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Apartheid is a political system segregationist implemented by the white minority in South Africa in 1948 and abolished in 1991 under pressure from the international community following the struggle of blacks represented by Nelson Mandela .
The word Apartheid means in Afrikaans “separation, segregation” and derives from the French “à part”. It is a racist political system which consisted in oppressing and suppressing all the rights of blacks.
The white population (15 to 20% of the population), descended mainly from Dutch , British , French and Germans , settled in the country from 1652, ruled and owned the majority of agricultural land and prohibited the black population ( 65 to 70% of the population) all civil rights within South Africa. The black population lived in Bantustans (territories reserved for blacks) spread over 13% of the territory according to ethnicity and in the townships , black ghettos on the outskirts of white cities. Next to these two population groups, the Métis and the Indians (around 10%) had intermediate rights between the privileged rights of whites and the residual rights of blacks.
During Apartheid, blacks did not have the right to vote, whites and blacks could not marry together, blacks had to carry with them an interior passport specially designed for them which they used to move around (Nelson Mandela will burn his own), access to public places was restricted according to skin color.
Nelson Mandela fought apartheid throughout his life. "A great man who devoted his life to the fight against racism, the emancipation of women and men, equal rights and a definite struggle for the self-determination of peoples" (according to L'Humanité in English) .Fr). He always favored non-violence, when possible.
During his trial in 1964 Nelson Mandela made a speech on democracy: “During my life, I devoted myself to this struggle of the African peoples. I fought against white domination and I fought against black domination. I cherished the ideal of a free and democratic society in which everyone would live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal for which I hope to live and which I hope to fulfill. But if necessary, it is an ideal for which I am ready to die ”.
The dream was to create Mandela in South Africa a "rainbow nation", in which whites and blacks live together in harmony. The concept of “Rainbow Nation” was invented by Archbishop Desmond Tutu to designate his dream of seeing a post-racial South African society built.
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