Nelson Mandela "Amadelakufa!" (Death Defiance!)







Dismantling Apartheid

Although racial segregation and discrimination were always practiced in Africa, it wasn't until the National party won control of the government did it become unbearable. Then, after the Group Areas Act was passed in 1950, the Africans sought to fight the apartheid. The African National Council (ANC), which was founded in 1912, and was formally called the South Africa Native National Congress, was formed to fight against restrictions based on color. Nelson Mandela was president of the ANC. In opposition they held demonstrations and strikes. Yet it was not until F.W. de Klerk came to power in 1989 did things begin to really change.

The African National Council held relatively peaceful demonstrations against the apartheid. However, it was outlawed in 1960 after the Sharpeville Massacre, where 67 spectators had died. Then, the ANC went underground and became a much more radical and desperate organization, still prizing Mandela as their leader. It was then that they made for the first time their eternal cry, "Amadalakufa!" which meant "Death Defiance!" This time, the ANC's demonstrations wouldn't be so harmless. Though Mandela would never aim to harm other people, the secret organization would make almost terrorist-like attacks on factories and power plants, aiming to handicap the government.

Mandela and 15 other leaders were arrested, tried, and sentenced to life imprisonment that year, however they did not falter. Mandela would be thinking, plotting, and sending out orders and messages even from Robin Island during his 27-year-long imprisonment.

When F.W. De Klerk took office as president of South Africa in 1989, it was time for great changes. De Klerk first of all removed the ban on the ANC and pardoned Nelson Mandela. The ANC then began negotiating with the government. The ANC agreed to give up their violent resistance, and they began drafting a constitution granting political rights to blacks. School segregation began to slowly dissolve in 1991. By the end of that same year, the last legal prop of the apartheid was repelled. A Truth and Reconciliation Commission was set up in 1994 to help the nationšs healing and reconstruction.

Nelson Mandela and K.W. de Klerk shared a Nobel Peace Prize for their battle against the apartheid.