20 years ago today

F.W.De Klerk and Nelson Mandela celebrate the end of apartheid

20 years, not that long ago. Frederik Willem De Klerk announced the unbanning of the ANC, PAC, S.A.Communist Party and a host of other political and labour groups, also that Nelson Mandela would be released from his incarceration.

Today’s youth don’t know any different. I was with a 30 year old yesterday he has no recollections of life under the National Party.

In one way it’s mission accomplished for our children, not being the pariah of the world, life without sanctions, no national service, travel anywhere they want to, international sporting events that we not only couldn’t compete in but even watch.

Voting, April 1994

It was of course only after four long years of negotiations, an attempted uprising by the Afrikaner right, the assassination of Chris Hani, numerous walk outs, mass demos and general chaos that we eventually got to vote in a new government.

Other reading;

How the stage was set (by FW De Klerk)

High hopes of 1990 unfulfilled

The debt we owe Mandela

19 thoughts on “20 years ago today”

  1. We of course had to ratify and agree ‘in principle’ to the negotiations going forward, we had a referendum on 17 March 1992

    The question asked was “Do you support continuation of the reform process which the State President began on February 2, 1990, and which is aimed at a new constitution through negotiation?”

    Yes 1,924,186 (68.73%)
    No 875,619 (31.27%)

  2. Odd – to me it seems longer ago than that. You’re right, success is measurable by the fact that the next generation do not truly understand what it was like.

  3. The actual elections were in 1994. Paul, you may be confusing De Klerk with his predecessor, P W Botha, The Old Crocodile.

  4. Soutie, it’s day worth remembering. I presume the 3 million voters were the white population at the time? When did general suffrage start?

  5. He was not a dour man, I’ve seen him smile a million times. Sipu thinks that you might be thinking of PW.

    De Klerk had a massive weight on his shoulders, not least what to do with our nuclear arsenal. We voted to give it away (the only country to ever decommission a nuclear weapons facility)

  6. Ha ha Sipu, I remember his ‘Rubicon speech’

    My long time girlfriends mother was expecting an announcement on SAR+H pensions, boy was she disappointed 😉

  7. Ja Bearsy, today it feels like yesterday, sometimes it’s as though it was a thousand years ago.

  8. Sipu you may be right. It is all coming back slowly, even the parts of my visit I’d rather not remember… Zimbabwe was the most disturbing place on my Southern Africa trip. It was my first overseas business trip outside the UK, so it was 25 or so years ago. I’ve done a lot of miles since then.

  9. Well you are as surprised as I am Bearsy, as a member of WordPress since 2007 I found I was logged in here too !!

    So in true Donald style, ‘ Just testing’. 😉

  10. We seem to be having a very quiet day, today, after quite an active first week. Never mind, that will give you a chance to rummage around.

    The “Authors blogs” list is only those members who have posted a blog. Amicus (sorry, he’s Zondike here) and Shermeen have joined but only commented so far. Ike is here also, and probably one or two others I’ve forgotten.

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