A sign from the Apartheid era in South Africa.

Apartheid (an Afrikaans word meaning apart-ness) was a system of legal racial segregation enforced by the National Party government of South Africa between 1948 and 1994. Also called "separate development," apartheid curtailed the rights of the majority "non-white" inhabitants of South Africa and maintained minority rule by white people. The government of South Africa also practised the same policies of racial separation while occupying South-West Africa, known after 1966 as Namibia. From 1970, black people were deprived of their citizenship, legally becoming citizens of tribally-based self-governing homelands called bantustans, four of which became nominally independent states.


  • Although white businessmen and developers are guilty of some unfair treatment of blacks, they turned South Africa into a modern industrialized nation, which the poor, uneducated blacks couldn't have accomplished in several more decades. If more blacks were suddenly given control of the nation, its economy and business, as Mandela wished, they could have destroyed what they have waited and worked so hard for.
    • Social Studies PACE 1086, Accelerated Christian Education, 1990 , quoted in David Dent (4 April 1993), "A Mixed Message in Black Schools", New York Times Education Supplement: 28 
  • If we consider what Merton College and what the Oxford School of English owes to the Antipodes, to the Southern Hemisphere, especially to scholars born in Australia and New Zealand, it may well be felt that it is only just that one of them should now ascend an Oxford chair of English. Indeed, it may be thought that justice has been delayed since 1925. There are of course other lands under the Southern Cross. I was born in one; though I do not claim to be the most learned of those who have come hither from the far end of the Dark Continent. But I have the hatred of apartheid in my bones; and most of all, I detest the segregation or separation of Language and Literature. I do not care which of them you think White.
    • J.R.R. Tolkien, "Valedictory Address to the University of Oxford," June 5, 1959, reprinted in Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Monsters and the Critics, London: Harper Collins (2006), p. 238. ISBN 026110263X A native of South Africa, Tolkien had been a professor at Oxford since 1925. Earlier in his address he explained his objection to what he considered the "false" separation of "Language" and "Literature" in the study of English.
  • We don't want apartheid liberalised. We want it dismantled. You can't improve something that is intrinsically evil.
    • Bishop Desmond Tutu, speech, 1985.Quoted in Equality, Volume 1, Issue 1, 1989.
  • The whole ethos of apartheid is man's inability to live peacefully with people of another race, unless the races are divided into their own homelands. Simonstown not only was a living witness that this could happen, but it had been happening for over one hundred and fifty years. It was a living reproach to the rest of South Africa, a scandal in our midst, a blight which had to be got rid of. The majority of the Coloured people were swept from their homes to a township where they will live alone. This township with the ominous name of Slangkop is situated in the wind raked sand dunes on the isolated slopes nine miles from Simonstown. A sad and gaunt air hangs like the driven sand over the place. The pleas and the wishes of the Coloured population went unheeded. Separate development decreed otherwise.

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Last modified on 9 April 2014, at 02:56