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55 of 1949) was one of the first pieces of apartheid legislation enacted after the National Party came to power in South Africa in 1948.The Act banned marriages between “Europeans and non-Europeans,” which, in the language of the time, meant that white people could not marry people of other races.
While the Act was rigidly enforced, and the police endeavored to root out all illicit interracial relations, there were always a few people who thought that crossing that line was well worth the risk of detection.
By 1977, opposition to these laws was growing in the still white-led South African government, dividing members of the liberal party during the government of Prime Minister John Vorster (Prime Minister from 1966–1978, president from 1978–1979).
Unlike some other key pieces of apartheid legislation, this act was designed to protect the “purity” of the white race rather than the separation of all races.
Mixed marriages were rare in South Africa before 1949, averaging fewer than 100 per year between 19, but the National Party explicitly legislated to keep non-whites from "infiltrating" the dominant white group by intermarriage. Supreme Court case rejecting miscegenation laws ( While most white South Africans agreed that mixed marriages were undesirable during apartheid, there was opposition to making such marriages illegal.
But how could that work in churches that did not accept divorce?
A couple could be divorced in the eyes of the state and married in the eyes of the church.A total of 260 people were convicted under the law in 1976 alone.Cabinet members were divided; liberal members backed laws offering power-sharing arrangements to nonwhites while others, including Vorster himself, decidedly did not. The Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act, along with the related Immorality Acts which prohibited extra-marital interracial sexual relations, was repealed on June 19, 1985.Marriage, many clerics argued, was a matter for God and churches, not the state.One of the key concerns was that the Act declared that any mixed marriages “solemnized” after the Act was passed would be nullified.It is the racial segregation political party that first began in 1948.With the formation of this party come a number of changes.The Pass laws were demolished and segregation laws become weak.It was in 1994 that the Apartheid system was completely abolished after President F. de Klerk allowed whites to vote and Nelson Mandela was elected into office.It also showed that the National Party was going to fulfill its promises to protect the white race, unlike its political rival, the United Party, which many thought had been too lax on that issue.Anything taboo, however, can become attractive, just by virtue of being forbidden.