Using sources, who or what was most responsible for the ending of Apartheid?

Authors Avatar by mcmullan028gmailcom (student)

An effect of the law was to exclude non-Whites from living in the most developed areas, which were restricted to Whites. It caused many non-Whites to have to commute large distances from their homes in order to be able to work. The law led to non-Whites being forcibly removed for living in the "wrong" areas. This can be seen in particular, in Source 2 – a sign disallowing non-whites to a picnic site. The sign is written in both English and Afrikaners and not the native African languages, which could be indicative of the Afrikaans attitude towards the natives. Also the sign states ‘non-whites 3 miles lower down’, forcing them to not share a public area with others. The sign is established by the Department of Forestry, therefore likely a government initiative of the ‘Petty Apartheid’ policy. The purpose of these was to provide whites with access to the most privileged suburbs, and disenfranchise non-whites politically. This included everyday facilities, such as this sign: ‘picnic site[s]’. The area of non-whites ‘3 miles lower down’ was likely poorly looked after, and degraded. These petty apartheid laws were highly enforced by the police whom were white, and if the blacks opposed, they would be severely attacked.

        The source is indefinitely reliable because it is raw evidence, presented as a photograph; the sign is from 1950. Thus, it is a first-hand piece of evidence, and cannot have been manipulated. It is also useful on many levels: firstly, it provides us with an insight into how white people thought of non-whites, because it shows how they did not want to affiliate with other races. Furthermore, this area is a nature reserve, and you would expect in such a harmonious place to say, everyone would be able to access this area; therefore this source shows the extent to which white people enforced the apartheid legislation. However, the source does not specifically show the extent to which black people were inhumanely treated, as it only presents that white and non-white people were separated, which after all, was the overarching purpose of the apartheid. Therefore, on a technical note, it could be said this source is bias, as we can assume black people did the same, and probably had signs stating something along the lines of: ‘no white people allowed’.  

Can Thember, a black man investigated the attitudes towards non-whites, by entering several white dominated churches. Racism was institutionalised and it took place in all corners of society – Source 3 illustrates this, showing the Presbyterian Church of Orange Grove, and the Dutch Reform Church in Kensington both shun black natives. The author described it as not doing his “nerves any good”. Christianity, a religion that is taught to treat others with empathy and compassion, disregarded and dejected non-whites, whom wanted to share their beliefs in Christ. The apartheid laws were enforced not only by the government (politically), but also religiously and socially. The author says “they said something about...boy’s club policy” and “government’s law”. Obviously, the government policies has had significant influence over the churches rulings, and the man refusing black natives to enter has become passively racist. At the Dutch Reform Church, the aged church official, whom “bellowed”, “showed” and acted “violently” has a much more rigorous belief against their supposed inferiors – non-whites – as it is the Dutch Reform Church who hold the belief that God had ordered the Apartheid.

        The source contains a substantial amount of useful content. Firstly, it compares how different people held different opinions towards non-whites. Of course, the Dutch Reformed Church holds the most fundamental views against non-whites. However, every other church has an extent of influence, as they are all considered ‘white people’s churches’. Though, the source is first person, and present of the apartheid, in such an overwhelming situation – such as being beaten off – memories can become a blur and distorted, and not a representation of the overarching situation. Or, in the case of it being a book ‘The will to die’, the text may be hyperbolised to create tension and engross the reader.

Source B

Apartheid stood on the principles of segregating different races, and white people aimed to disassociate themselves with supposedly inferior races, such as black peoples. Initially, Dr Millan designed the Apartheid system in 1948, considering it a movement to ‘separate development’. However, the laws crescendo, increasingly undermining black rights, and enforcing white dominance. Non-whites suffered tumultuous lives, and white people treated them animalistically. Non-whites wanted an end to Apartheid, whilst non-whites wanted to remain prosperous, which was the situation during Apartheid. However, the Apartheid foundations were unstable, and constant pressure from big empires such as America withdrawing investments, sanctions and boycotts imposed, and neighbouring countries such as Zimbabwe preparing guerrilla warfare. P.W Botha crumbled under the pressure from the affluent rich who now had to pay much more for amenities such as oil and food, and the black labour workers, whom wanted rid of the Apartheid. P.W Botha had to make some sort of compromise to stabilise the economy, but made the unduly mistake of making no changes because he didn’t want to give up Apartheid. He then passed away, and democracy replaced the old system. In 1997, Nelson Mandela was elected and pronounced the new Prime Minister of South Africa. He was glorified for his major stepping stones he’s given SA, but many testify that he was not the true causation for changes in SA. I will look at all the sources provided, and come to an interpretation of my own after analysing the sources whether Nelson Mandela was the prime catalyst, or if there were other factors involved just as important.  

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 As a statesman, Mandela was profoundly supported by non-whites as he tenaciously fought to debase the Apartheid. From Source B2 – a photograph - it is evident Mandela’s proponents glorified him, as a banner heralds ‘Mandela for President’ and he provides an opportunity for a new epoch, free of racial injustice. Undoubtedly, Mandela was internationally supported, due to the sheer size of the crowd, which the camera has perfectly depicted. The purpose of the photograph maybe to advertise and act as propaganda to congregate more proponents. Also, it could be to gain international support and loyalty, by accentuating his potential ...

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