72 days that shaped South Africa (3)

72 days that shaped South Africa (3)

Just how "miraculous" was South Africa's transition from apartheid to democracy? How close did the country really come to civil war?

Check out our press clipping snapshots of the 72 days leading up to Nelson Mandela's inauguration as SA's first democratically elected President - and see how heavily the odds were stacked against "the rainbow nation".

14 MARCH 1994

Mangope is axed

Bophuthatswana President Lucas Mangope was finally ousted yesterday, but over 60 people lost their lives in a week of drama that changed the face of the Western Transvaal region.
Mangope was removed from office by South African Foreign Minister Pik Botha and Transitional Executive Council (TEC) member Mac Maharaj following a late night flight into the capital Mmabatho on Saturday.
Anger grew among residents as the immensity of the loss of black lives, partly through random shootings by ultra-rightwingers on Friday, came to the fore.
Sowetan, Monday 14 March 1994

IFP won't take part in election

The IFP will not contest next month's election despite the "good progress" made at Friday's meeting between the party and the ANC on whether or not to seek international mediation, IFP central committee members confirmed yesterday.
Members Walter Felgate and Dr Ziba Jiyane said the party's central committee meeting in Ulundi on Thursday had settled the election issue.
"We have decided against participation in the election, and we have no intention of submitting any lists of candidates", said Felgate, one of Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi's most trusted advisers.
The Star, Monday 14 March 1994

Bizarre stunt pulls crowds to festival

Ermelo - Despite angry protests from animal lovers throughout the country, the controversial parachute jump by a horse from a helicopter took place at the weekend.
However, it was not Jonti the seven-year-old blue roan in the flesh, but rather a realistic polystyrene reproduction that splattered as it hit the ground from about 400m.
Amid cheers, a record audience roared cries of "Long live Jonti" as the live horse's owner, Oubaas de Jager, proudly rode him around the arena.
The announcement by the Wool Carnival Committee last week that Jonti, fitted with a specially designed parachute, would jump from a hovering helicopter, drew adverse reaction from animal lovers throughout the country.
The Star, Monday 14 March 1994

15 MARCH 1994

Edgy Bop awaits Mandela

Uneasy calm returned to Bophuthatswana yesterday with the South African Defence Force firmly in control of security while a general mopping-up operation began after a week of mayhem.
Meanwhile, Mmabatho is abuzz with expectations as African National Congress president Mr Nelson Mandela and Professor Itumeleng Mosala, president of the Azanian People's Organisation, address separate rallies in Mmabatho today.
Sowetan, Tuesday 15 March 1994

Mangope may sue

Kimberley - Deposed Bophuthatswana President Lucas Mangope said yesterday he still considered himself the legal leader of Bophuthatswana and was considering legal action against the South African government for removing him from power at the weekend.
The Citizen, Tuesday 15 March 1994

ET claims victory in Bop

Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) leader Eugene Terre'Blanche said yesterday his movement had scored a "brilliant victory" in Bophuthatswana, and his men who were ambushed while withdrawing from Mmabatho on Friday were heroes.
Saying he was "terribly sorry the AWB members had no opportunity to stay [in the former homeland] and continue their work", Mr Terre'Blanche told local and international newsmen at a media conference in Ventersdorp that what had happened in Bophuthatswana was a "resounding triumph for the AWB".
The Citizen, Tuesday 15 March 1994

16 MARCH 1994

'My nation, I greet you'

ANC leader Nelson Mandela was yesterday given a hero's welcome at Bophuthatswana's Independence Stadium by 50 000 people.
Mandela's opening words, delivered in Tswana, drew thundersouls applause from the crowd: "My nation, I greet you." Thousands of ANC posters were held aloft as the crowd roared its admiration.
In his speech at the stadium, Mandela labelled the revolt which led to the fall of Lucas Mangope's government as a "people's uprising", insisting it was the people, not the De Klerk government, that had toppled Mangope.
The Star, Wednesday 16 March 1994

New national flag unveiled

Pretoria - South Africa's new national flag was unveiled yesterday.
Designed by state herald Fred Brownell, the flag was accepted unanimously by the Transitional Executive Council (TEC). It will be raised officially after April's election.
While the new constituent assembly would be able to change the flag, all TEC delegates said they were satisfied with the six-colour design.
TEC NP representative Roelf Meyer said the flag would "grow in the minds of South Africans". It had a good chance of becoming SA's final flag, he said.
It was one of more than 7 000 designs submitted to multiparty negotiators last year. A TEC subcommittee of Meyer and ANC delegate Cyril Ramaphosa, in conjunction with the technical advisory committee, made the final recommendation.
Ramaphosa said the flag's colours would have meaning for everyone in SA.
Brownell, who was also responsible for Namibia's flag, said the colours had no specific meaning. "Symbolism, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder."
The TEC also accepted that Die Stem and Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika would be used as SA's interim national anthems.
Business Day, Wednesday 16 March 1994

