The Breeze

The Story of South Africa: Apartheid

Joshua Vigeland, Contributor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






In 1948, Apartheid became law across South Africa. Apartheid was a type of segregation where whites stayed with whites, blacks with blacks, and multiracial with multiracial. My father, Marlon Vigeland, was born August 26, 1975 in South Africa where there was a lot of racial conflict. My father grew up in a multiracial family with both his parents being of European and Indian descent. He is the oldest of five children and experienced most of the racial conflict because of the uprising youth wanting to free Nelson Mandela and gain equality as well as a true democracy. 

In those days in South Africa, there were designated areas for different races. If a black or multiracial citizen had to go work in a white area, he would need a certain form of identification similar to a passport, and he was only permitted to be there for a certain amount of hours during the day. Being in those areas after dark, he would be beaten and imprisoned if caught by police officers. There were limited possibilities for people who were black, Asian, or multiracial. They were not allowed to attend the same schools and universities as white people; their education system was inferior compared to the white education system. There was no social mobility; where you were born was where you would stay. People who were not white were not allowed to take loans or own property; the government owned most of the properties. Life was a struggle for the average non-white individual in South Africa. My father was among the generation that fought for South Africa and it is only because of that generation that South Africa became a true democracy.   

My father and his generation participated in a mass school walk out, the objective being to free Mandela. Children all over South Africa left school, where police were waiting for them, and if they did not leave school, they would be interrogated by students from other schools. If caught by the police, they would would be thrown into jail;  policemen would also chase them through tear gas. My father ran for his life, because the “caspers,” which were military vehicles, would shoot tear gas and rubber bullets at protesting students, trying to get them under control, but it was to no avail. In that time, a lot of the youth lost their lives in the fight against Apartheid. There was constant police brutality to anyone who rose up against the Apartheid system. Even though the youth had to face such struggles daily, they never gave up fighting for their freedom and equality. It was a long road, but the youth never gave up and that eventually led to Mandela and many other leaders being freed from Robben Island, which was an island prison off the coast of Cape Town. When Mandela was released, he became the first black president as well as the first fully democratic president of South Africa. Under his leadership, South Africa would form into the nation it is known as today: “The Rainbow Nation.”  

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Leave a Comment

The Breeze encourages this area to be used to foster thought-provoking discussion among all readers and staff. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Breeze does not allow anonymous comments, and The Breeze requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments. As a student run newspaper the Breeze expects readers to contact our editorial staff using the comment box below for all questions or concerns. -The Breeze Staff

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • The Story of South Africa: Apartheid

    Homepage Box

    Somerset Berkley Captures D1 Title in 2-1 Thriller

  • The Story of South Africa: Apartheid

    Homepage Box

    Somerset Berkley Field Hockey Dominates Over Canton

  • The Story of South Africa: Apartheid

    Homepage Box

    Is Class Rank Worth The Hype?

  • The Story of South Africa: Apartheid

    Homepage Box

    Do Injuries Overshadow the Superbowl Matchup?

  • The Story of South Africa: Apartheid

    Homepage Box

    Government Shutdown- What you need to know

  • News

    Christmas Controversy

  • Clubs

    SBR Game Club

  • News

    An Open Letter to SBRHS Administration

  • The Story of South Africa: Apartheid

    Arts & Entertainment

    Hear My Song

  • The Story of South Africa: Apartheid

    News

    The Life Of Stephen Hillenburg : The Creator Of Spongebob SquarePants

Navigate Right
The online news for the students and staff at Somerset Berkley Regional High School
The Story of South Africa: Apartheid