The Rhetorical Origins of Apartheid

How the Debates of the Natives Representative Council, 1937–1950, Shaped South African Racial Policy

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About the Book

The story of Nelson Mandela’s and the African National Congress’ triumph over apartheid in South Africa is well known. All but forgotten are the African leaders who spoke against the system of white rule in its infancy. The founders of the ANC were members of the Natives Representative Council, a legislative adjunct of the South African Parliament elected by Africans between 1937 and 1950, when the Council was abolished. Their speeches during Council sessions document their eloquence and quiet dignity when facing their oppressors. Abbreviated versions of the speeches of the NRC are published here for the first time, along with discussion of the Council’s elections, its members and the white government who used the NRC’s rhetoric to its own ends.

About the Author(s)

Mia Roth is a retired South African university professor living in Perth, Australia.

Bibliographic Details

Mia Roth
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 220
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9982-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2204-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Abbreviations and Terms vii

Preface 1

Part One: The Natives Representative Council

 1. The Formation of the Natives Representative Council 5

 2. Natives Representative Council Elections, 1937–1948 14

 3. How the Council Functioned 23

 4. Members of the Natives Representative Council 34

Part Two: Speeches of the Councilors Introduction to the Speeches 59

 5. Education 61

 6. Rural Issues 81

 7. Urban Issues 94

 8. Taxes 99

 9. Wages 105

10. Trade Unions 111

11. Social Welfare 117

12. Pass Laws 139

13. Politics 149

Chapter Notes 193

Bibliography 203

Index 207