In the decade preceding the dramatic February 1990 unbanning of South Africa’s black liberatory movements, many hundreds of concerned South Africans undertook to make contact with exile leaders of these organisations, travelling long distances to hold meetings in Europe or in independent African countries. Some of these “treks”, as they came to be called, were secret while others were highly publicised. The great majority of treks brought together South Africans from within South Africa and exile leaders of the African National Congress, and its close ally the South African Communist Party. Other treks involved meetings with the Pan Africanist Congress, the black consciousness movement, and the remnants of the Non-European Unity Movement in exile. This account focuses solely on the meetings involving the ANC alliance, which after February 1990 played a central role in negotiating with the white government of F.W. de Klerk and his National Party regime to bring about a new democratic order.

Without the foundation of understanding established by the treks and thousands of hours of discussion and debate that they entailed, it seems unlikely that South Africa’s transition to democracy could have been as successfully negotiated as it was between 1990 and the first democratic election of April 1994.

The following chronology focuses only on the meetings of internally based South Africans with the African National Congress (ANC) when in exile over the period 1983–1990. Well over 1 200 diverse South Africans drawn from a wide range of different groups in the non-governmental sector and cross-cutting political parties, language, educational, religious and community groups went on an outward mission to enter dialogue with the ANC in exile in a search to overcome the escalating conflict inside South Africa.

The ANC had become a banned and prohibited organisation in South Africa on 7 April 1960 and subsequently its leadership was imprisoned or went into exile. In the two decades between 1960 and the independence of Zimbabwe in 1980, all of sub-Saharan Africa’s forty-odd white-ruled colonies became independent countries, except two – Namibia and South Africa.

It was chiefly in the early 1980s that concerted attempts to start a dialogue between people located within South Africa with the ANC in exile took place and systematic initiatives began in a search to establish the preconditions for negotiations. The rapid increase of these meetings from the early 1980s mirrored the growing conflict within South Africa and the urgency of starting negotiations to end the violence and to establish a democratic state. On 2 February 1990 the ANC was unbanned and soon thereafter political prisoners were released and negotiations started.

There appears to be no single source attempting to present as full as possible details of when such meetings between the ANC in exile and people and groups from within South Africa occurred and specifying where they occurred, with what organisations, and who was present at such meetings.

The nearest approach to such a chronology can be found on the SA History Online website (, which notes: “More than 100 delegations took place from early 1985 until the ANC was unbanned in 1990. Many of these were not publicised and facts about them have not yet emerged in the historical literature.” While valuable this chronology, drawn up some years ago, understandably is far from complete and provides little detail, and also is over-cautious in its estimate of the number of meetings that took place. The History Online website contains other valuable and informative documents, such as “Delegations and dialogue between the ANC and internal non-government groups” detailing some of the meetings and their content, which considerably add to our knowledge but again it does not provide a comprehensive chronology.

Without doubt the chronology in this document also is incomplete. Few of the meetings that took place have been properly documented and there are very few known records that these meetings generated. The precise dates of some meetings presently are unclear, and for many meetings there appears to be no public record listing the names of those attending. Some meetings appear consciously to have taken an understandably cautious decision not to publicise that they took place, nor to release the names of those attending, so as to avoid any possible recriminations against the organisations or persons involved from the draconian SA security legislation then existing. As the pace of these meetings sped up the need to attempt to protect those taking part in them from possible action from South African security legislation lessened. However the documentation on these meetings still remains fragmentary, particularly as the dialogue about the possible shape of a future dispensation became detailed and full of possibilities and “off-record” explorations multiplied.

Some cautionary notes are needed about this chronology. First, it lists only the meetings the author been able to identify using personal networks and it could well miss listing some important meetings. Second, the chronology also excludes listing what could be termed “operational meetings” of the ANC and MK with people located in South Africa focusing on the planning, or strategy and tactics of the armed struggle within South Africa. No attempt has been made to identify such meetings. The important task of documenting the course of the armed struggle is different from that of creating a chronology of meetings focusing on enlarging and furthering the dialogue between the ANC and South Africans at home. Third, the weaknesses of the chronology also reflect the nature and frailties of human memory about undocumented meetings. Names of both individuals and of organisations at such meetings often are fading from memory. However, even with respect to those meetings that are documented, disputes now arise about whether particular individuals were present. Fourth, there is seldom clarity if the initiative for a meeting came from the ANC side, or from the internal South African side, so the chronology is silent on this detail.

To properly document South African history it is important to continue trying to create an accurate and full chronology of meetings. The present chronology captures the known 167 meetings over the period of 1983–1990.

Number of identified external meetings between the ANC and South Africans 1983–2000

1983 - 4 meetings

1984 - 9 meetings

1985 - 19 meetings

1986 - 27 meetings

1987 - 23 meetings

1988 - 32 meetings

1989 - 39 meetings

1990 - 14 meetings

TOTAL - 167 meetings

These meetings involved several hundred South Africans “from home”. Over 1 200 names appear in this listing but it is far from complete, as there were also many “delegations” whose size and membership cannot be determined. The number of meetings and the diverse names of those at them alone is a testimony that there were large numbers of South Africans actively involved in the search to escape from the shackles of apartheid. What is now needed is to add further information and detail to build up as complete and accurate chronology of these meetings as possible from which to analyse and interpret their content.

In compiling this document the author has consulted with many individuals (listed below) and now thanks them all greatly. This chronology would be much the poorer without their detailed help and input, and without many of them also kindly lending me their relevant notes and documents. A very particular debt of gratitude is owed to Professor Gail Gerhart, who not only supported the project enthusiastically but contributed her private notes while doing so, then corrected earlier versions of this document, and overall provided much valuable information and advice. However any errors in this chronology are the author’s alone.

The hope is that by placing this document in the public domain it may enable others to contribute to the far more important task of undertaking an analysis of what went on at these meetings and how the meetings may have contributed to the liberation of South Africa from apartheid and helped lead to the creation of a democratic state.



1983 Charles Villa-Vicencio met with the ANC. “There were several important off-the-record meetings with Thabo [Mbeki], [Alfred] Nzo, Mac [Maharaj] and others during 1983 and 1984 ”¦ I also saw records of these and related meetings in the NIA/S files during the TRC days.”

(Personal communication, Charles Villa-Vicencio, 30 May 2012)

1983 Archbishop Denis Hurley, President of the SA Catholic Bishops Conference, met with President Oliver Tambo of the ANC for three hours at a Paddington hotel, London, at a meeting organised by Ishmael Coovadia of the SACP. (AC)

1983 African American Institute meeting at which the “ANC was heavily represented” and John Dugard and Johnny Makatini were present, in Harare (JD)

1983 Alan Boesak, Simon Gqubule, Bishop Philip Russell, John Thorne and Charles Villa-Vicencio met with members of the ANC during a World Council of Churches assembly, in Vancouver, Canada.

August 1983 The United Democratic Front was launched at Mitchells Plain in Cape Town.


8 January 1984 Max du Preez, together with a member of the Argus Africa News Service, met with those members of the ANC attending the organisation’s annual birthday party, in Lusaka.

March 1984 South Africa forces the government of Samora Machel to sign the Nkomati Accord; MK expelled from Mozambique.

August 1984 H.W. van der Merwe (Director, Centre for Inter-group Studies, UCT) began his mediating initiative to encourage dialogue and contact between the ANC and the SA government by meeting with the ANC (Alfred Nzo, Thabo Mbeki), in Lusaka. (AduT)

This initiative included meetings with Mandela first at Pollsmoor Prison (on 8 October 1984) then later at Victor Verster Prison, meetings with the ANC in Lusaka, Harare, Dar-es-Salaam, London, and Stockholm, and meetings with SA Cabinet members Louis le Grange and Kobie Coetsee. Documentation on the initiative exists in his papers in UCT Archives, in his book Peace Making in South Africa: A Life in Conflict Resolution and in the ANC Archives housed at the University of Fort Hare.

