2009 MM Culture in the New South Africa

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Glossary South Africa


  • ANC - African National Congress, founded in 1912, up until 1994 this party supported and promoted the liberation movement. Most famous member: Nelson Mandela, since 1994 it has been the governing party; it is expected that the ANC will win the upcoming elections again
  • Apartheid - the recognition and separation of separate groups of people (National Party); separateness


  • Bantustans: Bantustans were districts set aside for native South Africans, the "Bantu"; they were often removed from the place where they lived before which caused the creation of great slums
  • Black Consciousness Movement (BCM): liberation movement rooted in Christianity to fight against the Apartheid regime, emerged in the mid-1960s
  • Botha , Pieter Willem (1916-2006. Nickname: "The Great Crocodile". Long time leader of the National Party and prime minister of South Africa from 1978 to 1984 and the first executive state president from 1984 to 1989.
  • Boraine, Alex: appointed deputy chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission under Chairperson Desmond Tutu from 1995-1998. Before, he had lead organizations concerned with the ending of apartheid and addressing its legacy.



  • "Drum" - magazine and groups of cultural producers
  • District Six - An old, rough working-class quarter close to the centre of Cape Town



  • Films:
    • Tsotsi (2005)
    • Red Dust (2004)- based on the novel "Red Dust" by Gilian Slovo, structured around the hearing of the TRC
    • In my Country (2004) - based on Antjie Krog`s "Country of my Skull"




  • IFP: Inkatha Freedom Party, founded in 1975, it is one of the lagest parties in South Africa today and highly supported by Black South Africans.





  • "Madiba" - nickname for Mandela
  • Mandela - . Served 27 years in prison on Robben Island for being an Anti-Apartheid Activist. Was the first President of South Africa to be elected in a fully democratic election.


  • Ngxobongwana, Johnson: warlord of the South African townships (1980s); leader of the "witdoeke"; ordered the destruction of camps around Crossroads (settlement near Cape Town) to gain power



  • PAC - Pan Africanist Congress. South African liberation Movement. The PAC acts upon the three principles of nationalism, socialism and unity.
  • Pass Laws - Introduced 1923 and a dominant feature of the apartheid system. Designed to enforce greater segregation and regulate movement into the urban areas by restricting movements of the black South Africans. The black population had to carry passbooks at all times. Anyone found without a pass would be arrested immediately.




  • Sharpeville Massacre - 21st March 1960: In the township of Sharpeville theSouth African police began shooting on a crowd of black protesters. The group was protesting against the governments Pass Laws.
  • Smuts, Jan Christiaan (1870-1950). Served as Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa from 1919-1924 and from 1939-1948. Advocated the segregation of races.
  • Soweto uprising (1976): Demonstration of students under the leadership of the South African Students' Movement. The demonstration entailed a revolt which was defeated by the police by force
  • Sophiatown - Black area of settlement and cultural production that was destroyed for resettlement schemes
  • Sun city - A pleasure resort less than a hundred kilometers from Pretonis where the whites enjoy gambling and interrecial sex


  • TRC - Truth and Reconciliation Commission (established in 1996). A court-like body to study the effects of apartheid.The commission gave victims an opportunity to be heard and perpetrators a chance to give testimony and request amnesty. Chairman of the TRC was archbishop Desmond Tutu.
  • Tswana- Name of a South African people
  • Tutu, Desmond - Born 1931 in Klerksdorp, ZA. Archbishop emeritus of Cape Town and an opponent of apartheid. Chariman of the TRC and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize 1984.


  • Ubuntu- A classical African concept influnced by ethic or humanist philosophy. Focuses on people’s allegiances and relations with each other. Played an important role in the TRC.
  • Umkhonto we Sizwe - (abbr.: MK), translated as "Spear of the Nation", this was the military wing of the ANC in their fight against apartheid; Nelson Mandela, one of the founding members, gave the reasons for founding the MK: "Secondly, we felt that without violence there would be no way open to the African people to succeed in their struggle against the principle of white supremacy."


  • Verwoerd , Hendrik - Born 1902 in the Netherlands. Was Prime Minister of South Africa from 1958 until his assassination in 1966.



Xhosa- Speakers of Bantu languages in South Africa



  • Zuma, Jacob Gedleyihlekisa - born 12 April 1942, elected President of South Africa by parliament following his party's victory in the 2009 general election; president of the ANC since December 2007 and member of the South African Communist Party (SACP), he is a very controversial as he has been facing several charges (rape, corruption) and has proclaimed his controversial attitude towards teenage pregnancy, same-sex marriages,...

Timeline South Africa

  • c.1000 B.C.-200 A.D.: Khoisan settle in the region
  • 300-1000 A.D.: Bantu-speaking people settle in the area
  • 1478: Portuguese Bartholemeu Dias arrives at Mossel Bay
  • 1652: Jan van Riebeeck arrives with 90 men in service of the Dutch East India Company and establishes a refreshment station at the Cape of Good Hope for the Eastern trade
  • 1652-1795: Dutch (later called Boers or Afrikaners) conquer the Khoisan, slaves are imported from Indonesia, India, Ceylon, Madagascar and Mosambique
  • by 1662, a colony had developed and immigration was encouraged from the 1700s onwards; "trekboers" move north and east; Khoisan pushed into service for the colonists; conflicts with Xhosa-speaking people in the east
  • Dutch, German and French Huguenot colonists gradually begin to from an Afrikaner identity
  • British take over the Cape from the Dutch in 1795, return it sven years later, and regain control in 1806
  • Cape frontier wars: British-Xhosa conflicts
  • Missionary activity
  • "The Great Trek"
  • Formation of the Orange Free State and South African Republic (Transvaal or ZAR - Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek)
  • Moshoeshoe's Basotholand (today's Lesotho)

  • May 1948: Apartheid government in power
  • 1950: Group Areas Act: forced removal of people from settlement areas into Bantustans
  • April 1960: ANC, PAC (Pan-Africanist Congress) and Communist Party banned; Sharpeville Massacre, State of Emergency
  • 1963 censorship (Publications Control Board)
  • International Sanctions
  • 1990: abandonment of apartheid
  • April 1994: first democratic elections
  • 1996-1998: Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings
  • 1997: Thabo Mbeki launches African Renaissance concept
  • 1999: Mbeki elected President afer Mandela retires