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Contributed by Joanna Schenke
Joanna Schenke is a graduate from Pomona College in Claremont, California. She did this research for Professor Betsy Crighton as a part of her studies for a B.A. in International Relations. Joanna is now a Fulbright Scholar to Turkey and Germany and is studying the Turkish population in Berlin. To contact her, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
The first Dutch settlers were on the cape in 1652, followed by the British in 1795.
1936 – The South African Institute of Race Relations began its annual publication, the “Survey of Race Relations.” During the 80’s, this became a tool for fighting apartheid through researched facts to show that the system was economically inefficient.
1946 – India complained to the UN about the discriminatory practices towards Indians in South Africa.
Post WWII, the Suppression of Communism Act gave extensive powers to the Minster of Justice. After WWI, South West Africa (now Namibia) was put under South Africa’s control through a League of Nations mandate which split up all of Germany’s African colonies. After WWII, South Africa wanted to make South West Africa its 6th province, but the UN opposed the idea. South Africa continued to administrate South West Africa.
1948 – Apartheid becomes law when the ANP (Afrikaner National Party, founded in 1913) takes power – they won with less than 40% of the votes, yet defeated the United Party.
Daniel Malan is PM until 1954.
1950 – The govt. passed the Population Registration Act (which was the last apartheid law to be repealed in June 1991).
The ANC (African National Congress, founded in 1912), led by Mandela, protested with a campaign of civil disobedience, resulting in thousands of arrests and increased White support for the NP.
The Apartheid government passed sweeping land reforms throughout the decade. This era was known as the baasskaap (boss-ship) era of apartheid, referring to white supremist rule.
1952 – The ANC’s Defiance Campaign was squashed by the govt., which led to creation of the Freedom Charter in 1955.
1953 – The Liberal Party was founded and consisted of English-speaking, middle class whites opposed to apartheid. It later became the Democratic Party after merging with the Progressive Federal Party. (The PFP was the main opposition party to the NP until the late 80’s when the CP took that position)
1954 – JG Strijdom was PM until 1958
1955 – The Congress Alliance was formed when the ANC joined with the South African Indian Congress, the South African Colored People’s Organization, the Congress of Democrats (predominantly White) and the South African Congress of Trade Unions (multiracial).
The Freedom Charter was signed by members of the Alliance (was seen by the government as a communist document which urged the overthrow of the govt.)
The Black Sash was founded as an anti-apartheid women’s organization.
1956 – Treason Trial: 156 Alliance leaders arrested and charged with treason because of the Freedom Charter – Mandela was in favor of negotiations and gradual change towards universal franchise (Zartman 150). Sisulu and Mandela were acquitted in 1961.
The Tomlinson Report stated that the economic viability of the Bantustans was not sustainable.
1958 – Verwoerd, the “father of apartheid” was PM until 1966.
1959 – The Bantu Self-Government Act was passed. Under a policy of “separate development,” the African population had to move to separate territories for the African nations which were based on the old native reserves. The Bantustans or homelands made up 13.7% of the land for 87% of the population. The act was passed due to international pressure at the time of decolonization – he said “In light of the pressures being exerted on South Africa, there is no doubt that this will eventually have to be done, thereby buying for the white man his freedom and the right to retain domination in his own country” (Barber 12). Verwoerd argued that he had decolonized South Africa, because Africans could govern themselves along traditional practices without interference from white parliamentary representatives in the Bantustans.
April – Robert Sobukwe formed the PAC (Pan Africanist Congress of Azania), which split off of the ANC. The PAC operated under the slogan “Africa for Africans” and was initially opposed to multiracialism and the Freedom Charter.
1960 – British PM Harold Macmillan visited and made his “wind of change” speech. He said that “the great issue was whether the uncommitted peoples of Africa will swing to the East of the West” (Barber 13).
March 21st – The Sharpeville Massacre, where the police killed 69 and wounded 180 blacks who were protesting the Pass Laws, brought on severe international disapproval and led to the banning of black political organizations. The pass laws were a set of regulations which required blacks to have paperwork on them at all times – police officers could ask for them to make sure that a black person was where they were supposed to be (if they were in a white area). These laws were to prevent Black urbanization.
April 8th – The Unlawful Organizations Act banned the ANC, the PAC, and the SACP in reaction to Sharpeville. This marked the opposition’s turning point from nonviolent protest/civil disobedience to armed struggle. Boycotts, sit-ins, and refusals to carry passes were met by arrests, imprisonments, an ever-expanding police force, and more justice employees.
PAC leader Sobukwe was jailed on Robben Island for 9 years.
A deranged White farmer shot Verwoerd in the head, but he recovered and returned to office five weeks after the assassination attempt.
Verwoerd declared a state of emergency.
1961 – May – In a letter to Verwoerd, Mandela and others demanded a fully representative national convention to establish a union of all South Africans and called for a nonracial and democratic constitution (Zartman 151). (The lack of response from the PM incited Umkhonto we Sizwe)
May 31st – After receiving harsh criticism at a Commonwealth conference, South Africa left the commonwealth and becomes a republic. The referendum passed with 52% of the vote.
Mandela went abroad to head up the new guerilla wing of the ANC with Sisulu. It was called Umkhonto we Sizwe or Spear of the Nation – abbreviated as MK. The stated aims of MK were to “penetrate into South Africa, attacking official property and personnel, challenging the government’s forces, promoting mass uprisings, and eventually overthrowing the apartheid regime” (Barber 17).
Mandela tried to get support for MK first form African nations, but then went to the USSR after realizing that Africa didn’t have the financial means to support such an operation.
PAC formed a military wing, too, called Poqo. Mandela never thought that this organization would overthrow the govt., but saw it as a way to supplement other forms of pressure (Friedman 10).
Oliver Tambo went into exile abroad.
White radical liberals and Trotskyites formed ARM (African Resistance Movement)
Johannes (John) Vorster was appointed as Minister of Justice to crush anti-apartheid groups. He was a Nazi-sympathizer during the 30’s and 40’s.
A 90-day detention without trail law was passed.
1962 – August 5th – Mandela (then known as the Black Pimpernel) was caught in a police road-trap and sentenced to five years in prison for leaving SA illegally.
SA officials would induce exiles to report on their colleagues. The PAC leader gave a list of active internal PAC members to one such agent (Barber 15).
Sabotage was made a capital offence.
1963 – Riviona Trials: Mandela was brought back from prison to be tried with the other Umkhonto leaders. They were sentenced to life imprisonment on June 12th.
The UN imposed an arms embargo and pushed for the breaking all ties with SA. There was more African representation in the UN as African countries became independent nations, especially SA’s neighboring countries. The OAU refused SA diplomatic recognition, as well.
1964 – Mandela sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island for sabotage/plotting to overthrow the republic, along with six other Umkhonto leaders: Walter Sisulu, Gavon Mbeki, Raymond Mhlaba, Elias Motsoaledi, Andrew Mlangeni, and Ahmed Kathrada.
The US under President Kennedy imposed a unilateral arms embargo (Baker 98).
1965 – The 90-day detention law was extended to 180 days.
The white minority government in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) declared a UDI which led to a civil war.
1966 – Sep. 6th – Verwoerd is stabbed to death in Parliament and John Vorster became PM until 1979.
In the late 60’s, Vorster made minor concessions to Blacks, such as allowing visiting dignitaries temporary “white status” and allowing for multiracial sports teams. Petty apartheid laws (segregation of public amenities) were slowly eliminated on a local level.
1967 – The 90-day detention law was extended to an indefinite time period. The govt. would also ban its enemies, which meant that they were under house arrest and could not make public statements or meet with more than one person at a time.
1968 – The NP split between right-wingers (verkrampte or “narrow ones”) and the reformists (verligtes or “enlightened ones”). The verkramptes were led by Albert Hertzog and renamed themselves the HNP (Restored National Party). They never won a parliamentary seat.
The Liberal Party merged into the Progressive Federal Party (a precursor to the Democratic Party).
**Hundreds of thousands of Blacks, colored, and Indians are forced to resettle**
1969 – Steve Biko, a black university student, formed SASO (South African Students’ Organization). His Black Consciousness movement was race-centered (rather than class-centered), and was open to anyone who faced White racial discrimination. The movement appealed to young, educated Blacks.
Mandela sent a letter to the govt, which went unanswered (Mandela 422).
Henry Kissinger wrote a review of US policy towards SA for the National Security Council. It said, “For the foreseeable future, South Africa will be able to maintain international stability and effectively counter insurgent activity.” This was in line with the Nixon Doctrine of broader engagement with both white and black SA as a counter to Soviet force (Guelke 137).
1970 – A UN Declaration signified the agreement of the intl. community over the illegitimacy of the apartheid system, but they did not rule out a federal system of autonomous states (Guelke 137).
The ANC moved its headquarters to Lusaka, Zambia. Oliver Tambo (who was not yet president) said his aim was to bring “under the ANC’s revolutionary umbrella all actual and potential allies, inspire, activate, conduct, direct and lead them in a united offensive against the enemy” (Barber 16).
1971 – The Bantu Homelands Constitution Act offered a multistate settlement with semi-autonomy and a constitutional template for the homelands. Transkei already had this (under the rule of Mandela’s nephew), but six homelands did not take the option (Tomorrow 96). The four independent Bantustans were Transkei, Ciskei, BophuthaTswana, and Venda. The govt. offered this largely as a gesture to the intl. community to show that they were “decolonizing” the natives (Guelke 137).
The International Court of Justice ruled that SA presence in Namibia was illegal.
The Observer newspaper reported that 10 of 34 officials in the London embassy (then the headquarters of the ANC) were trained intelligence officers.
1972 – Biko organized the BPC (Black Peoples’ Congress), an umbrella organization for Black Consciousness groups.
**1973 or 1974? – Government banned Biko, because the white government held onto Western ties with Cold War logic; if Blacks were allowed in government, they would turn SA communist, like neighboring Angola and Mozambique.**
1973 – OPEC imposed an oil embargo. Increasing oil prices combined with labor asymmetry led to a recession. (Blacks were needed to fill manufacturing jobs and were allowed to work in white areas) The recession led to a wave of strikes in the industrial port city of Durban and triggered a resurgence of black worker organization (Friedman 6). The Soweto riots of 76 may be part of the same wave of strikes.
Leading up to 1974, real GDP grew an average of 4.9%/year.
1974 – Angola and Mozambique became independent and installed Marxist governments (Baker 98).
The SA govt. was heavily involved in Angola after it won its independence on a national, regional, and global (Cold War) level. On the national level, the SA govt. supported Unita (led by Jonas Savimbi) against the Marxist MPLA govt. of Jose dos Santos. On the regional level, SA forces were serving in defense of the South West African govt. against SWAPO (the guerrilla forces in South West Africa). MK camps were also established in Angola. On the global level, the USSR and Cuba backed the Marxist-MPLA, which took over after the fall of Portuguese rule. The US joined SA in its support of UNITA, the rebel group (Barber 19).
1975 – Nine SASO and BPC leaders sent to Robben Island under the Terrorism Act.
Minister of Bantu Education told all secondary schools to instruct social studies and arithmetic in Afrikaans, which few teachers and students spoke. Vorster did not reverse the policy even after being warned by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Mangosuthu Buthelezi (Chief Minister of the KwaZulu Bantustan) revived Inkatha, a Zulu ethnic movement. Buthelezi was favored by the West because he opposed the armed struggle, supported a market economy, and was already participating in the homeland aspect of the SA govt. Reagan and Thatcher called him a “stalwart opponent of violent uprising” (Barber 30).
Anti-apartheid activists raided the SA embassy in South West Africa and discovered nuclear ties between Germany and South Africa.
1976 – Mandela received a visit from Krueger, who made an offer of independence contingent upon his moving to Transkei. Mandela refused it, because the ANC was still illegal and the govt. did not want to talk (Mandela 418).
June 16th – 15,000 school children marched from Soweto to Orlando (near Johannesburg) to protest Afrikaans as their language of instruction. Police fired on the children, killing at least two. This led to local student-led riots, which were not party-organized. On another level, the riots were between homeowners (culturally urbanized black families) and hostel dwellers (rural migrant workers who often supported the Inkatha). The Soweto Riots and subsequent boycotting of the schools left 575 dead, 2,389 wounded, and hundreds arrested.
Sisk explains the hostel dwellers and their impact on violence on page 116 – these people were semi peasants who were fiercely loyal to traditional kinship ties and therefore had a lot of social tension in the townships with the more urban, educated, and modern township dwellers.
1977 – The Catholic Institute was banned for openly attacking apartheid.
Manual labor on Robben Island ended – Mandela took up studying SA history, Afrikaans, gardening, and tennis (Mandela 424).
Carter became president: He focused on human rights and shifted away from Nixon’s constructive engagement due to SA’s destabilization policies and the riots of the mid 80’s – he created a contact group of five nations to negotiate a settlement in Namibia (Canada, France, Great Britain, the US, and West Germany).
The Sullivan Principles outlined a code of conduct for American MNC’s operating in SA (Guelke 142).
August 18th – Steve Biko arrested under Terrorism Act, because the government blamed the rioting on Black Consciousness ideals. He was kept naked and manacled in his cell, brutally beaten, and suffered brain damage.
September 12th – Biko died in police custody. The government said he fell against a wall or died on a hunger strike, but his death incited international outrage.
Minister of Justice JT Kruger responded by banning SASO, BPC, Naude’s Christian Institute, and other Black Consciousness and church groups, as well as two newspapers. He also banned Winnie Mandela to Brandfort and put her under the care of lawyer Piet de Waal.
A mandatory 2-year military service was imposed for all White males due to increasingly unfriendly borders, involvement in Angola and Namibia, and ANC guerrillas. Emigration of Whites (especially English-speaking Whites) forced the govt. to include Blacks in noncombatant military roles. In 1977 alone, 3,000 white citizens (mostly skilled professionals) emigrated. In response to the draft, the End Conscription Campaign (ECC) was founded.
The UN arms embargo was made mandatory.
Vorster appointed two commissions to investigate the contradictions between apartheid and economic needs, the Riekert Report and the Wiehahn Commission. Both reports concluded that Blacks needed to be included in the labor force, with the ability for permanent urban residence and to form multiracial trade unions.
Late 1970’s – Economic Outlook: Intl. investment and the housing market were falling, capital was flowing out of the country, businesses were failing, and the standard of living for Whites was declining. There was White emigration, a low White birthrate, and conscription led to fewer Whites to fill jobs. All of that was combined with black urbanization and population growth. Black migrant laborers had to live in single-sex hostels in the townships, which were later sites of IFP violence.
Net foreign capital outflow was an average of 2.3% of GDP per year.
Along with the urbanization came a proliferation of NGO’s – Blacks were allowed to live in white areas, but no extra services were being provided. Whites who were frustrated with the apartheid system had an opportunity to help blacks by providing legal services or skills training, for example. NGO’s received 87% of their funding from overseas, mostly from the EU, the US (esp. US-AID and the Ford Foundation), and Scandinavian countries (SA tax law prohibited corporate philanthropy). NGO’s had to be covert if they had an anti-apartheid agenda, such as promoting democratic reform (Gidron 44). The leaders of NGO’s were mostly white South African males with university education.