February 1984 Cassim Saloojee, National Treasurer of the UDF, met with the ANC (Oliver Tambo, Thabo Mbeki & Thomas Nkobi) at a meeting arranged by Trevor Huddleston, in London. (GG)

August 1984 H.W. van der Merwe met with the ANC (Alfred Nzo, Florence Mophosho, Gertrude Shope), in Lusaka.

10–12 September 1984 H.W. van der Merwe met with the ANC (Thabo Mbeki and Alfred Nzo) at the Anglo American Corporation offices, in Lusaka

September 1984 “The NIS is reported to have made ‘tentative contact’ with the ANC in Geneva.”

(James Sanders, Apartheid’s Friends: The Rise and Fall of South Africa’s Secret Service, p. 234.)

November 1984 Largest political general strike in South Africa’s history occurs as an estimated 800,000 workers stay home for two days in the Transvaal.

25–28 November 1984 H.W. van der Merwe and Piet Muller (Deputy Editor, Die Beeld) met with the ANC (Sipho Makana, Thabo Mbeki, Alfred Nzo), in Lusaka. (AduT, HG)

H.W. van der Merwe and Muller each published articles on this meeting in the summer 1985 issue of Die Suid-Afrikaan (H.W. van der Merwe “Skadubeeld van Afrikaner-nasionalisme” p. 20–1). Muller also published two articles based on an interview with Thabo Mbeki in Die Beeld.

2–5 December 1984 H.W. van der Merwe met with ANC (Alfred Nzo, Florence Moposho), in Lusaka.

1984 Kobus Jordaan, of the Department of Constitutional Development (formerly a Bantustan official and previously a denominational missionary in Zambia) at the request of Chris Heunis (Minister of Constitutional Development) met “in secret” with the ANC, in Lusaka.


January 1985 David Willers of the South African Foundation met with the ANC (Seretse Choabi and Solly Smith [pseudonym of S.S. Khunyeli]), probably in London.

(James Sanders, Apartheid’s Friends, p. 235.)

8 January 1985 Max du Preez, together with a representative of the Argus Africa News Service, met with the ANC at the organisation’s annual birthday party, in Lusaka.

28 January 1985 Barry Streek (journalist with the SA Independent group, and political activist) met with the ANC, in Lusaka.7

15 August 1985 P.W. Botha delivers his so-called Rubicon speech to the National Party Congress.

September 1985 Gavin Relly (Chair, Anglo American Corporation), Zach de Beer (formerly Progressive Federal Party MP and AAC Board member), Tony Bloom (CEO, Premier Milling), Peter Sorour (Director, SA Foundation), Hugh Murray (Editor, Leadership magazine), Harald Pakendorf (Editor, Die Vaderland), Tertius Myburgh (Editor, Sunday Times) met with the ANC (Oliver Tambo, Thabo Mbeki, Chris Hani, Mac Maharaj, Pallo Jordan, James Stuart [pseudonym of Hermanus Loots]), at Mfuwe Lodge, in eastern Zambia. (HM, TB).

(Tony Bloom’s 30 page typed memo of this meeting is lodged in UCT’s Manuscripts & Archives, and the ANC memorandum on the meeting is Document 126, pp. 577–80 in Gerhart and Glaser [2013].)

6–9 September 1985 H.W. van der Merwe met with the ANC (Thabo Mbeki, Jacob Zuma and Victor Moche), in Lusaka.

September 1985 Dries van Heerden (journalist on Die Vaderland) met with the ANC, in Lusaka.

27 September 1985 Peter Gastrow met with ANC in Lusaka to prepare for the meeting with a PFP delegation.

11 October 1985 PFP delegation led by F. van Zyl Slabbert, with Colin Eglin, Alex Boraine and Peter Gastrow (PFP MPs) met with the ANC (Alfred Nzo, Thabo Mbeki, Mac Maharaj, Thomas Nkobi, Gertrude Shope), in Lusaka.

30 October 1985 Tony Heard (Editor, The Cape Times) met and interviewed Oliver Tambo, in London.

(Heard published this interview in The Cape Times four days later on 4 November 1985.)

November 1985 Nico Smit of NGK met with the ANC representative Neo Mnumzana, in New York. (GG) (A planned meeting between the ANC and the NGK was called off during 1985.)

November 1985 Eight University of Stellenbosch students met with the ANC youth department, in Harare.

December 1985 Delegation from the Soweto Parents’ Crisis Committee (led by its founder Rev Molefe Tsele) met with the ANC, in Harare.

December 1985 A delegation led by Jay Naidoo from the newly formed COSATU met with the ANC (Joe Slovo, Mac Maharaj and others), in Harare.

1985 Chairmen of leading corporate groups (Sir Timothy Bevan (Barclays Bank), Lord Barber (Standard Bank), Evelyn de Rothschild (Chair of Rothschild’s), George Soros, with representatives of Shell, Courtaulds, BP and Gold Fields and (from SA) Tony Bloom (Premier Group) and Chris Ball (Barclays), invited by Anthony Sampson to lunch at the Connaught Rooms, London, to meet with Oliver Tambo, in London.

(Anthony Sampson, The Anatomist, p. 228).

1985 Centre for Contextual Hermeneutics, University of Stellenbosch (Profs Johann Kinghorn, Bernard Lategan, Lourens du Plessis, and Etienne de Villiers) met to discuss their document “The Option for an Inclusive Democracy” with the ANC, at Cold Comfort Farm, Zimbabwe.

December 1985 Anglican Church delegation led by Bishop Philip Russell, of Natal, met with the ANC, in Lusaka.

December 1985 Student leaders from Stellenbosch, UCT and UWC met with ANC, in Harare. (This meeting was facilitated and attended by H.W. van der Merwe, who was attending a World Council of Churches conference in Harare at which three ANC NEC members were present.)

1985 Soweto Parents’ Crisis Committee met with the ANC, in Lusaka. (AduT)

1985 Andrew Boraine of NUSAS met with Thabo Mbeki, in Lusaka. (AB)


8 January 1986 Max du Preez and a representative of the Argus Africa News Service meet with the ANC at the organisation’s annual birthday party, in Lusaka. (MduP)

23 January 1986 United Democratic Front (Arnold Stofile, Valli Moosa, Cheryl Carolus, Hoffman Galeng [Huhudi Civic Association], Sydney Mufamadi, Raymond Suttner) met with the ANC (Oliver Tambo, Alfred Nzo, Aziz Pahad, and Mac Maharaj), in Stockholm. (GG)

28 January 1986 George Bizos and Ismail Ayob met with ANC (Oliver Tambo with others), in Lusaka.

(Bizos, Odyssey to Freedom, p. 420–21.)

1–3 March 1986 Enos Mabuza (Chief Minister of the self-governing KaNgwane homeland) led a delegation of 21 persons, including his entire cabinet, of the Inyandza National Movement and met with the ANC (comprised of 22 person group), in Lusaka. (HM)

5–6 March 1986 COSATU delegation (Cyril Ramaphosa, Sydney Mufamadi, Jay Naidoo, Chris Dlamini and others) had a tripartite meeting with the ANC (Oliver Tambo, Mac Maharaj, Chris Hani and others) and SACTU (John Nkadimeng, General-Secretary SACTU, and Kay Moonsamy), in Lusaka.

