oa Historia - Die apartheidsverkiesing van November 1948 in die Oos-Kaapse Naturelle-Kieskring



The Apartheid Election of November 1948 in the Eastern Cape Native Electoral Circle Since the acceptance of the Representation of Natives Act in 1936 the National Party (N.P.) was opposed to the representation of blacks by three whites in the House of Assembly. During the 1948 election the N.P. campaigned for their removal. After the N.P.'s victory at the polls they surprised friend and foe by deciding to contest the native elections with independent N.P. candidates. The reason for this surprising move was that the N.P. hoped to enlarge their slender majority in Parliament. Although independent N.P. candidates contested all three circles, all eyes were focused on the Eastern Cape election where the respected liberal and parliamentarian, Margaret Ballinger, was opposed by the N.P.'s strongest candidate, dr P.J. Schoeman. Dr Schoeman, a former professor in Anthropology and a well-known Afrikaans writer, waged a furious campaign. In contrast to the N.P.' s motivation for participating in the election, Schoeman personally was motivated by the idea to help the blacks and to show the merits of apartheid. The result of this was a fierce debate in the black community over the question whether to support or reject apartheid. In the end it was a shattering defeat for Schoeman and the philosophy of apartheid. Thus ended in humiliation, one of the few attempts by the N.P. to canvass the blacks' support for apartheid.


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