Total Strategy – based an American military theorist John McCuen and advanced in SA by Defense Minister Botha to prevent a revolutionary onslaught. Botha created the National Security Management System, whose centerpiece was the State Security Council. The SCC was composed of senior ministers and top security personnel and chaired by the president. It integrated foreign and domestic policy into a single strategy to defend the white state (Barber 20). A main tenet was to analyze the tactics being used and apply them in reverse (Mind 355). Botha was convinced that SA was under a “total onslaught” from the Soviet Union, saying that the ultimate aim of the USSR was to “overthrow the present body politic in the Republic of South Africa and replace it with a Marxist-oriented form of government to further the objectives of the USSR” (Barber 20). The onslaught was total, in that it penetrated all aspects of life: even military leaders would openly state that “80 per cent of the threat was political/social and only 20 per cent military” (Barber 20). Thus, in addition to the SCC, Botha sought to win the “trust and faith” of the Black population. He pushed for social and economic reform while still repressing opposition through a program called WHAM (winning hearts and minds) which was to “eliminate the underlying social and economic factors which have caused unhappiness in the population” (Mind 357). With this whole policy, he was trying to steer attention away from anti-apartheid and towards anti-communism.
Another key component of Botha’s total strategy was to keep “communist” incursions from bordering countries. SA offered economic incentives (aid, jobs) if its neighbors forbade anti-apartheid refugees and movements, namely the ANC. The neighboring countries aimed to reduce their dependence on SA by forming the SADCC (South African Development Coordination Conference) and a loose alliance called the Front Line States. SA’s defense of the borders and destabilization policies during 1980-1988 (including assistance to RENAMO in Mozambique and to UNITA in Angola) cost 1.5 million deaths, $60 billion, made 4 million more homeless, and killed 100,000 elephants and rhinos (Tutu 239).
Parliament accepted modifications to the apartheid system (partially due to economic necessity, partially due to Botha’s total strategy)
Vorster began to decolonize the Bantustans by granting them “independence,” but no foreign recognition was granted. “Surplus” Africans (unfit, old, and injured) were forcefully deported into the Bantustans, even as other Africans were granted urban residency.
The Progressive Federal Party (Afrikaner dissidents) was formed by the Progressive and Reform Parties (Mind 382).
1978 – Vorster had been buying off newspapers with state funds to convince the rest of the world of SA’s progress. This came out as the Muldergate Scandal and pushed him out of political life (named after Minister of Information Connie Mulder)
Vorster’s ill health and the Muldergate scandal forced him to resign. PW Botha succeeded Vorster as PM, and he governed until 1984.
The UN passed resolution 435 concerning Namibian independence. It was ignored by SA.
1979 – Blacks were allowed to form trade unions and had legal bargaining power, but were still not allowed to form partnerships or companies or to have firms outside of homelands and townships (BtM 21).
They were also allowed to buy leaseholds in urban areas.
1980’s – White paramilitary extremist groups formed and committed sabotage against the govt. and Blacks. The most famous group was the AWB (Afrikaner Resistance Movement), led by Eugene TerreBlanche. He later had a personal bodyguard force (called Aquila) organized for him by Police Brigadier Theuns Swanepoel (Mind 343).
Afrikaners continued to vote for Conservative parties, although the NP retained a majority.
There was a general trend in the western world towards the intensification of sanctions. Even if the govt. supported ties with SA, consumers often boycotted goods. Sanctions were a non-violent, distanced way of showing support for the struggle, but there was never any military intervention – White, western countries identified with the Afrikaners and were also against communist movements (Guelke 139). Sanctions were wide in scope – not only did they prohibit trade and loans, but also excluded SA in sports and academics.
1980 – Coetsee became the Minister of Justice, Police, and Prisons, and lawyer Piet de Waal began to lobby his college buddy Coetsee for Winnie to be unbanned and for the release of Nelson Mandela (Tomorrow 19).
Coetsee allowed the political prisoners (“politicals”) access to radio, newspaper, and TV, and also relaxed the policy to allow for discretion in granting remission (Tomorrow 22).
Tutu met with Botha and made proposals for peaceful negotiations, which were not accepted (Tutu 244).
The white Rhodesian govt. fell and the country went into civil war – the SA govt. supported Renamo.
1981 – Connie Mulder was replaced by Andries Treurnicht as Transvaal NP leader. The PM in Transkei (Mandela’s nephew) deposed the king (Mandela 441).
Reagan’s foreign policy of constructive engagement began – it involved “broad incentives of closer diplomatic ties based on common strategic objectives, publicly expressing sensitivity to the dilemma of the white populations, and reshaping South Africa’s image to end its pariah status.” The Reagan administration thought that they could get the elites to end the conflict with this strategy, an in return, South Africa would help the US by working on a settlement in Namibia and getting Cuban troops removed from Southern Africa, particularly in Angola (Baker 96). The policies were more about common strategic interests than domestic political reforms. The Assistant Secretary of State Chester Crocker was largely responsible for initiating and implementing these policies.
Crocker scrapped Carter’s contact group for Namibia, replacing it instead with a unilateral approach to link South African withdrawal from Namibia with Cuban withdrawal from Angola.
1982 – March – Mandela, Sisulu, Ahmed Kathrada, Raymond Mhalaba, and Andrew Mlangeni were transferred to Pollsmoor maximum security prison in a Cape Town suburb and placed in a room together (on the top floor isolated from the rest of the prison). This was done so that the govt. officials could contact the politicals discreetly (Tomorrow 23).
August – Ruth First, an SACP activist and wife of Joe Slovo, was killed by a letter bomb in Maputo (Mozambique).
Treurnicht led a vote of no confidence against Botha (for his planned reforms) and the vote failed. Treurnicht got expelled from parliament and started the Conservative Party. FW de Klerk replaced Treurnicht’s NP post, and was responsible for campaigning against the CP (Tomorrow 93).
In London, a professional burglar confessed to having been employed by the SA govt. to raid ANC and PAC offices to steal documents, letters, and files (Barber 16).
1983 –Dispensations/Constitutional Reform: Botha announced a new constitution and tricameral parliament under a single, strong executive presidency for Whites, Coloreds, and Indians – the latter groups had been largely ignored under apartheid, and blacks were still legally excluded. This was an attempt to accommodate international norms, but it was largely seen as a sham. Both the white right and the white left opposed it (Barber 23). Under the proposed system, the House of Assembly for Whites had more members than the other two Houses combined, so Whites retained ultimate control under the semblance of multiracial government. Because of these reforms, not only did blacks feel isolated from whites, but also from Coloreds and Indians.
August – United Democratic Front formed, partially in response to the new parliament. The UDF was a multiracial federation of over 575 organizations (church groups, community organizations, sporting bodies, trade unions, women’s groups, youth leagues, as well as some white groups). They supported the ideals of the Freedom Charter, and denounced the ANC for its military tactics (Beck 171) but by doing so, brought the ANC back into the center of the political scene (Mind 333). Later the UDF, the ANC, and the SACP were known as the triple alliance (Barber 27).
October – municipal elections
November – 2/3rds of white voters approved the new constitution
Treatment of Blacks during the Dispensations: Blacks, who made up the remaining 75% of the population, could still vote as they wanted in their Bantustans. This took care of the rural Blacks who lived there, but urban Blacks posed a political problem. Botha created a cabinet committee to investigate the constitutional future of these urban Blacks, and in the meantime allowed Blacks in townships to elect local authorities (Zartman 151). The results of this committee were the Koornhof Bills, introduced by Minister of Cooperation and Development Pieter Koornhof. They set up black municipal councils to run the “own affairs” of townships and granted urban status to employed people in “approved accommodations,” meaning no shanties or leased rooms (Mind 331). This new divide-and-conquer constitution and the Koornhof Bills helped lead to the revolts of the 80’s.
Up until 1984, SA borrowed 2-3% of GDP annually in a policy of import-substitution industrialization, which it had followed since the 1940’s (This policy made SA vulnerable when private investors withdrew in the mid-80’s) (Levy).
The US entered into its second phase of foreign policy towards Africa, the first being constructive engagement. Through grass-roots protest and a congressional veto (see 1986), internal change in SA became the US’s primary goal for SA. This included sanctions and “doable conditions” for the govt.
SA was banned from relations with the IMF.
1984 – Desmond Tutu received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work as secretary general of the SACC. He met with President Reagan and PM Thatcher to push for economic sanctions, but was refused (Tutu 237).
The SACC provided legal assistance, financial assistance to the families of prisoners, and allowed church buildings to be used as meeting halls.
Elections were held, but Indians and Coloreds saw the arrangement as a white ploy. The UDF organized a boycott of the polls and there were massive revolts five days after the elections (Mind 330). Botha saw the elections as a “start along the right road” (Beck 169).
March – Mozambique signed the Nkomati Accord with South Africa. The two countries agreed to respect each other’s sovereignty and remove groups who were planning to attack the other state. Mozambique closed down ANC camps and cut off supplies coming in. South Africa also signed a similar agreement with Angola (the Lusaka Agreement), but did not follow through with either agreement very well. Baker says that Chester Crocker was involved in negotiating both settlements (102).
June – Botha went on a tour of Western Europe to gain support for his new constitutional arrangement. Conservative intl. leaders (Thatcher, Reagan, and Kohl) supported Botha’s moderate reforms, and the US deputy secretary of state Chester Crocker said it was “clear that a majority of white South African voters had decided to take a step which opens the way to constructively evolutionary change” (Barber 25).
July – Botha authorized his Justice Minister Hendrik Coetsee for the first in a series of contacts with Mandela (Zartman 151).
September 3rd – The new constitution took effect and PW Botha is State President (not PM) until 1989. The only foreign leader present at his inauguration was Jonas Savimbi from Angola (BtM 2).
In response to the election results, there was massive Black on Black violence in Sharpeville and in Sebokeng (near Vereeniging) against Blacks who were participating in the new apartheid government. In Sharpeville, for example, the newly elected deputy mayor Sam Dlamini was killed (Mind 335). Much of the violence was led by Black Consciousness youths who called themselves comrades. However, it was also revealed later that much of this violence was perpetrated by govt. agents. The purpose of the insurrections was to take out apartheid rulers and replace them with UDF rulers – to make the townships ungovernable (Mind 338).
November – African Americans organized a protest against US foreign policy – this combined with Tutu’s visit to the states and the campaign for disinvestment made the call for comprehensive federal sanctions hard to ignore (Baker 104).
December – H.W. van der Merwe of the Center for Intergroup Studies organized a meeting in Lusaka between the ANC and the NP (Gidron 76).
Mandela asked Coetsee to come visit him in prison, because he thought the time was right for the ANC to set up a meeting with Botha. Coetsee didn’t visit until Mandela’s hospitalization in Nov. 85.
Coetsee authorized requests from Lord Bothell (member of the European Parliament) and Samuel Dash (Georgetown Law professor) to visit Mandela at Pollsmoor (Mandela 452).
1984-1986 – Mass culture of protest, mostly boycotts, pushed by the UDF (grassroots, from the children of the Soweto riots – not done from the top down, since most party leaders were in exile or prison). UDF leaders were oftentimes from the church, like Beyers Naude and Desmond Tutu.
The revolts were also led by student groups, which drew upon Black Consciousness groups of the 70s.
Result of the Revolts: Violent Equilibrium – “After the longest, most intensive uprising in South Africa’s history, the black liberationist failed to overthrow the government. And after the most determined repressive action ever taken, the authorities failed to crush the legitimacy of the resistance movement or win legitimacy for its own system” (Mind 360).
Botha’s state of emergency (which would extend through 1990) made police violence even easier: 4,000 people were killed and 50,000 were detained without trial during the revolts (Tomorrow 48).
These revolts made the multistate solutions proposed by the govt. (1st homelands, 2nd tricameral constitution) unviable (Mind 369).
Number of deaths from political violence – 1984: 175, 1985: 879, 1986: 1,298, 1987: 661 (Barber 26).
1985 – AZAPO (Azanian People’s Organization) formed out of Black Consciousness movement and called for a revolution.
The European Community launched a special program to help victims of apartheid and channeled aid through NGO’s (Guelke 142).
January - Botha offered Mandela his release if he would unconditionally renounce violence as a political instrument. Botha was trying to turn the ANC into mere petitioners, rather than a viable violent threat and put the blame/responsibility on Mandela’s shoulders. Coetsee advised against it (Tomorrow 49).
Oliver Tambo’s New Year message at the Kabwe Conference was to use their [the ANC’s] economic muscles to make the country ungovernable. Privately though, he admitted that he did not want to celebrate liberation day amidst destroyed buildings. This lead to a new kind of ANC rhetoric – a “new kind of struggle,” which included negotiations (Barber 28).
February 10th – During a rally to honor Tutu’s Nobel Prize, Mandela’s daughter read his response Botha’s offer (his words had been banned for the last 20 years): the ANC would declare a truce if the govt. “would legalize us, treat us like a political party and negotiate with us,” and that “only free men can negotiate.” The ANC hardened its stance, and so did Botha in his Rubicon Address (Zartman 152). For the full text of his statement, see Mandela 455.
March 19th- A police memo went out changing riot control policy to “shoot to kill.”
March 21st – A crowd was marching to Uitenhage to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Sharpeville shootings, and 20 people were killed by the police. A subsequent inquiry blamed the police for the Langa Shooting, but no action was taken against them (Mind 347).
May – The Pebco Three, leaders of the Port Elizabeth Black Civic Organization, were murdered. During the TRC it came out that Joe Mamasela, an ANC activist, had murdered them (he agreed to work as a spy for the police when threatened with death) (Tutu 131).
June – ANC congress in Zambia. Oliver Tambo stated that the ANC was not seeking a settlement through negotiation and that they would only negotiate a “transfer of power” with a defeated white govt (Mind 367). Operation Vula was formed to connect ANC members in exile to those internally active. The operation was headed up by Mac Maharaj and was later used as an insurance policy in case negotiations failed (Beck 183).
June 27th – The mutilated bodies of the Cradock Four, black activists, were found. The identities of the killers were revealed through the TRC.
July 15th – A consumer boycott in Port Elizabeth led by Mkhuseli Jack was economically successful (300 businesses went bankrupt), but failed to turn political (Mind 339).
July – Certain parts of SA are put under a state of emergency and 32,000 SADF troops were deployed to 96 townships. Between July 85 and March 96, 22,000 people were charged with offenses and 8,000 arrested.
In response to the violence in the country and the state of emergency, private lenders (foreign banks) refused to roll over loans and there was a massive bank run as foreign banks left the country (Mind 350). Chase Manhattan was the first to withdraw, saying “we felt that the risk attached to political unrest and economic instability became too high for our investors. We decided to withdraw. It was never our intention to facilitate change in South Africa, the decision was taken purely on account of what was in the interest of Chase and its assets” (Levy 417).
August 15th – The Rubicon Address: A speech given by Botha to a NP congress in Durban. Many expected Botha to announce grand reforms to apartheid, but he instead stated his intention to continue excluding Blacks from the political system and that he resented foreign interference.
Economic response: Foreign investment and capital left the country, the rand fell 35% in 13 days, and the stock market closed temporarily (Beck 175). This speech also marked the end of constructive engagement with the United States (the people wouldn’t accept it as a national policy – Baker 105).
September – Within one month of the bank crash, the alienated and now broke business community made contact with exiled ANC members. A white delegation, led by Chairman of the Anglo-American Corporation Gavin Reilly, met with ANC President Tambo and ANC leaders in Zambia. Upon their return, they called for the abolition of apartheid, negotiations with black leaders, and a national convention (Zartman 152).