7 March 1986 H.W. van der Merwe and the Norwegian Ambassador Ola Dorum met with the ANC representative in East Africa (Stanley Mabizela ambassador to Tanzania), in Dar-es-Salaam. (GG)

(Mabizela’s account of the meeting appears in Volume 6 of Gerhart and Glasser, From Protest to Challenge, pp. 595–99, Document 132.)

March 1986 UDF leaders attending the funeral of Moses Mabhida in Maputo, met with the ANC, in Maputo. (GG)

March 1986 F. van Zyl Slabbert (after resigning from Parliament) and Dick Enthoven met with the senior leadership of the ANC (including Thabo Mbeki, Pallo Jordan, Mac Maharaj and Joe Slovo), in Lusaka.

March 1986 Delegation from the National Education Crisis Committee met with the ANC, in Lusaka.

31 March–2 April 1986 NUSAS eight person delegation (Brendon Barry – NUSAS President, and the SRC Presidents of UCT – Glenn Moss; Durban – Meryl Plasket; Pietermaritzburg – Bruce Robertson; Wits – Claire Wright; Rhodes – Barry du Toit; the Chair of the Stellenbosch University NUSAS Local Committee – Dave Waddilove, and the South African Student’s Press Union President – Steve Kromberg) met with an eight person ANC group (headed by two NEC members Mac Maharaj and James Stuart [psuedonym of Hermanus Loots]), in Harare. (Andrew B)

(See the 32 page report back booklet NUSAS Talks to the ANC published and distributed by NUSAS in 1986.)

15–17 April 1986 Delegation of the SA Catholic Bishops Conference (led by Archbishop Denis Hurley, with Bishop Wilfred Napier of Kokstad, Bishop Mansuet Biyase of Eshowe, and Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa [then a prominent UDF leader and a future Deputy-Minister of Education and mayor of Pretoria/Tshwane]) met with the ANC delegation (led by its President Oliver Tambo and including Ruth Mompati, Mac Maharaj, Steve Tshwete, John Nkadimeng and Peter Ramakoa [pseudonym of Joel Netshitenzhe]), in Lusaka. (AC, GG)

(An abridged transcript of the meeting appears as Document 80, pp. 437–47, in Gerhart and Glaser [2013].)

May 1986 National African Federation Chamber of Commerce (NAFCOC) delegation (led by its President, Gabriel Mokgoka, and including Sam Motsuenyane) met with the ANC (Oliver Tambo, Joel Netshitenzhe and others), in Lusaka.

May 1986 Second meeting of NAFCOC with ANC, in Europe.

June 1986 Government declares a national State of Emergency, imposes press curbs and begins a vast wave of detentions.

3 June 1986 Peter Soal and Philip Myburg MPs met with Oliver Tambo and Pallo Jordan of the ANC at the State House, Lusaka.

8 June 1986 Professor Pieter de Lange (Chairman of the Broederbond and Rector of RAU) and Thabo Mbeki were both present at a New York conference organised by the Ford Foundation (ANC members at the conference included Mac Maharaj and Seretse Choabi) also present were Charles Villa-Vicencio, van Zyl Slabbert and Peggy Dulany. During the conference Mbeki and de Lange met alone for five hours at de Lange’s hotel.

(“It is likely that Esterhuyse also facilitated the 1986 meeting in New York between Mbeki and Professor Pieter de Lange ”¦” Maritz Spaarwater, A Spook’s Progress, p. 175)

June 1986 H.W. van der Merwe met with Thabo Mbeki, in Lusaka.

June 1986 Group of Business men from SA (including Chris Ball of FNB and Neil Chapman of Southern Life), from the US (including George Soros) and the UK held talks with Oliver Tambo, in London. Later BBC-TV carried a debate between the business men and the ANC. (The meeting may have been organised by Consolidated Goldfields.)

June 1986 Federation of Industries met with the ANC. (AduT)

July 1986 Delegation from the Association for Sociology in Southern Africa (Blade Nzimande, Elrena van der Spuy, Ivan Evans, Jo Beall and Doug Hindson) met with the ANC education department (also Pallo Jordan) and later informally met Oliver Tambo, in Lusaka. (EvdS)

14–17 September 1986 Delegation of nine persons from UCT (led by Stuart Saunders with George Dall, Jon File, James Leatt, Mamphela Ramphele, Charles Villa-Vicencio, and SRC leaders Glenn Goosen and Carla Sutherland and AZAPO student leader Chris Mzimane) were joined by three UWC leaders (Jakes Gerwel, Jaap Durand and Jairam Reddy) and by Professor Mohanoe of the University of the North and John Samuel, and met with 16 members of the ANC (Alfred Nzo, Thabo Mbeki, Jack Simons, Ruth Mompati, Billy Modise, Vuyiswa Nokwe, H.G. Makgothi, Mendi Msimang, Ivy Matsepe, Barbara Masekela, Mandla Langa, W. Njobe, Sipho Makana, Thomas Nkobi and Andrew Masondo), in Lusaka. (SJS, JF)

26 September–2 October 1986 Conference on “The Southern African Economy after Apartheid”, among those from South Africa attending were Collette Caine, Georgina Jaffee, David Niddrie and Glenn Moss, and among those from the ANC attending were Essop Pahad, Wally Serote and Harold Wolpe. The conference was held at the University of York, United Kingdom. (GM)

20 November 1986 COSATU leaders (Chris Dlamini, Sydney Mufamadi, Alec Erwin, Phumzile John Gomono and Maxwell [Kulu?]) met with the ANC, in Lusaka.

November 1986 Delegation from the SA Council of Churches (led by Dr Manas Buthelezi) and the Lutheran Church (led by Dean Tshenuwani Simon Farisani) that included Beyers Naude, Wolfram Kistner and Charles Villa-Vicencio and the heads of other SACC member churches, and also Paul Boateng (UK MP), met the ANC (including Oliver Tambo, Alfred Nzo), in Lusaka.

December 1986 H.W. van der Merwe met with the ANC representative in Scandinavia, Lindiwe Mabuza, in Stockholm.

1986 Jules Browde (Convenor, National Convention Movement), met with Oliver Tambo, in Lusaka.

1986 F. van Zyl Slabbert and Alex Boraine of IDASA met with the ANC, together with SWAPO members, to discuss concerns about the Southern Africa region, in Lusaka.

1986 Dr Sam Motsuenyane, President of the National Federated Chamber of Commerce (NAFCOC), met with the ANC in Europe.


1987 Second meeting of the Centre for Contextual Hermeneutics, Univ. of Stellenbosch (Profs Johann Kinghorn, Bernard Lategan, Sampie Terreblanche, Colin McCarthy and Hans Miller),with the ANC at Cold Comfort Farm, Zimbabwe.

January 1987 Dr Sam Motsuenyane, President NAFCOC, met with ANC, in Europe.

March 1987 Archbishop Desmond Tutu met with the ANC, in Lusaka.

March 1987 Newton Park Initiative (first of three meetings, the others appear below and were held in March 1988 and November 1988, organised by the Jubilee Centre, Cambridge – other meetings in this initiative took place in June 1988 inside South Africa in Pietermaritzburg and Soweto but are unlisted in this chronology), a delegation led by Jubilee Centre’s Executive Director Michael Schluter, and including Willie Esterhuyse, met with the ANC at Newton Park, UK.

(Esterhuyse, Endgame, p. 115.)

28 March 1987 Desmond Tutu, then Anglican Bishop of Johannesburg (“Comrade Bishop”), held four hours of talks on violence in SA with the ANC-National Executive Committee, in Lusaka. (GG)

6 May 1987 Early general election returns National Party to power; Progressives lose ground; workers and students stage national two-day election stay-away.

