Memories of February 1994

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This year the country celebrates two years of a hard fought for democracy. Where exactly was South Africa in February 20 years ago?

Political violence threatened to upstage the poll. This was an era of brinkmanship and uncertainty.

Things were falling apart. Would the centre hold?

It was the best of times, and the worst of times. A time of death and a time of rebirth.

In KwaZulu Natal the IFP was agitating for the secession of KwaZulu. It wanted certain constitutional guarantees before it agreed to participate in an all-race poll.

Low-key internecine violence was flaring – had in fact been flaring since the late eighties mainly in Kwazulu -Natal and the East Rand.
Commentators at the time were penning reams of material on the impasse, and the revered Nelson Mandela was appealing to people to throw their weapons into the sea..

Watch Yolisa Njamela’s full story below with interviews with Mac Maharaj, Roelf Meyer, and others.

– By Yolisa Njamela