South Africa introduced a dual exchange rate regime to discourage disinvestment. The “financial rand” rate was 40% lower than the commercial rate (Levy 418).
The EC imposed a limited set of sanctions in trade and finance.
October – The Commonwealth adopted a similar limited sanctions policy.
Reagan addressed the UN and denounced Soviet imperialism, specifically mentioning South Africa. He offered US help to those who were opposing it.
November – Mandela was hospitalized in Cape Town for surgery on an enlarged prostrate gland. During his stay, Coetsee visited him and reported on his visit to Botha, who told Coetsee to stay in touch with the prisoner (Tomorrow 31). ***
George Bizos came to visit him as well, and Mandela asked him to get in touch with Oliver Tambo (ANC secretary general in Zambia). Mandela wanted to assure Tambo that the govt. wasn’t cutting a deal with Mandela and to make sure they weren’t trying to split the internal and exiled members of the ANC (Tomorrow 27).
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) was formed as a federation of individual trade unions representing 1 million workers. Cyril Ramaphosa chaired the organization, which later became very politically active and effective (COSATU was banned from participating in political activity in Feb. 89) (Gidron 70).
December – The govt. extended its freeze on debt repayments until March 86.
December 23rd - Mandela was put in a large private room with a private bathroom, small gym, and study (Mandela 457).
The govt. again offered for his release to Transkei, which he again refused. They made a second offer for his release to Zambia, but he rejected this too and asked for a “climate conducive to talks about talks” (releasing all political prisoners, lifting the state of emergency, suspending political trials, and talking with the ANC) (Zartman 153).
De Klerk introduced repeals to the Mixed Marriage and Immorality Acts in Parliament (Beck 182).
1985-1987 Multilateral sanctions were imposed. GDP growth from 1974-1987 was 1.8% on average, and external debt was $24 billion, 2/3rds of which was short-term. From 1985-1989, export volumes rose by 26%, although terms of trade suffered (Levy 418). In the immediate aftermath of the sanctions, GDP growth accelerated. It was 0.5% in 86, 2.6% in 87, and 3.2% in 1988 (Levy 416).
1986 – Tutu met with Botha for a second time, now as the Archbishop of Cape Town and Nobel Prize winner. Botha again refused to make concessions (Tutu 245).
February – Botha made a more reformist speech on the opening day of Parliament, an intl. PR move which helped to lift the state of emergency in March (Mind 351).
A govt. initiative offered Blacks the chance to sit on a national statutory council with Botha as chairman. The offer was rejected because the state of emergency was still in effect (Zartman 153).
In an interview with journalist Allister Sparks, Joe Slovo expressed the SACP’s willingness to end apartheid through negotiation rather than revolutionary overthrow.
A meeting of the Commonwealth in Nassau, Bahamas deadlocked over whether or not they should join the (second round of) intl. sanctions against SA. Third world countries supported sanctions, but Margaret Thatcher did not, so she organized an EPG (Eminent Persons Group) in hopes of avoiding the cessation of trade between the UK and SA (Mind 351). The group consisted of 7 Commonwealth politicians and was co-chaired by Malcolm Fraser and Olusegun Obasanjo. It was unique in that it combined (un-asked for) mediation with sanctions, depending on the outcome of mediation (Guelke 143). For a list of all seven members and the five parameters of the mission, see Guelke page 144.
Three members went on a preliminary visit in Feb. to meet with the SA govt., political parties, the UDF, the ANC in exile, and the govt’s of neighboring states.
February 21st – Obasanjo met privately with Mandela (Botha allowed the meeting) before the whole group would meet with him in March and again in May.
February 28th – Bizos met with Tambo a second time and got their support for Mandela to continue negotiations with the govt. Bizos got in touch with Judge Johann Kriegler and met with him and Coetsee. Bizos relayed that the ANC seriously wanted to start negotiations and that there were no differences between Mandela and the outsiders (read: the govt. couldn’t cut a deal and split them) (Tomorrow 31).
March – The state of emergency was lifted because of international pressure (Beck 176) and because of the realization of the deadlock/equilibrium between the two sides (Zartman 151).
The EPG made a second visit and found that some members of the govt. wanted to reform and negotiate, and went to the ANC to see if there was enough common ground to begin a settlement (Mind 352). They met with Mandela at Pollsmoor with Coetsee and Willemse – speaking independently from the ANC; Mandela said that the ANC would suspend MK as a prelude to talks if the govt. withdrew its army and police from the townships. He referred the EPG to Tambo to get an official ANC statement (Mandela 460). The ANC spelled out the terms under which they would negotiate: if Mandela and all other political prisoners were freed, exiles could return to SA, political organizations were unbanned, the state of emergency was lifted, and key apartheid laws were scrapped (Mind 367). The EPG made a similar list of demands in their “possible negotiating concept” to the govt., additionally calling for the cessation of the armed struggle and govt. violence against black and for the beginning of all-party talks (Tomorrow 34).
Botha appealed to the Group of Seven economic summit to address violence in the country, but was refused (Tomorrow 35). Pik Botha asked the UN to pressure Mandela and Buthelezi to end the violence, but this was more to embarrass the ANC than to usher peace (Guelke 146).
May 2nd – The EPG came for a third visit to SA and Zambia.
May 13th - Parliament voted on the EPG’s negotiating concept, but the reformists lost out to the “securocrats.” The govt’s course of action was to scrap negotiations with the EPG mission and crush the revolt (Mind 353), which they did through air raids on May 19th.
May 19th – the EPG mission ended when Defense Minister Malan ordered air raids on ANC headquarters in neighboring countries, who were all members of the Commonwealth. The EPG and ANC were supposed to meet, but the bombing prevented the continuation of their talks and mission. The EPG recommended comprehensive and mandatory sanctions against SA and left.
May 29th – Pik Botha sent a letter to the EPG, saying that the govt. was set on power-sharing, that ANC violence had to be terminated, not just suspended, and that govt. security measures were to keep order, not something that prevented a peaceful environment (Guelke 145).
Mandela met with Commissioner Willemse to ask to see Coetsee. He was driven there, had a good long talk, and asked for a meeting with Pik Botha and PW Botha. There was no response. Botha put Coetsee in charge of meeting with Mandela and reporting back to Botha, but Botha himself would not see Mandela (Tomorrow 36 & Mandela 461).
The Broederbond, a think tank chaired by Pieter de Lange (a verligte), circulated a document calling for Mandela’s release. De Lange had met with Thabo Mbeki in New York, and lobbied to Botha for meetings with the ANC (Tomorrow 74).
(Tutu’s interpretation of the Broederbond is much more sinister – FMI read pg. 222)
June 12th – Botha announced a new nationwide state of emergency, which would last “indefinitely” (on the 10-year anniversary of the Soweto riots). Police were given broad powers to arrest, interrogate, torture, and detain the accused with no access to due process. The media was banned from covering the unrest.
Black on Black Backlash: Older, more conservative Blacks took advantage of this time to get their revenge on the comrades. The comrades and UDF were fighting Inkatha supporters in Natal.
June – The Soviet Union changed its stance towards the ANC with the Staruschenko Paper, which urged the ANC to work towards a multiparty, multiracial state rather than a 1-party state. This was one piece of the shift in Soviet policy due to Gorbachev’s perestroika, which focused on domestic economic reforms rather than foreign objectives (Mind 365). This caused the NP to shift their focus away from the “communist threat” of the comrades and back onto apartheid.
The EPG made its report to the Commonwealth – it went against the govt. and faulted it for much of the black-on-black violence, calling apartheid inherently violent. All members except Britain endorsed comprehensive sanctions.
**July – secret talks with Mandela by Ministers of Justice and Constitutional Development. Both sides pulled back to their conditions (Zartman 153). **
The KwaNdebele Nine were infiltrated and murdered with the help of the co-opted Joe Mamasela.
Governmental attempts at reform:
There was a split in the government between the “securocrats” (Botha and his entire military/security establishment) and those who wanted to negotiate. The securocrats wanted to crush the “uprising” (the ANC/SACP) and negotiate with “moderates” (Blacks who were already cooperating with the apartheid system, Buthelezi, and Coloreds). Botha encouraged talks with Mandela in hopes that he would become a leader of such moderates (Tomorrow 70).
September – The govt. published a bill for urban blacks (non-homeland residents) which offered them the chance to vote for a multiracial advisory council with constitutional drafting powers (Zartman 153).
A 2nd round of sanctions was imposed. The EC banned imports (but not gold or diamonds) and new investments. The EC was followed by similar actions in Japan.
Oliver Tambo had a meeting with British Foreign Secretary Geoffrey Howe.
October – The US Congress passed the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act. President Reagan vetoed it, but was overridden in Congress. It severely restricted lending and banned imports on non-strategic items.
But the CAAA was not to get the govt. to abdicate – it was to get them to move towards negotiations. The Act laid out five doable conditions that would have to be met before sanctions would be lifted. The govt. had to “release Mandela and other political prisoners, repeal the state of emergency, legalize political parties, repeal fundamental anti-apartheid laws (which two?), and enter into good faith negotiations without preconditions with truly representative members of the black majority populations” (Baker 106).
December – Mandela’s warders took him on excursions throughout SA (Mandela 463).
Some apartheid legislation was repealed, including many aspects of the Pass Laws, the Mixed Marriages Act (which forbade them), Section 16 of the Immorality Act (which forbade sexual relations between Blacks and Whites), and the Prohibition of Political Interference Act (which forbade multiracial political parties). Some petty apartheid laws were repealed due to a lack of police manpower, which was focused on political surveillance rather than crime prevention (Mind 374). With the pass laws repealed, blacks began to move into urban areas.
The govt. was working on constitutional reform and negotiation based on seven principles: equal participation by all citizens outside the independent homelands, no domination by any single group, maintenance of peace and stability throughout negotiations, constitutional reform accompanied by social and economic reform, decentralization of decision-making, maintenance of Christian values and norms, and maintenance of a private enterprise economy (Zartman 153).
Van Zyl Slabbert resigned from parliament. He had been the parliamentary leader of the Progressive Reform Party, but said it was impossible to try and change the system from within.
1987 – Mandela met with Coetsee several more times (at Coetsee’s house sometimes) but nothing substantive was happening. Mandela did this on a personal level, not as a representative of the ANC. His meetings were confidential and isolationist (Mandela 458).
SA had one of the worst growth rates in the world. European and American banks refused to grant new loans or roll over old ones (Beck 178).
White House of Assembly elections resulted in 52% for the NP, 26% for the Conservative Party. Treurnicht’s CP replaced the liberal Progressive Federal Party as the main opposition party. Afrikaner voters still supported apartheid on an individual level, but White business and religious leaders (English and Afrikaner) wanted apartheid to end and for Mandela and the ANC to be involved in negotiations.
At a conference in Tanzania to celebrate the ANC’s 75th birthday, Tambo issued an appeal to whites to join the ANC in forming a “massive democratic coalition” to end apartheid and establish a new nonracial society with a multiparty democracy. He said the ANC would “seize any opportunity” to negotiate if Pretoria showed any signs of wanting such a society (Mandela 470).
The ANC widened its support base by becoming more reform-minded yet retained their military aspect, which had largely become a political bargaining chip and also served to keep the more extremist members from forming their own groups (Mind 367).
January- Tambo made a visit to the US and met with the Secretary of State, George Shultz. He agreed on the necessity of the ANC and even strengthened sanctions (Mandela 477).
August – A think-tank, the Institute for Democratic Alternatives in South Africa (IDASA), held a meeting led by Progressive Federal Party leader Van Zyl Slabbert and Dr. Alex Boraine (who later co-chaired the TRC). Slabbert and 50 Afrikaner intellectuals met with ANC reps in Dakar, Senegal and underscored that negotiations were the counterforce to violence (Zartman 153). This was the first in a series of meetings over the next two years, through which individuals began to “demystify an organization [the ANC] which by the nature of its considerable support… was destined to play a major role in negotiations towards a non-racial, democratic South Africa” and to create the norm that the “other” could and should be engaged with rather than separated (MfP 4).
FW de Klerk led govt. condemnation of these Afrikaners (Friedman 9).
October – Bantu Holomisa (open supporter of the ANC) led a military coup in the Transkei to oust Matanzima.
The ANC executive discussed the option of negotiating with the govt. but published no statement to that effect.
November – Govan Mbeki was released. He was wary of Mandela’s negotiating with the govt.
Mells Meetings: A series of twelve meetings (Nov. 87-May 90) in Britain between ANC exiled leaders and Afrikaners about political reform. They were organized at Thabo Mbeki’s request by Michael Young, who worked for a British mining house. Willie Esterhuyse and Sampie Terreblanche, academics and members of the Broederbond, participated in the talks, as well as church and business leaders. Esterhuyse acted as a go-between, reporting to Barnard and Botha on the discussions (Tomorrow 82).
There were 1,148 strikes over the year, including the 250,000-strong strike by the National Union of Mineworkers led by Cyril Ramaphosa (Beck 179).
During a celebration for the 25th anniversary of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the ANC stated its intent to broaden the struggle from military to civilian targets. They said “our history has taught us that people’s power cannot come through a change of heart from the rulers” (Friedman 7).
Foreign status of the ANC: they had 43 missions in foreign countries and had full diplomatic recognition from the USSR, Cuba, and India. They had observer status at the UN and accredited representatives at the OAU and the Non-aligned movement (NAM) (Barber 16).
1988 – Tutu met with Botha a third time, and they had a falling-out. The churches started a campaign of civil disobedience called the Standing for Truth Campaign.
The govt. engaged in sabotage activities, including the bombing of the SACC headquarters later in the year.
During presidential campaigns in the US, Dukakis cited the terrorism of the SA govt. against its people and its neighbors (Guelke 140).
Namibia became independent, which pushed a lot more international attention on SA. Part of the negotiations was that Cuba would pull troops out of Angola if SA pulled troops out of Namibia. SWAPO (the ANC clone organization in Namibia) won the elections and the transition was smooth (Tomorrow 98).
February – Coup attempt in the Bophuthatswana homeland.
May – Coetsee offered broader talks with Mandela in the form of a special committee, consisting of Niel Barnard, the head of the Natl. Intelligence Service and his deputy Mike Louw; Commissioner Willemse; Fanus van der Merwe, director general of the prisons dept., and Coetsee. Before accepting the offer, Mandela talked about it with his 3rd floor inmates at Pollsmoor, the ANC headquarters in Lusaka, and wrote a letter on vital issues to Botha.
Barnard was supposed to ask Mandela to give up violence, communism (and nationalization), and majority rule (Tomorrow 48). This committee met 47 times and set the stage for the unbanning of political organizations, the releasing of prisoners, and the negotiating council.
July – Black township councils and colored management committees set up (Zartman 153).
The special committee told Mandela that Botha would see him in August, but this was postponed by Mandela’s TB and Botha’s stroke (Mandela 469).
August – the End Conscription Campaign was banned. It was the first white organization to be banned in 25 years.
August 12th – Mandela had tuberculosis and had to be hospitalized again, but he recovered quickly (Tomorrow 38). Coetsee visited and told him, “I am interested in your being put in a situation between prison and freedom” (Tomorrow 25).
