Vol. XIII, Issue 1 (Winter 2006): Reflections on South Africa



Gloria Emeagwali
Chief Editor

Walton Brown-Foster
Copy Editor

Haines Brown


Olayemi Akinwumi

Zenebworke Bissrat

Paulus Gerdes

Mosebjane Malatsi
(South Africa)

Alfred Zack-Williams
(Sierra Leone)


Tennyson Darko
Asst. Dir. ITS, CCSU

Peter K. LeMaire
Professor, CCSU

Website Maintenance

Nana Poku


For more information concerning Africa Update
Prof. Gloria Emeagwali
CCSU History Dept.
1615 Stanley Street
New Britain, CT 06050
Tel: 860-832-2815

Table of contents



          In this issue of Africa Update Hosea Jaffe reflects on the circumstances leading to the fall of apartheid, the release of  Nelson Mandela and the new South Africa. What forces  really brought the fall of apartheid? How long did negotiations last and in what context? ‘The cosmetic political change from an openly racist state to a masked, multi-racial, partitionist confederal democracy could not lead to democracy and a non-racial society’ Jaffe concludes. The Editorial Board of Africa Update may not necessarily agree with all of Jaffe’s propositions but we consider them important enough to be discussed. 

       Africa Update commemorated the momentous occasion of the 1994 South African election process in an earlier issue. The sacrifices made by the victims of apartheid and the leaders of the liberation struggle will continue to preoccupy scholars for many decades  to come. This issue of Africa Update is in their honor.


  Chief Editor

  Dr. Gloria Emeagwali

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SOUTH AFRICA, 1985-1994
Hosea Jaffe


The 1985-94 constitutional process in South Africa was a process made up of a sequence of sub-events. Its first significant sub-event was the change of mind of the government of President Botha during the mass strikes of 1984-5. The second was the 5-year series of secret meetings with Mandela from late 1985. These were arranged by Botha's ministers, police and secret service to find out how Mandela's brain worked. Then came the un-banning of the Pan African Congress (PAC) and the Azania Peoples' Organization (AZAPO).  The release of Robben Island prisoners; the release of Mandela in February 1990; the negotiations, and finally, the April 1994 election followed. These culminated in formation of a "Government of National Unity.” 

The Botha - de Klerk change of mind was, however, more effect than cause. The notion that the G7 powers, the so-called international community, were always anti-apartheid and that they concluded that South Africa was out of step is quite untrue. The fact is that even after the Soweto uprising in 1976 the European Economic Council of Ministers rejected 'one person one vote' for South Africa and in that in 1978 EEC Declarations repeated this pro-apartheid policy and rejected an oil-embargo against South Africa The fact is that the EEC officially supported Portugal against Cabral's army in Guinea Bissau, the MPLA and FRELIMO, until these liberation armies defeated Portugal in 1974. The Labor Prime Minister of Britain, Harold Wilson, told the world during his visit to Rhodesia a decade before the Lancaster Independence negotiations in 1980, that the Zimbabwean Africans were not yet ready for Independence. The change of mind by the South African regime in the mid-1980 was clearly a part of a general change of mind by the USA and the EEC powers. The eventual consensus was determined by the worsening world economic crisis which ended the post-war boom in 1970.   South African history is thus very much a part of world history. This has been the case since Van Riebeeck landed at the Cape in 1652 This world-system principle governing South African history was personified by those who influenced Botha and de Klerk's rethinking such as Young, Carrington, Thatcher, Kohl, Mitterand, Kissinger and - the Archbishop selected by Britain's own Anglican hierarchy in Canterbury and Westminster for this job - Desmond Tutu. 

Was the constitutional crisis in South Africa part of a class-struggle? Did it signify a modal change to a New South Africa?  Did it change the mode of production there? This is the problematic of this article.



Being wide open to the world system through its colonial history, two-way trade and investment flows, South Africa is bound to refract major world events. Thus the Second World War brought about a policy change of the Communist Party of South Africa which sacrificed the national-liberation movement founded in 1938, on the altar of General

Smuts' war effort, after the German invasion of Russia in June 1941.  The other world events which clearly struck South Africa with full force were (a) the world economic crisis from 1970 on and (b) collapse of socialism in Eastern Europe and the USSR. 



Germany sponsored Black Consciousness (BC) via its Rhenish Churches. But the USA, noting that BC was partly an export from the USA of the same Black Power Movement which Presidents Johnson and Nixon ruthlessly repressed, turned its back on BC and also on the PAC. 

By 1980 they began to sponsor the ANC (African National Congress). The ANC was already a favorite with the Anglican Church in Britain and liberals, and Germany and France soon followed suit. This foreign sponsorship, combined with a resurgence of traditional Liberal backing for the ANC inside South Africa, to put the ANC back on the political map after its replacement first by the Pan African Congress in the late 1950s, and in the 1970s by BC. The revival of the ANC in 1983, in the shape of the United Democratic Front, and its subsequent role in negotiating a new constitution, was the result of this foreign and local liberal sponsorship.  

