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History Racial segregation and the supremacy of whites had been traditionally accepted in South Africa prior to 1948, but in the general election of that year, Daniel F. Malan officially included the policy of apartheid in the Afrikaner Nationalist party platform, bringing his party to power for the first time. Although most whites acquiesced in the policy, there was bitter and sometimes bloody strife over the degree and stringency of its implementation. 2 The purpose of apartheid …

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…all the country's land and assets, rather than adherence to socialist doctrine on the part of all those who made and support the Charter. Yet, in Mandela's words, the Freedom Charter is 'a revolutionary document precisely because the changes it envisages cannot be won without breaking up the economic and political set-up of present South Africa.' It was for this reason that the ruling classes of South Africa regarded the Charter as 'High Treason'.