August 31st – The Khotso House in Johannesburg, the headquarters of the SACC, was bombed. At the time Police Minister Vlok blamed the ANC. During the TRC, however, he implicated his own department and said he had direct orders to do so from President Botha (Tutu 180).
October – Municipal elections: Naude, Tutu, Boesak, Chikane, and other clergy broke the state of emergency and urged all Christians to boycott the elections because the govt. was not working towards equal participation, only toward a limited role for Blacks. The small number of township residents who voted showed the failure of the govt.’s plan for “moderate” black leadership (Friedman 12).
December – Dulcie September, the ANC representative in France, was shot dead in the street.
December 9th – Mandela was transferred to the Victor Verster Prison, where he would spend his last fourteen “prison” months. He was placed in the former home of the deputy chief warder, and could host meetings as a political figure. He met with Coetsee’s committee of officials, jailed ANC figures, and with young prisoners who were involved with the revolts. Through Operation Vula, Tambo and Mandela could communicate – Tambo urged Mandela not to give up intl. sanctions, seeing that as the ANC’s strongest bargaining chip (Tomorrow 65).
Trust Feed Farm attack: During a clash between the IFP and the UDF, police captain Brian Mitchell ordered attacks on UDF supporters, but the ill-trained constables shot 11 people, mostly women and children, who were attending a vigil at the Trust Feed Farm. Mitchell later applied for amnesty and went back to the community to help develop land (Tutu 176).
Blacks were finding ways through the cracks of the apartheid system and were attending universities, living in townships instead of homelands, and rising in business. Along with the relative economic affluence that came from living in urban areas came the desire for more political rights (Mind 329). Blacks wanted to have a say in how services were allocated and wanted to participate in city govt. (Mind 377).
By 1988, more Blacks were graduating from high school than Whites (Mind 376).
The falling USSR urged the ANC to negotiate with the government and abandon violent revolution. With the end of the Cold War approaching, Communist Party and ANC hard-liners lost credibility.
The ANC published constitutional guidelines at a national executive committee meeting, reiterating that SA would be independent, nonracial, unitary, and democratic (Mind 383). This marked a shift in the ANC from unchecked majority rule towards constitutionalism (Gloppen 200).
Since 1985, 5,000 people had died due to political violence and 50,000 had been detained (Gidron 69).
Assistant Secretary of State Crocker linked a peace deal between Namibia and Angola (if SA removed its troops from Namibia, then Cuba would pull its troops out of Angola) (Baker 110).
1989 – A series of hunger strikes led to the release of 900 detainees (the govt. was afraid of the uproar if they died in police custody) (Mandela 477).
The govt. passed the Foreign Funding Act in an effort to prevent anti-apartheid NGO activity.
January –Botha suffered a stroke and resigned as NP leader. Mandela still wanted to meet with him and consulted with his comrades to write a memo concerning the issues that the special committee had been discussing. The memo stated that the ANC would not give up the armed struggle until the govt. would negotiate directly with black leaders, that the ANC was not communist but had communist allies they would not break ties with, and that majority rule was essential to peace and stability in SA. He suggested that the govt. and ANC talk about creating a climate conducive to negotiations, and then the actual talks could occur (Tomorrow 53 & Mandela 476). Sisk says that Mandela’s memo was a proposal to reconcile the fears of those in the system with the legitimate demands of the liberation struggle (286).
February 2nd - Frederik Willem de Klerk replaced Botha as NP leader, but Botha still remained president until August.
Wimpie de Klerk, FW’s younger brother, formed the liberal opposition party, the Democratic Party (but resigned in September when FW was inaugurated). The NP denounced the DP as traitorous for meeting with ANC leaders (Tomorrow 94).
February – As NP leader, FW had to come up with his own ideas for the future of the party. This was his first post dealing with race policy, and he was very pragmatic – he came up with minority rights and power-sharing as his two main concepts (Tomorrow 97). FW was a party man and a pragmatist: he was more likely to listen to all of his advisers, rather than a small group like Botha did.
March – after Botha recovered, Mandela sent him the 11-page memo he drafted in January. When Govan Mbeki heard about the memo, he thought Mandela was cutting a deal and told the UDF not to support the negotiations (Tomorrow 61). This took several months to straighten out, because Mandela was not telling anyone the nature of the negotiations (Tomorrow 66).
May 1st – David Webster, the founding member of the 5 freedoms forum, was assassinated by a government death squad.
June – The committee meeting with Mandela for the last two years decided they wanted to make direct contact with ANC members in exile, and did so without Mandela’s approval. Two members of the NIS (Director of Operations Maritz Spaarwater and Mike Louw) conducted Operation Flair to meet with Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma in a Swiss hotel (Tomorrow 110).
July 5th – Botha met with Mandela. The meeting was pleasant, but nothing substantive happened. Botha wanted Mandela to make a public renunciation of violence, but Mandela refused.
July – The ANC hosted a delegation of 115 Whites, representing 35 opposition organizations in Lusaka (Tomorrow 86).
August – Oliver Tambo had a stroke.
Mandela and Botha met a second time. They came up with an agreement concerning his own release: if there were no disturbances when the 6 (sentenced with Mandela at Riviona) were released, then they would legalize the ANC. If that went well, then they could lift the state of emergency, release Mandela, and start negotiations (Mind 369).
August 8-13th- Lausanne Colloquium between ANC economists and govt. officials.
August 14th – Botha resigned after 15 cabinet members went to his house and ousted him (Tomorrow 89).
August 15th – de Klerk was appointed as acting president. He signed a vaguely written proposal approving Spaarwater and Louw to conduct Operation Flair without realizing its significance (Tomorrow 111).
August 21st – OAU meeting in Harare, Zimbabwe. The ANC made a formal proposal for a negotiated settlement (Tomorrow 87).
September 12th – The 1st meeting of Operation Flair (NIS and exiled ANC members) took place in Lucerne (Switzerland and Britain were the only two European countries which did not require entry visas for SA citizens). The meeting was an investigation, not a negotiation, but Louw and Spaarwater could return to SA and tell FW that the ANC was ready to negotiate (Tomorrow 113).
September 13th – A massive march was organized to protest the racist (all White) elections.
September 14th – De Klerk was elected for a five-year term as president. During his campaign, he vowed “never to speak with terrorists.” Indeed, throughout the entire negotiating process, de Klerk did not “accommodate the enemy,” but rather fostered party-led reform (Friedman 9).
September 20th – De Klerk’s inauguration. Reverend Pieter Bingle of the Gereformde Kerk (a very strict Calvinist church to which FW belonged) preached about the call from God, after which de Klerk told his family “that God was calling him to save all the people of South Africa, that he knew he was going to be rejected by his own people but that he had to walk this road” (Tomorrow 100).
He announced that Whites would share limited power with Blacks, invited the ANC to negotiation and dialogue, and said he would endorse Mandela’s statement if the ANC would “commit itself to the pursuit of peaceful solutions” (Zartman 154). There was also some cabinet reform, where he weeded out elements of Botha’s security system.
The ANC responded with the Harare Declaration, which set out five preconditions for negotiations: lifting of the state of emergency, halting of political executions, legalizing political parties, ending restrictions on political activity, and releasing all political prisoners. If these were met, then the ANC would halt the armed struggle and negotiate (Tomorrow 87).
The Special Committee continued to meet, now with Gerrit Viljoen.
October – There was a Commonwealth Summit Meeting in Kuala Lumpur on the 15th – Margaret Thatcher was the only member not enforcing sanctions on SA. De Klerk’s reform-minded advisers used this event to push de Klerk to make concessions, so that Thatcher would have a reason to continue her policy, which he did by releasing high-profile politicals (Tomorrow 99).
October 15th – de Klerk released 8 political prisoners, including Sisulu. 6 of the 8 had been sentenced to life imprisonment at Riviona along with Mandela. Two weeks after their release, an ANC rally of 70,000 was held and the police did not interfere, because de Klerk loosened restrictions on authorized demonstrations.
November – de Klerk disbanded the National Security Management System (part of the dismantling of Botha’s cumbersome and expensive military system) (Mind 368). He reinstated the department of Foreign Affairs, with Niel van Heerden as the director.
Also in this month, it was exposed that there were death squad units within the SADF called the Civil Cooperation Bureau (Sisk 121).
December 4th-5th- The inner core of de Klerk’s govt. had a bosberaad (bush conference) to formulate policy at D’Nyala (de Klerk’s Camp David). They talked about releasing prisoners and unbanning political organizations (Defense Minister Malan was staunchly opposed to unbanning the SACP) (Tomorrow 106).
According to Barber, the time was right to dismantle apartheid for three reasons – 1. The threat of a major new MK uprising, 2. The economy could only be revived if intl. sanctions were lifted, and 3. The collapse of the Soviet bloc meant that the ANC wouldn’t be used as a Trojan horse for a superpower (Baker 42).
December 12th – Mandela was allowed to meet with members of the Mass Democratic Movement (see “broad coalition building” below). They drafted a memo to de Klerk, which reiterated Mandela’s two-stage proposal (the first stage being that the govt. eliminate obstacles to negotiations that the state itself had created). It made the same requests: unbanning political organizations, releasing prisoners, ending the state of emergency, and removing troops from townships (Mandela 482).
December 13th – De Klerk met with Mandela for the first of three meetings. The first was an explanatory meeting (Mandela 484). After the first meeting, de Klerk went on vacation to write his parliamentary speech for February.
De Klerk was opposed to majority rule and instead proposed group rights. His idea of the new govt. was for each race group to have a defined constitutional bloc with equal clout, regardless of their size. He told Western diplomats “Don’t expect me to negotiate myself out of power.” For de Klerk and the NP, negotiation “became a matter of identifying how much of the old order could be retained in the construction of a new regime” (Zartman 148).
Broad coalition building among the opposition: the MDM (Mass Democratic Movement) was an alliance primarily between the banned UDF and COSATU into with over 1,000 organizations. Cosatu (trade-union federation) did outreach to other unions. The ANC and SACP were practically merged. On the White side, the Five Freedoms Forum existed between extra parliamentary organizations, and the Democratic Party formed out of a merger between the Progressive Federal Party, the National Democratic Movement, and the Independent Party (Mind 383). The Patriotic Front was made up of the ANC, PAC, and AZAPO.
Late 1980’s: Annual deaths from civil strife were between 600 and 1,400.
1990 – Bush became president of the US and told Congress that he wouldn’t veto any other legislation they tried to pass if the SA govt. didn’t take steps towards democracy. Bush gave responsibility for African affairs to Herman Cohen, who described apartheid as an “outrageous human rights catastrophe.” The Bush administration sent congratulations to Sisulu when he was released from prison and met with Tutu. This was partially responsible for de Klerk’s Feb. speech to parliament, as his concessions were in line with the five doable conditions of the CAAA (Baker 110).
January – Joe Slovo stated that a one-party communist state would be incompatible with democracy and that the official stance of the SACP was one of “democratic socialism” (Mind 366).
De Klerk appointed judge Lous Harms to investigate dirty-tricks and “third force” activities, but set strict terms which prevented the judge from conducting a thorough hearing (Tomorrow 156). While de Klerk did not encourage these activities, he did little to stop them and had no control over his security establishment which had formed under Botha’s leadership.
February – The SADF admitted that it had a death squad – de Klerk ordered it to be disbanded.
February 2nd – On the opening day of parliament, de Klerk unbanned/legalized the ANC, the UDF, the PAC, and SACP. He announced that he was releasing Mandela unconditionally and would start negotiations to work towards a constitution with universal suffrage.
Many Afrikaners thought de Klerk was committing “national suicide,” as they had come to see themselves as indigenous people (they had been there 350 years (as long as the US settlers), had their own language and religion and had no home to return to if SA was put into Black hands) (Tomorrow 7).
The speech was intended to have an international audience – to intensify the effect, he wrote the speech single-handedly, allowed the press to read it the day of and only in a locked room to prevent leaks. He did receive explicit support from the UN
From Marina Ottaway’s “Liberation Movements and Transitions to Democracy”
The ANC was a liberation movement, not a political party – their members had either been imprisoned, exiled, or were parts of internal grassroots organizations (loosely represented by the UDF). Each of these groups had differing agendas and forms of organization. They had no common organizational structure or experience in political bargaining – UDF groups became regional recruiting centers and offices for the ANC, but otherwise were largely ignored (72).
Additionally, there had been no precedent for a liberation movement turned political party to negotiate a democracy (63). Since the 1960’s, the ANC and SACP were more about independence than a specific partisan agenda, (which explains why the ANC and SACP were allied in the first place). All that its members had in common was the desire for the end of apartheid, and keeping this unified mass movement while trying to formulate policy proved difficult for the ANC (69).
De Klerk detailed his idea for a new system of power-sharing through consensus, calling SA a “nation of minorities.” All race groups would reach a consensus on policy, sometimes with an arbiter (like a constitutional court) in case of a deadlock. His system had a legislative branch with a House of Representatives and a Senate with equal representation regardless of party strength. The executive branch would have a rotating presidency between the strongest parties, which would also have to reach decisions through consensus. In effect, Blacks would have a majority in the house, but would get squashed out by White parties in the Senate an in the executive branch (Tomorrow 13). Blacks opposed the idea because it went against majority rule and was still based on race (Mind 370).
Political Violence: see graph on Sisk pg. 119 for the number of political deaths plotted along time. He says that the number of deaths went up after negotiations because there were three types of violence: violence to halt or reverse the process (white right-wing paramilitary groups), to prevent marginalization (IFP), and to destabilize the opponent (SA govt. security forces).
February 6th – 2nd meeting of Operation Flair in Lucerne. Aziz Pahad joined Mbeki and Zuma, and they worked out the logistics for exiled ANC members to get back to SA – Even though their parties were unbanned, they still needed indemnity (Tomorrow 116). The NIS members wanted a positive response to de Klerk’s speech, control of the protest campaign, and a formula for the end of the armed struggle. They set up working groups to address Mandela’s release, the release of detainees, the setup for political discussions, and communication between the NIS and the ANC (Tomorrow 117).
February 9th – De Klerk told Mandela that he was going to be released the following day. Mandela asked for one week to prepare, but de Klerk told him he’d already informed the press, so no (Mandela 485).
February 11th – Mandela was released after 24 years in prison – he announced he was a loyal ANC member, and that the armed struggle was not over. He had not entered into negotiations for any reason other than to get a meeting between the ANC and the govt., but that that would not yet occur because the ANC’s demands had not yet been met. It was unclear whether constitutional negotiations or nonracial politics would come first. Mandela stated that “the people need to be consulted on who will negotiate and on the content of such negotiations,” (Zartman 155). This statement was indicative of the major debate between the ANC and the govt. which dragged on up to and throughout CODESA – whether the new constitution would be written by the govt. and major opposition parties (which would be sure to include power-sharing) or by an elected assembly (which would be sure to include majority rule).
Mandela reiterated that the ANC was a coalition of people committed to dismantling oppression and apartheid, rather than a political party, and stated his belief in nationalizing major economic assets (Liberation 68, 64). For the full text of his Cape Town address, see Mandela 493.
