August 17, 1991 |
South Africa and the United Nations on Friday cleared the way for thousands of South Africans who fled apartheid to return home. Douglas Stafford, deputy U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, and Pretoria's ambassador to Geneva, Leslie Manley, initialed an agreement granting an amnesty for political crimes to an estimated 40,000 exiles. "This agreement marks the beginning of the end of a 30-year-long human tragedy," U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata said in a statement from Japan.
August 15, 1991 |
On that night six years ago, there was just the border and an old man. Ahead lay the road--away from South Africa. The old man watched for army patrols as Nkululeko Sowazi and three others slipped across the border. Sowazi remembers that the man spoke few words, and how the words hung in the night air. "You must return," he said, "because we need you." Now, Sowazi is packing away the mementos of exile. He will carry them, a bachelor's degree, and a master's degree from UCLA, across the Atlantic.
May 19, 1991 |
The African National Congress declared Saturday that it will not take part in planned constitutional talks with the white-minority-led government until President Frederik W. de Klerk acts decisively to stop violence in black townships and ban the carrying of Zulu spears. But ANC leaders said they will maintain other contacts with the government, including discussions on the violence.
March 8, 1991 |
The first planeload of exiled African National Congress supporters returned Thursday to South Africa, greeted by hundreds of singing and cheering relatives and friends. "It is very good to be back," said Joel Diamond, 48, thrusting his fists in the air as he entered Jan Smuts International Airport. "The struggle continues." Outside the airport, police at one point used dogs to try to disperse the waiting crowd.
December 14, 1990 |
Oliver R. Tambo, who stole out of South Africa in 1960 on a secret mission to rebuild the banned African National Congress in exile, returned home Thursday to a tumultuous welcome after three decades as external leader of the liberation movement. The 73-year-old ANC president, appearing frail but smiling broadly, was greeted at the airport by a throng of ANC leaders, foreign ambassadors and anti-apartheid dignitaries.
October 9, 1990 |
President Frederik W. de Klerk announced Monday that political exiles can begin applying to return to South Africa, addressing a key demand of the African National Congress. His statement followed a three-hour meeting with ANC leader Nelson Mandela at which they discussed violence in South Africa's black townships, which has killed about 800 people since mid-August.