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This month in history

Africa news

Parliament repeals apartheid laws 17 June 1991

On 17 June 1991 the still whites-only Parliament began the process that would eventually abolish apartheid by repealing four oppressive laws. These were the Natives Land Act of 1913, the Population Registration Act and Group Areas Act, both passed in 1950, and the Separate Amenities Act of 1953.

The repeal did not extend the right to vote to all of South Africa’s people. That came later, with the new Constitution. It culminated in the first democratic elections in 1994, which saw Nelson Mandela become South Africa’s first black President.

The repeal of the legal framework was the result of unified opposition by people from all over the world. They collectively put pressure on the white government, lobbied for sanctions, and supported the work of the liberation movements and civil society in exposing the evils of the apartheid system.

Source: South African History Online www.sahistory.org.za