The Reform-Negotiation process, thus set in motion, required the crippling of the national liberation movements. In secret, between 1989 and 1993, the state's hit-squads systematically murdered some 200 non-collaborationists in the ANC, PAC and AZAPO, many of these taking the form of "accidents". In public, imperialist funds promoted and corrupted the main "liberation movements." Thus the Kagiso Trust was funded through Europe's Protestant Churches and the European Community. The Coca-Cola and Mobil Trusts were directly funded by its USA parent-bodies. The main liberal Aid fund operated from St. Paul's Cathedral, London. Newspapers promoting negotiation were subsidized. The English media included New Nation, the voice of the Vatican, South, New Africa and Grass Roots; and the Afrikaans media following suit included Vrye Weekblad. The powerful Argus Group sponsored The Sowetan, while the Nationalist Party press backed City Press, both aiming, like New Africa at a rapid increase of African readership. Inkatha was funded to take control of Ilanga La Se Natal. Weekly Mail was made viable by generous advertising revenue from multinationals. 



The world system crisis brought about, first, a quadrupling, and then a collapse of the gold price to below its break-even level of $350.00 an ounce in 1992. The crisis and the mass struggles of the mid-1980 deflated the Rand from $0.52 in 1988 to $0.36 in New Year 1992. It raised the interest-rate to 20% and made inflation, indebtedness and unemployment chronic. These effects of the crisis converged with the popular struggles to depress not only the economy but with it the level and the scale of liberal politics as well. The economy and also the mainstream politics of the country were channeled into the trough of what Sweezy and Magdoff called "stagnation". Stagnation reduced politics to a collaborationist mode.  

The restructuring involved in this economic crisis accelerated the concentration of capital in the hands of South African based multinationals, led by Anglo-De Beers, as well as the passage of Britain's investment and trade hegemony to US, German and Japanese investors, exporters and importers. Apartheid South Africa's departure from the British Commonwealth and the establishment of the Republic in 1961 opened up the country to non-British investors. The USA linked up with Afrikaner capital. The Rembrandt Group, Sappi Paper Mills (its rival, Mondi, is Anglo-American), Phelps-Dodge and the refineries of Mobil and Caltex exemplified this US- Afrikaner union. Most of the new mining capital came from the USA, enabling McGregor, in WHO OWNS WHAT, in the late 1970's, to estimate that 45% of all gold mining shares were owned by Americans. 

Such foreign ownership, however, did not overturn the control of the major mining companies and of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange by Anglo De Beers and other South African multi-nationals. These operated not only from juridical headquarters in South Africa, but also had their social, class base and political parties centered in South Africa itself. This combination of finance, class and politics in South Africa is typical of an imperialist country. The regime used profits made, from the Front Line States, which remained de-facto semi-colonies of South African imperialism to finance its servicing of the $24b. 1989  foreign debt. This imperialism controlled 95% of Johannesburg Stock Exchange capital, although 66% of the latter was owned by USA, European and Japanese shareholders. The transnationals of the RSA (Republic of South Africa) were powerful enough to be the first foreign investors in Hungary in 1989, and in 1992 Anglo De Beers bought mining leases in Siberia. Quarry interests were acquired in the former East Germany and the state purchased ships from the Lenin Shipyards in Gdansk, Poland. 

The crisis caused 7 million workers to be replaced by computers, robots and high-productivity industrial and farming machines. One example of this rationalization was the modernization of the RSA coal mines. Despite the grand modernization of UK coal mines, the output of South African coal-miners was 1900 tons of coal per worker per year in 1986, against 735 tons/worker per year for British coal miners, that is, 2.5 times higher. Those deprived of jobs by such rationalization crowded into the Homelands, Bantustans and ghettoes like Soweto, Mitchell's Plain, Atlantis  and Kyalitsha in the Cape. By 1992 the squatter population had risen to 5 million, enlarging a poverty-stricken informal economy. 

The ongoing world crisis precipitated the contradiction between the traditional economic policy of preventing the rise of a comprador bourgeoisie among the oppressed, and the new political need and usefulness to the ruling class of such a collaborationist bourgeoisie. As a compromise the rulers tried to expand the old indirect rule principle. A consequence of this policy was the growth of gangs between rival layers of this sub-class.  This violence was amplified not only by the general rise in poverty, but by the use of INKATHA vigilantes by sections of the South African Police (SAP) and South African Defense Force (SADF) as well as by internecine warfare between factions of the ANC, PAC and AZAPO in the locations and squatter-camps.



During boycott struggles inside South Africa in 1984, the ANC demanded sanctions against South Africa. This revived the call of the 1958 "All-African Peoples Conference," at Accra, for a diplomatic and trade boycott. These calls were repeated at the Afro-Asian Solidarity Conference at Conakry in April, 1960, and by the first OAU heads of state meeting in Addis Ababa in April 1963. In November 1962 the UN General Assembly recommended trade and diplomatic sanctions, with 67 voting for, 16 against, and 27 abstaining. Eric Louw, South African Foreign Minister, said at the time that the West bought ‘79.8% of South Africa's exports, excluding gold and provided 63.7% of her imports'. 

The UN never excluded South Africa, as it did Yugoslavia from 1992. Nor did its sanctions undermine the economy or White standards of living, as did UN sanctions against Iraq in 1990-3, or those against Yugoslavia in 1992-4. After Sharpeville, the ANC and CPSA abroad, supported officially by the Liberal Party, began a campaign of sanctions against the apartheid regime. Sanctions, however, relied for support on two imperialist classes: the Western capitalists and the Western bourgeois proletariat. This included the Japanese. Workers and middle classes living off semi-colonial surplus value would not, apart from token solidarity, boycott ships and planes carrying minerals strategically essential to their well-being. 