February 20th – The 3rd meeting of Operation Flair took place in Berne. Louw and Spaarwater took along Barnard and Fanie van der Merwe (part of the committee that met with Mandela), and Zuma and Pahad brought guerilla commander Joseph Nhlanhla (Tomorrow 117). They prepared for the first meeting between the ANC and the govt. in SA. Barnard did not want Joe Slovo on the executive committee which would meet with the govt., but after a phone call to de Klerk, the two sides agreed that each side could choose whomever they pleased (Tomorrow 118).
February 27th – ANC NEC meeting in Lusaka. The NEC vetoed Mandela’s idea to visit with Buthelezi, and the king did not accept his terms to visit, so Mandela didn’t meet with either Zulu leader, which turned out to be a tactical error (Zartman 171 Mandela 501).
March 6th - A 4th meeting of Operation Flair occurred. A joint steering committee worked out the return of exiles and details for the first formal domestic meeting. ANC members could still be arrested for security laws which had not been revoked, so they had to be smuggled in (Tomorrow 119).
March 21st – 1st meeting of the steering committee in SA. The ANC feared they were being led into a trap, and the govt. feared that the ANC would take advantage of amnesty to start a guerilla operation. Operation Vula was changed to an “insurance policy” in case negotiations failed. “Sanctions, the guerilla force, and Operation Vula would all stay in place until it was clear that the process was irreversible” (Tomorrow 123).
March 26th – The Sebokeng Massacre postponed talks. Mandela said that de Klerk couldn’t “talk about negotiations on one hand and murder our people on the other” (Mandela 503). After the ANC was unbanned, violence spread to the East Rand.
There are three explanations for the violence in SA: 1. Political manipulation/covert state violence: The IFP was encouraged by the SAP to create terror and unrest in ANC townships and squatter campus. The violence spread to a big enough scale to actually warrant police intervention. This was substantiated through Inkathagate in 1991. 2. Ethnic tension: this is how the intl. press and the NP interpreted the violence. The “black on black” violence gave international support to a continued role for whites in the new govt., since it seemed blacks were still involved in tribal warfare. 3. Structural poverty and inequality: for statistics, see Gloppen 26-27.
March 28th – Inkatha attacked ANC strongholds, but Buthelezi denied instigating the violence.
April – ANC, COSATU, and SACP economists met in Harare to draft an economic policy statement of growth through redistribution (centralized state).
The IFP and ANC were supposed to hold a joint peace rally, but the KwaZulu branch of the ANC protested, saying that Buthelezi was not a legitimate national leader, and the event was cancelled. This was indicative of the ANC’s strategy towards Buthelezi – rather than admit he is a political force and defeat him politically, they ignored him and fought militarily (Liberation 79).
May 2nd–4th – First set of meetings between ANC and govt. teams to talk about constitutional negotiations in Cape Town. These talks were to identify and eliminate obstacles to const. negotiations. The ANC team included Mandela, Sisulu, Slovo, and Thabo Mbeki. Joe Modise and Chris Hani were there representing MK. The govt. team consisted of Foreign Minister “Pik” Botha, Minister of Constitutional Development Gerrit Viljoen, Minister of Justice Kobie Coetsee, and Minister of Law and Order Adrian Vlok. They produced the Groote Schuur Minute for the release of political prisoners, the return of the exiled, and the amending of security legislation. The govt. was to work toward lifting the state of emergency and both sides were to curb violence and made a commitment to a peaceful process of negotiation (Zartman 156).
June – the state of emergency placed by Botha five years earlier was lifted. The state of emergency remained in Natal, because Inkatha and the ANC were still fighting.
Mandela went on a world tour, visiting heads of state throughout the West and in Africa. Between June 1990 and mid-1992, he visited 49 countries, including 20 in Africa as well as Cuba and Libya. He was pushing for the continuation of sanctions and for the normalizing South Africa’s international relations (making SA a fully democratic state). In the U.S., he addressed a joint session of Congress and met with President Bush (Mandela 508). Bush asked Mandela to renounce the armed struggle and declined Mandela’s request for US Federal aid. He was extremely successful at fundraising – in 1990, 90% of the ANC’s $27 budget came from foreign sources.
De Klerk also went on a world tour, visiting 32 countries, including 16 in Europe. He was pushing for the cessation of sanctions and for the normalizing of intl. relations, but by that he meant bringing SA in from the cold immediately (Barber 57& 65).
Some members of the ANC were angry with Mandela for spending so much time abroad and consorting with western conservative leaders – but Mandela could always back himself up (Barber 61).
Minor parties felt that the negotiations were going in 2-party direction and tried to bolster support to have a say at the table. The ANC and the NP opted for a consensus strategy, which included all parties.
Right-wing groups derailed rallies and tried to assassinate de Klerk and Mandela (police made 11 arrests).
July – Security Police uncovered Operation Vula and claimed it was a communist plot to overthrow the govt. (Tomorrow 123). The govt. arrested ANC members in an attempt to separate the ANC and SACP, as de Klerk wanted Slovo off the negotiating team. De Klerk met with Mandela about this, but Mandela knew nothing about it. Mandela called for investigation into armed govt. units acting against the ANC (Beck 183).
July 2nd – The ANC organized a 1-day strike against Buthelezi.
July 21st – Inkatha declared itself a political party, the IFP (Inkatha Freedom Party)
July 22nd – The 1st major clash between Inkatha and the ANC since Mandela’s release happened in Witwatersrand – despite warnings from the ANC that violence would occur the police did not prevent it or make any arrests. Residents reported seeing buses full of Zulus escorted by the police arrive and take control of migrant workers’ hostels. This was a common strategy for IFP soldiers – to take over the hostel and use it as a base from which to launch attacks (Tomorrow 138).
July 29th – SACP reentry rally
August – The SA govt. visited the USSR about issues of trade. The USSR announced that it would end free military training to foreigners, including ANC members (Barber 71).
August 4th – Slovo convinced the NEC to voluntarily suspend the armed struggle (not disband it) to move talks forward. It was a hard sell, but Mandela backed him and they eventually got approval. They had to find a role for MK leaders (further confused by Hani’s association with the SACP), soldiers, and frustrated youth (Liberation 72).
August 6th – second round of talks about constitutional negotiations in Pretoria, which produced the Pretoria Minute: In exchange for the ANC’s unilateral suspension of the armed struggle, the govt. would repeal some provisions of the Internal Security Act (grant certain types of indemnity for political offenders), set target dates for the release of political prisoners, and consider lifting the state of emergency in Natal (Mandela 511). It was a major concession for the ANC, in that they had to separate the political (ANC) from the military (MK) without getting much in return.
August 31st – The govt. allowed for the carrying of traditional weapons if they were to be used for “bona fide intentions.”
November – Foreign Minister Pik Botha announced the restoration of consular relations with Moscow.
November 15th – The IFP attacked an ANC stronghold and took over the squatter camp on the 19th. Again the govt. was warned in advance, and the police did nothing to prevent the attack and made no arrests.
December 14th-16th – In lieu of a national conference, the ANC held a consultative conference to discuss negotiations. Mandela came under harsh criticism for not consulting with his constituency before making major policy decisions (Liberation 75).
Tambo returned to SA.
South African churches gathered for the Rustenburg Conference. Both pro (DRC) and anti (SACC) apartheid groups were there. The DRC made an apology and asked for forgiveness from the SACC, which was granted. The DRC condemned apartheid as a heresy in the Belhar Confession (Tutu 275).
Violence in the homelands: Fighting between Inkatha and ANC/UDF spread from Natal and KwaZulu into the Transvaal, and the conflicts were mostly about Zulu migrant workers. According to Inkatha, these were fights between uneducated youth and had nothing to do with politics. According to the ANC, Inkatha supporters, with police backing, were attacking the ANC because it was losing support (Liberation 78). Both the Ciskei and Bophuthatswana homelands erupted in violence after coup attempts. Police were sent to Gazankulu and Venda, too. Mandela announced the end of the armed struggle, despite the fact that many groups were at war.
The NP’s revision of power-sharing was unveiled at provincial congresses throughout the year by Constitutional Affairs Minister Gerrit Viljoen. Like the tricameral parliament of 83, it nominally included non-Whites, but there were ways for Whites to veto decision and keep power. It was a bicamerical Parliament, with the 300-member House elected by universal franchise. The 130-member Senate, however, was structured in favor of non-Black racial groups. There would be 10 Senators from each of the ten federal regions, with 10 more for each group: English, Afrikaners, and Asians. Bills had to be passed by a 2/3rds majority in the Senate – if there was conflicting legislation, an Advisory Council would decide which would become law. The executive branch would have veto power as well (Tomorrow 136).
Viljoen also pushed the idea of volksregte, or group rights: they made the concession that racial categories should be personal choice, not law, but they also wanted to protect group membership. Those who chose to live in a defined community should have access to single-race schools, jobs, etc. (Tomorrow 127).
Leon Wessels became the first NP cabinet minister to publicly apologize for apartheid (Tomorrow 92).
Intl. Opinion: There was a complete lack of support for power-sharing with a minority veto. The intl. community didn’t accept that this was a version of the Swiss model and warned that federalism was not okay if the point was to continue apartheid (Guelke 152).
Public facilities were desegregated after Parliament repealed the Reservation of Separate Amenities Act of 1953.
Since 1963, the USSR supplied “several thousand AK-47 rifles; 3,000 SKS carbines; over 6,000 pistols; 275 grenade launchers; 90 missile launchers; 40 anti-aircraft missile launchers; 20 anti-aircraft launchers; and 60 mortars” (Barber 17).
1991 – January –The two sides were blocked between multi-party conferences vs. an elected constituent assembly.
The NP position was to retain power-sharing for as long as possible. They were in favor of a bicameral, proportional legislature, and federal devolution of power to regional govts. They saw CODESA as a way to control what went into the constitution, and wanted the constituent assembly to be a rubber stamp. The ANC position was for an elected interim govt. which would write the constitution – they wanted CODESA to be very short, and for the constituent assembly to have most of the power to write the constitution (Tomorrow 133 and Zartman 160).
At an all-party congress, Mandela proposed a compromise of a two-step process: the first step would be the multi-party convention “to negotiate an interim constitution under which one-person, one-vote elections would be held for the constituent assembly.” The multiparty convention could bind the constituent assembly by laying down a number of principles for the constitution. The second step would be for the constituent assembly to design the final draft of the constitution (Tomorrow 129).
January 29th – Mandela and Buthelezi sign a peace agreement at a summit, but it didn’t do anything to stop the violence.
February 1st - De Klerk repealed all remaining apartheid laws, which the ANC was not expecting (Beck 184). Many countries saw the absence of apartheid laws as excuse enough to resume trade, although Mandela wanted sanctions to remain until Blacks could vote.
February 4th – Winnie Mandela began her 14-week trial at which she was found guilty for kidnapping and accessory to assault in the murder case of activist “Stompie” Mokoetsie Seipei. Her Mandela United Football Club (a group of bodyguards and thugs) was exposed during the TRC hearings.
Unemployment was at 40%. Shantytowns around townships grew as Blacks moved out of homelands.
February 12th –The 3rd set of talks about talks resulted in the D.F. Malan Accord. The govt. decided not to ban Umkhonto we Sizwe and the ANC agreed not to activate it, but rather to use organized protest. After this agreement, the govt. proceeded with the release of prisoners and return of exiles in accordance with the April meeting (Zartman 156).
February 25th-26th - 4th set of talks about talks: dealt with education rather than constitutional issues.
March 8th – Inkatha took over a migrant hostel in the Johannesburg township of Alexandra – during the victory celebrations, the ANC and IFP almost came to a pitched battle. Again, no arrests were made.
April 3rd – A group of U.S. Congressmen in Cape Town heard from Mandela about de Klerk’s lack of action in stopping the violence. De Klerk spoke to the same group on April 4th.
April 4th – Mandela announced at an ANC National Executive Committee meeting that he had been wrong to call de Klerk a “man of integrity.” The NEC wrote an open letter to the govt. telling them among other things to dismiss Vlok and Malan. The letter contained an ultimatum: unless de Klerk did something to control violence before May 9th, the ANC would break off negotiations. They sent the letter on the 5th.
May – The ANC broke off negotiations. Business and church leaders worked to restore communication (Zartman 159). The Weekly Mail published a story, saying that a meeting between de Klerk and Mandela wouldn’t swing it this time – the article focused on the ANC’s relationship with its township constituency, focusing on mid-level elites, who saw “negotiations with the government as meaningless while the townships are burning” (Sisk 122).
The ANC published its preliminary constitutional proposal.
De Klerk sent a letter to 30 African heads of state urging cooperation – he envisioned African development in four blocs (North, East, West and South led by Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa respectively).
June – The Patriotic Front formed as an alliance between the ANC, the PAC, and AZAPO (Mandela 518).
July – Malan announced that all members of the CCB (SADF death squad) had retired or been reassigned.
July 2nd-7th – During the ANC National Congress in Durban (1st inside SA in 32 years), it elected a leadership with a mandate to negotiate: Mandela was elected as president because Tambo was sick and resigned. Cyril Ramaphosa (leader of Mineworkers Union) was elected as secretary-general, as well as the 66-member Natl. Exec. Committee – a 26-member working committee was chosen from that to run the ANC on a daily basis. Mandela demanded the installation of an interim govt. of national unity as a precedent to constitutional reform (Zartman 157). A year and a half after de Klerk’s speech and Mandela’s release, the ANC was finally organized as a bargaining political party rather than a bunch of exiled revolutionaries (Friedman 13).
July 19th – Inkathagate: The IFP was found out to be receiving money from the police to carry out anti-ANC activities, which included the funding for an anti-ANC labor movement UWUSA (United Workers Union of South Africa). Intl. respect for de Klerk’s govt. declined, Minister Vlok and General Malan were demoted, and the NP’s strength at the negotiating table was weakened.
August – De Klerk spoke to NP in Ventersdorp (where AWB’s TerreBlanche was from). 2,000 armed AWB members fought with SA police, which was the first time police had been used against an Afrikaner demonstration.
Ramaphosa and Deputy Minister of Constitutional Development Roelf Meyer met for a weekend (Tomorrow 3).
September – 5 lawyers from the International Committee of Jurists made their first visit to SA. (Their 2nd visit followed in March 92).
September 4th – During a NP federal congress, the govt.’s terms for settlement and its preliminary constitutional proposal were outlined.
September 14th – National Peace Accord signed by ANC, IFP, and NP as well as labor organizations. It was the first face-to-face meeting between Mandela, Buthelezi, and de Klerk. The accord dealt with conduct for political and security forces and dispute resolution (in reaction to Inkathagate) and marked the end to obstacles impeding substantive negotiations. The NPA set up dispute resolution committees in the country under a secretariat of 8. These committees were supposed to deal with crises as soon as they arose and inculcate a culture of peacemaking (Davenport 35). FMI re: NPA, see Bargaining for Peace.
The Accord wasn’t enforced well, however, and the govt. just hid its ANC sabotage instead of halting it (Zartman 159). This led to the appointment of the Goldstone Commission to investigate security force activity.
Sisk’s take on the NPA was that it was an agreement made between elites on how to control their constituencies – “the best option elites have, if they are unable to end political violence altogether, is to jointly manage it” (Sisk 124). He also interprets the NPA as an attempt to lower uncertainty, during which “actors mobilize in order to demonstrate their power in anticipation of the new rules of the political game” (287).
September & October – Mandela and de Klerk held personal meetings to try and overcome their differences.
