[LISTEN] How a civil war had to be avoided during SA's negotiated settlement

While former president, Nelson Mandela is hailed as a liberation icon and the champion of South Africa's rainbow nation on this Mandela Day, a panel of heavy hitters discussed Mandela’s legacy and the negotiated political settlement.

The panel comprised of former finance minister and ANC member, Pravin Gordhan, former constitutional development minister Roelf Meyer, former ANC NEC member Febe Potgieter-Gqubule and news editor Ranjeni Munusamy.

The negotiated settlement was about liberating all of us.

Roelf Meyer, Former Minister of Constitutional Development

Meyer continues to say the negotiations were primarily putting an end to apartheid and replacing with something decent, with values that will sustain South Africa's future.

Potgieter-Gqubule agrees with Meyer.

She adds that at first she and her peers in 1988, who were students at the time, were unimpressed with the suggested negotiation settlements proposed by former President of the African National Congress (ANC), Oliver Tambo.

Also read: 'We keep on electing these people for romantic reasons'

The arguments that were put forward were to either go for a civil war or come together as South Africans and have a conversation about the future. The start of the negotiations was about finding a solution where the alternative was the possibility of a country spiraling into a civil war.

Febe Potgieter-Gqubule, Former Member of the ANC executive and Deputy Chief of staff at AU Commission

Former finance minister and ANC member, Pravin Gordhan says context matters when scrutinising the decisions made pre and post South Africa's democracy. In addition to liberating all South Africans, the leaders of the ANC back then chose to not opt for a scorched earth policy adds Gordhan.

Negotiations weren't a walk in the park in the period from February 1990 to April 1994, there were very difficult patches like the Boipatong massacre.

Pravin Gordhan, Former finance minister and ANC member

Ranjeni Munusamy, Associate Editor Analysis at Tiso Blackstar, says the other panel members neglected to mention that there 19 parties involved in the negotiation settlements, each with their own vested interests.

For more watch the panel discussion here:

Listen to the full panel discussion here:


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