Anti-Apartheid Movement


Apartheid Begins

May 1948

The apartheid began after the 1948 election when the National Party promised to make laws that would restrict black rights in order to get votes from the white Africans. The defeat of the United Party by the National Party started the apartheid.

The African National Congress starts the Defiance Campaign

June 1952

Volunteers began peaceful protests by breaking laws they thought were wrong. these included black people sitting on benches for white people and being out in the city after the curfew that was set for black people.

Bantu Education Act Passed


A law that creates a separate education system for black and white people is created. the system prepares black people to live their lives as a part of the working class.

Nelson Mandela Arrested for Treason

December 1956

Nelson Mandela is arrested, with many other people, for fighting against apartheid. After a four-year trial he is found not guilty.

Separate Homelands Are Created For the Major Black Groups


New laws were passed by the government that created separate homelands, called Bantustans, for the major black groups in South Africa. This is how the government stopped black people from being citizens of the country.

Sharpeville Massacre

March 21, 1960

A requirement of Apartheid was for black people to carry passbooks, which contained their name, date of birth, and photos. Protestors showed up to the police station without their passbooks, and a riot broke out. Police killed 69 people.

Nelson Mandela Arrested For Treason

August 5, 1962

Mandela was a part of the African National Congress. He was arrested for his role in bombing government targets and sentenced for life.

South Africa is Expelled from the UN

November 1974

Apartheid causes South Africa to be removed form the United Nations. It is not allowed back into the UN until apartheid ends in 1994.

600+ Students Killed in Soweto Massacre

June 16, 1976

A protest is started by high school kids in Soweto for an improved education system for black people.

Anti-Apartheid Activist Steve Biko Killed

September 2, 1977

He was arrested on August 18, 1977. He died in police custody due to sever brain damage, likely from being beaten by police.

Musicians for Artists United Against Apartheid


Steven Van Zandt forms a musical group against apartheid after touring South Africa. "Sun City" came out on December 7 and featured many anti-apartheid songs.

President Frederik Willem de Klerk ends the ban on the African National Congress

February 2, 1990

Although he supported segregation once, the president lifts the ban on the ANC.

Nelson Mandela Released From Prison

February 11, 1990

Nelson Mandela is freed after 27 years in prison

Nelson Mandela Becomes President of South Africa

May 10, 1994

In the country's first ever election that allowed both white and black citizens to vote, and Nelson Mandela was elected. He was the first black president in the history of South Africa.

Mandela Creates the Truth and Reconciliation Commission


It was a body created to investigate human rights and political violations committed during apartheid between 1960 and 1994.