October – The NP opened itself up to all races. Conservative Blacks and Asians who didn’t want Black rule joined (Beck 185).
October 22nd – The ANC’s national executive committee endorsed Mandela’s January compromise, adding that no more than 18 months could go by between the end of the conference and the elections, during which time SA would be ruled by an interim govt. of national unity.
November 28-29th – After 22 months of talks about talks, 20 parties agreed that CODESA should convene on Dec. 20th (during a prep. talk at an airport hotel).
The PAC withdrew from the convention, because it thought the presiding judges were instruments of the state. But the ANC sided with the govt. against the PAC (Tomorrow 129). The PAC tried to get a mandate from its constituency to rejoin the talks, but it was denied (Friedman 17).
December – De Klerk made a diplomatic visit to Moscow, but Mandela did not visit until 1999 (Barber 63).
December 5-8th – At the SACP National Congress, Chris Hani was elected to replace Joe Slovo as general secretary. Slovo became national chairman.
December 20th-21st – First round of CODESA talks (Convention for a Democratic South Africa), an all-party congress of 19 political organizations, took place in Kempton Park at the World Trade Center in Johannesburg. There were 228 delegates representing 19 parties (The PAC and the Buthelezi were absent – Buthelezi wanted three delegations: 1 for the IFP, 1 for the KwaZulu administration, and 1 for the king of the Zulus. Since his request was not granted, he didn’t go to CODESA at all).
The ANC’s allies were the SACP, and the Transvaal and Natal Indian Congresses. The govt. delegation was allied with the NP delegation (there were two to show that the govt. and the NP were different entities). Also present were delegations from the IFP, the DP, the five homeland administrations, the four TBVC (Transkei, BophuthaTswana, Venda, and Ciskei) administrations, the Labor Party, and three parties from the tricameral parliament (Friedman 23). The Conservative Party and PAC did not show.
Two judges presided over the convention: Petrus Shabort and Ismail Mohamed (Tomorrow 131).
The convention adopted a decision-making procedure called “sufficient consensus”: the convention should seek consensus, but in case of a block, the chair could judge whether or not there was sufficient agreement among the parties to move ahead (Tomorrow 133). This was widely interpreted as whenever the ANC and NP agreed, negotiation would continue (Friedman 25).
Mandela’s opening remarks are on pg. 518 of his autobiography.
The centerpiece of CODESA 1 was the Declaration of Intent, which was signed by the 16 parties. The declaration stated a commitment by all parties for “an undivided South Africa with one nation sharing a common citizenship… free from apartheid of any other form of discrimination of domination… whose supreme law would be a constitution safeguarded by an independent judiciary.” It promoted peaceful constitutional change, a multiparty democratic govt. with universal suffrage, separation of powers, and a bill of rights (Friedman 25). The IFP did not sign, because it thought that an undivided SA would not provide for the federalism they wanted – Bop and Ciskei did not initially sign either, although the IFP and Ciskei did sign after an amendment stating CODESA was not committed to a unitary state. The CP did not sign.
During this meeting, the groups also decided that an Interim Government would rule while the constitution was being drawn up and an elected constituency would serve as a National Parliament. The govt. seemed to acquiesce to the ANC’s demand for an elected constitution-making body and interim govt. by fusing the two together – the govt. wanted the interim govt. to rule for 10-15 years. The ANC had envisioned a short-term interim govt. which would cease to exist after elections were held for the constituent assembly (Friedman 28).
Five working groups were set up to prepare for the second plenary, which would meet sometime in 1992: Each group consisted of two delegates and two advisers from each participating group, with a steering committee. The group would compile a report based on consensus and present it at CODESA 2 for ratification from the whole group.
1. General problems/obstacles to peace: see attached document from Friedman’s The Long Journey.
2. Nature of the interim govt: The ANC team included Ramaphosa, Slovo, and Moosa. The govt/NP team included Gerrit Viljoen and his deputy Tertius Delport. This WG was the real stickler and led to the collapse of CODESA 2. The two sides could not agree on federal v. central government, separation of powers, provincial boundaries, or how these matters would be decided in the govt. and by what majority. (An extended explanation follows under May 15th-16th 1992).
3. Principles for the new constitution: WG 3 came up with the ideas for the Transitional Executive Council (TEC) and the Independent Elections Council.
4. The future of the homelands
5. Target dates for the establishment of the new democracy (Beck 186).
A Gender Advisory Committee was also set up because there were practically no female delegates at CODESA – this committee was to advise the working groups on the gender implications of its agreements (Friedman 129). Additionally, they set up a DMC (Daily Management Committee) of eight individuals from different delegations – the DMC was responsible for maintaining momentum and settling procedural disputes, and was chaired by DP leader Zach de Beer. Backing the whole structure of committees was a secretariat, which was headed up by Fanie van der Merwe and Mac Maharaj (Friedman 33). A business alliance committed to negotiation offered their support (administrative and consultative) in the form of the Consultative Business Movement.
See the end of the document for a summary of WG1.
At the end of the first session, de Klerk made a speech faulting the ANC for not dismantling their guerilla force, but the D.F. Malan Accord signed in February included a tacit agreement that MK could remain in force until a democratic govt. was in place. Mandela’s response is on page 520 of his autobiography.
1992 – population distribution by race: 77% African, 13% White, 9% Colored, 2.5% Indian.
The IMF lent $850 for drought relief.
January – Between CODESA 1 and 2, the ANC and govt. had bilateral talks. They came up with a two-stage transitional period towards full democracy. The first stage was a for the appointment of a TEC appointed by the CODESA delegations to supervise the NP government and security forces, and commissions for both the media and for the constituent assembly elections. The TEC was a sort of temporary govt. which would “level the playing field” for all parties and write an interim constitution. The second stage would be elections for a constituent assembly, which would function as both a parliament and a constitutional drafting committee. They would have to approve a draft of the constitution by a 2/3rds majority within nine months of the election.
The govt. accepted the idea of the constituent assembly, but wanted the 2/3rds vote changed to 3/4ths (Zartman 160-1). They also wanted to add in a senate as a second body during the second stage, which would ensure a minority veto and for CODESA (not the TEC) to come up with the draft constitution (Mandela 524).
February – The ANC and PAC held anti-CODESA rallies. The ANC at-large felt that only the top tier was getting to negotiate the future and that those who fought for freedom were being left behind.
February 19th – The NP lost support among white voters to the Conservative Party in their traditional stronghold of Potchefstroom. Up until this point, de Klerk controlled the tricameral parliament because he had co-opted the Afrikaans-speaking colored (mixed) community. By-elections proved that conservative white voters disapproved of the NP’s compliance in negotiations, the slow economy, and increasing crime.
February 20th – In response to the by-election results, de Klerk scheduled a white-only referendum on his policies, saying that if it failed, he would resign. Also, if the referendum went “no,” sporting sanctions would be renewed (Guelke 141).
March – The team of lawyers from the ICJ (Intl. Comm. of Jurists) made their 2nd visit to SA and subsequently published a report which criticized Buthelezi and the IFP and called for hundreds of international monitors to curb violence (Guelke 146).
March 8th – On the 1-year anniversary of Inkatha’s takeover of Alexandra, they tried to grab more territory and another skirmish ensued. Mandela seconded the ICJ’s call for intl. monitors.
March 17th – De Klerk’s referendum on “the reform process… and … a new constitution through negotiation” passed by 68.7% of white voters. The ANC quietly supported the referendum, the results of which not only strengthened the negotiation process, but also gave the NP a stronger position at the table and weakened the CP (Zartman 161). The threat of continuing international sanctions was used to get a yes vote (Barber 49). The US was extremely vocal in its support of a Yes vote – the State Dept. declared that a No vote would be a devastating backwards step. The White House said that if de Klerk lost the referendum and the right wing took over, the US would hit South Africa like a bomb (Barber 72).
April 13th – Mandela announced his separation from Winnie, whom he had been married to since 1958.
April 22nd – Church leaders held an emergency summit on violence and pushed for intl. monitors. The OAU also endorsed intl. monitors and suggested that the UN debate it. The Danish foreign minister made a visit and recommended intl. monitors to the EC, but Britain dismissed the idea, saying that SA should ask for it first (Guelke 147).
May 7th – Judge Pickard’s investigation report into govt. corruption was released.
May 8th – Govt. complicity in the 1985 killings of the Craddock 4 broke out as well as a corruption scandal at the Department of Development Aid (the dept. responsible for homeland life) (Mandela 523).
The govt. announced that solutions to age-old problems could not be fixed in a matter of months, and that a May deadline for substantial breakthroughs was unfeasible. Instead, the working groups would give “progress reports” to show that the groups were still talking. On the outside, continued violence put pressure especially on the ANC for an agreement.
May 13th – WG 2 was still not able to reach a conclusion and the deadline was only a few days away. The ANC’s dept. of information released a joint statement with the SACP and COSATU that the constituent assembly should be a democratically elected single chamber over whose decisions no veto power should exist (Davenport 14).
May 15th-16th – CODESA 2. De Klerk, empowered by his mandate for reform, took a tough stance on power-sharing, majority rule, and centralized power – they wanted power-sharing to be a basic constitutional principle. The NP wanted veto power on decisions made by the constituent assembly, which the ANC refused. The NP also wanted to double the time for the assembly to work on the constitution from 9 to 18 months, which the ANC also refused (Zartman 161).
The talks were deadlocked by the end of the day and the judges urged Mandela and de Klerk to meet one on one that night.
Part of CODESA 2 was the deregulation of the SABC, which had been a govt. propaganda machine (Sparks deals with this extensively in BtM Ch. 6)
The five working groups were supposed to submit their reports to the convention, but Working Group 2 was stuck on percentages and a deadlock-breaking mechanism for the interim government: the ANC offered a 70% approval figure (up from 67%, the intl. norm) for the constitution, but the NP refused it, still holding out for 75% approval – the ANC was worried that the assembly would be in constant deadlock if there had to be a 75% approval (a sort of backdoor veto), so they coupled their 70% concession with the idea that if the assembly was deadlocked after 6 months, that a popular referendum should decide by simply majority (Tomorrow 136). To make matters worse, Gerrit Viljoen (the govt.’s chief negotiator for WG 2) withdrew, leaving his deputy Tertius Delport alone. Ramaphosa announced the ANC’s withdrawal from WG 2, saying that the govt. was unwilling to compromise. Roelf Meyer was appointed as Minister of Constitutional Development to replace Viljoen.
CODESA 2 collapsed because of the percentage argument (70 vs. 75%), entrenched regional powers that would be binding on a future constitution, the NP’s desire for a second legislative body (a senate based on regional powers with veto power over the main chamber), and the NP’s desire to have the constitution written during CODESA to be a binding and permanent constitution (Mandela 525).
June – Amnesty International published a report which was extremely critical of torture and political killings (Guelke 147).
June-September – Ramaphosa and Meyer met multiple times one-on-one. Since CODESA had collapsed, the two decided that closed-door hard bargaining between major parties was the route to change.
June 16th – For the 25th anniversary of the Soweto riots, the ANC organized a campaign of rolling mass action (sit-ins, marches, work stoppage) to force govt. concessions (Beck 186). The campaign was headed up by Ronnie Kasrils and was meant to culminate in a national strike on August 3rd.
Even before the collapse of CODESA 2, COSATU and other groups had been planning mass action to put pressure on the negotiators and keep the ANC from getting too elitist (Tomorrow 137).
June 17th – 200 Inkatha men attacked a squatter camp near the Transvaal township of Boipatong. The govt. was alleged to have helped the IFP with the attack. When de Klerk went to Boipatong the next day to make a conciliatory visit, his car was mobbed and he drove away – fighting broke out between residents and the police thereafter (Tomorrow 142). No arrests or investigations were made.
The ANC broke off CODESA talks and direct dealings with the government, even though the govt. had accepted the 70% figure (Zartman 162). Mandela made a list of 14 demands the govt. would have to accept before talks could resume (including security demands). De Klerk asked for a one on one meeting with Mandela, but the ANC refused him – they wanted was for him to accept the party demands, not just have another talk with Mandela (Mandela 526).
A few days later at a meeting of the OAU, Mandela urged African leaders not to hastily reestablish relations with the govt. and to seek UN intervention.
July 15-16th – At a special session of the UN Security Council, SA leaders spoke about violence (NP govt., ANC, and IFP). The UNSC published resolution 765 which criticized the govt’s failure to deal with violence and urged the ANC to negotiate.
July 21-31st – Cyrus Vance visited SA as the special representative of the secretary general, Boutros-Ghali.
August – The ANC passed the Transition to Democracy Bill which called for the elimination of homeland boundaries (Davenport 15).
August 3rd &4th – A general strike and mass action massively hurt the economy. The ANC was strengthened in its resolve after the Boipatong attack, and 4 million workers stayed home. 10 UN monitors came during the week of the 3rd to keep an eye on the mass action. There was no massive violence, although 48 died during the week (Guelke 149).
August 7th- Vance reported back to the UN, and on the 17th the UN unanimously adopted Resolution 772 to send more observers, appeal to all parties to reject violence and return to the negotiating table. This produced the UN Observer Mission to South Africa (Unomasa) led by Jamaican diplomat Angels King. Unomasa was supported by the EC, the Commonwealth, and the OAU – they worked closely with the Goldstone Commission (Barber 74).
August 23rd – The ANC accepted the idea put forth by its more radical members to target the homelands of Ciskei, Bophuthatswana and KwaZulu for mass action. The homelands were full of potential ANC voters who had been held back from political change by repressive rulers – the ANC couldn’t organized and hold meetings there because the homelands were self-governing (Tomorrow 147).
September 3rd – The ANC’s failed Ciskei coup: The ANC sent a memo asking de Klerk to remove Oupa Gqozo, the military ruler of Ciskei, to be removed from his office and be replaced by an interim ruler who would allow free political activity (Gqozo was historically opposed to the ANC). De Klerk refused because Ciskei was an independent territory under SA law (Tomorrow 148).
September 7th – The ANC sponsored a march to Bisho, the capital of the Ciskei homeland. Kasrils was banking on a mutiny among the Ciskei army against Gqozo. Gqozo forbade the march, but Kasrils ignored his demand. The crowd of 80,000 was fired upon by police, and 28 marchers were killed. This event marked the end of the ANC mass action campaign begun one month earlier.
The Bisho event discredited the radicals in the ANC, and Mandela condensed his 14 demands down to three: the release of 200 political prisoners, the securing of 18 migrant hostels in the Witwatersrand area, and the ban on carrying cultural weapons (Tomorrow 151). These demands were more about security than politics, which shows how intense the situation on the ground had become.
Boutros-Ghali sent Virendra Dayal to mediate and try to prevent further violence – the ANC cancelled its plans to march to other homelands (Barber 74).
September 26th – Mandela and de Klerk signed the Record of Understanding, a formula for a final agreement in which de Klerk agreed to Mandela’s three demands (de Klerk had to bypass the more conservative members of his cabinet – see Tomorrow 184). This marked the NP’s shift away from the IFP and towards the ANC (Zartman 163). The govt. made a concession in that they agreed to “a singled elected constitutional assembly, which would adopt a new constitution and serve as a transitional legislature for the new government.” So the NP gave up their push for a senate, but the ANC made concessions concerning power-sharing and federalism. After an ANC trip to Germany, they accepted federalism in a policy document which dropped “over-centralization” (Tomorrow 182). The Record also included an independent body to review police actions. Both sides agreed to elections for an interim parliament which would serve as a constituent assembly. This interim govt. would construct a constitution as the Government of National Unity (Beck 187).
