Term 4: Turning points in modern South African History since 1948

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In 1948 South Africa held a general election which was to be decided by the white population of the country. A manifesto outlined how Apartheid would be implemented in practice which was enforced by the National Party (NP) when they won the election. The focus of this lesson will be on some of the key turning points in South African history, including the coming of apartheid in 1948 and non-violent resistance to apartheid in the 1950s.

Key terms

  • Apartheid: the former political system in South Africa in which only white people had full political rights and other people, especially black people, were forced to live away from white people, go to separate schools, etc.

  • Bantustans: A territory set aside for black inhabitants of South Africa due to Apartheid legislations.

  • Freedom Charter: A document set up as a template for South Africa’s future

  • Group Areas Act: act that divided up racial groups into specific areas of any given town or city.

  • Racism: the unfair treatment of people who belong to a different race; violent behaviour towards them; the belief that some races of people are better than others

  • Repression: the act of using force to control a group of people and restrict their freedom

  • Resistance: dislike of or opposition to a plan, an idea, etc.; refusal to obey; the act of using force to oppose somebody/something.

  • Treason: the crime of doing something that could cause danger to your country, such as helping its enemies during a war

  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights: came about after the experience of World War two; was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948.

Source: http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com

CAPS Requirements for Term 3

History Term 3 Topic: Turning points in modern South African history since 1948

Suggested contact time: One term/15 hours This content must be integrated with the historical aims and skills and the associated concepts listed in Section 2

Focus: Some of the key turning points in South African history, including the coming of apartheid in 1948 and non-violent resistance to apartheid in the 1950s.

Content/concepts/skills:

Ӣ The Universal Declaration of Human Rights after World War II

Ӣ Definition of racism

- Human evolution and our common ancestry*

- Apartheid and the myth of ‘race’

Ӣ 1948 National Party and Apartheid

- Racial segregation before Apartheid

- Main apartheid laws in broad outline

o Case study: Group Areas Act: Sophiatown forced removal

o Case study: Bantustans: Forced removal: People of Mogopa to Bophuthatswana

Ӣ 1950s: Repression and non-violent resistance to apartheid

- SACP banned

- ANC programme of action

o Brief biography: Albert Luthuli, his role in the ANC and resistance to apartheid

- The Defiance Campaign (including the influence of Mahatma Gandhi)

- Freedom Charter and Treason Trial

- Women’s March

o Brief biographies: Helen Joseph and Lillian Ngoyi and their roles in resistance to apartheid

*Oral history and research project: Suggested topic: How apartheid affected people’s lives and how people responded: Research any apartheid law, and interview a person who was affected by that law and determine how he or she responded.

Resource Links

Topic 1: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights after World War II

Topic 2: Definition of Racism

Topic 3: 1948 National Party and Apartheid

Topic 4: 1950’s- Repression and non- violent resistance to Apartheid

Last updated : 23-Mar-2017

This article was produced for South African History Online on 29-May-2011