Usually in the plural :A body of laws controlling the movement and residence rights of black people, differing from one period to the next, but particularly during the apartheid era implemented by endorsements in identity documents (the carrying of which was compulsory), and enforced by the imposition of fines and prison-sentences. Also attributive, and combinationpass law system, these laws collectively, and the way in which they were implemented;see also pass system (pass sense 4).
1897E. Prov. Herald 8 Feb.In the defence of a native charged with being without a pass, the defence was made that the Pass Law was not legal.
1897A. Milner inC. HeadlamMilner Papers (1931) I. 194Exempt Cape Boys from the degrading provisions of the Pass Law.
1899‘S. Erasmus’Prinsloo 115When the new Pass Law was made, the boys were afraid to leave without their passes, for if caught they would be flogged for having none.
1908J.M. OrpenReminisc. (1964) 268The President spoke of a pass law regarding movements of natives and cattle entering the Free State.
1909StateVol.2No.7, 14The native..is also subjected to the Pass Law in the Transvaal, which enables his employer to control him with greater ease and to enforce performance of his contract to work.
1921Outward Bound May 46I would not report them, that was not my way, let the pass-law say what it pleased. I don’t hold with pass-law slavery.
1927Workers’ Herald 18 Mar. 1Pass Laws Must Go. Every I.C.U. Member must pay his or her 5/- National Levy to fight these Dog Licenses.
1943I. FrackS. Afr. Doctor 68The irritating pass laws are another form of petty persecution.
1948O. WalkerKaffirs Are Lively 171A pass then was a scrap of paper stating that the owner of it had been freely released by his baas. From such a humble beginning has been raised the formidable Pass Law system.
1950H. GibbsTwilight in S. Afr. 72The majority of their crimes involve theft, robbery with violence, assault, offences against women, drunkenness. And towering above all, failure to comply with the pass laws.
1958A. SampsonTreason Cage 52The chief instrument by which Africans were controlled and disciplined — the pass laws, which require every black man to carry a document, without which he is arrested and removed from the city.
1968Cole & FlahertyHouse of Bondage 40A policeman may at any time call upon any African who is sixteen or older to produce his reference book. If the African fails to produce it, or if his papers are not in order, he is committing a criminal offence and is liable to a fine or imprisonment. The last is the nub of the infamous ‘pass laws,’ a complex mesh of rules and regulations that restrict the freedom of movement of Africans. Compared to some of the other oppressive statutes of apartheid, the pass laws on paper seem modest enough. But in practice they are the keynote on which enforcement of the entire apartheid system is based.
1968Cole & FlahertyHouse of Bondage 51For an African to protest against the degrading pass laws can be a deadly offense. On March 21, 1960, a crowd of blacks gathered in Sharpeville..to conduct a peaceful, unarmed protest against these despised laws.
1971Rand Daily Mail 10 June 5The Government’s move to introduce a new system of dealing with influx and pass law offenders is seen by the Black Sash as another means of removing Black people from urban areas to homeland settlements.
1977Time 2 May 22The ‘pass laws’..cost South Africa no less than $130 million a year to administer.
1980L. CallinicosPeople’s Hist. of S. Afr.I. 39The first pass laws were introduced more than 200 years ago, in 1760, and applied to slaves in the Cape.
A body of laws controlling the movement and residence rights of black people, differing from one period to the next, but particularly during the apartheid era implemented by endorsements in identity documents (the carrying of which was compulsory), and enforced by the imposition of fines and prison-sentences. Also attributive, and combinationpass law system, these laws collectively, and the way in which they were implemented;