History of South Africa 4

History of South Africa Part IV

On September 4th, 1984 a new constitution (approved by the majority of the white population in November 1983) came into force, which introduced the presidential system and granted colored and Asians limited say (separate chambers of parliament). PW Botha became president.

The development up to the end of apartheid (1984–93)

In order to cope with the growing militancy of the anti-apartheid movement (in addition to the ANC and PAC, especially the United Democratic Front, UDF since 1983) and the increasing criticism of the apartheid system e.g. To counteract this, for example, on the part of the South African trade associations, the Botha government lifted individual apartheid provisions (e.g. the ban on mixed marriages in 1985, the entry controls for blacks in 1986). In contrast to the gradual breakdown of v. a. the “Little Apartheid” were the repressive measures: declaration of a state of emergency (1986), a ban on assembly and activities for organizations of the anti-apartheid movement, tightening of security laws and press censorship. In Natal, and later in other parts of the republic, there was bloody fighting between supporters of the Inkatha movement and the ANC.

After the resignation of P. W. Botha (1989), his successor F. W. de Klerk initiated a radical change in domestic politics. In addition to the legalization of the prohibited organizations (ANC, PAC, UDF et al.; 1990), the release of political prisoners (inter alia Mandela; 1990), the lifting of the state of emergency (1990), he set the cornerstones of the apartheid system in 1991 (Population Registration Act, Group Areas Act and Land Act) as well as the Security Act expire. The homelands that had been declared independent were allowed to rejoin the Republic of South Africa. According to payhelpcenter, after talks between President de Klerk and Mandela (President of the ANC since 1991) a “round table” (Convention for a Democratic South Africa, abbreviation CODESA) met in Johannesburg in December 1991 to discuss a new constitution. The gradual dismantling of apartheid (since around 1984) provoked resistance from many Boers; The NP, the majority of which supported the politics of P. W. Bothaand de Klerk, was able to assert itself as the strongest political force in the political spectrum of white South Africans, but was confronted with increasing electoral successes of the Conservative Party, which split off from it in 1983 and which it chaired AP Loyalty not demanded the maintenance of the apartheid system. Militant advocates of white supremacy organized, among other things. in the African resistance movement under Eugène Terre Blanche (* 1944). After the bloody suppression of unrest in the Boipaton township (near Johannesburg) by the South African police in June 1992, the ANC withdrew from the constitutional talks.

According to an agreement between President de Klerk and the ANC chairman Mandela (September 26, 1992), 26 parties and organizations resumed negotiations on a constitution for South Africa on April 1, 1993 in Kempton Park near Johannesburg and set the date for on July 2, 1993 free elections on April 27, 1994. Violence between rival black organizations (especially between Inkatha and ANC) and between white and black extremists repeatedly challenged the success of the negotiations. On April 10, 1993, the General Secretary of the KP, which works with the ANC, Martin Thembisile (“Chris”) Hani (* 1942), murdered by a member of the extremist white African resistance movement; there were strikes and riots. After the constitutional conference initialed a constitution based on equal rights for all groups in the Republic of South Africa on September 22, 1993, it was signed by President de Klerk and 20 organizations, including the ANC, on November 18, 1993, against the bitter resistance of right-wing conservative and extreme forces. At the same time, all apartheid laws were repealed.

New beginning of the state under N. Mandela (from 1993)

The constitutional talks that ended in autumn 1993 paved the way for a democratic, non-racist and unified state. On December 7, 1993, a “transitional executive council” began work, which at the same time prepared the parliamentary elections planned for 1994. Radical white forces as well as conservative-regionalist black groups (especially the Inkatha movement), united in the “Freedom Alliance”, rejected the transitional constitution and only agreed to take part in these elections with fundamental reservations. The strongest political force in the parliamentary elections, which took place from April 26 to 29, 1994, was the ANC (62.7%) under Mandela, followed by the National Party (NP, 20.4%) under de Klerk and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP, 10.5%) under Buthelezi. According to the transitional constitution that came into force on April 27, 1994, these three parties formed a “government of national unity”. On 9 May 1994, Parliament elected Mandela as President, T. M. Mbeki (ANC) as First (de facto Prime Minister) and de Klerk (NP; resigned in 1996) as Second Vice-President. To come to terms with the apartheid past, a “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” was established on October 2nd, 1995, chaired by Archbishop D. M. Tutu which began with hearings on April 15, 1996 and ceased work on July 31, 1998. The Commission’s final report was presented in 2003. This enabled the payment of compensation to around 20,000 apartheid victims to begin. In addition, 30% of the farmland is to be passed into black ownership in the long term, partly through expropriations. After the Constitutional Court had examined the transitional constitution, it was signed by Mandela on December 10, 1996 in Sharpeville; it came into force on February 4, 1997. The NP (renamed NNP in 1999) had previously given up its participation in the “government of national unity” in order to turn to the opposition.

History of South Africa 4

About the author