from Wikipedia Says
Apartheid was a political and social system in South Africa during the era of White minority rule. It enforced racial discrimination against non-Whites, mainly focused on skin colour and facial features. This existed in the twentieth century, from 1948 until the early-1990s. The word apartheid means "distantiation” in the Afrikaans language. Racial segregation had existed in Southern Africa for centuries, but when the apartheid legislation was introduced by the National Party in 1948; it was strictly enforced and became institutionalized. Under the system, the people of South Africa were divided by their race and the different races were forced to live separately from each other. There were laws in place to ensure that segregation was abided by. The apartheid system in South Africa was abolished in 1994, when a new constitution was ratified which abolished the previous system of segregation. The last President who held office during the apartheid era was Frederik Willem de Klerk; who was responsible for holding negotiations with political prisoner Nelson Mandela to bring an end to apartheid. Following these successful negotiations, Nelson Mandela was elected to the Presidency of South Africa after multi-racial elections were held in April 1994, and became the first Black person to hold the position. The pair were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts. Today, the term apartheid is sometimes used for similar segregational systems in other countries.