Nor did the divestment sanctions lead to a net withdrawal of capital. Where there was a financial pull-out of companies, such as with US car firms, it was often due to the world crisis. The sale and hence purchase of shares and companies was not dis-investment, but a change of imperialist ownership. In this the USA was the main loser and Germany, Japan and South African multi-nationals were the main winners. The Cape sea-route continued to carry over 2000 ships a year to and from over 50 member-states of the United Nations delivering 577 of Western Europe's oil and 20% of the United States oil.  70% of the West's strategic raw materials were transported by this route. Throughout sanctions South Africa remained a supplier of four key minerals, 81% of the West's platinum, 71% of its manganese, and 84 % of its chrome. And 47% of its vanadium. German metal-workers refused sanctions because an embargo on chrome only would put over a million Germans out of work. Most African states, while denouncing apartheid, did not practice a sanctions policy. Even Nasser's Egypt, on October 9, 1962, stated that South African ships could pass through the Suez Canal and later rejected a request by the Mombasa Dockers Union to close the canal to South African bound shipping. The Tshombe- Mobutu regime allowed South African planes to land on their airfields. Kaunda said in 1964 that he would be willing to establish diplomatic relations with South Africa if his envoys were assured normal diplomatic treatment. Asian states also traded with South Africa. The left-wing Banderenaike Government exported rubber and tea to the RSA.  Iran, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain continued oil supplies. The Shah regime, West Germany and South Africa had an oil-uranium -atomic consortium up to the 1979 Khomeni Revolution.  Finally, on 15 April 1991 the back of what remained of sanctions was broken by South Africa's main trading and investment partner, the European Community, when it voted to lift all sanctions.



In  1988 the Cuban, Angolan and SWAPO forces, using Soviet armaments, had broken  South African air- superiority and defeated the South African army decisively at Quito Quinivale. South Africa virtually sued for peace and a 6-power imperialist bloc comprising of Britain, USA, West Germany, France, Canada and South Africa, with the aid of Soviet foreign-policy, Glasnost, made agreements at Brazzaville and New York, whereby Cuba's 35,000 troops would withdraw from Angola. By then South Africa had the beneficial experience of a neo-colonial Nkomati Accord with Machel and de-iure and de-facto diplomatic relations with Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

The transformation of SWAPO from a liberation movement into a neo-colonial government came after and during a process which completed the destabilization and closing down of the bases of the ANC. The demotion of Hungary, Poland, the Baltics, and later the USSR to the Third World, begun during the European winter of 1989-1990, removed much of the training, sources of military supplies, technology, and funding which the ANC had enjoyed for 25 years. In March 1989, Yakovlev, head of the Africa department of the USSR Foreign Ministry, asked:  “What armed struggle? How can one support something which does not exist?”  The collapse of socialism in Eastern Europe and the USSR, 1989-91, finally ended the arms and money flow from these areas.

    The political struggle would be directed towards negotiations, popular fronts with the liberals , and a mixed economy. This excluded wholesale nationalization and measures which would discourage foreign investment, or drive out white expertise. Critics of the armed struggle strategy saw the armed struggle as a device for negotiations which would probably lead to federal partition.14  



In November 1979, after meetings between Thabo Mbeki and Buthelezi, the ANC executive abroad, led by Oliver Tambo, met the INKATHA executive headed by Buthelezi in London. 

       The ANC and INKATHA agreed to cooperate. The PAC, BC, NEUM and ANC groups inside South Africa believed that Botha and Thatcher had sponsored the meeting. They criticized the ANC-INKATHA pact as  unholy. In  the elections of August 1984 of colored MPs to a House of Representatives and of Asian MPs to a House of Delegates, the official number of registered "Colored voters" was 881,984 (59 % of the 1.5 million over 18) and the official %  age poll was 30.9% of those registered and 18% of those eligible. The New Unity Movement claimed a 90% boycott; the official "Asian" registration was 80% and the official poll 20.29% of those registered and 16% of those eligible, and this was the verdict of the world press (15).     The workers rallied by forming the largest union federation ever, the Council of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) in December 1985.  Students staged a nation-wide boycott of schools and a consumer boycott shook the Eastern Cape and other urban complexes. The Deputy Foreign Minister conceded that 300 "moderate Blacks" had been killed from August 1984 to March 1985 and "about 100 Black city councilors had been attacked and 147 forced to resign". The state replied with the declaration of a State of Emergency which remained in force for five years. While 4 PAC militants and one Rivonia prisoner were released after 20 years on Robben Island, in February/March 19, Blacks were killed in a clash with the security forces near Uitenhage. 29 organizations were banned in March 1985 alone. From September 1984 to March 1985, 10,000 had been arrested and 500 killed by the police.

To divide the struggle, the regime exploited infighting between UDF and AZAPO in KwazeRhele, near Port Elizabeth. An official inquiry blamed doctors who treated prisoners later murdered in detention in 1977. In the midst of the boycott-breaking violence, in September 1985, the Chairman of Anglo-American Corporation led a team of businessmen and liberals to meet the ANC in Lusaka. The Botha regime now made contact with Mandela in Pollamoor prison, Cape. Outside, however, raged boycotts and strikes.



The NUM Conference in Johannesburg condemned the August 1991 Restoration of capitalism in the ex-USSR, defended the Yugoslavian Federation against the EC-backed "self-determination" of Slovenia and Croatia, and condemned the imperialist-backed secession of Eritrea from Ethiopia. The Unity Movement defended Iraq against the UN    and USA from August 1990 to 1991.  

