The Story of Africa
 

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- Zulu rise & Mfecane

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- Oppression of Khoikhoi and Xhosa

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- Afrikaners versus English

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- Mining

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- Imperial racism

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- Apartheid

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- The Cold War

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- South African aggression

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- Clinging on

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- Collapse of Apartheid

Collapse of apartheid

 

Protest and retaliation

 
In the 1940s, African miners were early protesters against a system based on racial segregation.

In 1958 passes were introduced, restricting the movement of the African population. This was a tremendous humiliation and inconvenience. In 1960, sixty nine people were shot dead in a protest against these pass laws, an event which became known as the Sharpeville massacre. In 1961, the Commonwealth made it clear that unless South Africa made preparations for majority rule it would no longer be welcome. South Africa left before it was pushed.

Increased oppression

 
In 1964, the then lawyer and ANC activist, Nelson Mandela, was imprisoned for life on a charge of treason. He became a source of inspiration to people living inside and outside South Africa.

In 1976 hundreds of people were killed in protest against the compulsory use of Afrikaans in schools. The following year the head of the Black Consciousness Movement, Steve Biko, was murdered in police detention.

Black consciousness

 
"I think basically 'black consciousness' refers itself to the black man and to his situation, and I think the black man is subject to two forces in this country.

He is first of all oppressed by an external world through institutionalised machinery, through laws that restrict him from doing certain things, through heavy work conditions, through poor education, these are all external to him, and secondly, and this we regard as the most important, the black man in himself has developed a certain state of alienation, he rejects himself, precisely because he attaches the meaning white to all that is good."
- Steve Biko speaking in court, following a demonstration in support of Mozambique's FRELIMO party, September 1974. He was subsequently found guilty under the Terrorism Act and died in custody three years later.

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In the 1980s, South Africa reached a crisis point internally, with rioting, protests and confrontation; while pressure mounted externally to dismantle apartheid. Foreign investments began to decline. A sporting boycott had been effective throughout the 1980s and arguably hurt the morale of the government and white South African people more than being diplomatically isolated.

Collapse of apartheid

 
South Africa's war against Angola and Mozambique proved to be costly in terms of money and lives. When Communism began to collapse in 1989 the South African government was deprived of the principle reason for its aggressive foreign policy. The will to maintain the system of apartheid began to flag.

Nelson Mandela was finally released in 1990 and the country went to the polls in the first nonracial election, resulting in a resounding win for the ANC - under Nelson Mandela.

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