Freedom Day in South Africa 1994
Freedom Day is an annual public holiday in South Africa celebrated on April 27. It commemorates the 1994 general elections that officially marked the end of apartheid in South Africa.
Apartheid in South Africa was a system of racial segregation enforced through the legislation. The period of apartheid began after the 1948 parliamentary election won by Afrikaner nationalist parties.
Apartheid was characterized by white minority rule. Population was divided into four racial groups, and non-white citizens were removed from their homes and forced into segregated residential areas. In 1970, non-white political representation was abolished.
In 1990, negotiations to end apartheid began. They were initiated by President F. W. de Klerk. On April 27, 1994, the first general elections held with universal adult suffrage began in South Africa. Voting period lasted for three days.
The elections were won by the African National Congress that has been the dominant party in South Africa ever since. The two other parties that won more then 20 seats in the National Assembly were the Inkatha Freedom Party and the National Party. Following the elections, Nelson Mandela became the country's first black president.