Courtesy Reuters

Can Apartheid Succeed in South Africa?

SOUTH Africa has the unfortunate distinction of possessing the world's most tangled racial situation. Its 2,500,000 Europeans (whites), themselves divided between Afrikaans-speaking and English-speaking people, are far outnumbered by 10,500,000 non-Europeans. More than four-fifths of these are native Africans, or Bantu; and there are also more than 1,000,000 Colored (those of mixed blood), and 250,000 Indians. None of these non-Europeans possesses any significant political power. Nevertheless, the dominant political fact in South Africa today is, as everybody knows, the steady deterioration in the relations between Europeans and non-Europeans.

On the surface, life in the Union is quiet and pleasant. In daily contacts in the urban centers, as well as in the reserves and on European farms, the African is his customary, good-humored self. I have, in fact, rarely met such friendliness and open-handed hospitality as was accorded me in visits to native kraals in the eastern Transvaal. But tension always exists in the large cities, particularly Johannesburg, where there are hundreds of thousands of Africans, many of them "raw" from the reserves. Tsotsi gangs of young ruffians terrorize their own people. Murders of Europeans do occur; housebreaking and minor thefts are frequent. Many people remain calm, but there are others who carry guns, and are afraid to be alone, particularly at night.

Moreover, in urban areas the Africans and the police are in a state of constant hostility; this is aggravated by frequent raids into the native townships outside the cities, and often flares into violence. The three large-scale outbreaks toward the end of 1952 --at Port Elizabeth, East London and Kimberley--were set off by trouble between the police and a few natives. Innocent white people were killed during these outbreaks, including white people who were genuine friends of the natives.

Non-Europeans feel increasingly frustrated and bitter. The political color bar was raised against them when Africans were taken off the common roll in Cape Province in 1936 and placed on a separate roll to elect three Europeans. In their view the Native Representative Council, established in 1936,

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