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Apartheid

bantu segregation nonwhites south

Apartheid (Afrikaans, “apartness”), policy of racial segregation as employed by the Republic of South Africa, enforced by the dominant white minority. The system separates whites from nonwhites (i.e., Coloreds, or mulattoes; Asiatics; and Africans, or Bantu), nonwhites from each other, and each individual Bantu group. The policy also involves the “separate development” of 10 Bantu homelands, where the majority of the population lives on a very small portion of poor land. Segregation and discrimination of nonwhite peoples is imposed by denying the rights to vote, own land, travel, or work without permits. In addition, workers are often separated from their families, which undermines family structure. Although dissent, led largely by the formerly outlawed African National Congress, is met with imprisonment, exile, or house arrest, resistance to apartheid continues, both inside the country (where thousands have been killed or imprisoned) and outside (in the form of nearly worldwide economic and political sanctions against South Africa). Since the 1970s and 1980s many apartheid laws have been repealed. In the early 1990s the system was completely dismantled, democratic structures were introduced, and a black majority rule was established in 1994.

See also: African National Congress; Mandela, Nelson.

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