South Africa pp 559-596 | Cite as

Towards the Sharing of Power

  • T. R. H. Davenport
  • Christopher Saunders


The release of Nelson Mandela, following De Klerk’s speech of 2 February 1990, set in motion a chain of events in South Africa which few anticipated. The ANC-SACP leadership, after enduring a stressful alliance in exile during the 1960s to 1980s, was loath to conciliate a government which had shown so little desire to talk, and had stated this at the conferences at Morogoro, Tanzania in 1969 and at Kabwe, Zambia, in 1985 (Johns and Davis) (p. 448). The ANC executive, however, discussed such an option in October 1987, and the possibility of negotiation was seriously considered at the OAU conference, in Harare, Zimbabwe, in August 1989. Moves to bring Mandela and President Botha together had also started within NP circles from 1985 (Sparks, Saunders, Waldmeir). A strong case for negotiations had been made by the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group to South Africa in 1986, only for the South African government to undermine their efforts. Mandela would not reject the use of violence, which Botha insisted on as a condition for his release.


Foreign Policy Security Council Proportional Representation Security Force Political Prisoner 
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Bibliographical Notes

19.1 A Convention for a Democratic South Africa

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19.6 Foreign Relations, 1990–9

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Copyright information

© T. R. H. Davenport and Christopher Saunders 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. R. H. Davenport
    • 1
  • Christopher Saunders
    • 2
  1. 1.Rhodes UniversityGrahamstownSouth Africa
  2. 2.University of Cape TownSouth Africa

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