14 May 1987 NGK ministers attending a World Council of Churches conference of its Programme to Combat Racism, and a delegation of leaders of the South African Council of Churches (including Beyers Naude and Frank Chikane) attending the meeting, met with the ANC, in Lusaka.

14 May 1987 Beyers Naude, attending the WCC meeting, held talks with Oliver Tambo.

26–27 May 1987 Richard Rosenthal met with Thabo Mbeki, in Frankfurt. (This was the first of three meetings that took place with the ANC in exile in the Rosenthal initiative. The other meetings (listed below) took place on 1–3 July 1987, and 10–11 December 1988.

(The initiative is described in Rosenthal’s book Mission Improbable.)

4–8 July 1987 Free The Children Alliance (Ivan Abrahams, Audrey Coleman, Peter Harris, Mamphela Ramphele, Mike Rice, Terry Sacco and one youth) met with ANC (Reggie September and the ANC representatives in Washington and New York), in New York and at a Symposium in Washington on Children in Detention (MR)

(See Human Rights Quarterly, 10 (1), February 1988)

9–12 July 1987 IDASA organised meeting of 47 internal South Africans (led by F. van Zyl Slabbert, Alex Boraine [both of IDASA], Breyten Breytenbach together with Tommy Bedford, Hardy Botha, Andre Brink, Ampie Coetzee, Pierre Cronje, Maresa de Beer, Trudi de Ridder, Braam du Plessis, Lourens du Plessis, Max du Preez, Jaap du Randt, Andre du Toit, Theuns Eloff, Adrian Enthoven, Gerhard Erasmus, Grethe Fox, Revel Fox, Jannie Gagiano, Peter Gastrow, Jakes Gerwel, Hermann Giliomee, Albert Koopman, Jaques Kriel, Albert Koopman, Ian Liebenberg, Chris Louw, Leon Louw, Wayne Mitchell, Errol Moorcroft, Beyers Naude, Christo Nel, Andre Odendaal, Andrew Savage, Michael Savage, Lawrence Schlemmer, Hennie Serfontein, Franklin Sonn, Randall van der Heever, Johann van der Westhuizen, Manie van Rensburg, Willem van Vuuren, Phillip Verster, Braam Viljoen and Tony Williamson), and four persons from outside SA (Heribert Adam, Hans Christoph Buch, Theo Hanf and Klaus von der Ropp), met with 16 ANC exile members (led by Thabo Mbeki together with Kader Asmal, Selwyn Gross, Pallo Jordan, Brigitte Mabandla, Lindiwe Mabuza, Mac Maharaj, Penuell Maduna, Reggie Mbono, Francis Meli, Alfred Nzo, Essop Pahad, Albie Sachs, Tony Trew and Steve Tshwete) met in Dakar, Senegal.

(The names of those present, with the exceptions of the missing names of Albert Koopman in the SA delegation and the name of Selwyn Gross in the ANC delegation, and substituting Essop Pahad’s name for that of his brother Aziz Pahad in the ANC delegation are given both in Alex Boraine’s autobiography A Life in Transition (Appendix 1), and in F. van Zyl Slabbert’s book The Other Side of History, pp. 79–84).)

August 1987 Alan Boesak and Charles Villa-Vicencio met with the ANC in Geneva. (AduT)

27 August 1987 The Executive of the United Congregational Church (Rev Joe Wing, John de Gruchy and Ron Steel) met with members of the ANC, in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. (JdeG)

September 1987 Richard Steyn, Editor of the Natal Witness, led a delegation including Denis Worrall and Tommy Bedford which met with the ANC, in Lusaka.

September 1987 Group of Lawyers from Natal met with the ANC in Lusaka.

24–27 September 1987 International Conference on “Children, Repression and the Law in Apartheid South Africa”. “Almost 300 South Africans, the majority of whom had come from inside the country, met with over 200 representatives from more than 150 organisations from all over the world”*. Among those from within South Africa were: Rashieda Abdulla, Ashraf Abrahams, Mrs Amiena Abrahams, Ismail Ayob, Jean Benjamin, Vanessa Brereton [later a self-confessed government agent], Rev Frank Chikane, Barbara Creecy, Enver Daniels, Andy Dawes, Jo-Ann Collinge, Johnny de Lange, Bruce Duncan, Farid Esack, Don Foster, Rev Blessings Finca, Edith Fries, Mrs Joyce Gwabeni, Mongesi Gwabeni, Peter Harris, Nicholas Haysom, Pius Langa, Rev Lionel Louw, Dr Zonke Majodine, Dr Greg McCarthy, David McCoid Mason, Dorothy Mfako, Marumo Moerane, William Modibedi, Essa Moosa, Glenn Moss, Rev Beyers Naude, David Niddrie, Bishop Simon Nkoane, Dullah Omar, Farieda Omar, Dr Wendy Orr, Hans Ramrak, Dr Freddy Reddy, Brian Robertson, Lisa Seftel, Tina Schouw, Illona Tip, Dr Ivan Toms, Cynthia Tinto, Ramesh Vassen, Monica Wittenberg, Chris Vick and Joanne Yawitch also present were Burras Nhlabati (then at the Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College in Tanzania) and Naude Moitse (in exile in Zambia).

Among those present from the ANC were: Oliver Tambo, Thabo Mbeki, Kader Asmal, Howard Barrell, Jenny Cargill, Ronnie Kasrils, Horst Kleinschmidt, Aziz Pahad, Ruth Mompati, Joe Nhlanhla, James Stuart (pseudonym of Hermanus Loots), Joe Slovo, Steve Tshwete, Jacob Zuma and among them “about two-thirds of its NEC” attended. The conference took place in Harare. (DF, AD)

(*Victoria Brittain and Abdul S. Minty [Eds.], Children of Resistance, p. 138.)

There appears to be no extant list of persons attending the conference, probably due to the implications of internal South Africa security legislation facing those attending the conference from within SA.

September 1987 Inter-faith delegation (including Bishop Tutu, Imam Solomon and Yasmin Sooka [Hindu]) met with the ANC, in Lusaka.

October 1987 Academics from UWC, together with a delegation from the Western Cape Teachers Union, met with the ANC, in Lusaka.

November 1987 Two delegations of lawyers from NADEL (National Democratic Lawyers) and BLA (Black Lawyers Association) and met with ANC, in Lusaka.

1–3 November 1987 First of seven meetings in the UK between Afrikaners and the ANC (hereafter termed the Mells Park Initiative). Those at the meeting were: Willie Esterhuyse, Willie Breytenbach, Sampie Terreblanche & Aziz Pahad, Wally Serote, Tony Trew and Harold Wolpe, and the meeting took place at the Compleat Angler, Marlow, Oxfordshire.

(The other meetings took place on 21–24 February 1988; 21–24 August 1988; 17–19 December 1988; 21–22 April 1989; 30 September–2 October 1989, and in February 1990 and are listed below. Details of all meetings are in Endgame: Secret Talks and the End of Apartheid by Willie Esterhuyse, who led the Afrikaner group. Michael Young of Consolidated Goldfields helped organise all meetings and kept notes that were lent to Richard Harvey and used in his book The End of Apartheid. Some further detail is provided in James Sanders Apartheid’s Friends: The Rise and Fall of South Africa’s Secret Service.)