In 1989 the NUM became the first liberation movement in the world to declare that capitalist/imperialism in its relentless quest for super-profits ruthlessly and irreparably damages the ecological system. (16)This inclusion of ecological demands in the program of the NUM was not a concession to the pacifist Green movements, but an extension of its anti-imperialist aims to a new front.

While it had defended ANC leaders imprisoned on Robben Island, after their release in 1989-1990, the NUM condemned the meeting of Mr. Mandela, soon after his release  with Allan Hendrickse and other quislings from the House of Representatives of the Tricameral System. The NUM criticized ANC meetings with homeland leaders. A meeting with Gatsha Buthelezi, leader of Inkatha, was planned. The Unity Movement revived the terms "Quisling" and "collaborator" used from the language of the NEUM during World War II.



The UDF, AZAPO, NUM and smaller bodies protested against the State of Emergency, and informers were attacked at a  NUM meeting in Belleville in September 1985. 70% of workers wanted sanctions, according to a Markinor poll commissioned by the London Sunday Times in August, 1985. The same poll showed a sharp radicalization of "Blacks." In September in the Western Cape 15,000 defied a ban to bury Ebrahim Carelse, not to mourn  but to demonstrate their anger at the brutal murder of an innocent father . In October armored cars and the army entered Athlone, Cape, while mass funeral protests were held in Athlone for A.K. Fryddie, "shot dead at the St.Athens Road Mosque", and for M.Miranda. In March 1986 over 15000 in Guguletu, Cape, buried "seven men -allegedly ANC guerrillas -shot dead by police." In October 1986 SAP/SADF shot protesters from trucks used as "Trojan Horses" in scenes seen world-wide on TV. Meanwhile, from South West Africa, South African imperialism continued its war against Angola and SWAPO, using Savimbi's UNITA which received renewed aid from the USA in early 1986. 

 Alarmed by the rising tide of non-collaboration, in September Van Zyl Slabbert, leader of the "Opposition" PFP in the apartheid Parliament, called for "negotiation for a non-racial democratic alternative ". The University of the Western Cape (0UWC) became a multi-racial internationally patronized center for ANC "returnees", and Liberal-led academic collaboration, led by Professors Small and Bundy and Rector Gerwel, while Archbishop Tutu was given the position of "Chancellor." (17).

 In November 1989 the French Government, Mrs. Mitterand and South African Liberals like Breyton Breytonbach organized a giant Liberal-Socialist-ANC meeting. Thatcher repeated her demand for Mandela's release; he had thanked her via the British Ambassador, Sir Renwick, stating that his "unconditional release...is a fundamental prerequisite for meaningful negotiations." (18) Afrikaner Liberals, including President de Klerk's brother and known leaders of the notorious ex-Nazi "Broederbond", met the ANC in London in September, while the National Party formulated an "action plan" based on race.



In 1989 The ANC issued its 'POST-APARTHEID GUIDELINES', which guaranteed a mixed economy, "cultural diversity", and the transformation, but retention, of "the institution of hereditary chiefs." This was renewed in the ANC's READY TO GOVERN document adopted at its National Conference on 28-31 May 1992. The ANC's acceptance of the principle of "chiefs", a century after their co-option into the "Glen Grey" cheap labor system, precluded ANC negotiations with the Bantu's Homelands agents of the racist state. On 21 November Sisulu, acting on Mandela's instructions given from his villa in the Vester Prison, near Pearl, and with the pre-knowledge of the Government, then engaged for some four years in secret talks with Mandela, welcomed talks with Zwelithini, King of the Zulus. He addressed 75,000 so-classified Zulus in Durban in November, while police shot down 15 striking transport workers in the same city. Early in 1990 Zweletini died, and between December 1993-March 1994, Mandela and de Klerk recognized his son as “King of the Zulus” and de Klerk, with Mandela's subsequent consent, made a law handing over state lands to the monarch.       

Mandela urged negotiations when he received the veteran ex-Robben Island prisoner, Masemola, in his villa-prison, but Mothopeng, PAC co-founder and President and B. Alexander, spokesman for the newly formed Pan African Movement (PAM), rejected negotiations, saying: the time was not ripe because the government was too strong. In April 1990 Masomela was killed in a car "accident". In a tribute to him his comrades wrote:  ‘he rejected negotiations...as a ploy to divide and weaken the African people. He could not see equal negotiations between unequal partners.’  (INDEPENDENT, 21.4.1990) 

However, in November 1990 Buthelezi sent three senior INKATHA members to the funeral of PAC President Zephania Mothopeng in Soweto. From prison Mandela urged support for Holomisa, President of the Transkei Bantustan, and other Homeland and Bantustan chiefs, in terms of the new "ANC Guidelines", and on 25 November Sisulu stood alongside "General" Holomisa before 50,000 people in Umtata, "where euphoria mixed with a growing skepticism, mainly among the youth".  

In Venda Bantustan, Col. Ramushwana overthrew President Ravele in another coup backed by Pretoria and by the ANC. At the same time, Chief Maphumulo, President of the Congress of Traditional Tenders of South Africa, linking 1000 clan chiefs mostly sympathetic to the ANC, toured Britain for support. When on 25 February, two weeks after his release from the Pearl Prison, Mandela told 100,000 in a Durban rally to " throw your guns into the sea," there was dissent from the ANC militants defending themselves with arms, including  K47"s against INKATHA terror. 

