224pp., b/w & colour illus., paperback, Cape Town, 2021
ANC veterans Mac Maharaj and Z. Pallo Jordan on the events of 1984-1990 that preceded the formal negotiations of 1990-1994.
Draws from the prison files of Nelson Mandela, minutes of the meetings of the ANC Constitutional Committee, the NWC and the NEC, notes about the Mells Park talks led by Professor Willie Esterhuyse and Thabo Mbeki, communications between Oliver Tambo and Operation Vula, the Kobie Coetsee Papers, the Broederbond archives and numerous other sources.
"This book crisply and incisively documents the often slow but nevertheless inexorable political process by which the ANC gained the upper hand in its bitter contest with the National Party government ... a book of nuanced analysis and a narrative that has not been available to the public until now." Dennis Davis, from his foreword
Mac Maharaj was imprisoned on Robben Island, 1964-1976. On his release he went into exile. In 1986 he was appointed by Oliver Tambo to lead Operation Vula. He served as joint secretary of CODESA, as one of the joint secretaries of the Transitional Executive Council, and as Minister of Transport in the first democratic executive led by President Nelson Mandela. At the end of his term, in 1999, he retired from active involvement and relinquished all his positions in the ANC.
Zweledinga Pallo Jordan was inducted into uMkhonto weSizwe in 1972. He was appointed head of Radio Freedom in 1977 and elected to the ANC National Executive Committee in 1985. In 1986, he accompanied Oliver Tambo, Mac Maharaj, Chris Hani, Thabo Mbeki and James Stuart to the meeting between white business leaders and the ANC in Zambia. He returned South Africa in 990, and served as a minister in South Africa's democratic government from 1994 until 2009.