Nelson Mandela Timeline 1990-1999

Nelson Mandela Timeline 1800-2013

Nelson Mandela Timeline 1990-1999

May, The second plenary meeting of Convention for a Democratic South Africa (Codesa) is held, but the working group dealing with constitutional arrangements deadlocks when the African National Congress (ANC) and the government cannot reach agreement on certain constitutional principles. Codesa's management committee is asked to find a way out of the log-jam.

1990
2 February, At the opening of parliament FW de Klerk surprises everyone by unbanning all political parties, including the South African Communist Party, and the release of all poltical prisoners not guilty of violent crimes.
11 February, Mandela is released from Victor Verster Prison
19 February, Nelson Mandela was issued with his first South African passport on 19 February 1990, 8 days after he was released from prison. It was this passport (with his second name "Rolihlahla" spelt incorrectly as "Rolilahla") that he used to embark on a tour of some of the African states that had supported the South African liberation struggle, including Zambia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia.
Nadja Manghezi, who was working at the Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College in Tanzania in March 1990, made the photograph on the left of Mr Mandela's passport, available to the Nelson Mandela Foundation Archive. 
March, Mandela travels to Lusaka to meet the ANC's national executive committee. He then travels to Sweden to meet the ANC President Oliver Tambo, but cuts short the rest of his proposed trip abroad as a result of increased unrest within South Africa
2 May, African National Congress (ANC) and government teams meet at Groote Schuur. Mandela heads the ANC delegation.
June, Nelson Mandela began a six-week tour of Europe, the United Kingdom, North America and Africa. His reception by heads of state, and hundreds of thousands of citizens of the countries he visited, confirms his stature as an internationally respected leader
July, Nelson Mandela attends the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) summit held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, but has to leave for Kenya when he contracts pneumonia.
29 July, The South African Communist Party (SACP) is relaunched at the Soweto Stadium with a crowd of 50 000 - in the following fifteen months the SACP membership shoots up to 25 000 at a time when communist parties around the world are in decline
August, Talks between the African National Congress (ANC) and the South African government resume and in the same month Mandela visits Norway. This is followed by visits to Zambia, India and Australia.
6 August, The Pretoria Minute is signed which proclaims that the ANC suspends all armed activity
December, A Cabinet 'bosberaad' (council) is held at a game lodge to discuss the Harare Declaration and the release of Mandela.
1991
29 January, Mandela meets Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi at the Royal Hotel In Durban for 8 hours and agree to promote peace.
February, Mandela meets with Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi, President of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), in an attempt to put an end to the violence sweeping through Natal and the Transvaal. However, despite their pledges to work towards peace, the violence continues. Mandela issues an ultimatum to the government, setting a deadline by which it has to end the violence, and fire the Ministers of Defence and Law and Order. He indicates that the African National Congress (ANC) will quit the negotiation process if these demands are not met. However, the government fails to meet these demands.
April, Mandela attended a meeting between the ANC and the Pan African Congress in Harare where they resolved to work together to oppose apartheid. A joint sub-committee was established to approach the European Community to reverse its decision to lift bans on steel imports from South Africa. The meeting also resolved to convene a conference of anti-apartheid organisation to support the demand for a national constituent assembly
1 April, Mandela meets Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi and raises his distrust of F W de Klerk .
June, Mandela attends the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) summit in Abuja, Nigeria, after which he travels to the United Kingdom and Belgium.
July, The ANC conference held in Durban, Nelson Mandela was elected ANC president, succeeding an ailing Oliver Tambo.
2 July, The African National Congress (ANC) holds its first national conference in 30 years inside the country in Durban, with over 2 000 delegates and elects a new National Executive. Nelson Mandela is elected as President of the organisation, succeeding an ailing Oliver Tambo .
August, Nelson Mandela travels to South America.
September, Mandela signs the National Peace Accord on behalf of the African National Congress (ANC). This agreement between a number of political organisations, including the ANC, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the National Party (NP), establishes structures and procedures to attempt to end political violence, which has become widespread.
October, A meeting of the Patriotic Front is held in Durban in an attempt to bring together all anti-apartheid groupings in the country. All attend with the exception of Azanian People's Organisation (Azapo). Policy regarding future negotiations is formulated and the African National Congress (ANC) and the Pan African Congress (PAC) begin preparatory meetings for the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (Codesa). However, the PAC cannot see it's way clear to participating in the convention.
November, Mandela travels to West Africa.
December, The first meeting of Convention for a Democratic South Africa (Codesa), set up to negotiate procedures for constitutional change, is held. At the end of the plenary session, after F W de Klerk raises the question of disbanding Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), Mandela delivers a scathing personal verbal attack on him. Mandela argues that even the head of an illegitimate, discredited minority regime should have certain moral standards'.
Mandela meets United States President, George Bush.
