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I Witnessed How Close South Africa Came to Civil War, 25 Years Ago Today

I Witnessed How Close South Africa Came to Civil War, 25 Years Ago Today

Stefan Simanowitz

Twenty-five years after South Africa’s miraculous first democratic elections, it’s easy to forget just how close the county came to civil war.

I was working for the ANC (Western Cape) from 1992-4 and there were times - right up to Election Day itself - that, as Mandela said, it “seemed impossible until it was done.”

With weeks to go, violence in KwaZulu-Natal was escalating with the Inkartha Freedom Party (IFP) boycotting the elections.

Tensions were mounting in the so-called “homelands” of Ciskei, QwaQwa & Bophuthatswana.

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What a beautiful story. It’s a good thing South Africa never became like Zimbabwe. Mugabe turned Zimbabwe into a reverse Apartheid State & was very dictatorial. The ANC ended Apartheid & made South Africa free.