05 July 2012

27 years since Madiba and P.W Botha met to begin negotiations to end apartheid

AL2547_The SAHA_Original_Photograph_Collection On 5 July 1985, the two rivals met to discuss how to best forge a way forward considering that apartheid was no longer viable. Nelson Mandela was still a prisoner - with a year to go before his release from his 27-year long incarceration. This year marks 27 years since that historic meeting.

Madiba had already been removed from Robben Island and kept at Victor Verster prison (renamed: Drakenstein Correctional Centre). When he met Botha, little did he know that he would occupy the same office just five years later as the first democratically elected South African president.

The meeting was inevitable between the two as South Africa needed a practical solution, not only on the political status quo, but more on the socio-economic predicament SA found itself in following various sanctions by countries which opposed apartheid.

Foreign investment suffered a significant decline - this put the apartheid government under immense pressure to consider "change" in their segregational policies.

The meeting was said to be quite brief and kept secret. However, this meeting was the first of many that led to the significant and historical changes in South African politics.

Apartheid was eventually abandoned and the democratic dispensation took form officially in 1994, when all South Africans participated in democratic elections for the first time on 27 April 1994.

The following SAHA collections contains information relating to the apartheid government's intelligence forces and their modus operandi.

AL3283 The De Wet Potgieter Collection