Divide and Rule
Read the most important clauses of the Population Registration Act - the Act that developed the legal framework by which individuals were classified according to race and ethnicity. Of particular interest is how the "racial category" of an individual was determined.
In this Act, unless the context otherwise indicate(d) - -
1. (iii) "coloured person" means a person who is not a white person or a native;
(v) "ethnic or other group" means a group prescribed and defined by the Governor-General in terms of sub-section (2) of section five;
(x) "native" means a person who in fact is or is generally accepted as a member of any aboriginal race or tribe of Africa;
(xv) "white person" means a person who in appearance obviously is, or who is generally accepted as a white person, but does not include a person who, although in appearance obviously a white person, is generally accepted as a coloured person...
5. (1) Every person whose name is included in the register shall be classified by the Director as a white person, a coloured person or a native, as the case may be, and every coloured person and every native whose name is so included shall be classified by the Director according to ethnic or other group to which he belongs.
(2) The Governor-General may by proclamation in the Gazette prescribe and define the ethnic or other groups into which coloured persons and natives shall be classified in terms of sub-section (1), and may in like manner amend or withdraw any such proclamation.
(3) If at any time it appears to the Director that the classification of a person in terms of sub-section (1) is incorrect, he may, subject to the provisions of sub-section (7) of section eleven and after giving notice to that person and, if he is a minor, also to his guardian, specifying in which respect the classification is incorrect, and affording such person and such guardian (if any) an opportunity of being heard, alter the classification of that person in the register...
11. (1) Any person who considers himself aggrieved by his classification by the Director in terms of section five and any person who has any objection to the classification of any other person in terms of the said section, may at any time object in writing to the Director against that classification...
13. (2) If the person referred to in sub-section (1) is a white person or a coloured person and is not an alien or a person referred to in sub-section (4), the identity card issued to that person shall contain the following particulars and no other particulars in relation to that person whatsoever, namely -
(a) his name and sex;
(b) his classification in terms of section five;
(c) his citizenship or nationality; his identity number;
(d) a recent photograph of himself; and
(e) the date of issue of the identity card.
(5) If the person is a native, the identity card issued to him shall contain the following particulars and no other particulars in relation to him whatsoever, namely:
(a) his name and sex;
(b) the ethnic or other group and the tribe to which he belongs and, in the case of a native who is not a South African citizen, his citizenship or nationality;
(c) his identity number; a recent photograph of himself and in the case of a native who is not a South African citizen, his fingerprints; and
(d) the date of issue of the identity card.
19. (1) A person who in appearance obviously is a white person shall for the purposes of this Act be presumed to be a white person until the contrary is proved.
- "Population Registration Act of 1950", in Parrow, CP, Statutes of the Union of South Africa, Government Printers