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How far did the release of Nelson Mandela in 1990 influence the transition to majority rule in 1994?

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Modern World Study: South Africa How far did the release of Nelson Mandela in 1990 influence the transition to majority rule in 1994? The transition to majority rule in 1994 began with the election in which the ANC won with 62.5%. Nelson Mandela had an important role in the ending of apartheid. As the leader of the MK, he concentrated on sabotage and aimed to avoid loss of life. His release from prison in 1990 did not cease violent riots but the CODESA talks, which resulted in a constitutional agreement for a one-person-one-vote election, gave the ANC a fair chance to change South Africa back to a multi-racial democracy. However, there were also many other reasons besides Nelson Mandela that had helped to end apartheid. Black opposition against apartheid started to increase rapidly and became very violent, weakening much control of South Africa. The Defiance Campaign, 1952, invited arrest by ignoring "European Only" signs at post offices and railway stations. Although more than 8,000 were arrested during peaceful protests during the summer, these were emphasized when, in October, violent riots caused chaos in South Africa. ...read more.


After 1980, whites were becoming less wealthy even though the country was become wealthier. Businesses realised that the economy was slowing down because blacks, who were the main labour face, were being excluded from a lot of jobs and had a lack of education. As a result the wages of black people rose by 60% between 1970 and 1986 whereas white wages only rose by 18%. People started to question apartheid as business people were not benefiting as much. Economic slow down caused economic sanctions from the West who refused to buy certain products. People in the USA and Europe refused to buy South African fruit and wine. In 1986 the Common Market banned the purchase of South African steel. Businesses who had in the past benefited by apartheid, started to get a lot of international criticism. Many critics of apartheid argued that sanctions were the only way Nationalists would give political rights to blacks. Many western businesses started to disinvest in South Africa. More pressure from the west included protests and pitch invasions of sporting events especially rugby and cricket matches (1960s). ...read more.


A less male-dominated culture started to appear when white South African women, who were well-educated became holders of responsible jobs. Until 1976, the radio was controlled and TV was banned until 1976. Around this period, more liberal views of apartheid were developing. This was due to being able to listen to different views from the radio and TV. Travelling abroad also helped opinion to spread. Support of apartheid in S.A. started to become more hostile. As other southern countries saw the strength of apartheid weakening, they started their own resistance against white power and apartheid. Black liberation movements such as FRELIMO and FNLA fought for independence from whites. In 1974, white rule was severely weakened by a series of independence events. A revolution in Portugal resulted in independence for Portuguese African colonies and in Mozambique, a black government came to power. In Angola, a civil war broke out in which South Africa supported UNITA. In Rhodesia, guerrilla war wore down the white Rhodesians. The loss of colonies in the white empire diminished white power and their ability to keep support of apartheid. His arrest in 1962 gave the MK a huge amount of international publicity. ...read more.

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