To What Extent Did Political Negotiations 1989-91 End In Compromise?

De Klerk's New Course

  • 1989 - Apartheid still technically in place but the country was divided - both sides held strong hands 
  • 1989 - Botha had a stroke and was replaced by de Klerk 
  • De Klerk quickly reduced military budges and reduced the input of the State Security Council
  • He was more keen to find compromises and be a political peacemaker 
  • International political allies were slipping away (Reagan in America and Thatcher in Britain) 
  • Falling of the Berlin Wall in 1989 --> End of communist influence in Europe
1 of 3

Freeing Nelson Mandela and unbanning political par

  • By mid-1989, it was clear that the ANC was committed to negotiations 
  • Key ANC leaders were freed in 1989
  • De Klerk and Mandela met for the first time in Dec 1989
  • The bulk of white people no longer supported apartheid (as a formal policy) --> White people had done well under apartheid but had now lost too much to civil conflict --> negotiation seemed inevitable 
  • Mandela released in 1990 and unbanned political parties (ANC, PAC and CP)
  • Mandela spent a lot of time travelling during this period of time --> two trips to the UK as a hub for the ANC in exile and the home of the AAM.
  • April 1990, the second visit to London was televised with an audience of 500 mil people (8 min SO)
  • 1991, UDF disbanded - this decision may have weakened grassroots political organisations - may have been wiser to set up a separate wing of alliance like COSATU
  • ANC absorbed many youth comrades 
  • By 1991, the ANC had successfully absorbed some of the key popular opposition forces. 
2 of 3

CODESA (1991)

  • Mandela stopped trusting de Klerk and de Klerk found the ANC uncompromising 
  • The ANC felt they were being asked to give up too much 
  • However, all did agree to the first round of formal negotiations in 1991 in a process called the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA) 
  • The NP central aim was still to devise a constitutional strategy that might protect minorities. 
3 of 3


No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all South Africa resources »