The inauguration of a new nation.
1985. P. W. Botha, expected to make a speech announcing massive reform of the crumbling apartheid state, instead refuses to “cross the Rubicon.” Overnight the rand devalues by more than 100 percent in a country already embroiled in war, chaos, township violence, and spiraling state terror.
1985 and 1987. The business and academic communities secretly meet the African National Congress, first in Lusaka and then in Dakar. The African National Congress begins to consider the idea of a negotiated settlement rather than an outright victory. All parties to the South African conflict fear the massive social upheaval that would come with a civil war in the country. No side can expect easy “victory” or even victory at all.
1989. Communism collapses, eroding the African National Congress's most important financial and military support bases. The National Party begins to realize that the likelihood of a Soviet-style state in South Africa is evaporating. This catalyzes the party into preparations for a negotiated settlement.
1990. Nelson Mandela is released from prison.
1991. The apartheid state is formally ended and the CODESA talks (Coalition for a Democratic South Africa) take place at Kempton Park, outside of Johannesburg. The African National Congress has decided to forgo the continuation of the armed straggle, which it now believes will lead to nothing beyond a destructive stalemate. Mandela immediately