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It is widely reported that the term was coined by Jan Smuts in 1917 in his speech at the Savoy. I have my doubts. I think the policy was set out there, but the word is much later in origin. I have a feeling that Dr Verwoed coined the word, but cannot find the original citation. Does anybody know? Andrew massyn 15:10, 30 April 2006 (UTC) P.S. I have read the speech and the word Apartheid is not there. Andrew massyn

I've no idea whether Jam Smuts coined the word. The earliest English-language quotation in the OED is from 1947 from the Cape Times. There is also one from 1929 but this is in what looks to me to be Dutch (but could possibly be Afrikaans).
Would you be able to put in the quote? I don't think OED will have a problem with that. Andrew massyn 10:33, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
As the word is not in the quotation, I have removed it from the page. It might be of interest, but as it doesn't quote the word, it is not a quotation! — Paul G 10:14, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
I notice that the Wiktionary article says that Smuts' is the earliest usage, but doesn't give a quote. Andrew, have you seen the whole speech? If so, and the word does not appear, then the Wikipedia should be informed and asked to edit their content. I've asked Wikipedia to substantiate their claim. — Paul G 10:24, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
Yes I have read the speech. It does not contain the word. Some time ago, I wrote to our archives to ask when their earliest recorded use of the word was, but didn't get a reply. Andrew massyn 10:33, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
I've added a quote from 1798 USA - from google book search. SemperBlotto 10:26, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
WOW! That then buggers the etymology Andrew massyn 10:33, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
This is incorrectly dated in the article the actual date is 1963.
Wikipedia have replied:
"[...] This quote occurs in a Smuts speech on 27 May 1917 at the Savoy Hotel in London: "Instead of mixing up black and white all over the country, we are now trying to keep them as far apart as possible in government". It's possible Smuts coined the word "apartheid" elsewhere in the speech, but we'd need an actual quote to back up the claim."
Can an 18th-century quote be applicable to the 20th-century policy in South Africa? If not, what does "apartheid" mean in that quote? I'm sure the OED would be very pleased to hear of it too, as they are always looking to antedate examples of usage. — Paul G 09:02, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

From Wikipedia's discussion.

According to Hermann Giliomee's book, "The Afrikaners: Biography of a People" (University of Virginia Press/Tafelberg Publishers, 2003.) the first printed use of the term in its modern sense dates back to 1929. He writes (p 454):

The first printed record of the term 'apartheid', used in its modem sense, dates back to 1929. In addressing a conference of the Free State Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) on missionary work, held in the town of Kroonstad, the Rev.Jan Christoffel du Plessis said: 'In the fundamental idea of our missionary work and not in racial prejudice one must seek an explanation for the spirit of apartheid that has always characterized our [the DRCs] conduct.' He rejected a missions policy that offered blacks no 'independent national future.'
By 'apartheid' Du Plessis meant that the Gospel had to be taught in a way that strength­ened the African 'character, nature and nationality' - in other words, the volkseie (the people's own). Africans had to be uplifted 'on their own terrain, separate and apart.' Blacks and whites had to worship separately to 'ensure the survival of a handful of [Afri­kaner] people cut off from their national ties in Europe.' For Du Plessis it was not so much a matter of protecting privilege or exclusivity than finding a policy that concen­trated on the eie, or that which was one's own, and which promoted what he called the selfsyn, or being oneself. Implicit in this was the view that only identification with one's own ethnic community was authentic. Du Plessis envisaged the development of au­tonomous, self-governing black churches as a counter to English missionaries, who tried to produce converts by copying 'Western civilization and religion.' — HeervanMalpertuis 22:17, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

I shall be putting this as the source for the etymology, and will move this to the discussion page. Andrew massyn 14:30, 16 September 2006 (UTC)