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South Africa

Yearbook 1998

South Africa. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which has investigated human rights violations during the apartheid years, submitted its final report to President Nelson Mandela in October. The Commission then blamed the ruling Nationalist Party (Nationalist Party, NP) and its state apparatus for the abuses, but said that the entire white community and business were shutting down for the injustices of apartheid because they themselves were favored. According to Countryaah, the ANC (African National Congress) was also blamed for sometimes going too far in the fight against oppression. The ANC tried in vain to have the report stopped in court. The work to deal with amnesty applications and to prosecute criminals who have not applied for amnesty continues for several years. Among those at risk are prosecutors former President PW Botha.

1998 South Africa

Some of the most shocking testimonies concerned the apartheid state's experiments with biological and chemical weapons. Among other things, attempts were made to cultivate bacteria that would only attack blacks and to sterilize blacks with chemical agents. Plans were also made to poison Nelson Mandela prior to release from prison.

Commander-in-chief Georg Meiring resigned after being criticized for submitting a false report of plans for a left-wing extremist coup against President Mandela. He was succeeded by the designated dome leader Siphiwe Nyanda, former commander of the ANC's armed branch and now the country's first black ÖB.

South Africa's intervention against a military revolt in Lesotho in September received harsh criticism. The army was unprepared and ill-equipped, according to a report to Parliament. Nine South African soldiers were killed in Lesotho.

In November, the Government made a decision in principle on large purchases of military equipment as part of a comprehensive modernization of the armed forces. Among other things, they chose to buy 28 copies of the Swedish fighter aircraft JAS 39 Gripen worth about SEK 15 billion. The final negotiations will start in 1999 and are expected to lead to extensive Swedish counter-purchases.

The currency, the rand, weakened sharply in June and July through aggressive speculative trading. The reason for the weakening of the rand was falling commodity prices and the impact of the Asian crisis. In July, the rand had lost a third of its value against the dollar since January.

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