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Apartheid and Crimes in South Africa - Essay Example The novel tells the story of Stephen Khumalo who is a black Christian in the rural South Africa who sets for Johannesburg to look for the missing members of his family, his sister Gertrude and his son Absalom and his brother John. Even though, he gets to fin d them, it is evident that it is at an appalling cost. This is because he finds his brother having lost his faith and in turn learnt to hate his sister had lost her dignity and turned to prostitution, and his son having killed Arthur Jarvis son who is a white man opposed to the apartheid. Despite all these findings, it is noteworthy that the novel ends in a hopeful note, and this is by way of a conversation between James and Stephen on the future of South African racial understanding. This paper assesses the novel by focusing on the rampant crime that existed in the then South Africa, and this is to establish the accurate origin of the crimes. This book is laid down in South Africa of the 1940s a time during which there was both economic and political tensions that had resulted into a lengthy complicated history. Before the arrival of the Europeans in the mid 1600s, South Africa was inhabited by a considerable number of African tribal groups such as the San and the Khoikhoi and afterwards the Bantu speakers who are the ancestors of the present Zulus (Natarajan, 200). Even though, the Europeans had not come to settle as colonizers, a century later had resulted into a settlement of Europeans into deeper areas of South Africa, thus, displacing the native south Africans (Natarajan, 202). The arrival of the English almost a decade later transformed South Africa into a colony, and this had disastrous effects on the South Africans. This led to a conflict between the Boers who were the European settlers of South Africa and English, but it was till 1881 that a war between them transpired. However, this was after a series of clashes between the Boers and the native South Africans. At this time, it is evident that black workers were only permitted to hold unskilled jobs, and subjection to pass laws that restricted their freedom (Ikejiaku, 451). The enactment of the Natives Land Act led to a reduction in the land the natives were permitted to own. This is evidenced by the assertion of Arthur Jarvis that it is merely a tenth of the territory, that was allocated to the native south Africans yet they formed four fifth of the countryâ€™s population (Paton, 156). This subsequently resulted into the emigration of most native South Africans into urban areas to work on mines. This influx of cheap labor was welcomed by the min e owners, who did not care about the housing and services of these people. It is in this context that the novel begins as Stephen Khumalo goes to the city to look for his son and other members of his family, and these are associates he had not made out for a lengthy time. The status of his family members at the time he finds them paints a true picture of the social evils in the Apartheid Africa, and this is of course the cause of the rampant crimes in South Africa. This is a clear indication that it is the society itself that caused the crimes. The novel depicts the whites as those affected by the native crime but also sheds some light on the social instabilities as well as moral issues as the cause for the breakdown of the tribal system. This disconnection, thus, leads to conglomeration of crime as the natives strive to survive.
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