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Apartheid is an Afrikaans word meaning ‘the state of being apart’. The term is mainly used in reference to the apartheid in South Africa, where racial segregation laws were used to promote white supremacy and the power of the white minority by suppressing the rights of the majority black South African population. Apartheid in South Africa officially began in 1948 and lasted until 1994, during which time black South Africans suffered widespread abuse from the white Afrikaans government and police forces and were stripped of many of their rights, including their citizenship, property and political representation rights. Nelson Mandela was the renowned African freedom fighter and leader of the African National Congress (ANC), the rebel group that was instrumental in overthrowing the apartheid government in the country.

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