The population Registration
Act: This law was passed in 1950, to define in
no uncertain terms who belonged to a particular race. Race was defined
by physical appearance.
If the authorities had doubt as to the
color of a persons skin, they would resort to a "pencil in hair
test". A pencil was pushed in the hair, and if it remained in the
persons hair without dropping, it signified frizzy hair. The person
would then be classified as colored. If the pencil dropped out the
person would be classified as white.
Many decisions were wrong, resulting in
families being split and or evicted for living in the wrong area. In
some cases hundreds of colored families were reclassified as white and
in a few cases Afrikaners were reclassified as colored.
Afrikaner parents, abandoned children with frizzy hair and or children
with dark skin. They were regarded as outcasts by the biological
Afrikaner parents. Once the law was implemented all citizens were issued
with identity documents in which the race of a person was clearly