De Klerk passed a botched indemnity bill with his President’s Council – it was not approved by either the ANC or his own parliament. With the bill, he sought to excuse his own govt. from wrongful acts committed under its own authority against its opponents (Davenport 33).
A task group was formed to prepare for negotiations on the structures of local govt. The group was made up of members from the central govt., provincial administrations, local govt., and the SA National Civic Organization (Guelke 160). This meeting led to the Local Government Negotiating Forum, which first met in March 1993.
October 1st – Joe Slovo became the SACP’s principal advocate for reformism. His idea of “sunset clauses” proved to be a breakthrough in the negotiation process: the ANC would accept a compulsory power-sharing coalition govt. with the NP during a fixed interim period (3-5 years), after which power-sharing would fall away to majority rule. Slovo’s proposal also provided amnesty and job security for the predominantly white civil service (Zartman 163). Similar arrangements had been used in Kenya, Namibia, and Zimbabwe (Guelke 189).
October – The ANC published the Skeyiya Commission report on its detention camps in neighboring countries which had come under fire through Amnesty International’s June report. The govt. was less candid than the ANC about torture and mistreatment of its enemies (Davenport 32).
COSAG (concerned South Africans group), formed by Buthelezi, was an alliance of the Black Right and the White Right, largely because agreements in the Record of Understanding were aimed at the IFP. Nineteen smaller groups who felt left out of the negotiations joined, including the IFP, the CP, and the homeland govts. of Ciskei and Bophuthatswana. They later changed their name to the Freedom Alliance.
November 18th – The ANC adopted the “Strategic Perspective” document which cleared the way to accept power-sharing and sunset clauses as long as there was no minority veto.
December – the ANC and NP began secret bilateral talks at D’Nyala to outline a settlement. They came up with the idea of the 5-year government of national unity. The CA would fill the power vacuum left when the govt. stepped down.
February 1992-early 1993: The Goldstone Commission was set up to investigate security force involvement in Anti-ANC “third force” activities. In November 1992, de Klerk suspended/retired 23 officers, but not some of the most notorious offenders. (Chapter 12 of Tomorrow goes into greater details about the projects they uncovered)
1993 – Even though meaningful negotiations were underway, the APLA decided to intensify their armed struggle, calling 1993 “The year of the great storm” (Tutu 146).
De Klerk blamed the ANC for “undermining efforts to extend external relations and improve the economy by frightening away traders and investors” because of its rivalry with Inkatha, stayaways and mass actions, and socialist leanings (Barber 64).
January – The govt. and the ANC had a weekend retreat at D’Nyala (Tomorrow 186).
February 12th – The govt. and the ANC announced that they agreed on the principle of a 5-year transition period during which the multiparty cabinet, govt. and Parliament would share power based on a general election to be held in early 1994.
March – De Klerk announced that the govt. had developed nuclear weapons in the 70’s and 80’s as a political deterrent in the face of total onslaught, but that the weapons had now been destroyed. He did not mention that he had destroyed them due to pressure from western governments nor did he mention the help he’d received from Israel, France, and Germany in developing the weapons (Barber 67).
March 5th – 3rd round of CODESA talks, renamed Multiparty Negotiating Forum: the Forum included seven new parties (including the IFP, the CP, and the PAC), bringing the total to 23 parties (Zartman 163).
March 22nd – De Klerk and Mandela met to try and break the CODESA deadlock.
The Local Government Negotiating Forum (LGNF) met. Its mission was to “contribute to the bringing about of a democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and financially viable local government system” (Guelke 160).
April – Treurnicht died and Ferdinand Hartzenberg took over as the leader of the Conservative Party (Tomorrow 199).
April 1st – 26 groups meet at the World Trade Center in Johannesburg for the Negotiating Council to work out final details through multiparty talks. For the first time, the CP and PAC were involved. They lobbied for their federalist demands and threatened civil war (Tomorrow 187).
April 10th – Chris Hani, an ANC and SACP activist who had great control over the militant youth, was assassinated by a Polish immigrant and CP sympathizer. He was turned in by a white woman (Tomorrow 188). To prevent an outbreak of violence, the ANC organized a week of rallies and demonstrations (Mandela 530).
April 19th – Hani’s funeral. There were no massive catastrophes, but 6 people died and 14 were injured. Slovo and Ramaphosa urged for the negotiations to pick up speed (Tomorrow 189).
April 24th – Oliver Tambo had a second stroke and died. He had been ANC president from 1967-1991 and was 75 years old. The ANC gave him the equivalent of a state funeral.
May – Judge Goldstone urged de Klerk to regulate public gatherings, where violence often broke out. Goldstone recommended that peacekeeping be the responsibility of the organizer.
May 17th – During a rally of angry white conservatives, former chief of staff of the SADF Constand Viljoen was called upon to lead the Afrikaner Volksfront (a right-wing movement for an autonomous Afrikaner homeland). Part of the Volksfront was the formation of a Boer People’s Army to prepare for a third Boer War (Tomorrow 201).
June 3rd – The Negotiating Council at Kempton Park set April 27th as the date for national and regional elections.
June 25th – 3,000 White extremists and an armored car broke through the WTC (no one died, but they inflicted a lot of damage).
July – The Forum came up with a first draft of the interim constitution. It provided for a bicameral parliament: The national assembly would be elected by proportional representation and the senate would be elected by regional legislatures. The first draft included 33 constitutional principles which were binding on the final text (Mandela 532).
The LGNF met again and decided that the transformation of local govt. should take place in thee stages: 1. replacing apartheid structures 2. holding elections 3. post-constitution . This formed the basis for the Local Government Transition Act of 1993 (Guelke 160).
Meetings between the ANC and the Volksfront: The Freedom Alliance left the Forum. The Volksfront generals began to meet with the ANC outside of the Negotiating Council. These secret meetings were organized by Constand’s identical twin brother Braam (Tomorrow 202). Mandela convinced the Volksfront not to go to war: In the more than 20 meetings that followed, the ANC set up a working group to study the feasibility of the Volkstaat provided it did not conflict with non-racialism. In return, the Volksfront agreed to discourage destabilization of the political transition (Tomorrow 204). The agreement was never signed because Hartzenberg couldn’t agree to non-racialism. A second agreement between the two parties was Mbeki’s proposal that the “Volkstaat Council be established as a statutory body to negotiate the establishment of a volkstaat with the Constituent Assembly after the election.” But then negotiations stalled and the opportunity for military action arose in March 94 (Tomorrow 205).
July 25th – St. James Massacre: masked black men entered a white church and shot into the congregation. The White community pointed their fingers at APLA (the Azanian People’s Liberation Army, the military wing of the PAC). Black right-wing groups also targeted restaurants, golf clubs and taverns.
August – The Forum came up with a second draft of the interim constitution. The 2nd draft gave more powers to regions, but the IFP and the CP were not satisfied.
August 25th – Fulbright Scholar Amy Biehl was killed by PAC activists (Tomorrow 193).
September – The APLA and govt. were scheduled to meet, and the APLA was expected to announce the end of its armed struggle. But in an army commando unit raid against the APLA, they entered the wrong house and killed children (Tomorrow 193).
Agreement reached on the Transitional Executive Council: 21 members would begin supervising the govt. in December as a multiracial “supergovernment.” Additionally, the IEC (Independent Elections Committee), the IMC (Ind. Media Comm.), and the Independent Broadcasting Authority went into effect (Zartman 164).
The Goldstone Commission set up investigation centers in major areas. They held public inquiries and sent reports to the govt. along with recommendations for action.
The security forces (SADF, SAP, MK, homeland forces who had reunited with SA) were amalgamated into the South African National Defense Force. The SADNF was under the control of a SADF general and a black minister of defense. Members from the PAC joined after they ended their war against the govt. in May 1994 (Davenport 30).
Clinton announced the lifting of all remaining federal sanctions (because of the interim constitution and the election date was set).
October – Mandela spoke about the necessity of the private sector and the state to meet black aspirations, indicating a move away from nationalization (Barber 54).
October 14th – Hani’s murderer was sentenced to death (Tomorrow 190).
November 18th – A plenary session of the Multiparty Conference (the Forum) approved a 142-page 3rd draft of the interim constitution to be used by the constituent assembly after the April 1994 elections. Even though COSAG wasn’t involved, it passed by sufficient consensus.
December – The govt. had only discussed half of the recommendations made by the Goldstone Commission. Only 14% of the recommendations had been implemented.
American businessman Ron Brown from the US Dept. of Commerce led a mission to SA where he signed an investment agreement and formed a joint committee on commerce and trade (Barber 56).
December 18th – Parliament approved the interim constitution. The constitution stated that national elections would take place in five years (1999), so the government of national unity outlined below would serve until then. Between Dec. 22nd and Apr. 27th, the TEC with members from each party would serve as the govt. and Ch. 15 of the constitution guaranteed the continuity of all laws in the interim period.
The interim constitution included a Bill of Rights and 34 entrenched principles (which are listed in total on page 82 of Andrews and attached to the end of the document). The principles dealt with provisions for democratic, constitutional government with regular elections, universal suffrage, proportional representation, human rights, the rule of law, non-discrimination, and affirmative action. Several principles were concessions to consociationalism (the NP’s preferred method), such as cultural rights, minority party protection, traditional leadership, and federal arrangements. There would be three branches of govt. with checks and balances among the three (including an independent judiciary). The constitution provided for freedom of association (including unions, linguistic, cultural, and religious associations) and freedom of the press. The civil service (police especially) were supposed to be nonpartisan, and “broadly representative of the South African community.” SA was divided into 9 provinces instead of 4, and more power was given to local authorities (Beck 193) – each province had its own elected parliament and constitution (so long as it was approved by the CC). There was also recognition and protection for traditional leadership under independent law.
The constitution set up a National Assembly with 400 members, “half of them elected proportionally on the basis of party totals in the nine provinces and the other half allocated so that the total would be proportional to each party’s national vote (Zartman 164). There would also be a 90-member Senate with 10 members from each province, chosen by each provincial legislature. The constituent assembly (Natl. Assembly and Senate) would vote by 2/3rds majority. The National Assembly would elect an Executive President. Deputy Presidents (with consultative but not veto power) would be appointed from the top two parties and any party with over 80 seats (20% of the vote). The cabinet would be composed proportionally from parties who received over 20 seats (5% of the vote). The cabinet voted by majority, but was supposed to make some attempt at consensus. De Klerk wanted the president’s decisions subject to a 2/3rds majority approval too, but gave into the consensus idea (Tomorrow 195).
Mandela and de Klerk shared the Nobel Peace Prize
1994 – Problems in the homelands (January – March): Under the interim constitution, the “independent” homelands had to be reincorporated into SA, as part of a complete redrawing of the SA map.
In BophuthaTswana, leader Lucas Mangope announced he would not allow his people to participate in the elections. His civil servants and police went on strike on March 9th first to demand their pay (since their jobs would cease to exist on Apr. 27th) but then also to demand participation in the election and Mangope’s deposition. Mangope called in a Volksfront force of 5,000 to quell the rebellion (it was unclear whether they came in just to help their COSAG ally or to gain a territorial and military base for a Universal Declaration of Independence). But the arrival and subsequent actions of the AWB fighters caused a mutiny in the Bop. Defense Force on March 11th. The SA govt. wanted Mangope to stay in power until the elections, but the ANC demanded his removal. Foreign Minister Pik Botha told Mangope he was deposed, and the SADF came in to restore order (Tomorrow 218).
Ciskei was persuaded to rejoin the Forum in January and Gqozo resigned and asked for the TEC to appoint an interim leader on March 22nd.
Transkei bargained for favorable terms for reincorporation and Venda asked for it because of a lack of resources to remain independent.
Black and White extremist demands: The ANC and NP persuaded General Viljoen to create a political party (the Freedom Front) which could participate in the elections and campaign for separatism. In return, they would consider the Volkstaat after the elections. Hartzenberg refused to participate in the elections by registering his Volksfront. Most of the generals and CP leaders joined Viljoen thereafter (Tomorrow 219). The ANC and NP added in a constitutional amendment for the possibility of a Volkstaat in mid-March. This became the 34th entrenched principle in the draft constitution – that the constitution did not preclude a right to self-determination of any community sharing a common cultural and language tradition.
Buthelezi was basically all that was left of COSAG. He was internationally seen as a spoiler and had been weakened by the Goldstone Commission reports (Tomorrow 220). He was demanding that the govt. approve a KwaZulu constitution that granted him sovereign powers, but he was refused. King Zwelithini was offered the position of constitutional monarch, and Mandela agreed to continue his stipend, but this offer was also refused because “the king’s requirements could not be addressed separately from Inkatha’s demands” (Tomorrow 223). The homeland, its budget, and Buthelezi’s position would cease to exist on April 27th, so he was threatening to make the day excessively violent and prevent the elections.
February – The IEC finalized its terms of reference. The elections would not be state-run, but run entirely by the IEC, which was responsible for employing and training 300,000 workers and setting up 9,000 polling stations. The IEC set up three directorates: one for administering the election, one for monitoring it (which foreign monitors aided), and one for adjudicating disputes (Davenport 21). The double ballot feature allowed voters to choose different parties for local and national representation. It was all on one piece of paper to avoid confusion for all of the 1st-time voters.
End of March - Shell House massacre – the IFP attacked the ANC’s Johannesburg headquarters during an armed parade to protest the constitution. The govt. placed a state of emergency in Natal and installed troops to protect the right to vote (Zartman 166).
Early April – Buthelezi agreed to a four-party summit (Mandela, de Klerk, Buthelezi, and his king Goodwill Zwelithini). The summit could not agree over the separation between the king and chief, about the sovereign existence of a Zulu kingdom, or the constitutional role for the Zulu monarch (Zartman 166).
April 13th – The NP agreed to bring in international mediators about the issue of federalism with concern to the Zulu nation in Natal. Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and former British Foreign Minster Lord Carrington arrived with 5 others, but they left after Buthelezi demanded that the elections be postponed before he would participate and because the ANC and IFP couldn’t agree on the terms of mediation (Zartman 165). The ANC wanted mediation to cover only issues related to the Zulu monarchy and the interim constitution, whereas the IFP wanted mediation to pertain to the final constitution (i.e. Mediation as a substitute for participation in the negotiation process (Gloppen 207).
April 19th - Buthelezi refused to agree to the constitution without further talks about the status of Zulu kingship and territory, and elections would not be free and fair without Natal. Mandela and de Klerk signed an agreement for mediated talks between the government and Buthelezi after the election (which was one week away).
April 16th – Kenyan businessman Washington Okumu (part of the intl. team) brokered an agreement between Natal and the govt., which allowed the IFP to campaign for the election (after the deadline already passed). This deal was made possible by a bill passed by Parliament and approved by de Klerk: the lands of KwaZulu (1/3rd of the Natal province) were placed under the sovereign trusteeship of the king. Mandela refused Buthelezi this concession one week before (Zartman 166). With only one week until the election, IFP stickers were added to 80 million ballots.
