S5W6DQs - Essay Example

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The application of apartheid system in South Africa between1948-92 separated blacks from whites and was the highest form of racial segregation ever experienced in the world (Nagy, 2004). As a result, the subject has been treated with a lot of controversy owing to the magnitude…
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S5W6DQs Insert Insert Grade Insert What would you identify as the principal causes and consequences of the implementation and maintenance of the apartheid system of governance in South Africa from 1948-94?
The application of apartheid system in South Africa between1948-92 separated blacks from whites and was the highest form of racial segregation ever experienced in the world (Nagy, 2004). As a result, the subject has been treated with a lot of controversy owing to the magnitude of the separation involved. Apartheid system was caused by several factors that necessitated the application of racial separation. In essence, the Dutch colonial government had to develop a system that guaranteed colonial rule in the African nation and apartheid seemed to be the best bet. Therefore, among the many causes of the implementation of apartheid system was to prevent the enlightenment of blacks which could be detrimental to the Dutch supremacy and colonial rule in the country. For that reason, apartheid ensured that blacks and whites could not interact or share ideas. This successfully jeopardized the blacks’ endeavor to get enlightened. Additionally, the unity between whites and blacks could have been disastrous to the colonial government and divide and rule became the philosophy to maintain power.
The implementation of apartheid in South Africa has numerous consequences most of which revolved around the supremacy of white minority and the suffering of the black majority. Racial hatred was a direct consequence of apartheid in the sense that the black community disliked whites because of the noble and prestigious lifestyles. Africans, on the other hand, were left to reside in poor neighborhoods with minimal or no amenities at all (Gibson, 2006). This schism eventually led to the freedom (independence) movement in South Africa. The apartheid system created a monopoly for the white minority to dominate all spheres of power creating a great advantage for the colonial power. In the absence of the system, blacks could have claimed equal share of national resources.
2. What insights should policymakers draw from the reconciliation process in South Africa?
The reconciliation process in South Africa is unparalleled in the world in the sense that no other country has been able to successfully deal with past racial injustices like South Africa. After independence in 1994, it was highly expected that the new majority government would expel whites and perhaps revenge for the barbaric treatment of blacks. However, to the surprise of many, the new South African republic embarked on a reconciliation process that was underscored by the pursuit for truth and reconciliation (Vora & Vora, 2004). At the centre of this process was the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that organized several sittings where victims, their relatives and witnesses narrated their ordeal at hands of the colonial officers. The TRC’s sittings were emotional as people narrated their experiences providing for avenues of truth and healing. South Africa’s path led to forgiveness and reconciliation rather than justice and revenge. What makes the reconciliation process in South Africa unique is the manner in which it was conducted along with how these efforts resulted in one unified nation.
The white community remained in South Africa and coexists side by side with the black community today; this is a direct result of the reconciliation process. Policymakers have a lot to learn from the reconciliation process because it provides appropriate approaches to be used when resolving past in justices in a manner that not only brings out the truth but guarantees reconciliation, unity and cooperation in the future (Stanley, 2001). Therefore, policymakers can learn from how South Africa applied reconciliation to deal with the past and forge ahead as one nation. Of equal significance is the aspect of collaboration between the perpetrators and victims which played a very big role in resolving apartheid injustices in South Africa and produce forgiveness and reconciliation. South Africa today remains an epitome of reconciliation, truth and unity.
Gibson, J. (2006). The Contributions of Truth to Reconciliation: Lessons from South Africa. The Journal of Conflict Resolution, 50, (3), 409-432.
Nagy, R. (2004). After the TRC: Citizenship, Memory, and Reconciliation. Canadian Journal of African Studies / Revue Canadienne des Études Africaines, 38, (3), 638-653.
Stanley, E. (2001). Evaluating the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The Journal of Modern African Studies, 39, (3), 525-546.
Vora, J. & Vora, E. (2004). The Effectiveness of South Africas Truth and Reconciliation Commission: Perceptions of Xhosa, Afrikaner, and English South Africans. Journal of Black Studies, 34, (3), 301-322. Read More
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