Insurers struggle to provide cover as vehicle theft tops R3bn a year

Nylstroom - Vehicle theft in SA had reached such proportions that insurance companies might soon be unable to provide theft cover as part of their usual motor policies, SA Insurance Association CEO Rodney Schneeberger said yesterday.
Theft cover would have to be provided at a much higher premium, separate from other insurance, he said at an international vehicle theft conference.
Delegates heard that vehicle theft had cost the SA economy more than R3.02-billion last year.
Business Day, Wednesday 16 March 1994

17 MARCH 1994

De Klerk warns Right

State President De Klerk last night announced that the government had made a number of contingency plans to prevent the right wing from attempting to take over authority over towns as part of their resistance against the new constitution.
Speaking in Pretoria last night after the weekly cabinet meeting, Mr De Klerk said it appeared that the Conservative Party and the Volksfront's plan for mass action, starting on March 29, could include physical attempts to take control of some local authorities.
The Citizen, Thursday 17 March 1994

Ciskei agrees to pay out pensions

East London - Ciskei's government agreed yesterday to pay pension benefits to public servants who this week threatened "Bophuthatswana-style action" if their demands were not met.
But it rejected their demands for an interim administrator for the territory as "a deliberate provocation which can only bring about instability and violence", and warned against strikes.
Business Day, Thursday 17 March 1994

McDonald's wins trademark war

A local company owned by Chicken Licken franchise owner George Sombocos was yesterday found in contempt in a battle over the McDonald's trademark.
The move could herald the entry of the McDonald's fast food chain into SA.
Justice RW Nugent found yesterday in the Pretoria Supreme Court that Joburger's Drive-Inn Restaurant, the compay owned by Sombocos, was in contempt of court. Its application to have McDonald's trademarks expunged from the SA trademarks register was stayed, and it was ordered to pay costs as a mark of the court's displeasure.
In September McDonald's obtained an interim interdict stopping the local company from infringing its trademarks pending the final outcome of Joburger's application for the McDonald's trademark to be removed from the register.
Sombocos had since acquired an outlet in Point Head, Durban, called McDonald's, and a contempt application was brought by McDonald's in the US.
Business Day, Thursday 17 March 1994

18 MARCH 1994

SAP generals accused

Top South African Police generals - including the SAP's number two men - are understood to be directly implicated by the Goldstone Commission in the supply of weapons to members of the Inkatha Freedom Party.
Intelligence sources told The Star yesterday that an imminent commission report will accuse the generals of involvement in an arms-supply network and other violence related activities from 1990.
The sources claim that the report on the Goldstone Commission's investigation into, among other matters, arms smuggling and distribution, provides unprecedented evidence of the existence of "third force" activity within elements of the police.
The Star, Friday 18 March 1994

Ulundi talks postponed

The meeting between Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini and African National Congress president Mr Nelson Mandela in Ulundi today has been called off. This was confirmed by an ANC spokesman after fears were expressed earlier by the movement there might be an assassination attempt on Mandela.
Addressing the KwaZulu Legislative Assembly, IFP president Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi said he had arranged for extra South African Police in Ulundi on Friday, saying "only an insane person" would try to assassinate the ANC leader.
If Mandela was killed "the whole country would go up in flames", he said.
Sowetan, Friday 18 March 1994

Buthelezi beats the drum ever harder

Ulundi - About 100km from the KwaZulu capital, a solitary National Party election poster, bearing President De Klerk's face, hangs crookedly on a telephone pole alongside the main road.
It appears to be the only physical evidence anywhere near Ulundi that the country's first ever multiracial election is only weeks away.
At first glance it seems to be business as usual when you arrive in the dry, dusty capital dorp in rural KwaZulu.
At the KwaZulu Legislative Assembly, however, it became evident yesterday that emotions are extremely high and the election is foremost in many minds.
KwaZulu Chief Minister Mangosuthu Buthelezi opened this year's sitting with probably his toughest speech yet. President De Klerk was accused of "double-crossing and deceit" in his handling of negotiations.
Buthelezi warned that the conflict between the ANC and IFP had for some time been in danger of "being turned into a conflict which can only be ended in a fight right to the finish".
The Star, Friday 18 March 1994

19 MARCH 1994

Tensions high as king urges UDI

Ulundi - Clouds of confrontation have begun to gather over KwaZulu, with King Goodwill Zwelithini suggesting yesterday that the region is on the point of a unilateral declaration of independence.
It is evident that the atmosphere in the territory is extremely tense, and addresses by leaders have taken on an increasingly belligerent tone in recent days.
Speaking here yesterday at a gathering of the king's subjects - which was to have been addressed by ANC president Nelson Mandela - the Zulu king urged Zulus to defend their freedom and sovereignty "at all costs".
He added that such sovereignty would be denied by an election under the Interim Constitution.
Weekend Star, Saturday 19 March 1994

