The Rise and Fall of Apartheid

Overview

On his way into Parliament on 2 February 1990 FW de Klerk turned to his wife Marike and said, referring to his forthcoming speech: 'After today South Africa will never again be the same.'

Did white South Africa crack, or did its leadership yield sufficiently and just in time to avert a revolution?

The transformation has been called a miracle, belying gloomy predictions of race war in which the white minority ...

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Overview

On his way into Parliament on 2 February 1990 FW de Klerk turned to his wife Marike and said, referring to his forthcoming speech: 'After today South Africa will never again be the same.'

Did white South Africa crack, or did its leadership yield sufficiently and just in time to avert a revolution?

The transformation has been called a miracle, belying gloomy predictions of race war in which the white minority went into a laager and fought to the last drop of blood. Why did it happen?

Professor Welsh views the topic against the backdrop of a long history of conflict spanning apartheid's rise and demise, and the liberation movement's suppression and subsequent resurrection. His view is that the movement away from apartheid to majority rule would have taken far longer and been much bloodier were it not for the changes undergone by Afrikaner nationalism itself.

There were turning points, such as the Soweto uprising of 1976, but few believed that the transition from white domination to inclusive democracy would occur as soon - and as relatively peacefully - as it did. In effect, however, a multitude of different factors led the ANC and the National Party to see that neither side could win the conflict on its own terms.

Utterly dissimilar in background, culture, beliefs and political style, Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk were an unlikely pair of liberators. But both soon recognised that they were dependent on each other to steer the transformation process through to its conclusion.

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Editorial Reviews

Richard Elphick

David Welsh is a political scientist with a historian’s cast of mind. In vigorous prose, The Rise and Fall of Apartheid recounts the history of apartheid, striking a suitable balance between the black and white sides of the struggle. Welsh has followed South African politics closely for decades, in personal contact with many of the major players. His book abounds in anecdotes, insights, and brief theoretical observations that will delight the cognoscenti and laypersons alike. Along with The Afrikaners by Hermann Giliomee, The Rise and Fall of Apartheid may dominate the historiography of apartheid for at least a generation.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

David Welsh is Professor Extraordinaire in the Department of Political Science at Stellenbosch University, and author of The Roots of Segregation and South Africa’s Options.

University of Virginia Press

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Table of Contents

Preface vii

Abbreviations ix

Chapter 1 Afrikaner Nationalism and the Coming of Apartheid 1

Chapter 2 The Black Experience: A Prelude to Apartheid 29

Chapter 3 The Rise and Decline of Apartheid 52

Chapter 4 The Decline and Rise of the Black Opposition 110

Chapter 5 The Soweto Uprising and its Consequences 142

Chapter 6 Fissures and Fractures in Afrikaner Nationalism 172

Chapter 7 The Turbulent Eighties 208

Chapter 8 The Growth of Black Resistance in the 1980s 269

Chapter 9 Groping Towards Negotiation 344

Chapter 10 Getting to the Table 382

Chapter 11 Opening Pandora's Box 421

Chapter 12 Negotiating the Interim Constitution 481

Chapter 13 The Founding Election 535

Conclusion 566

Notes 579

Bibliography 614

Index 637

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