April 17th – The one and only televised debate between Mandela and de Klerk
April 26th - 29th – elections for the national assembly and provincial legislatures (lasted for three days because it took a long time to get materials to all regions): 20 million people voted, and the ANC won 62.65% (which was just short of the 2/3rds which would have given the ANC the power to write the constitution by itself). The IEC declared the elections were “substantially free and fair,” even though there was strong-arming in Natal. The Government of National Unity formed with Mandela as president, and de Klerk and Thabo Mbeki as deputy presidents (de Klerk because he was president of the 2nd place party and Mbeki because there was no 3rd place party with over 5% of the votes, so Mandela got to choose someone from the ANC). Ministerial positions were as such: 16 ANC, 4 NP, and 3 IFP. Mandela denied the NP cabinet posts in police or defense, granting them lesser posts instead. Buthelezi was made Minister for Home Affairs, Mac Maharaj was Transport Minister, Dullah Omar was Minister of Justice, Joe Slovo was Housing Minister, and former Umkhonto we Sizwe leader Joe Modise was Minister of Defense (Afrikaner George Meiring remained chief of the SA National Defense Force).
Election Results: The ANC won 7 of the 9 provinces – the NP won the Western Cape, and the IFP won KwaZulu-Natal with 50% of the vote. In terms of parliamentary seats, the ANC won 252 of 400 seats in the National Assembly, the NP won 20.4% (82 seats), the IFP won 10.5% (43 seats), but no other parties got more than 5% of the vote, which would have given them ministerial positions in the 5-year transitional government according to their strength. The remaining seats went to the Freedom Front (9), the Democratic Party (7), the PAC (5), and the African Christian Democratic Party (2) (Guelke 120).
May 10th – Mandela was inaugurated as President and the Govt. of Natl. Unity was officially installed.
After the elections, the rate of violent conflict went down, but the rate of violent crime went up. KwaZulu-Natal was the only place in SA where violence did not decrease after the elections.
May – SA joined the OAU and Non-Aligned Movement.
The PAC ended its war against the government.
Cyril Ramaphosa chaired the CA (Constitutional Assembly), made up of members of the House of Assembly and the Senate (490 members operating in joint session), including Roelf Meyer. The central body was a multiparty Constitutional Committee of 46 members with a 12-member management committee and 6 theme committees. The CA was given two years to come up with a final constitution which should follow the principles of the interim constitution. The public was invited to make submissions about the content of the constitution – the theme committees split up the 2 million submissions and were responsible for drafting different sections of the constitution.
To send a draft to the CC for approval, it had to have the support of 2/3rds of the CA, with any parts pertaining to the boundaries or powers of the provinces securing 2/3rds approval in the entire senate.
An 11-member Constitutional Court (7 Whites, 4 Blacks, 9 men, and 2 women) was established. It included a president, deputy president, and nine other judges. The first issue they worked on was the death penalty, to which Mandela was strongly opposed.
Mandela made visits to his prosecutor who sent him to jail, the commander of Robben Island, and all former PMs, Presidents and their wives. Through these visits, he gained white supporters, defused white fear, divided right-wing extremists, and gained moral superiority (Beck 196).
June – SA rejoined the Commonwealth of Nations after a 33-year absence.
The economic inheritance of the new govt. was awful: the state was practically broke, with a budget deficit of 8.6% and no foreign exchange reserves (BtM 16).
June 16th – The UN arms embargo was lifted
June 24th – SA rejoined the UN General Assembly
September – Zulu king Zwelithini announced he was severing ties with Buthelezi.
October – The RDP (Reconstruction and Development Program) was approved by Parliament and launched to improve SA’s economic situation and to earn the trust of the international finance community. RDP began in late 1993 during the ANC’s election campaign. Its goals included free education, healthcare, house and road construction, water, and electricity. By alleviating poverty, reconstructing the economy, and fostering social development, the ANC hoped to bring SA back into the international sphere and create a stable government (Beck 194). As a govt. program, it had its own funding and ministry.
Impediments to RDP: Because of Bantu education, many Blacks were not adequately educated to carry out RDF reforms on a local level. Also, people weren’t used to paying rent and paying for services under the apartheid govt. and continued that behavior under the new govt.
December – SA rejoined UNESCO after a 40-year absence.
All intl. sanctions were lifted.
Early 1990’s – The annual deaths from civil strife were between 2,700 and 3,800. In 1995 alone, 19,000 people were murdered which is 10x the rate in the US. It was estimated that an armed robbery occurred every 11 minutes and that there were 92 rapes per day.
1995 – January - Joe Slovo, Minster of Housing under Mandela, died of cancer.
February – Mandela launched the “Masakane” (let us build together) campaign to encourage payment of rent and for services to aid the RDP.
Eugene de Kock, head of the C1 operation at the Vlakplass detention center since 1985, went on trial.
The Green Paper on Land Reform was published.
March – The IFP withdrew from the constituent assembly and boycotted constitutional negotiations because the mediated talks hadn’t happened yet (talks in February to arrange international mediation failed) and because they wanted more local authority in KwaZulu-Natal than the constitution granted (Beck 199).
Mandela dismissed Winnie from her minor ministerial post (for being a loose canon in the ANC).
June - The Constitutional Court found the death penalty unconstitutional
Mandela awarded a SA rugby team, the Springboks, the World Cup trophy. Rugby was infused with Afrikaner macho-ness, and was largely an all-Afrikaner sport (the Springboks had one Colored player) (Beck 197).
July – The national Unity and Reconciliation Act was passed, which called for the creation of the TRC (Truth and Reconciliation Commission). The TRC’s mission was to compile as complete a picture as possible of the gross human rights violations between March 1st, 1960 and December 5th, 1993.
November 1st – local elections were held in the seven ANC-run provinces (The Western Cape was delayed until May 29th, and KwaZulu until June 26th) (Guelke 159).
November – Mandela chose Archbishop Desmond Tutu to chair the 17-member TRC with Dr. Alex Boraine as his deputy chair. There were three committees: human rights violations, amnesty, and reparation and rehabilitation. If the HRV committee determined the victim had suffered, they would refer him/her to the reparations committee, which would make a recommendation about the nature and size of the reparation to the president (Tutu 114). The amnesty committee was headed up by presidentially-appointed judges rather than commissioners and had autonomous decision-making powers.
November 22nd – A working draft of the final constitution was published. At points where the parties still retained differences, a number of options were put forth (ex. power-sharing as a permanent feature and aspects in the Bill of Rights) As the deadline approached, the ANC said it would go to a referendum to gain support for its opinion, and the NP folded (Guelke 169).
December 15th – TRC announced officially. The first meeting of the TRC was on the next day. The Commission was made up of 10 blacks and 6 whites, two of whom were Afrikaners (for a full listing, see Tutu 74).
1996 - April - TRC began hearing victims’ accounts of human rights abuse. (20,000 appeared before the human rights violations committee and 7,000 applied for amnesty). The commission hearings were public and widely reported. The “victim-friendly” process provided for translation so that the victim could tell the story comfortably and for briefers who provided water and tissues (Tutu 110).
PW Botha called the commission a “circus” and refused to appear before it in a hearing. He was subpoenaed and subsequently arraigned for refusing to obey the subpoena. He was convicted to a suspended jail sentence and fined, but later acquitted (Tutu 247).
May 3rd – The CA presented the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Bill to Parliament.
May 8th – The Constitutional Assembly adopted the final draft of the constitution and presented it to parliament. It received parliamentary approval with a 2/3rds majority (secured by the ANC, NP, DP, and PAC votes) and was sent to the CC for certification to verify that the final draft was in compliance with the 34 entrenched principles of the interim constitution.
May 9th - De Klerk announced he would step down as deputy president and that the NP would withdraw from the govt. on June 30th.
IFP members returned to Parliament. Because of the NP’s withdrawal, they were then the only other party in the cabinet. Relations between Buthelezi and Mandela improved with de Klerk’s absence. The IFP boycotted the entire constitutional process since promised mediation failed to occur, although they remained in parliament and rejoined the GNU.
June – FW de Klerk withdrew from the Govt. of Natl. Unity, largely because they did not accept power-sharing as a permanent fixture in the constitution. “With no prospects of a share in power it became vital for the party to build its credibility as the leader of the opposition” (Gloppen 209). De Klerk thought that SA would be moving to a 1-party state again. He was also unhappy with the NP’s minor role in the coalition govt. and because of a falling-out between him and Mandela over third force activities. Marthinus van Schalkwyk replaced him as NP leader.
The TRC threatened to subpoena individuals who did not come before the commission to talk. 22 police generals applied for amnesty soon thereafter. The Freedom Front urged right-wingers who had committed violence to apply for amnesty – many who did just made statements without being explicit or taking full blame (not just the FF, but also members of the IFP, the DP Gqozo, de Klerk, and Botha). ANC cadres applied for amnesty last-minute (Modise, Kasrils, Maharaj).
July – RDP was handed over to Mbeki who transformed it into GEAR (Growth, Employment, and Redistribution) based on neo-liberal international economic ideas.
September 6th – CC gave its judgment on the constitution, saying that some of it had to be amended, specifically provincial powers (see Gloppen 212-13 for a complete list). It went back to the CA for revision. The IFP joined the amendment process because everything was open for renegotiation, not just what the CC rejected. The CA sent it back on December 4th.
October – The attorney general finished hearing the cases of Defense Minister Magnus Malan, the head of Vlakplaas Eugene de Kock, and his predecessor Dirk Coetsee. De Kock, whose case began in March 95, was convicted on 89 counts and sentenced to life imprisonment. Coetsee went before the TRC and applied for amnesty, which he received. The SADF came forward to the TRC, but justified their actions as reasonable in the face of total onslaught.
October 11th – the CA reconvened and resubmitted its draft to the CC, which was approved on December 6th.
December 10th – Mandela signed the new constitution at Sharpeville.
Mandela became Chair of Southern African Development Community.
Mandela and Winnie got divorced.
Since 1983, ANC/IFP violence claimed 25,000 lives.
Ramaphosa and Meyer left active politics.
1997 – February 4th – New Constitution took effect on opening day of parliament: Starting in 1999 at the end of the Govt. of Nat. Unity, the President would be selected by the majority party in Parliament for a 5-year term. The president could select one deputy president and all of the cabinet members from whichever party he/she chose. The constitution recognized traditional chiefs and customary law (see Constitutional Debates for more detail) (Beck 199).
The major differences between the interim and final constitutions were the elimination of power-sharing provisions and the replacement of the Senate for a National Council of Provinces (NCOP) with 10 delegates from each of the nine provinces (map on page 201 of Beck). Of the 10, 6 would be permanent members appointed by their parties in their provinces on the basis of representation in the provincial legislatures, and the other 4 for each province would be special delegates. Decisions made by NCOP needed the approval of 5 provinces, 6 for matters relating to the entrenched principles.
Each province had a premier, legislature, cabinet, and some financial powers (Beck 200). The provinces could choose to have local constitutions as well, granted that the CC approved it and it was in line with the national constitution.
February – Roelf Meyer was appointed as NP deputy secretary because of his success in dealing with the ANC during negotiations. He suggested the dissolution and fresh start for the NP, since it couldn’t generate much support with its apartheid past. He was sacked (Beck 198).
After the NP left the GNU, Mandela invited the DP and PAC to have cabinet representation. They appreciated the offer, but remained as independent opposition parties rather than take the risk of being “co-opted” by the govt (Davenport 95).
May – De Klerk presented the NP’s case to the TRC and Mbeki presented the ANC’s.
July – Mandela turned 79 and stepped aside as ANC president. Deputy president Thabo Mbeki became president.
September – Roelf Meyer and Bantu Holomisa started the United Democratic Movement Party. FMI re: Holomisa read Davenport pg. 91.
De Klerk resigned as National Party leader and retired from politics.
December – 50th ANC annual party congress: Mbeki was officially chosen as president and ANC Party Chairman Jacob Zuma filled Mbeki’s deputy presidential post.
The East Asian financial crisis caused the stock market to go down by 40% and for the Rand to depreciate 26% against the dollar. Interest rates went from 18 to 25% (BtM 23).
1998 – February – Tony Leon, (Jewish) leader of the DP (which was no longer liberal, but seeking to oust the NNP as the major opposition party), attacked the govt.’s affirmative action policies. He said that racial legislation was a slippery slope.
June – The TRC had its hearing on the government’s Chemical and Biological Warfare Program (CBW), which was headed up by Dr. Wouter Basson (aka Dr. Death).
October 29th – The TRC submitted its report on its hearings. It was 3,500 pages and found both Whites and Blacks, both the NP and the ANC, guilty of “gross violations” of human rights, which was confined to killing, abduction, torture, and severe ill treatment. Although the TRC did not take the political affiliation of the perpetrators into account, they tried to draw a line between legal and moral equivalence. They operated under the Geneva Convention principle that “justice of war requires justice in war” (Tutu 107). The ANC wanted to interdict the publication of the report (Tutu **)
1999 – May 14th – The ANC and the IFP signed a peace pact.
Mandela finally visited Moscow, but the visit was largely symbolic.
Elections: Marked the end of the interim govt. of natl. unity and the start of majority rule. The ANC won the most seats, followed by the DP, the IFP, the NNP, the PAC, and then the FP (which got less than 1% of the vote).
Thabo Mbeki became president and Jacob Zuma deputy president.
With the white civil servant jobs no longer protected, many left which compounded the inability of rookie govt. officials to carry out effective social and economic restructuring policies.
Nov. 2001 – ANC and New National Party announced a merger
2002 – Unemployment was at 29% (BtM 27).
De Klerk will still not apologize for apartheid, which he sees purely as a political mistake which was rectified. He is wary of the direction that democracy is taking in SA, calling it a 1-party state.
Eugene TerreBlanche is in prison for life and has “given up the gun for God.”
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Barber, James. Mandela’s World: The International Dimension of South Africa’s Political Revolution 1990-1999. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2004. 1-82.
Beck, Roger. The History of South Africa. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2000. 125-205.
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Friedman, Steven. The Long Journey: South Africa’s Quest for a Negotiated Settlement. Johannesburg: Ravan Press, 1993.
Gastrow, Peter. Bargaining for Peace: South Africa and the National Peace Accord. Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace Press, 1995.
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Levy, Philip I. “Sanctions on South Africa: What did they do?” The American Economic Review, Vol. 89, No. 2 (May 1999). 415-420.
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Ottaway, David. Chained Together: Mandela, de Klerk, and the Struggle to remake South Africa. New York: Times Books, 1993.
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- - -, South Africa: The Struggle for a New Order. Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1993.
Sisk, Timothy D. Democratization in South Africa: The Elusive Social Contract. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995.
Sparks, Allister. The Mind of South Africa. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1990. 329-397. (referenced as Mind)
- - -, Tomorrow is Another Country: The Inside Story of South Africa’s Road to Change. New York: Hill & Wang, 1995. (referenced as Tomorrow)
- - -, Beyond the Miracle: Inside the New South Africa. London: Profile Books, 2003 (referenced as BtM).
Thomas, Scott. The Diplomacy of Liberation: The Foreign Relations of the ANC since 1960. New York: I.B. Tauris Publishers, 1996.
Tutu, Desmond Mpilo. No Future Without Forgiveness. New York: Image Doubleday, 1999.
Zartman, William. “Negotiating the South African Conflict” Elusive Peace: Negotiating an End to Civil Wars. Ed. William Zartman. Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1995. 147-174