Parallel with the increasing linkages between the ANC and the Homelands/ Bantustan collaborators went a New Year appeal by the former Robben Island ANC prisoner, Walter Sisulu, to the "Colored" Labor Party and its leader, Rev. Alan Hendricks, to form a  broad anti-apartheid front, after the heavily boycotted Tricameraman had recent indirect contacts with Mr. Mandela (19). These moves were condemned by non-collaborators as "collaboration with collaborators"(20). 

In 1985, in the midst of the boycott struggles for a non-racial democracy, 'Release Mandela' campaign leaflets re-publicized the 1955 Charter's proposal that all national groups should have equal rights. This gave a basis for negotiation to the federalist liberals in Stellenbosh University. Both the UDF and NEUM rejected the Slabbert proposal for a national convention, but Marvel, UDF spokesman, pointed out that once basic civil rights had been met and restored, then some form of talks would begin to transpire. Liberal leader Helen Suzman called for talks, adding that Whites would want guarantees and that the policy was for multi-racial government. In October, at the Commonwealth Conference in Nassau, the ANC proposed a six month truce to the Botha government. In November, Tutu and Boesak said they would explore the possibility of talks with the Government. Botha and Tutu had cordial meetings on June 13 and 21, 1986. The Institute for Socratic Alternatives for South Africa (IDASA), led by Slabbert, helped organize a conference in Dakar, September 1988, between the ANC and new, mainly Afrikaner Liberals, including a delegation of 50 led by Gerwel, then vice-chancellor at the U.W.C. This was followed by meetings in 0ugadougou, York and Amsterdam. During such ANC - Liberal meetings in Harare and Lusaka, the National Union of Mineworkers denounced the super-exploitation of African miners in "Strike Special" leaflets.

In 1988 Nelson Mandela was treated in hospital for tuberculosis and transferred to a warden's villa outside the prison in Pearl, Cape. From there he continued to conduct talks begun with high-ranking ministers of Botha's government and, after Botha's fall in mid- 1989, with De Klerk's regime.

After the boycotts, and during a State of Emergency, imposed 5 years earlier, the Botha government sought to reduce labor costs and sanctions by means of cosmetic desegregation reforms in parks, libraries, theaters, beaches, hotels, by repealing the Morality and Mixed Marriages Acts and by permitting "gray areas" by means of a Land Settlement Bill which had the effect of modifying the Group Areas Act.

During this desegregation reform Viljoen, Coetzee, de Klerk and other Ministers of Botha's Cabinet held frequent discussions with the ‘most important prisoner in the world,’ as the media called Nelson Mandela. He, on his side, in the autumn of 1989, set out his philosophy and political principles and a staged program of reconciliation and negotiations in a long letter to the President, Botha. (27). The latter responded by inviting Mandela to a tea- party held on 5 July 1989 in the Presidential House at the Cape. On 12 July, 1989, a week after Mandela's tea-party talks with Botha, by calling for a peaceful solution, Mandela implicitly acceded to the regime's condition that he renounced violence. The Justice Minister, Kobie Coetzee said that the meeting took place at Mr. Mandela's request. The tea-party/ meeting was the result of three years talks with Mandela by a team of four, headed by Kobie Coetzee (28).

Despite this collaboration, non-collaboration spread into sports, with SHOOS remaining loyal to its principle that “non-racial sport was possible only in a non-racial society." The NSC negotiated also with the segregationist South African Cricket Union despite criticism of collaboration by Dennis Brutus, former leader of the South African Non-Racial Olympics Committee (29).

The ANC's revised Freedom Charter, as well as numerous declarations in 1988-9, had called for a "mixed economy" and Harold Wolpe, CPSA theorist, had written about the possibility of a capitalism without racialism in South Africa and had drawn the conclusion from the CPSA's "colonialism of a special type" that the struggle for national liberation was to merge with the objective of establishing the conditions for social transformation, towards a socialist South Africa. Later, in March 1990, Joe Slovo, CPSA Secretary, stated that private capital and foreign investment would be needed.30 In March 1989 Thatcher's Foreign Office set up a meeting at Wilton Park, Sussex between Y. Yukalov and J.P. de Lange, leader of the "Broederbond". Sir John Killock, former Ambassador in Moscow, chaired a meeting in a Surrey hotel. Present were Gromyko, head of the USSR Africa Institute and Stellenbosch professors. A year later the Soviet African-strategist, Solodovnikov, spelled out the Gorbachev/Glasnost view, which was a continuation of the old Stalin- PoteRhin theory of nations:

'he saw two nations in South Africa: a black nation and a white nation. ...Indians and "coloreds" were part of the black nation. ‘The whites have their own traditions, their own history and language.’(31)

The USSR would recognize Israel, despite its persecution of the PLO and made a new nuclear Israeli missile deal with South Africa. In 1986 Starushenko spoke at an African-Soviet Conference in Moscow of a future South African parliament " consisting of two chambers - one must provide equal representation for the four racial groups- Africans, whites, coloreds and Indians, each possessing a right to veto" (32).

