The time of apartheid in South Africa

apartheid in south africa, toilets sign

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When apartheid in South Africa was in full swing, I was very young. I do not actually remember much about that part of South Africa history. I was probably eleven years old when Nelson Mandela was freed after twenty seven years imprisonment. He is a great man and a role model to many people around the world.

What I do remember is the tension in the air on the days leading to the first fair, inclusive, election on the 26-29 April 1994. This day marked the end of apartheid and more importantly, testified to the greatness of the human spirit. When Nelson Mandela spoke peace instead of revenge, he changed the way mankind measures forgiveness.

You see, the thing about apartheid in South Africa is that it was, at the time, a theoretical system that was thought to work, especially in South Africa where there are now 11 recognized languages in the constitution (By the way, this means that in a court of law I can request to testify in any of these 11 languages!). 2 of these 11 languages are from european descent. The theory was that if African people were so culturally different from Europeans, then a society of 'seperateness' or apartheid would work.

So seperate schools were erected, seperate beaches were beaconed off and seperate toilets were assigned. It was illegal for a white person to drive with a black person in the same cabin. The black person was to be put in the back of the vehicle.

So the problem with apartheid in South Africa started when the white population put itself in the superior position. This directly led to "The Struggle" which Mr. Mandela is so famous for.

apartheid notice, apartheid sign, for use by white persons

Mr. Mandela's 'ADDRESS TO THE PEOPLE OF CAPE TOWN ON THE OCCASION OF HIS INAUGURATION AS STATE PRESIDENT' - Cape Town, 9 May 1994:

"Today we are entering a new era for our country and its people. Today we celebrate not the victory of a party, but a victory for all the people of South Africa.

Our country has arrived at a decision. Among all the parties that contested the elections, the overwhelming majority of South Africans have mandated the African National Congress to lead our country into the future. The South Africa we have struggled for, in which all our people, be they African, Coloured, Indian or White, regard themselves as citizens of one nation is at hand."

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Two thing that I would advise you do when you get to Cape Town; take the ferry to Robben Island and check out the Robben Island Museum.

The ferry departs from the back of the Museum building so you can do both on the same trip.

I very much enjoyed the trip on Robben Island. It was a moving experience for me.

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