: *All bans on ANC and PAC were ended including bans on over 30 other organisations. *Political prisoners who had not committed violent crimes would be released. *Newspapers could reports events freely. The death sentence would be stopped. *Nelson Mandela and his fellow prisoners would be released without conditions. De Klerk's actions resulted in some great outcomes for most in South Africa. In October 1990, Separate Amenities Act was repealed and in June 1991 the Group Areas Act was repealed. The National Party also now allowed people of all races to become members. There were also many international reactions which occurred after De Klerk took actions towards the abolition of apartheid. In April 1990, the EC stopped sanctions and in July 1991 the USA stopped sanctions. Cricket boycott ended and South Africa was allowed back into the Olympics. I think the actions of De Klerk contributed to the ending of apartheid in South Africa. If it had not been for him, Mandela may have been kept in prison for longer, international pressures may still have been great and apartheid would have continued to drag along. De Klerk changed this. Being able to release Mandela and many political prisoners, he did. ...read more.

Conclusion

Everyone is equal in communism. The whites feared communists. The whites were rich people living luxurious lifestyles and knowing what the blacks in their country were living like, one can be assured they would not have wanted communists taking over and taking what was theirs. If apartheid had collapsed and elections were held then the ANC had a chance of winning. Many people in the ANC were communist. If the ANC did take over then there would be a chance that South Africa would have a communist government which the whites did not want. Apartheid and communism were completely different as apartheid was helping South Africa bring in money but communism would take it all away. This made them believe that having apartheid was much better than the results of not having apartheid. So communism in conclusion is definitely an important factor when considering why apartheid did not end sooner as a fear of communism allowed apartheid to be dragged on. De Klerk was a man who I believe could have ended apartheid sooner. De Klerk was the president of South Africa which helped him to end apartheid. To end apartheid he released Nelson Mandela, lifted the ban of the ANC and talked about the reformation of apartheid. De Klerk, unlike Botha who was the previous president could see that change was needed and he was a man willing to make it. De Klerk's actions were definitely if not the reason for the ending then definitely the foundation of the ending of apartheid. If De Klerk had been in power earlier then apartheid would have ended sooner but apartheid ended only when Botha was made rid off. The views of these two presidents were also different; Botha was a religious man who believed in equal opportunities whereas Botha, like many whites believed the whites were better than the blacks. In conclusion I believe that all the factors which helped end apartheid also restricted apartheid not to end any sooner. The factors worked but not quick enough. ...read more.

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