Turning Points in History: Bk. 6: Negotiation, Transition and Freedom

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The most talked about turning point in South African history is the 1994 transfer of political power from the National Party to the African National Congress. Contrary to many predictions, South Africa avoided a bloodbath. History does not always provide reasons why events go one way or the other. The way in which the South African transition proceeded was made possible by a series of events for which it is difficult to claim credit. But there were also a number of well-planned and well-managed processes that increased the chances of a successful outcome. In Chapter 1, Chris Saunders provides a broad outline of the developments that took South Africa from apartheid to democracy. In the second chapter, journalist and political commentator, Max du Preez, discusses the events leading up to the formal negotiation process. In the third chapter, Hassen Ebrahim describes the significance of the Constitution in shaping the transition and the dispensation that followed. In the fourth chapter, Eddy Maloka looks at the ten years of democracy since 1994 in an effort to calculate the 'fruits of our freedom'. This discussion invites each South African, especially younger South Africans who may not have lived through much of this history, to study carefully this remarkable time in South Africa's history.