3 SAP generals to be probed

An international task force will investigate allegations that deputy police commissioner, General Basie Smit, and another two top South African Police generals, Major-General Krappies Engelbrecht and Lieutenant-General Johan le Roux, have been involved in violence to destabilise the country.
The announcement about a Goldstone Commission report on the alleged activities of a criminal network was made by State President De Klerk at a press conference in Pretoria last night.
Mr De Klerk said the generals and other named police officers had been placed on immediate leave following allegations in the interim Goldstone Commission report that they, Inkatha Freedom Party officials and other SAP officers had been involved in a "horrible network of criminal activity".
The Citizen, Saturday 19 March 1994

20 MARCH 1994

SA might have to send troops to Natal

The SA government might be compelled to use force if King Goodwill Zwelithini goes ahead with plans to annex KwaZulu/Natal as a Zulu kingdom.
Leading constitutional expert Prof John Dugard said that if the Zulu monarch's proclamation on Friday amounted to secession, then force might have to be used to maintain the sovereignty of the country.
Dugard said King Zwelithini's decision could also encourage white right-wingers to unilaterally declare independence and establish a Volkstaat, probably in the eastern Transvaal, which would make it easy for them to link up with KwaZulu/Natal.
City Press, Sunday 20 March 1994

Third force hunter is now the hunted

A series of inconclusive inquiries into political violence by Major-General Krappies Engelbrecht will come under fresh scrutiny in the next fortnight by a team of international investigators appointed by President FW de Klerk.
The Goldstone commission, which heard evidence that General Engelbrecht was one of three top generals implicated in "third force" activity, has a mass of new information to put before the investigators.
This information is expected to throw a spotlight on the remarkable record of failure by the SA Police to resolve a series of cases of serious political violence.
Sunday Times, Sunday 20 March 1994

Research, photos: Ndaba Dlamini

Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material

72 days that shaped South Africa (2)

72 days that shaped South Africa (2)

Just how "miraculous" was South Africa's transition from apartheid to democracy? How close did the country really come to civil war?

Check out our press clipping snapshots of the 72 days leading up to Nelson Mandela's inauguration as SA's first democratically elected President - and see how heavily the odds were stacked against "the rainbow nation".

7 MARCH 1994

Bop looks poised to register

Bophuthatswana looks poised to register for the April elections, notwithstanding Friday night's registration deadline - while the right wing faces turmoil over whether to go to the polls.
Bophuthatswana government sources said yesterday a crucial meeting would be held today to decide whether to register the homeland's ruling Christian Democratic Party for the elections.
Indications yesterday were that the Afrikaner Volksfront was still divided over whether to join the election process, and pressure was mounting within and outside the AVF to take part.
The Star, Monday 7 March 1994

8 MARCH 1994

Mangope calls out troops as unrest flares

Tensions in Bophuthatswana rose yesterday after the homeland's government decided against registering for the election and the ANC called for a blockade of the territory.
Police vehicles were set alight, ANC offices were petrol-bombed and police teargassed striking public servants and the offices of Lawyers for Human Rights.
The Bophuthatswana Defence Force was called in as the homeland tried to contain unrest as the public servants' strike entered its fourth week.
Business Day, Tuesday 8 March 1994

End looms for two despised laws

The writing is on the wall for two of SA's most despised laws - Section 29 of the Internal Security Act and Section 206 of the Criminal Procedure Act.
The Transitional Executive Council's law and order subcouncil yesterday recommended that Section 29 be repealed immediately. It said 75% of the subcouncil's members favoured abolishing Section 29 immediately, while the minority favoured retaining it after an SAP report had recommended that it should not be scrapped until after the election.
Business Day, Tuesday 8 March 1994

TEC turns to flag question as time runs out

Pretoria - With time running out for a final decision on a flag for the new SA, the Transitional Executive Council today considers designs for the first time.
There have been suggestions that the peace flag be used until the government of national unity can deal with the matter after the elections. However, a management committee member said this was not an option.
The ANC expected that about 100 000 new flags would have to be made for the new government's inauguration. Local manufacturers, alarmed at the delay, have urged quick action.
Business Day, Tuesday 8 March 1994

9 MARCH 1994

TEC bares teeth at Bop

The Transitional Executive Council (TEC) last night threatened strong action against the Bophuthatswana government.
The range of threatened measures, including the cutting off of funds to Bophuthatswana, came as the protest and strike crisis in the homeland deepened yesterday.
There were also reports last night of security forces firing live ammunition in an attempt to disperse the "raging masses".
The Star, Wednesday 9 March 1994

