Radicalisation of Resistance and the Consolidation of National Party Power, 1960-68

Why did opposition to Apartheid increase during the years 1960-61?

Peaceful Protest

  • ANC managed to mobilise parts of the population into political action during the 50s
  • However, PAC were less concerned about developing leadership but favoured more aggresssive action - 'lit the match'
  • Sobukwe had little experience with political campaigning - planned mass action on 21st, ANC planned similar for 31st -upset Mandela
  • Hoped it woud cripple police through overcrowding + economy through a strike

Sharpeville Massacre

  • 21st March around 5,000 people gathered outside Sharpeville police station - PAC leaders asked police to arrest them
  • 200 white policemen with rifles arrived as reinforcement who then opened fire on the crowd
  • 187 injured, at least 69 died
  • Triggered criticism from overseas due to photos being taken of event - provoked international denunication and a call for reversal of Apartheid (1960 UN resolution)

Banning of political Parties and State of Emergency

  • State of Emergency declared on 30th March 1960 - strengthened police powers, public meetings outlawed, police could detain people without reason
  • Mandela arrested along wth other political leaders
  • Unlawful Organisations Act passed - banned parties which were a threat to public order (aimed at ANC and PAC)
  • Attempted assassination on Verwoerd - by English, middle aged man

Why did South Africa become a Republic in 1961?

Verwoerd's Aims

  • 1960, Verwoerd announced a whites-only referendum on the question of a Republic
  • 1958 election gave Nationalists a majority - 55% of votes
  • Saw it as opportunity to rally support for NP, determined to stamp authority

Macmillan's 'Wind of Change' Speech

  • Don't really understand

Establishing the Republic, 1960-61

  • October 1960, SA voted on republic - 52% in favour
  • Black opposition parties rejected the move
  • Became republic in 1961, new currency - didn't have dramatic effect on SA

Leaving the Commonwealth

  • SA wanted to remain

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