Roots of Compromise

The turning point of recent South African history was 1987-90. By this time important overtures to peace had already been made. In 1987 a powerful non-government delegation had held talks with the ANC in Dakar. In 1988 Nelson Mandela, who was still in prison, had issued an invitation to the government to negotiate an end to apartheid. By early 1989 the non-racial mass democratic movement had swelled and returned to the streets. Then in August 1989 F W de Klerk replaced the hardline P W Botha as president. Within months he had decided the only way forward was to release Nelson Mandela and to unban the ANC, PAC, SACP and other political organisations. His landmark speech to parliament forms part of this exhibit, together with photographs of other key moments of that time.


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