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The Struggle to End Apartheid

            The apartheid system was a social and political policy of racial segregation and discrimination which was enforced by the white Afrikaner government in South Africa. The apartheid system was enforced by a series of repressive laws and regulations which prohibited social contact between races, enforced segregation of public facilities, the.
             separation of educational standards, created race-specific job categories, restricted powers of non-white unions and curbed non-white participation in government. This racist system was accompanied by tremendous suppression of opposition, and continual resistance which was met by severe reprisals from the South African government. The government reacted to internal resistance by passing further repressive laws which caused even more resistance to the apartheid system. While the white minority National Party government passed and implemented oppressive apartheid laws, black South Africans responded by intensifying their political opposition in the form of protests, marches, strikes and boycotts. The repressive laws of the apartheid system introduced and practiced by the white minority National Party government after 1948, certainly made black resistance difficult but not impossible. The Son'eto uprising of 1976, Steve Biko, and pressure from outside of South Africa helped to end apartheid and bring about change in South Africa.
             As black resistance grew, the National Party Government took harsh repressive action in the form of violence and new laws. In 1960, the Pan-African Congress leaders organized nationwide peaceful demonstrations against 'pass laws' that restricted individual freedom. A large group of blacks in the town of Sharpeville refused to carry.
             their passes. Their campaign led to what became known as the Sharpeville Massacre (Son'eto uprising of 1976). Protests were met with violent opposition when police forces opened fire on an unarmed crowd of black protestors killing 67 and wounding over 200.

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