In November, de Klerk enabled Sisulu and others to go to Lusaka to confer with the "external ANC". The ''Mass Democratic Movement" (MDM) convened a meeting in December for UDF, COSATU and other organizations to endorse negotiations, rejected, at this stage, not only by the Unity Movement, but also by AZAPO, BCMA and CAL. In a Paris Conference in December 1989, the ANC was surrounded by Chamber of Mines magnates, like Murray Hofmeyr, by Liberals like Breytenbach and UWC Professor P. de Klerk. This meeting was related to meetings between de Klerk, Houphouet-Boigny and Mitterand on setting up a South African -French Common Market in West Africa. The ANC-Liberal talks seemed subservient to the expansion of 'White Dominion" imperialism.

The "unconditional" release of Nelson Mandela on Sunday February 11 1990, after a quarter of a century of imprisonment, became a “world event", watched by billions on television. It was as if a South African Berlin Wall had fallen. The restoration of capitalism in the "western" countries of Eastern Europe in 1989-1990 consolidated collaborationism both nationally and internationally. The South African Foreign Minister Pik Botha met the new Czech President Havel and Anglo-America and the Government made mining investments in Hungary. South Africa, the USA and USSR met in Houston in December to expedite MPLA-UNITA "peace" in Angola. An official Pretoria delegation to Moscow and Warsaw in April 1991 was sponsored by banks and companies from re-unified Germany. (33) After talks with USSR academics in London and Moscow Stellenbosch studied Lenin's book on the "national question"- with its "federal solution".

During 1990 Mandela went on euphoric tours overseas. In March 500,000 welcomed him in Dar-es-salaam, but small crowds in Harare and Lusaka reflected popular disenchantment with "Marxist-Leninist" and "African Socialist" states allowing neo-colonialist exploitation and landlessness when Mandela told them:

We know that the whites would like some structural guarantees which will protect them . We are prepared to address this question. In due course we will be able to come out with a formula which will satisfy not only the oppressed people but the whites as well.

At a Nairobi stadium meeting, boycotted by workers to protest Mandela's meeting with President Moi after the arrest of Oginga Odinga and other repressions condemned by the novelist Ngugi, Mrs. Mandela observed:

We have come to take notes from you, to ask you how you lived with ex- colonialists after independence (35).

In November, Oliver Tambo, ANC President, held private discussions with Nigerian President Ibrahim Babangida . He also visited Accra after Pretoria opened a trade office in Togo since, as one weekly wrote then:

Obviously the Lome free trade zone has advantages for South African companies eager to sell to the EC (European Community) (36)

In a June tour of the USA, Mandela spoke alongside President Bush on the White House lawn and addressed the Congress. He attended rallies in Detroit, Georgia, Oakland and Los Angeles. He praised Arafat, but a Zionist lobby he had met in Geneva reported that he had voiced unequivocal support for Israel’s right to exist.37

Mandela then led an ANC delegation which met the South African Jewish Board of Deputies and Zionist Federation and issued a statement recognizing the right of Israel to exist within secure boundaries, as well as the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.

During his visit to Japan the LONDON TIMES wrote:
Mandela picked up $6.5 million from India; $10 million from Indonesia; $15 million from Australia...The US had given $ 51 million ' to the ANC to improve black living standards, and Britain $35 million...but Japan had given only $ 1.8 million" (38).

The NUM presumed that Mandela discussed with Thatcher the eventual re-entry of South Africa into the British Commonwealth. During his visit to Australia, Mandela was boycotted by the segregated "aborigines" for saying that their position was unlike that of Africans under apartheid.

At preliminary talks in May 1990, for which 11 ANC Executive members were given immunity, a joint ANC- National Party committee was formed. They were to prepare criteria for the release of ANC detainees and the lifting of the State of emergency, as conditions for eventual constitutional negotiations. Mandela summed this up by stating that:

We are closer to each other- the ANC and the Government. Let bygones be bygones. 39

In January 1991 the ANC called for an all-party congress to "draft the broad principles of a new constitution"(40) 19 parties, including the ANC constituted CODESA. At a meeting in December in Cape Town, the PAC withdrew from CODESA. Gerrit Viljoen had officially invited the PAC to the negotiations on 17 August 1990, and in December in a 1000 strong conference the PAC accepted negotiations if held outside South Africa on the basis of a Constituent Assembly. In January 1991, the PAC redefined INKATHA as a liberation movement, while Mandela and Buthelezi agreed to meet again. The PAC, AZAPO and WOSA called for a Constituent Assembly. But the NUM warned that a Constituent Assembly was a door to negotiations. In May 1991 the NUM rejected a Constituent Assembly if elected and convened within the capitalist economy and state, (41) but by 1992 the ANC and de Klerk proposed an elected CA.

Following consensus in principle the PAC met the regime in the "neutral venue" of Gaborone. The pre-fabricated constitution implied federal-territorial partition, eclectically combining Soviet, Swiss, Broederbond, multi-racial, multi-national and multi-cultural models. The enabling negotiation process was shaken in 1990-1 by violence in Natal, Soweto, Sebokeng, Uiten-hage, Kyalitsha and other locations in which 3000 died. Mandela called for the police and armed forces to stop the violence. But the NUM attributed this fratricide to the deepening poverty, ghettoization, landlessness, warlords, police and vigilante "divide and rule" incursions into squatter-camps and hostels.

