Sunday marked three decades since former president FW de Klerk announced the unbanning of the ANC, SA Communist Party, Pan Africanist Congress and other political parties. This announcement led to the release of Nelson Mandela a few days later and the start of the journey towards the creation of a democratic society built on the active participation of all in the life of the country. For the first time in centuries, negotiations would lead to the incorporation of African people in the nation’s public life.

This did not happen at the end of the War of the Axe in 1847, Isandlwana in 1879 or the Anglo-Boer War in 1902. It did not happen after Sharpeville in 1960 nor in 1983 during the initiation of the tricameral parliament. It was, in many ways, an unavoidable but significant step for the white minority. Unfortunately, for all the elite pacting that ensured a relatively peaceful passage of power (not the armed seizure articulated in liberation movement strategy documents), much ...

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