14 December 1987 Conference on “Culture in Another South Africa” among those from South Africa attending were Mono Badela, Jo-Ann Collinge, Libby Lloyd, Herbert Mabuza, Glenn Moss, Njabulo Ndebele, David Niddrie, Jeeva Rajgopaul, Chris Vick and Paul Weinberg. Among the ANC members present were Thabo Mbeki, Angela Brown (pseudonym of Louise Colvin), Patrick Fitzgerald, Barry Gilder, Barbara Masekela, Thomas Nkobi, Alfred Nzo, Yusuf Salojee and Marius Schoon. The conference was held in Amsterdam. (GM) (See Rixaka special issue)

December 1987 Richard Steyn (Editor, The Natal Witness), with Denis Worrall and Tommy Bedford met with the ANC, in Lusaka.

1987 Alan Boesak, Beyers Naude, Jakes Gerwel and Charles Villa-Vicencio met with Thabo Mbeki, Aziz Pahad and other ANC members, in London.

(Also see Alex Boraine, A Life in Transition, p. 157.)

1987 Christo Nel and Rosemary Grealy, involved with the process of forming the Consultative Business Movement, met with the ANC, in Lusaka.


January 1988 Delegation from the Democratic Progressive Party of Transkei met with the ANC, in Lusaka.

15–19 February 1988 Wilton Park Conference convened by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Among the SA’s attending were Hermann Giliomee, John Kane-Berman, Andre Odendaal, Patrick Pasha, Aggrey Klaaste, Vusi Khumalo, Sebola Mohanje and F. van Zyl Slabbert, together with members of the ANC, at Wilton Park, Steyning, West Sussex.

March 1988 Meeting of the Newick Park Initiative, of Concordis International (later the Relationships Foundation), involving the ANC and persons from within South African.

“Early months of” 1988 Mohammed Valli Moosa and Murphy Morobe, UDF members, met with the ANC Working Committee, in Lusaka.

21–24 February 1988 Second meeting of Mells Park Initiative (Willie Esterhuyse, Sampie Terreblanche, Marinus Wiechers & Thabo Mbeki, Aziz Pahad and Tony Trew) at Eastwell Manor Hotel, Kent.

February 1988 Dr Danie Craven (Chairman of the SA Rugby Board) authorised Louis Luyt to meet with Aziz Pahad and Essop Pahad, in London.

May 1988 Mandela has first of many meetings with a government secret team lead by Neil Barnard.

26 May 1988 Wynand Malan and the New Democratic Movement meet with the ANC, in Frankfurt.

May 1988 Dr Oscar Dhlomo (General Secretary IFP) met with the ANC, in Lusaka. (HM, GG)

In 1973 Chief Mangosuthu Gatsha Buthelezi, leader of the IFP, held discussions with the ANC in Lusaka and Nairobi, and during 30–31 October 1979 he led a 17 member IFP delegation, which conferred with an ANC delegation led by Oliver Tambo in London. This important meeting involved discussions of the IFP and ANC relationship and led to the final break between the two organisations.

May 1988 Louis Luyt, on behalf of the SA Rugby Board, met with Thabo Mbeki, in Frankfurt.

May 1988 Legal academics and practising lawyers met with the ANC, in Lusaka.

1–3 June 1988 H.W. van der Merwe, Piet Muller, Ampie Muller and Andre Zaaiman met with the ANC (Thabo Mbeki, James Stuart [pseudonym of Hermanus Loots], Pallo Jordan and other ANC members), in Lusaka. (AM)

May or June 1988 Delegation from the SA Rugby Board met with the ANC in Europe.

17–18 July 1988 Richard Rosenthal met with the ANC (Thabo Mbeki, Jacob Zuma, Anthony Mongalo, Alfred Nzo), at Pamodzi Hotel, Lusaka – the second meeting in the Rosenthal initiative.

20–23 July 1988 H.W. van der Merwe met with the ANC (Sipho Makana, Thabo Mbeki, James Stuart, Anthony Mongalo and with Jack and Ray Simons), in Lusaka.

21–24 August 1988 Third meeting of the Mells Park Initiative (with Willie Esterhuyse, Sampie Terreblanche, Marinus Wiechers & Thabo Mbeki, Aziz Pahad and Tony Trew), at Mells Park.

September 1988 Profs Hugh Corder and Gerhard Erasmus met with the ANC delegates Vusi Pikoli and Brigitte Mabandla in Harare to plan the Agenda and discuss potential participants in a conference of lawyers that was held in Harare in January 1989.

16 October 1988 Danie Craven led a delegation from the SA Rugby Board and the SA Rugby Union and met with ANC (Alfred Nzo, Thabo Mbeki and others), in Harare. (GG)

(See Document 56, p. 661, in Gerhart and Glaser [2010].)

24–27 October 1988 IDASA and Soviet Afro-Asian Solidarity Committee sponsored meeting with the ANC in Leverkusen, West Germany on the SA Economy with 18 internal South Africans (Van Zyl Slabbert, Alex Boraine, Breyten Breytenbach, Beyers Naude, John Barrow, Susan Booysens, Jenny Boraine, Willie Breytenbach, Andre du Toit, Gerhard Erasmus, Deon Geldenhuys, Hermann Giliomee, Frances Kendall, Hennie Kotze, Wynand Malan, Lawrie Schlemmer, Mark Swilling and Sampie Terreblanche) with three persons from outside of SA (Heribert Adam, Theo Hanf, Anne-Marie Mischke), and seven persons from the ANC (Thabo Mbeki, Sipho Makana, Johnny Makatini, Aziz Pahad, Jackie Selebi, Joe Slovo and Tony Trew), and associates of the Soviet Afro-Asian Solidarity Committee (Irina Filatova, Ambassador Solodovnikov, and Slava Tetiokin) with Vladimir Iordansky. (IF)

(A photograph of those present is in Slabbert’s book The Other Side of History, after p. 56, and gives the date of the meeting February–March 1986. Irina Filatova, in her and Apollon Davidson’s book The Hidden Thread, pp. 433–4, dates the meeting in October and provides a fuller list of those present.)

October 1988 Transvaal Indian Congress and Natal Indian Congress delegation of 52 persons met with the ANC, in Lusaka.

3–5 November 1988 Meeting of the Newick Park Initiative with the ANC and persons from within South Africa.

17 November 1989 A delegation of 10–15 leaders of the Zionist African Independent Churches (including Archbishops N.H. Ngada, Paul Makhubu and T.W. Ntongana), met with the ANC, in Lusaka. (GG)

(See Document 176, pp. 706–7, in Gerhart and Glaser [2013].)

November 1988 SA Rugby Board officials, including Danie Craven and Louis Luyt (following two secret meetings in February and May in Europe) met with the ANC, in Harare.

November 1988 Desmond Tutu led a World Council of Churches delegation and met with the ANC, in Harare.

November 1988 Joint delegation from the SA Soccer Federation and the SA Soccer Association met with the ANC, in Maputo.

1 December 1988 COSATU and UDF joint delegation meet with SACTU and ANC, in Lusaka.

10–11 December 1988 Richard Rosenthal’s initiative third and final meeting with the ANC (Thabo Mbeki, Jacob Zuma, Anthony Mongalo), in Lusaka.

17–19 December 1988 Fourth meeting of the Mells Park Initiative (Willie Esterhuyse, Sampie Terreblanche & Thabo Mbeki, Aziz Pahad and Tony Trew) at Flittwick, Leeds, Buckinghamshire.

December 1988 Delegation of Presbyterians (six from SA, two from Botswana) met with the ANC (Department of Religious Affairs, Jane Dlamini, Fumi Gqiba, together with Thabo Mbeki, Jacob Zuma, Steve Tshwete, and Stan Mabizela), in Harare.

December 1988 IDASA sponsored meeting at which invited South Africans met with Soviet officials, Russian academics, and ANC representatives, in Moscow.

1988 “at some point” The Consultative Business Movement (CBM) with Theuns Eloff, Christo Nel, and Colin Coleman met with the ANC. [The CBM met twice with the ANC – in Switzerland & Germany.]