In 1990-1991 alone over 5000 were killed.43 The ANC and EC/USA/SA funding bodies set up a rival sports body to break the International Sports Boycott. During 1991 Mandela helped the SA Cricket Authorities to be accepted in an International Cricket Test, and acted together with Craven, veteran head of South African apartheid Rugby, to get the Rugby teams re-accepted internationally. The ANC officially renounced the Sports and Cultural Boycott and collaborated with white-dominated sports bodies in numerous codes to obtain the re-admission of South Africa to international soccer, cricket, rugby, tennis, boxing, athletics and to the Olympic Games. The ANC enabled a cricket tour to Australia; a rugby tour to France and Britain; rugby tours by Australia and New Zealand to South Africa; and participation in the Africa section of the 1994 World Soccer Cup. At a British Commonwealth Conference held in Harare in Spring 1991, the ANC, with "Front Line" agreement, compromised on " economic sanctions".

The NEUM, AZAPO and PAC upheld the Sports and Cultural Boycotts. They boycotted Paul Simon's tour in January 1992. Simon met Pik Botha, de Klerk and Buthelezi, but, even with the support of the veteran exile artist, Marion Maqeba, his concerts were financial failures.(45) However, what the HUM and SACOS termed the betrayal of the Sports boycott by the ANC was a major psychological and international victory for Government.

The collaboration in sports accompanied increasing state violence. In July 1992 Inkatha vigilantes, abetted by police inactivity and participation killed 38 residents in the Boipatong location, Transvaal. De Klerk and Mandela visited the stricken ghetto. Mandela recalled that in Boipatong the song they were singing was:

Mandela, you behave like a lamb while we are being killed (46).

This massacre caused the ANC to break off CODESA talks and institute mass action, which began with a massive strike of 3 million workers. This was aimed at the creation of an interim government of national unity. During the strike 60 were killed, but Mandela stated:

Mass action is actually a peaceful form of channeling the anger of the people and would cease after an interim government was formed.....the ANC will not have mass action against itself.

On 7 September, during mass action outside the Ciskei "capital", Bisho, the troops of Brigadier GODZO shot down 40 ANC demonstrators. The British GUARDIAN reported that the ANC knew in advance that GODZO's troops would fire. Mandela stated that he had ordered G. Shope and S. Tshwete, " the man who has normalized sport", to lead the Bisho march. These two massacres led to a De Klerk-Mandela "summit" on 26 September where the regime agreed to release ANC prisoners and fence certain "Zulu hostels" (for migrant proletarians) and the ANC thereupon undertook to re-enter CODESA to help form an "interim government of national unity". In a policy statement the ANC said "priority" had to be given to the economy.

After a secret meeting with Constitutional Minister Roelf Meyer on 18 August 1992 (47) and meetings in Lagos and Gabarone by March 1993, the PAC entered CODESA. When PAC's APLA (finally dissolved into the Police Force in July 1994) killed racist White farmers in early 1993, Chris Hani, new SACP Secretary, condemned these, saying: "We cannot afford to have this process "(negotiations) "disrupted". (48) But on 10 April Hani was assassinated outside his home in Boksburg by a Pole, Januzu Jacobs Walius, who was sentenced to death with a member of the Conservative Party. When Mandela addressed the funeral meeting in Soweto stadium on 19 April he was booed, but the crowd applauded the PAC President, Mwetha. After ANC-NP meetings, including one in September 1992 between Ramaphosa and Meyer, a de Klerk- Mandela "Summit" on 10 February 1993 led to agreement that a government of National Unity would rule until 2000 AD under a Constitution which was "a federation in everything but name." After ANC-Inkatha talks, Ramaphosa declared that the ANC was studying a policy document which had brought it fairly close to those who advocate strong regional government.49 On 15 October 1993 Mandela and de Klerk shared the Nobel Prize for Peace. Mandela promised “not to nationalize white farms". (50)

The NP-ANC alliance brushed aside criticism. Pallo Jordan's "The Strategic debate in the ANC" of October 1992, declared that the regime's objective was to retain the essentials of White Power. A week before the "general election", Slovo admitted that the ANC would ''be in office, not in power"(51)

On 28 March 1994, about 80 Zulus died and 500 were wounded during an Inkatha march in Johannesburg. (52.) On April 25-7 1994, South Africa's "first non-racial election was declared "free and fair." On the contrary, many media houses in the world reported the "election" to have been "deeply flawed." (54)

The key Finance, Economic, Mining and Land Ministers remained 'White". The heads of the Reserve Bank and Defense Force remained. The apartheid parliament voted the highest salaries in the world for the President, Ministers and MPs. On June 1 1994 the new regime rejoined the (still British-dominated) Commonwealth. It recognized the European Union which in June had adopted an anti-African and anti-Asian color bar immigration policy. It promoted tourism from Europe and USA but arrested and deported 2000 Mozambicans and Zimbabweans from the Transvaal.(55) South Africa took part in the August 1994 Commonwealth Games, while SACOS insisted that non-racial sport was impossible as long as South Africa remained a racist society.

The cosmetic political change from an openly racist state to a masked, multi-racial, partitionist confederal democracy could not lead to democracy and a non-racial society.


