On This Day in South African History

Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS
Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

On Thursday, 22 February 1968, The Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act (1949), an existing ban on marriages between black and white people, was extended to white and coloured people.  Although this move was opposed by United and Progressive Parties, marriage officers were given the power to decide the race of couples wanting to be married.

If South African citizens of mixed racial descent were married outside of the country, the marriage would not be recognized in South Africa.

Image by © Bettmann/Corbis

Image by © Bettmann/Corbis

One year after the original Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act (1949) was adopted, a supplementary law, known as the Immorality act, was adopted. It prohibited sex between people of different races. These laws often split families, and entrenched racial division. President P W Botha removed the Act from the statutes book in 1986.

Watch SA comedian Trevor Noah talk about his experiences of growing up as a mixed race child under this law.

Source: SA History

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