To come to understand the history of this place, means to understand how
many Tribal African, and liberal people struggled for many years. It began in 1948 when
a political party called the National Party passed the Apartheid act. By law
now people of non european decent were separated in many ways from
society.Not being allowed to vote, study, or being allowed any freedom. Under this law the people of SA were divided in to groups according to skin color, and levels of "civilisation".
The Nationalists categorised people into 4 groups, African, Coloured People,
Indians, and Whites, different laws applied to each group and was unequal.
White Angl-Saxon Men made the rules, owned about 90% of the land and were the only
citizens-allowed to vote.
The ethnic communities of S.Africa were completely controlled by
the government and law, who they married, where they worked and lived. The security
forces destroyed anyone who attempted to resist the law.
In 1949, a year after the National Party came to power, the African National Congress Youth League arose with a campaign of defiance, this allowed people of the cause to build an alliance. Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu
were organisers of the campaign, and both imprisoned on Robben Island.
At a meeting in 1955 in Kliptown members of the freedom fighting groups met to develop a collective objective, Mandela, Sisulu and other leaders attended this meeting in disguise where the Freedom Charter was written-
A great deal of horror occurred in the 1960-70's
In Sharpeville 69 people were killed and 186 wounded in a peaceful protest against the pass laws.
The ANC were an active group, Nelson Mandela and leaders of the party, Ahmed Kathrada, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, and others were sentenced to prison on the island. In the early 1960's after participating in an illegal group they were brought to trial at the Rivonia Trial for treason against the government.
Another law was passed which allowed the detention of people without the right of a fair trial. Many people during these times were put under house arrest some given the death sentence and many losing their lives.
On 16 June 1976 hundreds of innocent people died in a protest against the use of Afrikaans curriculum and poor conditions. An uprising spread to every city homeland and community, after this occurrence many young people decided to leave South Africa as a new section was being built on Robben Island. It would house more of the black, male prisoners who were to be arrested in a period where there was a major clamp down. The 1980's presented a challenge to the government, who found themselves up against a force of millions who aimed to make the country ungovernable, even though the force of control was even stronger from the White Government.
In 1986 Mandela spent time meeting with the National government and it marked a time of new unity for those who wanted change in South Africa.