Arms theft: SAP move in

Police are understood to be questioning a South African Air Force flight sergeant in connection with the theft of weapons from 10 Air Depot at Voortrekkerhoogte at the weekend.
Sources said several other men - all believed to be SAAF employees - are being sought for questioning.
The ANC has expressed its "serious concern" about the theft and the regularity of such raids on SADF arms depositories.
The Star, Wednesday 9 March 1994

Businessman's cellular phone launched

Coinciding with an international launch, OfficeMart has introduced the Nokia 2110, which it claims is the smallest, lightest and most feature-packed digital cellular unit on the market.
Capabilities include 125 memory locations, speed dial memory slots and high-speed wireless data/fax support. It costs R4 199.
The Star Business, Wednesday 9 March 1994

10 MARCH 1994

40 wounded as Mangope's men open fire

Mmabatho - About 40 people were shot and wounded, three critically, when police opened fire on demonstrators in the Bophuthatswana capital yesterday.
As tensions heightened, the public servants' strike widened.
President Lucas Mangope took a hardline stance, rejecting Independent Electoral Commission chairman Judge Johann Kriegler's plea for free political activity in the homeland, and firing the staff of the Bophuthatswana Broadcasting Corporation, closing down two television stations and three radio stations.
Business Day, Thursday 10 March 1994

Inkatha, Freedom Front fail to submit candidates' lists to IEC

Confusion reigned at the Independent Electoral Commission's offices in Johannesburg yesterday as the 4.30pm deadline for the submission of candidates' lists passed, and IEC chairman Judge Johann Kriegler conceded that his "final" deadline could be amended retrospectively if there was political agreement.
However, the Inkatha Freedom Party, General Constand Viljoen's Freedom Front and the unknown Realist Party had failed to submit their lists three hours after the deadline. Twenty-six parties beat the deadline to confirm their participation in the April election.
Business Day, Thursday 10 March 1994

11 MARCH 1994

SADF heads for Bop

Mmabatho - The South African Defence Force began roling towards riot-torn Bophuthatswana before dawn today amid reports that heavily armed rightwingers had mobilised to assist the homeland's troops.
Foreign Minister Pik Botha said today that the government had ordered SADF troops to the South African embassy in Bophuthatswana.
Heavy rioting has now spread to most parts of the homeland, and gunfire could be heard throughout the night.
The Star, Friday 11 March 1994

Mangope flees home

Bophuthatswana's leader Lucas Mangope fled the homeland's capital in a helicopter last night. Tracing the route of his escape from Mmabatho, Sowetan has confirmed that his helicopter first landed at his rural home at Motswedi and later at Sun City.
Sporadic shots could be heard in Mmabatho last night after a day of widespread looting. The movement of armed members of the AWB near Ventersdorp was also reported.
Earlier, thousands of singing residents took to the streets of the capital waving ANC and SACP placards. Police presence was at an absolute minimum, with only three police cars seen scurrying towards the massive show of popular support for Bop's reincorporation into South Africa.
The Sowetan, Friday 11 March 1994

12 MARCH 1994

Horror slaying of 3 AWB men

"Please God help get us some medical help", pleaded the bearded member of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB).
They were his last words before a Bophuthatswana soldier calmly stepped up and pumped six bullets into the bearded, khaki-clad man and two colleagues in Mmabatho yesterday, reports an eyewitness, Reuters photographer Kevin Carter.
At least 60 people have been killed in Bophuthatswana and 300 wounded or injured in three days of continuous rioting, looting, burning and fighting, mostly around the capital Mmabatho.
Thousands of heavily armed right-wingers made to leave Bophuthatswana after fierce fighting with the Bophuthatswana Defence Force (BDF).
But as they pulled out from the BDF airstrip in a 400 vehicle convoy, they were again confronted by troop carriers of the BDF.
The Citizen, Saturday 12 March 1994

Front makes cut-off: IFP misses out

A Freedom Front delegation submitted its candidates' list at the Independent Electoral Commission's Johannesburg office minutes before yesterday's midnight deadline.
But IEC official Norman du Plessis said the Inkatha Freedom Party had failed to register in time for the midnight cut-off.
Du Plessis said this meant the IFP "comes off the ballot". Technically, this meant the party would no longer be able to contest the election.
Weekend Star, Saturday 12 March 1994

13 MARCH 1994

TEC, SA to take over in Bop

A joint Transitional Executive Council (TEC) and South African government delegation flew into Bophuthatswana last night to begin taking control of the homeland.
This followed an emergency meeting of the TEC management committee to discuss President Lucas Mangope's refusal to give Independent Electoral Commission head Justice Johann Kriegler satisfactory assurances that he would allow free and fair elections in the territory.
Sunday Times, Sunday 13 March 1994

Research, photos: Ndaba Dlamini

Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material

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