This day in history - F.W. de Klerk lifts state of emergency

This day in history - F.W. de Klerk lifts state of emergency

On this day 29 years ago, former South African president F.W. de Klerk lifted the state of emergency which had stretched over four years.

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On 7 June 1990, the last president of the previous regime, F.W. de Klerk, made a move to lift the state of emergency.

According to South African History Online, de Klerk immediately imposed a state of emergency in KwaZulu-Natal after that.

The decision followed uncertainty of his and the National Party's political future, Briefly.co.za learned.

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Several factors instilled fear in whites - the release of Nelson Mandela from prison and the lifting of the ban on the African National Congress (ANC), along with vows to end apartheid.

The White House applauded de Klerk's decision to lift the state of emergency, dubbing it a good move in paving the way for civil negotiations in the new democratic South Africa.

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At the time of de Klerk's decision, Mandela was in Paris and he revealed the state of emergency was not lifted in KZN, where political violence between the ANC and Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) was taking place.

The violence led to the death of 4 000 blacks since the state of emergency was implemented in 1986. During the time, people were arrested and imprisoned without being formally charged.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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