1992
Mandela receives a joint award with F W de Klerk in Spain - the Prince of the Asturias Prize for International Co-operation.
February, Mandela continues his programme of extensive international travel, visiting Tunisia, Libya and Morocco. He and State President F W de Klerk jointly accept the UNESCO Houphouet-Boigny Peace Prize in Paris on 3 February. At the same time the two men attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
13 April, Mandela calls a press conference at which he states that he and his wife, Winnie Mandela, have agreed to separate as a result of differences, which have arisen between them in recent months. Later in April Mandela, F W de Klerk and Mangosuthu Buthelezi address a gathering of more than a million members of the Zion Christian Church at Moria, near Pietersburg, and commit themselves to end the ongoing violence and move speedily towards a political settlement.
While visiting the Scandinavian countries and Czechoslovakia in May, Mandela suggests that F W de Klerk is personally responsible for the political violence in South Africa. He likens the violence in South Africa to the killing of Jews in Nazi Germany. Mandela also criticises what he feels is the stranglehold imposed on the South African press, which represents White-owned conglomerates. He does express support for critical, independent and investigative press.
June, By 16 June (Soweto Day) no progress has been made and the African National Congress (ANC) calls for a mass action campaign to put pressure on the South African government. Following the Boipatong massacre massacre of 17 June 1992, Mandela indicates that negotiations with the government will not be resumed until ANC demands for an election to a constituent assembly, a transitional government, and state steps to end political violence are met. At the end of June 1992 Mandela addresses the Heads of States Summit of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in Dakar, Senegal. As a result, the OAU agrees to raise the issue of South Africa's political violence at the United Nations .
July, Mandela and representatives of other South African parties address the UN Security Council. Mandela asks the UN to provide continuous monitoring of the violence, and submits documents, which he claims, proved the 'criminal intent', of the government, both in the instigation of violence and in failing to halt it. He maintains that the government is conducting a '...cold-hearted strategy of state terror to impose its will on negotiations'.
Mandela visits the Olympic Games in Barcelona, where a South African team is participating for the first time in 30 years. On his return to South Africa, he involves himself in the African National Congress's (ANC) mass action campaign calling for disciplined and peaceful protest.
Following violent incidents between African National Congress (ANC) supporters in the Transvaal, Mandela admits that the organisation has disciplinary problems with some of its followers, particularly in township self-defence units. He promises to take action against those who abuse positions of power and authority.
He indicates that the ANC has shifted its economic thinking, particularly with regard to nationalisation. This is no longer viewed as an ideological imperative, but merely as one of the policy options. He continues to stress the need to redress economic imbalances, but notes that the ANC was aware of both local and international business hostility towards nationalisation.
September, Mandela indicates that he is prepared to meet F W de Klerk on condition that he agrees to the fencing off of hostels, the banning of the public display of dangerous weapons and the release of political prisoners. They meet at the end of the month and these bi-lateral talks result in the signing of a Record of Understanding by the two leaders, which enables negotiations to be resumed.
1993
Mandela wins the Philadelphia Liberty Medal (USA)
April, Following the assassination of the South African Communist Party (SACP) leader, Chris Hani, Mandela again calls for restraint, discipline and peace, but at a rally in Soweto's Jabulani Stadium a militant crowd boos him when he tries to convey a message of peace in the wake of the killing.
May, Mandela causes a political row when he suggests that South Africa's voting age should be lowered to enable 14-year old children to vote. However, he is persuaded to accept that only people aged 18 or more can vote in the April 1994 elections.
July-December, Mandela campaigns on behalf of the African National Congress (ANC) for the 1994 election and addresses a large number of rallies and people's forums. At the same time, he continues to attempt to draw the Freedom Alliance partners (White right wing groups, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), Bophuthatswana and Ciskei governments) into the election process.
September, While on a visit to the United States of America, Mandela urges world business leaders to lift economic sanctions and to invest in South Africa.
December, Mandela is jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize together with former president F W de Klerk in Norway
1994
Mandela continues the campaign from the previous year, however he rules out the possibility of delaying the election date to accommodate them.
Mandela's autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, is published.
March, Following a civil uprising in Bophuthatswana, which leads to a downfall of the Mangope government, Mandela guarantees striking civil servants their jobs, but harshly criticises the looting that occurs during the unrest.
April, Last minute talks are held in the Kruger Park between Mandela, F W de Klerk , Mangosuthu Buthelezi and Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini to try to break the deadlock on Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) participation in the elections. The meeting is unsuccessful and is followed by an attempt at international mediation. This, too, fails, but a last minute effort by Kenyan academic, Washington Okumu, brings the IFP back into the election process. Mandela and De Klerk then sign an agreement regarding the future status of the Zulu King.
Mandela contests the election as the head of the African National Congress (ANC) for the National Assembly.
