The first episode of The Chobham Podcast is now live on our website. In this episode Deputy Head Boy, Daniel Minganu, and fellow Sixth Former, Elijah Williams, interview a member of our staff community about his experiences of growing up under the Apartheid Regime in South Africa.
Apartheid was a system of institutionalised racial segregation that existed in South Africa from 1948 until the early 1990s. In Afrikanns, Apartheid literally means “aparthood”, segregation, separation, living apart, and it was characterised by a political system based on white supremacy which ensured that South Africa was dominated politically, socially and economically by the nation’s minority white population. The sorts of things you would have observed under this regime was the banning of interracial relationships and marriages, you would have seen Black South Africans forceably removed from their homes and their land and forced into segregated, Black only neighbourhoods, you would have seen the whole population of South Africa being classified into three groups, African, White, and Coloured, with the freedoms you may have access to in terms of work, land ownership, education determined by your ethnic classification.
The Apartheid regime ended due to a range of factors. There was the internal resistance from organisations such as the African National Congress (ANC) which launched a Programme of Action including strikes, boycotts and civil disobedience which led to often violent clashes with the authorities, and which escalated into the formation of an armed military wing of the ANC. There was scrutiny and criticism from the Commonwealth and the United Nations, although it wasn’t until the late 1980s that trade sanctions were imposed on South Africa by the United States, the United Kingdom and 23 other nations in order to put pressure on South Africa to end Apartheid. There was also pressure from within Africa through bodies such as the Organisation of African Unity whose primary objectives were to eradicate colonialism from the continent of Africa and to allow its nation states to become self-determining. These factors and many others led to the dismantling of Apartheid in a series of negotiations from 1990-91, culminating in the country’s 1994 general election, the first in South Africa held with universal suffrage, meaning that all adult citizens, regardless of wealth, income, gender, social status, race, ethnicity had the right to vote. It was in this election that the ANC won 62.65% of the vote and Nelson Mandela was elected as the first black President of South Africa.
Please go to the Podcast section of our website through the main menu to listen to our first episode. We hope you enjoy it!