Apartheid was a legally sanctioned system of racial segregation enforced in South Africa until the mid-1990s. The word means "separateness" or "apartness" in Afrikaans, the language of the Dutch descended settlers, many of whom were early proponents of the policy. Apartheid denied black South Africans the vote and restricted other rights. Homelands were set up in which blacks where required to live apart from white South Africans. Others, notably the "coloreds" (often Indian workers) occupied a middle ground in the law.
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