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The student protests of the last year are reminiscent of the 1976 student uprisings. Those protests were the precursor to a political sea change in South Africa less than a decade later. When young, educated "born free" South Africans express anger and impatience it’s time to pay attention. They have shown they want action. They want change now. A relatively small group of raucous students managed to shut down the nerve centres of education in the country. It won’t be their last stand. In the wake of the 1976 protests, there was from 1985 to 1993 a concerted effort by South Africans across the political spectrum to engage in dialogue about the future of the country. It was this crescendo of informal gatherings that set the stage for what would later be the Congress for a Democratic South Africa (Codesa) negotiations, where the foundation was laid for the writing of our constitution, the negotiated settlement and free and fair elections in 1994. Nelson Mandela later said of Codesa: "...

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