The End of Apartheid

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The End of Apartheid

In January 1986, President Botha surprised apartheid supporters with the declaration that South Africa had "outgrown the outdated concept of apartheid." The National Party then began conditional and augmentable change, at a slow constrained pace. In 1989 F.W. De Klerk was elected President; the South African economy had been deteriorating due to international sanctions, this convinced many South Africans that race relations needed to change; De Klerk promised to pursue a compromise. Before actual negotiations could begin, meetings regarding the negotiating meetings were needed. These began in July 1984, after Minister of Justice Hendrik Coetsee paid several covert visits to imprisoned ANC leader Nelson Mandela. The first meeting between the ANC and the National Party's representatives was held in October 1987 this meeting was held in complete secrecy in Great Britain, this initial meeting's success led to a second gathering in Kent, England. The scope of these initial meetings ranged from political prisoner release to the power structure of the forthcoming government. At the same time secret meetings were being held in England, classified meetings with Nelson Mandela began from his prison cell. Mandela faced constant pressure to publicly renounce the ANC's militant campaign; Mandela declined to do so. Talks between the ANC and NP progressed slowly but steadily with Thabo Mbeki leading the ANC and Willie Esterhuyse directing the Afrikaners. Negotiations between the ANC and the National Intelligence Agency were held in Switzerland in September, 1989. Mandela's release, ceasefire terms and the power-sharing arrangements dominated these talks. South Africa's noticeable metamorphosis began soon after this September meetings. In October, 1989 Walter Sisulu and six other incarcerated ANC members were released from prison. On February 2, 1990, President De Klerk announced the impending release of Mandela, and the legalization...
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