How Did Apartheid End in South Africa? Uncover the Surprising Truth!

How Did Apartheid End in South Africa? Uncover the Surprising Truth!

South Africa is a country in southern Africa that was once ruled by the white minority government of apartheid. Apartheid was a system of racial segregation that was in place from 1948 to 1994. The goal of apartheid was to maintain the white minority’s power and control over the black majority.

Apartheid was ultimately defeated by a combination of international pressure, civil disobedience, and a grassroots movement led by the African National Congress (ANC). In 1994, South Africa became a multiracial democracy and the end of apartheid was celebrated as a major victory for the African people.

How Did Apartheid End In South Africa

Apartheid in South Africa ended in the early 1990s, due in large part to the efforts of the African National Congress (ANC) and the international pressure placed on South Africa. In 1989, F.W. de Klerk was elected the president of South Africa and began to dismantle the apartheid laws. He released political prisoners, including Nelson Mandela, and allowed the ANC to operate openly in the country. In 1993, de Klerk and Mandela signed the Interim Constitution, which ended the apartheid system. In 1994, South Africa held its first multiracial election, and Mandela became the first black president of the country. Since then, South Africa has made significant progress in ensuring equality for all citizens, though many of the economic and social issues that arose from apartheid still remain today.

The Growing Tide of Opposition to Apartheid

The growing tide of opposition to apartheid in South Africa was an inevitable force that brought about the end of the oppressive system. Apartheid was a political and social system of racial segregation that had been implemented in South Africa since 1948. It was a system that was designed to bolster the white minority’s power, wealth, and privilege by restricting the rights of the non-white majority.

The resistance to apartheid began almost immediately after it was implemented, with demonstrations, boycotts, and protests becoming increasingly common in the 1950s and 60s. As the protests grew, so did the opposition to apartheid, with the non-white majority becoming increasingly vocal in their demands for freedom. This culminated in the Soweto Uprising of 1976, which saw thousands of students take to the streets to protest against the oppressive laws. The uprising sparked a wave of unrest and protest across the country, and the government responded with increasing force and brutality.

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The international community also began to take notice of the situation in South Africa, and the growing opposition to apartheid. International sanctions were imposed on the country, and the United Nations Security Council passed resolutions demanding the end of apartheid. The United States and other countries also imposed economic sanctions and began to advocate for the release of political prisoners and the repeal of oppressive laws.

The growing pressure on the South African government eventually led to the repeal of apartheid in 1991. This was followed by the first democratic elections in 1994, which saw the African National Congress take power and bring an end to the oppressive system. The transition from apartheid to democracy was a long and difficult process, but it was ultimately the growing tide of opposition that brought about the end of the oppressive system.

The Role of International Pressure in Ending Apartheid

The end of apartheid in South Africa in 1994 was seen as a great victory for human rights and democracy, and the fall of a system that had long oppressed the country’s majority black population. While the end of apartheid was indeed a remarkable accomplishment, it did not occur spontaneously. In fact, it was the result of a concerted effort by the international community, both in the form of economic sanctions and diplomatic pressure, to bring an end to the oppressive regime.

The international pressure to end apartheid began in the 1960s, when the United Nations passed resolutions condemning the "inhumane and discriminatory practices" of the South African government. Countries around the world began to impose economic sanctions on South Africa in an effort to weaken the regime and force it to end its oppressive policies. The sanctions ranged from trade embargoes, to bans on arms sales, to restrictions on economic aid.

How Did Apartheid End in South Africa? Uncover the Surprising Truth!

The United States was particularly active in the effort to end apartheid. In 1986, Congress passed the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act, which imposed a wide range of economic sanctions on South Africa, including an embargo on all new investments and a ban on the import and export of certain goods. The Act also placed a number of restrictions on air travel to and from South Africa, and established a number of financial penalties for companies that continued to do business with the country.

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In addition to the economic sanctions, the international community also used diplomatic pressure to push for the end of apartheid. The United Nations Security Council passed a number of resolutions calling for the dismantling of the apartheid system, and urged South Africa to hold free and fair elections.

The combination of economic sanctions and diplomatic pressure eventually forced the South African government to negotiate with the African National Congress, a political party headed by Nelson Mandela, which had long been advocating for the end of apartheid. In 1993, the two sides reached an agreement that allowed for the peaceful transition of power and the establishment of a multi-racial democracy.

The end of apartheid in South Africa was an important step forward for the cause of human rights, and an example of the power of international pressure to effect positive change. While the South African people ultimately played a key role in the process, it was the international community’s commitment to ending the oppressive regime that brought about its downfall.

The Role of Internal Forces in Ending Apartheid

The end of apartheid in South Africa is often credited to the powerful external forces of international pressure and the tireless efforts of those who fought against it. However, the role of internal forces should not be overlooked in this victory. Internal actors, such as the African National Congress (ANC) and its allies, played an important role in leading the charge for an end to apartheid.

The ANC was formed in 1912 to oppose the policies of the government of the South African Union, which had been established in 1910. The ANC was a multi-racial organization and its platform was based on the principles of non-violence and racial equality. In the 1950s and 60s, the ANC and its allies began to organize protests and boycotts against the government’s oppressive policies.

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This nonviolent resistance was met with harsh repression by the government. But the efforts of the ANC and its allies, such as the South African Indian Congress and the Coloured People’s Congress, continued to grow in strength. In 1960, the government banned the ANC and the other anti-apartheid groups, but the organization and its allies continued their opposition underground.

In the 1980s, the ANC and its allies began to launch campaigns of civil disobedience, such as the Defiance Campaign and the National Stayaway, as well as a series of negotiations with the government. These efforts, combined with international pressure from countries such as the United States and Great Britain, convinced the government to begin repealing its apartheid laws.

The ANC and its allies continued to push for full equality until the government finally agreed to hold free and fair elections in 1994. The ANC won the elections and Nelson Mandela became the first black president of South Africa. The victory of the ANC marked a major milestone in the end of apartheid in South Africa.

The role of internal forces in ending apartheid in South Africa was crucial. The efforts of the ANC and its allies, along with international pressure, helped to create an environment in which the government was finally willing to make the necessary changes. This victory was a major step forward towards a more equitable and just society in South Africa.



Apartheid ended in South Africa in 1994 with the election of Nelson Mandela as the country’s first black president. Mandela had been imprisoned for 27 years after being convicted of terrorism by the apartheid regime. He was released in 1990 and negotiated an end to apartheid with the white minority government. The election was held under a new constitution that guaranteed equal rights for all South Africans, regardless of race.

Austin Finnan

Austin Finnan is a blogger, traveler, and author of articles on the website He is known for his travels and adventures, which he shares with his readers on his blog. Finnan has always been passionate about exploring new places, which is reflected in his articles and photographs. He is also the author of several books about travel and adventure, which have received positive reviews from critics and readers.

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