Michael Chapman


Given that this was written not by a hack journalist but by one of our leading social analysts, we begin to gauge the impact on South Africans of the unbannings, the mass rallies and, most strikingly, the release of Nelson Mandela. (Conversely, the impact can also be measured by the militancy of the white right wing and the hard-line Africanism of the PAC.) In our more sober moments, however, we remind ourselves that February 2 was not a bolt from the blue. Rather, sustained opposition to apartheid during the 1980s - inspired and co-ordinated at home and abroad by UDF/ ANC alliances - ensured that De Klerk's actions, admit­tedly bold in their pragmatism, are explicable as both agency and product of the historical process. We are reminded too of Mandela's words at the huge rally in Durban where, despite his confidence in the liberating com­mitment of the majority, he warned that 'apartheid is not yet dead. Equal­ity and democracy continue to elude us. We do not have access to political power'.



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