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I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.
This was Nelson Mandela, beingtried fortreasonby the white SouthAfrican government. He and sevenother leaders were sentenced to lifeimprisonment in 1964 for daring tooppose theapartheidregime in hiscountry. He spent the next 28 yearsin South Africa’s most dreadedprison, Robben Island.
SSSSStrtrtrtrtruggle against aparuggle against aparuggle against aparuggle against aparuggle against apartheidtheidtheidtheidtheid
Apartheid was the name of a systemof racial discrimination unique toSouth Africa. The white Europeansimposed this system on SouthAfrica. During the seventeenth andeighteenth centuries, the tradingcompanies from Europe occupied it with arms and force, in the way theyoccupied India. But unlike India, alarge number of ‘whites’ had settledin South Africa and became thelocal rulers. The system of apartheid divided the people andlabelled them on the basis of theirskin colour. The native people of South Africa are black in colour. They made up about three-fourthof the population and were called‘blacks’. Besides these two groups,there were people of mixed races who were called ‘coloured’ andpeople who migrated from India. The white rulers treated all non- whites as inferiors. The non-whitesdid not have voting rights. The apartheid system wasparticularly oppressive for theblacks. They were forbidden fromliving in white areas. They could work in white areas only if they hada permit. Trains, buses, taxis,hotels, hospitals, schools andcolleges, libraries, cinema halls,theatres, beaches, swimming pools,
Sign on Durban beachin English, Afrikaansand ZuluIn English it reads:‘CITY OF DURBAN Under section 37 of the Durbanbeach by-laws, this bathingarea is reserved for the soleuse of members of thewhite race group’.
A signboard emblematic of the tense relations of theapartheid era, 1953.Nelson Mandela
S o u t h A f r i c a H i s t o r y O n l i n e J o h n M u l l e n ,
W i k i p e d i a
, G N U F r e e D o c u m e n t a t i o n L i c e n s e