1. South African Year Book, 1987/8
2. H.Jaffe, COLONIALISM TODAY, London, 1962, Part XIII
4. The author was a party to the request. In 1965 he and progressive MP's and Senators drafted a motion to parliament to nationalize South African interests in Kenya. Kenyatta refused to allow the motion to be tabled (Nairobi Press, July, 1965) the day he deported Jaffe.
5. NEWSWEEK 3 February 1964.
6. P. Tlale, SANCTIONS AGAINST APARTHEID, London 1964. Ceylon and Pakistan both traded with the RSA.
7. F. Castro, IN DEFENCE OF SOCIALISM, Cuban speeches,1988-9, for details.
8. H. Jaffe, Radio Broadcast, Harare, December 1988; Lecture to Zimbabwe Institute of Development Studies, September 1989; article in LIBERATION, No. 10, Dar es Salaam, March- April, 1988, p.14: “a 5-Power Namibian settlement....will certainly close all ANC/PAC bases in SADCC countries."
9. THE GUARDIAN, 18 March 1989 on Yakovlev statement; THE INDEPENDENT, London, 2 March 1990: interview with Vasili Solodovnikov.
10. T.Lodge, BLACK POLITICS IN SOUTH AFRICA SINCE 1845, NY 1983, pp.240-1.
11. WEEKLY MAIL, South Africa, 25-31 August 1989.
12. H.Jaffe, Zimbabwe Radio, and Address to Zimbabwe Institute of Development Studies, Harare, December 1988.
14. Official ANC Statement, signed by O. Tambo 3.11.1979; GUARDIAN, 7.11.1979;
15. SUNDAY TRIBUNE, 30.10.1983; SUNDAY TDMES,6.10.1983; SOWETAN 1.7.1983.
16. NUM 1989 CONFERENCE RESOLUTIONS, adopted in Cape Town, 27-29 December 1989.
17. Cape Herald, 5.10.1985. Letter from Walesa and Andrew Young, Mayor of Atlanta, et al, to Tutu.
18. GUARDIAN, 10.4.1989
19. INDEPENDENT, 21.4.1990: Tribute to Jafta Masemola
20... NUM book of documents on NEG011ATIONS, Cape Town, April 1990
21. Leaflet, Breamfontein, 1985.
22 PEOPLES EXPRESS, October 1985; CAPE TIMES, 17.9.1985 and 23.10.1985; CAPE ARGUS, 7.11. 1985 and 8.7. 1985.
23. ibid
24. ibid
25. ibid
26. National Union of Mineworkers' NUM NEWS, " Iyure Ifikile Ke Ngoku", Johannesburg, 9.8.1987.
27. Mandela to Botha, THE MANDELA PLAN, full text of the letter in THE GUARDIAN, 26.1.1990, p.13
28. GUARDIAN, 13 July 1989; INDEPENDENT, 22 July 1989.
29. NUM BULLETIN, Vol.3.No.1. March-April 1989 "In Defence of Non-Racial Sport” Ibid. Vol.3. No.2, July 1989; WEEKLY MAIL, 3-9 Nov.1989.
31. INDEPENDENT, 2.3.1990, P.13.
32. SOUTHERN AFRICA POLITICAL AND Economic MONTHLY, Harare, December 1988/ January 1989, p. 27: “Glasnost Rubs Off On the Region", by Mngadi.
33. SOUTHSCAN, London, 23.11.1990, p.342; 7.12.1990, p.359; 11...1.1991, p.7 on Pretoria, Moscow, Warsaw meetings of 14-28 April 1991
34. TIMES, 7.3.1990, p.l0: Mandela on "Guarantees for the whites".
35. Personal record from Daresalaam on 7.3.1990;
36 SOUTHSCAN, 23.11.1990, p.338 and 9.11.1990, p. 318
37. ibid
38. INDEPENDENT, 20.6.1990 and 15.6.1990; TIMES, 5.7.1990 and 31.10.1990
39. Joint ANC-Government statement in TIMES, 5.5.1990
40. STAR, 5.9.1990; FINANCIAL TIMES, 10.12.199 ANC Press release on 8.1.1991; SOUTHSCAN 11.1.1991.
42. ibid
43. ibid
44. British Daily Press, Friday 6 and Saturday 7 November 1992.
45. South African High Commission News, London, October 1991; Paul Simon welcomed by Buthelezi at Ulundi on 17.1.1991.
46. Nelson Mandela, in, MY MISSION, Cape Argus, 15.9.1992.
47. Confidential Circular from PAC Office in Ferreiratown, dated 19.8.199.)
48. OBSERVER. 11.4.1993.
49. BBC 24.4.1993.
50. AFRICA CONFIDENTIAL 19.3.1993; NEWSWEEK, 12.3, 1993,
51. INDEPENDENT, 19.4.1994, p. 21.
52. CAPE TIMES, ARGUS, GUARDIAN, 29.3.1944; SUNDAY TIMES, 10.7.1994
53. INDEPENDENT, 21.4.1994; GUARDIAN, 20.5.1994; SUNDAY TIMES, 22.5.1994.
54. Detailed election results and massive ballot fraud in CAPE TIMES, 2.5.1994 and 3.5.1994;

THE ARGUS, 3.5.1994; TELEGRAPH 1.5.1994; FINANCIAL TIMES, 7.5.94; BBC, 30.4.
1994: "unused ballot papers were driven into counting stations"; EVENING
STANDARD, 29. 4.1994: "In the first world these elections would be declared invalid".
55. South African Times, London, 14.9.1994.
56. INDEPENDENT, 2.8.1994; TELEGRAPH, 5.6.1994; TIMES, 5.9.94
57. Workers List Party Statements 30 and 31 August 1994


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