27 April, At Inanda, Durban, Mandela votes in a general election for the first time in his life.
May, The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) announces that the African National Congress (ANC) has won 62% of the national vote. Mandela subsequently indicates he had been relieved that the ANC had not achieved a two-thirds majority in the election, as this would allay fears that it would unilaterally re-write the constitution. He states that he stands for a government of national unity with each part sharing in the exercise of power.
In Mandela's State-of-the-Nation speech to parliament he announces that R2.5 billion will be allocated in the 1994/95 budget for the government's Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP). His pragmatic economic policy is welcomed by business in general.
Mandela continues to draw the right wing into the negotiation process and holds a breakthrough meeting with the leader of Conservative Party (CP), Ferdie Hartzenberg. Negotiations also involve a possible meeting with Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) leader Eugene Terre Blanche.
9 May, Mandela is elected unopposed as President of South Africa in the first session of the National Assembly.
10 May, Nelson Mandela's Presidential inauguration takes place at the Union Buildings in Pretoria . As well as about 100 000 celebrants on the lawns in front of the building, it is the largest gathering of international leaders ever held in South Africa. The ceremony is televised and broadcast internationally. In his inaugural speech Mandela calls for a 'time of healing' and states that his government will fight against discrimination of any kind. He pledges to enter into a covenant to build a society in which all South Africans, Black and White, could walk tall without fear, assured of their rights to human dignity 'a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world'.
June, Mandela attends the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) summit held in Tunis and is appointed second Vice-President of the organisation. The following month he holds talks with his Angolan, Mozambican and Zairean counterparts in an attempt to further peace-making efforts in Angola. UNITA leader, Jonas Savimbi, welcomes his participation in the peace process.
July, Mandela undergoes eye surgery for a cataract. The operation is complicated by the fact that his tear glands were damaged by the alkalinity of the stone at Robben Island where he had done hard labour breaking rocks
September, Mandela makes a crucial speech at the annual conference of the Congress of South Africa Trade Union (Cosatu) where he calls on the labour movement to transform itself from a liberation movement, to one that would assist in the building of a new South Africa. He warns that workers will lose their jobs if production costs rose because of unnecessary labour unrest and he called on workers to assist in making the ANC's RDP work.
1995
January, Mandela makes a crucial speech at the annual conference of the Congress of South Africa Trade Union (Cosatu) where he calls on the labour movement to transform itself from a liberation movement, to one which would assist in the building of a new South Africa. He warns that workers will lose their jobs if production costs rise because of unnecessary labour unrest and he calls on workers to assist in making the African National Congress 's (ANC) Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) work.
18 January, At a cabinet meeting, Mandela attacks Deputy President F W de Klerk stating that he does not believe that De Klerk was unaware of the indemnity applications. He goes on to question De Klerk's commitment to the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP).
20 January, At a press conference F W de Klerk maintains that this attack on his integrity and good faith could seriously jeopardise the future of the government of national unity.
April, Mandela fires his estranged wife, Winnie Mandela, from her post as Deputy Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology, following a series of controversial issues in which she was involved. She challenges her dismissal in the Supreme Court, claiming that it was unconstitutional. She obtains an affidavit from Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi to the effect that he had not, as a leader of a party in the government of national unity, been consulted about this dismissal. As this is a constitutional requirement, Winnie Mandela is then briefly reinstated before being dismissed again, Mandela having consulted with all party leaders involved in the government of national unity.
May, Following a dispute between the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the African National Congress (ANC) regarding international mediation for the new constitution, Mangosuthu Buthelezi calls on Zulus to 'rise and resist' any imposed constitutional dispensation. Mandela accuses Buthelezi of encouraging violence and attempting to ferment an uprising against central government. In this context, he threatens to cut off central government funding to KwaZulu Natal, indicating that he would not allow public funds to be used to finance an attempt to overthrow the constitution by violent means. Although a subsequent meeting between the two leaders seems cordial in tone, the matter of mediation remained an unresolved point of conflict.
24 June, The ‘Madiba Magic’ played a tremendous role in South Africa winning the Rugby World Cup Trophy for the first time since the tournament’s inception in 1987. Despite strong competition shown by the All Blacks, the final score was 15-12 in favour of South Africa. The South African President, Nelson Mandela, handed the trophy to Springbok Captain, François Pienaar, as Ellis Park Stadium erupted into celebrations.
1996
2 March: Becomes the first foreigner to address Mali’s Parliament
Mandela and Winnie Mandela divorce.
1997
Handed over the ANC presidency to Thabo Mbeki at the ANC’s National Congress in Mafikeng
1998
18 July, Nelson Mandela marries Graca Machel on his eightieth birthday.
1999
February: Gives his last state of the nation address. Steps down as president fulfilling his promise to lead only for one term.
Establishes the Nelson Mandela Foundation