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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Die rol van die verligtes in die grondwetlike onderhandelinge, 1990-1994
Author:Van Wyk, Annie
Periodical:Historia: amptelike orgaan
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:political change
constitutional reform
National Party
About person:Frederik Willem De Klerk (1936-)ISNI
Abstract:The establishment of a democratic South Africa in 1994 was the result of the dismantling of apartheid, in which the 'verligtes' in the national Party (NP) had a significant role to play. The 'verligte' influence in the NP caused many reforms of apartheid policy to be implemented during the Vorster and P.W. Botha eras. Growing tensions in the country during the 1980s led to increasing dissatisfactions in the NP and resulted in the rise of a left wing, known as the 'new Nats'. As a pragmatist, F.W. de Klerk could not ignore the increasing demands for comprehensive reforms by the 'verligtes' and the 'new Nats'. He succeeded in unifying these two factions within the NP, and they became known as the 'verligtes'. In the earlier stage of negotiations, this group did not support majority rule, but rather power sharing. The 1990s heralded the era of negotiations for a new democratic political dispensation in South Africa. During the course of the negotiations, De Klerk and the 'verligtes' began to differ in their objectives in terms of the intended outcome of the negotiations. De Klerk wanted to ensure a power-sharing agreement, which made provision for the protection of minority rights, while the 'verligtes' started to believe that the ANC's numerical superiority would necessarily lead to a government dominated by the majority and that individual rights, rather than group rights, should be emphasized. They were, however, forced to this paradigm shift due to pressure resulting from political, economic and demographic realities. De Klerk was pressured to accept this political viewpoint at last. However, while these divergent goals resulted in a transitional demographic constitution, characterized by many shortcomings, it also piloted a peaceful election. Notes, ref., sum. in English and Afrikaans, text in Afrikaans. [Journal abstract]