1988 Simon Brandt and Simon Bekker met with Thabo Mbeki in at a Ford Foundation sponsored meeting in New York. (SB)

1988 Jannie Momberg, Douw Steyn, Jannie Hofmeyr and Tiaan van der Merwe met with the ANC.


11 January 1989 UDF delegation (Arnold Stofile, Mohammed Valli Moosa, Cheryl Carolus, Yunus Mohammed, Raymond Suttner) together with a COSATU delegation, met with the ANC (Oliver Tambo, Alfred Nzo, Nkobi, Mac Maharaj, Aziz Pahad), in Lusaka. (HM, GG).

January 1989 Delegates attending a Lawyers conference (organised after the planning meeting in September 1988 and formally hosted by Reg Austen, Dean of Law at the University of Zimbabwe) on “The Role of the Judiciary” with delegates from South African (Edwin Cameron, Hugh Corder, Dennis Davis, Charles Dlamini, Lourens du Plessis, Gerhard Erasmus, Jannie Gagiano, Christof Heyns, Gerhard Lubbe, Christina Murray, David McQuoid-Mason, Kobus Pienaar, Johann Potgieter, Susan Scott, Nico Steytler, Louis van Hyssteen, Jannie van Rooyen, Andre van der Walt, Johann van der Westhuizen, Dawid van Wyk, Danie Visser and Dirk van Zijl Smit) met with ANC (Brigitte Mabandla, Penuell Maduna, Tessa Marcus, Thabo Mbeki, Vusi Pikoli, Albie Sachs, Zola Skweyiya and Steve Tshwete), in Harare. (HC)

11 January 1989 Murphy Morobe and Valli Moosa of UDF together with a COSATU delegation, met with ANC, in Lusaka. (GG)

January 1989 Botha has mild stroke and resigned 14 August, de Klerk becomes Acting President, and then President on 20 September.

February 1989 Second meeting of the Transvaal Indian Congress and Natal Indian Congress with the ANC, in Lusaka.

28–31 March 1989 Aspen Institute Southern African Policy Forum meeting organised by Dick Clark at which Willie Breytenbach, Andre du Toit, Willie Esterhuyse, Johann Maree, Helen Suzman MP, F. van Zyl Slabbert, Helen Zille (Black Sash) and Koos van der Merwe MP, met with Thabo Mbeki and others from the ANC, together with US Senators and members of the House of Representatives, in Bermuda.

March 1989 Dene Smuts (Democratic Alliance MP) meets with ANC, in Lusaka.

March–April 1989 F. van Zyl Slabbert, Johann Degenaar and Enos Mabuza visited the Soviet Union and met with the Afro-Asian Solidarity Committee, spoke at several universities and met various members of the ANC. (IF)

(See Filatova [2013], p. 435.)

19 April 1989 Delegation of 55 women from the National Organisation of Women, met with 30 ANC women, in Zambia.

21–24 April 1989 Fifth meeting of the Mells Park Initiative (Willie Esterhuyse, Sampie Terreblanche, Wimpie de Klerk & Thabo Mbeki, Aziz Pahad and Tony Trew), at Mells Park.

25 April 1989 Beyers Naude met with the ANC (Oliver Tambo, Alfred Nzo, Dan Tloome, Steve Tshwete, Chris Hani, Josiah Jele and Henry Makgothi) in Lusaka (to deliver a memorandum from Nelson Mandela on his talks with various SA government officials, to discuss the Soweto crisis and the role of Winnie Mandela). (GG)

(See Document 16, pp. 684–7, in Gerhart and Glaser [2010].)

April 1989 IDASA sponsored delegation of women (led by Jenny Boraine and including Denise Ackermann, Janet Cherry, Jenny de Tolly, Jennifer Ferguson, Jeanette Groenewald, Rhoda Kadalie, Stephanie Kemp and Marion Sher) met ANC women members (including Frene Ginwala, Barbara Masekela, Ruth Mompati, Ray Simons, and Thenjiwe Mtintso) for a conference to examine “Woman and the Challenge for Peace” at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. (JB, DA)

April 1989 Delegation from Jews for Social Justice met with the ANC, in Lusaka. (GG)

May 1989 Economy severely strained by debt replacement burden, inflation, labour disruptions, trade sanctions, rising unemployment, falling gold price and drought.

31 May 1989 Willie Esterhuyse and Thabo Mbeki meet in London as precursor to ANC talks with the National Intelligence Service to take place in Switzerland in September.

June 1989 Joint delegation of UDF, COSATU and MDM (including Jay Naidoo and Chris Dlamini of COSATU and Valli Moosa and Murphy Morobe of the UDF) met with the ANC, in Lusaka. (GG, HM)

29 June–1 July 1989 The Five Freedoms Forum, with 115 delegates from within South Africa, met with 60 members of the ANC, in Lusaka. (The members of the Five Freedoms Forum delegation were: [From Johannesburg] Mike Olivier (Chair), Barbara Buntman, Gael Neke, Adele Kirsten, Gavin Evans, Lisa Seftel, Raymond Louw, Alex Anderson, Andy Andrews, Franz Auerbach, Ronnie Bethleham, Martin Birtwhistle, Paul Boulle, Anneke Cilliers, W.P. Coetzee, Sally Cohen, Colin Coleman, Jean de la Harpe, Sandra Drower, Lindsay Falkov, Maggie Friedman, Steven Friedman, John Gear, Andrew Gilbert, Glenda Glover, Ann Harris, Joyce Harris, Neil McGurk, Etienne Marais, Michael Miles, Liesl Mostert, Elizabeth Mundell, Christo Nel, Johann Nel, Brian Pottinger, David Shandler, Mervyn Shear, Marian Shin, Noel Stott, Helen Suzman, Wim Trengove, Harvey Tyson, Liebie van Heerden, Bettina von Lieries [From Pretoria and Midrand]; Hugo Ackerman, Malcolm Armstrong, David Bosch, Robin Briggs, Kerry Harris; Ivor Jenkins, Ian Lourens, Dawie Nel, Kate Prinsloo, Johann van der Westhuizen; Sarah Burns, Cormac Cullinan, Elizabeth du Toit, Paul Graham, Penny McKenzie, Vivienne McMenamin, Ampie Coetzee, James Polley; [From Durban and Pietermaritzburg]; Peter Brown, Simon Burton, Fidela Fouche, Johann Krynauw, Coetzee, James Polley, Philip Russell, Else Schreiner, P.J. Schwikkard, Richard Steyn, Clare Verbeek, Volker Wedekind; [From Cape Town] Heather Collins, Jenny de Tolly, Barbara Friedman, John Greene, Michele Guttler, Glen Heneck, Jannie Hofmeyr, Peter Hugo, Ian Iverson, Clive Keegan, Ilana Korber, Geordie Ratcliffe, Beverly Roos, Valerie Rose-Christie, Beverly Runciman, Bill Sewell, Dene Smuts, Annamia van der Heever, Frank van der Velde, Tony van Ryneveld, David Welsh, David Woods [from Cape Town]; Leslie Durr, Graham Retief [From Boland]; Mark Anstey, Theresa Boulle, Judy Chalmers, Loek Goemans Flip Potgieter, Rory Riordan, Keith Wattrus [from Port Elizabeth]; Mary Allen, Donald Card, Bill Davies, Rod Dixon, J.J. Roodt, Sue Ross, Sandra Stewart [From East London, Grahamstown, Port Alfred]; Bertha Kitching [From Bloemfontein]. The ANC was represented by 80 of its members, and included members of its NEC, Oliver Tambo, (President) Alfred Nzo, James Stuart, John Nkadimeng, Dan Tloome, Joe Slovo, Reg September, Josiah Jele, Jacqueline Molefe, Steve Tshwete, Gertrude Shope, Sindiso Mfenyane, Pallo Jordan, Ruth Mompati, Ronnie Kasrils, Jacob Zuma, Sizakele Sigxashe; other members present included Barbara Masekela, Neo Mnumzana, Penuell Maduna, Vuyiswa Nokwe, Jeremy Cronin, Peter Ramakoa [pseudonym for Joel Netshitenzhe], Max Sisulu, Tito Mboweni, Bheki Langa, Jaya Appalraju, Bokie Nyatshane, Lindiwe Mabandla, Papie Moloto, Ntozintle Jobodwana, Teddy Pekane, Sipho Dlamini, Feroz Amod, Baleka Kgositsile, Victor Matlau, Ray Simons, Reggie Mpongo, Wally Serote, Derek Hanekom, Barney Mackay, Ivy Motsepe, Keith Mokoape, Martin Sere, Albie Sachs, Nat Masemola, Gemma Paine, Ngoako Ramathlodi, Edwin Mabiste, Lucky Mabaso, Brigitte Mabandla, Mpho Mmutle, Sisa Ngombane, and Seretse Choabi.

July 1989 During the course of the Five Freedoms meeting, a Jews for Social Justice delegation led by Frans Auerbach, met with an ANC delegation, consisting of five, or six, senior members. (GG)

July 1989 A two part meeting occurred, the first part focused on SA constitution, and brought together judges and lawyers from within SA (including Judges Laurie Ackermann, John Didcott, Hannes Fagan, John Milne, Les Rose-Innes, Andrew Wilson together with George Bizos, Edwin Cameron, Arthur Chaskalson, Hugh Corder, Dennis Davis, John Dugard, Pius Langa, Ismail Mahomed and Etienne Mureinik) who met with ANC Legal Committee members (Zola Skweyiya, Kader Asmal, Frene Ginwala, Albie Sachs and Penuell Maduna) at Nuneham Park, Oxfordshire. The second part mainly excluded SA judges and added to the ANC Legal Committee were Oliver Tambo and Thabo Mbeki, this part took place at David Astor’s home. (HC, JD) (The meeting was so structured to enable the SA judges to indicate that they had attended the first part alone as it was a purely legal meeting.)

8–12 July 1989 A group of 33 mainly Afrikaans writers and academics (Andre Brink, Ampie Coetzee, Michael Cope, Johan Degenaar, Marienne de Jong, Ingrid de Kok, Tienie du Plessis, Menan du Plessis, Jeanette Ferriera, Lynda Gillfillan, Hilda Grobbelaar, Jeanne Goosen, Ingrid Gouws, Ryk Hattingh, Ena Jansen, Antjie Krog, Andre le Roux, Wilhelm Liebenberg, Charles Malan, John Miles, Victor Munnik,Welma Oudendaal, Fanie Olivier, Gerrit Olivier, Patrick Petersen, Hans Pienaar, Koos Prinsloo, Julian Smith, Etienne van Heerden, Anna-Hilga van Huyssteen, Marlene van Niekerk, Johan van Wyk, and Hein Willemse) with the six IDASA organisers (F. van Zyl Slabbert, Alex Boraine, Nic Borain, James Polley, Ronnel Scheffer and Sarah Zibiya) met with 20 members the ANC (Jeremy Cronin, Vernon February, Patrick Fitzgerald, Pallo Jordan, Baleka Kgositsile, Willie Kgositsile, Mandla Langa, Edwin Mabitze, Klaus Maphepha, Barbara Masekela, Rebecca Matlou, Themba Miya, Neo Mnumzana, Stanley Ndlovu, Essop Pahad, Albie Sachs, Marius Schoon, Mongane Wally Serote, Gillian Schoon and Steve Tshwete, in a delegation that included Breyten Breytenbach), at the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.

(See Ampie Coetzee and James Polley (Eds.) Crossing Borders: Writers Meet the ANC.)

8–13 July 1989 Colloquium on the SA Economy (organised by Pieter Le Roux and Simon Brand) with 57 delegates, 26 from within South Africa (including Le Roux, Brand, Stephen Gelb, Rudolf Gouws, David Kaplan, David Lewis, Jan Lombard, Lieb Loots, Colin McCarthy, Philip Mohr, Terence Moll, Moses Ngoasheng, Pundy Pillay, Maria Ramos, Andre Roux, Conrad Strauss, Servaas van der Berg and Lourens van Wyk) with about 20 from within the ANC (including Tito Mboweni, Bheki Langa, Raymond Mokoena, Bontle Modise, Manto Tshabalala), in Lausanne, Switzerland. [This Colloquium was preceded by two planning meetings that le Roux had with the ANC – one in a safe house in London and one at Harare airport.]

July 1989 Jesse Duarte, Sister Bernard Ncube, and Albertina Sisulu (internal UDF members) met with the ANC, in Lusaka. (HM)

July 1989 Young South Africans (visiting Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia, on a tour organised by IDASA) met with the ANC, in Lusaka. (AB)

August 1989 Lawyers for Human Rights (Brian Currin, Jules Browde, John Dugard, Barry Jammy) met with the ANC (Oliver Tambo, Thabo Mbeki, Joe Slovo, Jack Simons, Pallo Jordan, Zola Skweyiya, Brigitte Mabandla), in Lusaka. (JD)

21 August 1989 MDM Delegation (including Murphy Morobe, Moses Mayekiso, and Raymond Suttner) met with ANC (and OAU), in Harare.

September 1989 General election held. De Klerk allows major anti-apartheid marches in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, East London, and Port Elizabeth; similarly large demonstrations occur in Eastern Europe and the Berlin wall “falls” in November.

25–29 September 1989 A conference on a future constitution for South Africa, organised by Professors Jack Greenberg, Stephen Ellmann, Paul Martin of Columbia University, and Ronald Dworkin, brought together lawyers and others from within South Africa, including Laurie Ackermann, George Bizos, Firoz Cachalia, Brian Currin, Hugh Corder, John de Gruchy, Gerhard Erasmus, Nicholas Haysom, Priscilla Jana, Felicia Kentridge, Pius Langa, Anthony Mathews, Dikgang Moseneke, Quraish Patel, John Samuel, Lewis Skweyiya, Derek van der Merwe, Johann van der Vyver, Johann van der Westhuizen, and Linda Zama, with ANC members in exile, including Thabo Mbeki, Kader Asmal, Seretse Choabi, Frene Ginwala, Lindiwe Mabuza, Penuell Maduna, Tebego Mafole, Nathaniel Masemola, Albie Sachs, Zola Skweyiya and 22

Raymond Suttner at Columbia Law School in New York. (HC, JdeG, GG)

[GG has the total list of about 100 attendees, including US academics.]

30 Sept–2 October 1989 Sixth meeting of the Mells Park Initiative (Willie Esterhuyse, Sampie Terreblanche, Wimpie de Klerk, Ebbe Dommisse, Ds Ernst Kriel & Thabo Mbeki, Aziz Pahad and Tony Trew), at Mells Park.

(This meeting is omitted from the chronology Esterhuyse provides on p. 13 of Endgame.)

30 September 1989 White Plains Conference, New York State. The Conference attendees included Kobus Meiring (Deputy-Minister Foreign Affairs), Dr Nthato Motlana, Cassim Saloojee of the UDF, Phiroshaw Camay of NACTU, most probably together with other internally based South Africans. The conference collapsed on opening when black internal South Africans together with ANC members present, walked out following the SA Government’s refusal to give passports to Cyril Ramaphosa, Jay Naidoo and Fatima Meer to enable them to attend.

11 November 1989 Murphy Morobe and Valli Moosa met with the ANC, in Lusaka.

14 November 1989 Peter Soal MP and Themba Ntinga of the ANC Mission to the UN, addressed a seminar, sponsored by the World Affairs Council and the Dickey Endowment on Change in South Africa, at Dartmouth College, USA.

November/December 1989 IDASA and France Liberte sponsored meeting to discuss “A Future Economic Policy for SA”, with 32 South African political activists, business people, journalists, economists, and academics (F. van Zyl Slabbert, Alex Boraine, Breyten Breytenbach, Laurie Ackermann, Fikile Bam, Andrew Boraine, Willie Breytenbach, Azhar Cachalia, Cheryl Carolus, Janet Cherry, Jeremy Cronin, Maluleke George, Jakes Gerwel, Murray Hofmeyr, Pieter Le Roux, Wynand Malan, Trevor Manuel, Moses Mayekiso, Tito Mboweni, Murphy Morobe, Sam Motsuenyane, Moss Ngoasheng, Ken Owen, Stuart Saunders, Stone Sizani, Allister Sparks, Peter Vale, Steve Tshwete, Hennie van Deventer, Christo Wiese, and Hein Willemse), met with 12 ANC delegates (Thabo Mbeki, Pallo Jordan, Brigitte Mabandla, Penuell Maduna, Abdul Minty, Neo Mnumzana, Joel Netshitenzhe, Aziz Pahad, Essop Pahad, Albie Sachs, Harold Wolpe), at Marly le Roy, Paris.

[IDASA’s Democracy in Action, December 1989 contains a report on the meeting.]

The external to SA meetings with the ANC in exile “peaked” with the three secret conversations between the ANC and the National Intelligence Service (NIS), in Switzerland.

2 September 1989 First of three meetings, of ANC (Thabo Mbeki, Jacob Zuma) with the NIS negotiators (Mike Louw, Maritz Spaarwater), at the Palace Hotel, Lucerne, Switzerland.

November 1989 Delegation from the Broederbond met Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma, in London. (GG)

November 1989 Conference organised by the Africa-American Institute with internal South Africans and the ANC present and Willie Esterhuyse met with Thabo Mbeki and Lindiwe Mabuza, in Tarrytown, New York.

December 1989 Jaques Pauw (journalist) met with Jacob Zuma in Lusaka to hand over Dirk Coetzee (who reached Lusaka via Mauritius and London) after his revelations of events at Vlakplaas.

1989 Dates, place and persons involved uncertain, four meetings between SA constitutional lawyers (including Laurie Ackermann, later on the Constitutional Court) and the ANC-in-exile discussing the drafting a new SA Constitution.

1989 Delegation of Stellenbosch students met with the ANC, in Lusaka. (GG)


January 1990 Delegation of Quakers (including H.W. van der Merwe) from SA met with Max Mlonyeni (ANC Chief Representative in Zimbabwe), in Harare.

15 January 1990 Govan and Epainette Mbeki, Walter and Albertina Sisulu, Ahmed (Kathy) Kathrada, Elias Motsoaledi, with other released prisoners and with a strong contingent from the MDM including Chris Dlamini and Cyril Ramaphosa, flew to Lusaka to be welcomed by the ANC NEC, to attend a meeting of welcome attended by 2 000 ANC members in Mulungushi Hall, and a later State Reception given by President Kenneth Kaunda. (HM)

February 1990 Omar Badsha met with the ANC (Zwele Mkize, and later with Thabo Mbeki), in Lusaka.

2 February 1990 F.W. de Klerk announces un-banning of ANC,the un-banning of all proscribed organisations and the release of political prisoners, in a speech opening Parliament.

February 1990 Seventh meeting of the Mells Park Initiative (Willie Esterhuyse, Wimpie de Klerk, Dawid de Villiers & Thabo Mbeki), at Mells Park.

6 February 1990 Second meeting between ANC (Thabo Mbeki, Aziz Pahad) and NIS negotiators (Mike Louw, Maritz Spaarwater), at the Palace Hotel, Lucerne. Switzerland.


Laurie Ackermann

Denise Ackermann

Omar Badsha

Simon Bekker

Tony Bloom

Alex Boraine

Andrew Boraine

Jenny Boraine

Anne Christian

Hugh Corder

Andy Dawes

John de Gruchy

Ebbe Dommisse

John Dugard

Max du Preez

Andre du Toit

Theuns Eloff

Stephen Ellis

Dick Enthoven

Irina Filatova

Jon File

Don Foster

Gail Gerhart

Hermann Giliomee

Paul Graham

Ivor Jenkins

Horst Kleinschmidt

Bernard Lategan

Brian Robertson

Pieter le Roux

Hugh Macmillan

Johann Maree

Glenn Moss

Susan Ogterop

Robin Renwick

Michael Rice

Richard Rosenthal

Beverly Runciman

Stuart Saunders

Peter Soal

Charles van Onselen

Randolph Vigne

Charles Villa-Vicencio

David Welsh

Charles van Onselen

Elrena van der Spuy

Helen Zille


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Boraine, Alex (2008) A Life in Transition. Cape Town: Zebra Press.

Brittain,Victoria, and Abdul S. Minty (Eds.) 1988) Children of Resistance: On Children, Repression and the Law in Apartheid South Africa – Statements from the Harare Conference. London: Kliptown Books.

Coetzee, Ampie, and James Polley (Eds.) (1990) Crossing Borders: Writers Meet the ANC. Johannesburg: Taurus.

Eloff, Theuns (1997) “The Consultative Business Movement 1988–1994.” Submission to the Truth & Reconciliation Commission. (35 pages, unpublished.)

Ellis, Stephen (2012) External Mission: The ANC in Exile. Cape Town: Jonathan Ball.

Esterhuyse, Willie (2012) Endgame: Secret Talks and the End of Apartheid. Cape Town: Tafelberg.

Filatova, Irina, and Appollon Davidson (2013) The Hidden Thread: Russia and South Africa in the Soviet Era. Cape Town: Jonathan Ball.

Gerhart, Gail M., and Clive L. Glaser (2010) From Protest to Challenge: A Documentary History of African Politics in South Africa 1882–1990. Volume 6: Challenge and Victory 1980–1990. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. (See especially Documents 126, 132, 133, 138, 146, 155, 158, 166, 167, 168, 169 and 176.)

Harvey, Robert (2001) The Fall of Apartheid, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Louw, Raymond (Ed.) (1989) Four Days in Lusaka: Whites in a Changing Society. Johannesburg: Five Freedoms Forum.

Macmillan Hugh (1994) The Lusaka Years: The ANC in Exile in Zambia 1963–2013. Johannesburg: Jacana.

Rosenthal, Richard (1998) Mission Improbable: A Piece of the South African Story. Cape Town: David Philip.

Sampson, Anthony (2008) The Anatomist. Cape Town: Jonathan Ball.

Sanders, James (2006) Apartheid’s Friends: The Rise and Fall of South Africa’s Secret Service. London: John Murray.

Slabbert, F. van Zyl (2006) The Other Side of History: An Anecdotal Reflection on Political Transition in South Africa. Cape Town: Jonathan Ball.

Spaarwater, Maritz (2012) A Spook’s Progress: From Making War to Making Peace. Cape Town: Zebra Press.

Van der Merwe, H.W. (2000) Peace Making in South Africa: A Life in Conflict Resolution. Cape Town: Tafelberg.

Welsh, David (2009) The Rise and Fall of Apartheid. Cape Town: Jonathan Ball.