THE END OF APARTHEID
Apartheid existed in South Africa from 1948 until 1991, allowing institutionalized racism and segregation across many areas of daily life. During this time, many anti-apartheid groups such as the African National Congress (ANC) were banned, and notable anti-apartheid leaders – such as Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) – were imprisoned.
Following president P.W. Botha’s (1916-2006) stroke and subsequent resignation in 1989, his successor F.W. de Clerk (1936-present) announced in his first address to parliament (February 1991) that the ban on anti-apartheid groups such as the ANC were to be lifted. Alongside this, figures such as Mandela would be released, press freedom was restored, and the death penalty was repealed, among other sweeping changes.
During the early 1990s, negotiations were held that gradually deconstructed the legal framework that allowed apartheid to be enforced, and in 1993 de Klerk and Mandela were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Despite violence during these years, in 1994 South Africa had its first election under universal suffrage. The ANC won the election on 27 April, with Nelson Mandela sworn in as South Africa’s first post-apartheid president – April 27 is still celebrated as Freedom Day in South Africa.
Hogg, Andrew. "De Klerk slays apartheid but it won't lie down." Sunday Times, 23 June 1991
Ellis, Richard. "Whites talk of civil war as toll rises in South Africa." Sunday Times, 28 June 1992
THE MAU MAU REBELLION
From 1952 to 1960, violent conflict took place between parts of the British Army and Mau Mau in British Kenya. “Mau Mau” was used as an overall name for various aligned factions of the Kikuyu, Kenya’s largest ethnic group.
After some early acts of violence, a State of Emergency was declared, and military activity mobilised. Mau Mau leaders were arrested, including Jomo Kenyatta (c.1890-1978), with various operations launched to detain key figures and gain intelligence on the various Mau Mau groups operating throughout the country. In January 1955, Governor-General of Kenya Evelyn Baring (1903-1973) offered an amnesty to the Mau Mau, revoked in June after receiving no response. The end of the rebellion and British military activity came in 1956 with the capture of Dedan Kimathi (1920-1957), though the conflict is regarded as ending in 1960 when native Kenyan majority rule was established and Kenya began to move toward independence.
After being released in 1959 and living in exile until 1961, Jomo Kenyatta became leader of the Kenya Africa National Union (KANU), and won the general election in 1963. He became the first Prime Minister of Kenya, overseeing the transition from a British Colony to an independent republic, of which he became President until his death.
"Mau Mau." Sunday Times, 19 Oct. 1952
"Life amid the Mau Mau." Sunday Times, 14 Dec. 1952
On Valentine's Day (February 14th) 2013, Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius (1986-) killed his partner Reeva Steenkamp (1983-2013rius claimed he had mistaken Steenkamp for an intruder, and shot her through the door of the bathroom. Pistorius had become the first Paralympian to compete in the Summer Olympics in 2012, and had become one the most recognised athletes of the modern era.
The case opened on March 3rd 2014 at the High Court of South Africa, with portions of the trial broadcast on television, and the entire broadcast through audio. Initially, Pistorius was found guilty of culpable homicide, and on October 21st 2014 was sentenced to (a maximum of) five years prison time. The verdict received a mixed review, with some claiming the short duration showed that bias and preferential treatment toward white South African's was still present in post-Apartheid South Africa, while some felt the sentence was too harsh and that Pistorius was used being used as an example. In December 2015 the sentence for culpable homicide was overturned, and Pistorius was convicted of murder, with a six year prison sentence. After a state appeal, the prison sentence was more than doubled, making Pistorius' prison term over thirteen years.
Dan McDougall and Martina Lees. "A Shot in the Dark." Sunday Times, 17 Feb. 2013
MacLean, Ruth. "Women's Groups Race to Halt Early Pistorius Release." Sunday Times, 16 Aug. 2015
From 1990, Rwanda had been in a state of civil war, fought between the Hutu-led government and the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), largely formed of Tutsi refugees. Violence between Hutu and Tutsi factions had been ongoing since Rwandan independence in 1963, until a ceasefire in 1993 after international pressure on Juvénal Habyarimana’s (1937-1944) government.
The ceasefire ended when Habyarimana was assassinated in April 1994, starting with Tutsis and moderate Hutus being executed by police, soldiers and militia. The genocide occurred between April and July 1994, when nearly 70% of the Tutsi population were killed, with estimates of 500,000 to 1,000,000 people killed over a 100-day period, and another 2,000,000 Rwandans were displaced.
The RPF gained control of the northern part of Rwanda and eventually the capital, Kigali, by the end of July 1994, beginning the end of the massacre. The depopulation had severe consequences on the economy, and many Hutu’s fled to neighbouring countries, prompting further cross-border military actions. The genocide has had many legacies in the international world, especially as a contributing factor to the establishment of the International Criminal Court to prosecute crimes against humanity and war crimes, and many countries (including the United Kingdom, France and Belgium) were heavily criticized for their inaction during the atrocities.
Bedford, Julian, Reuters at Kibeho camp. "Hundreds die in camp slaughter." Sunday Times, 23 Apr. 1995
Kasese, Jon Swain. "Killing fields of Kisangani." Sunday Times, 4 May 1997
In 1879, the Zulu Kingdom and the British Empire fought against each other in a conflict instigated by the unsanctioned actions of Sir Henry Bartle Frere (1815-1884). After the successful introduction of federation of Canada in 1867, it was seen as suitable for African colonies, including the Boer republics and tribal areas in South Africa. In 1878, Frere (without the permission of the British government) used an unreasonable ultimatum to the Zulu king Cetshwayo kaMpande (1826-1884) to initiate a war, using the rejection of the ultimatum as an excuse to send Lord Chelmsford (Frederic Thesiger, 1827-1905) to invade.
The first wave of the invasion was successfully repelled by the Zulu army, including the Battle of Isandlwana, the Siege of Eshowe, the Battle of Intombe and the Battle of Kambula. In some of these engagements, the Zulu’s gained victories that inflicted severe losses on the British forces. With the impending reinforcements of over 16,000 British troops, Lord Chelmsford revised his plans, wanting a victory before being replaced by Sir Garnet Wolseley (1833-1913). After reorganizing the forces and building fortified camps, he launched a second advance. Cetshwayo attempted to negotiate a peace treaty, but Chelmsford was not interested, leading to the Battle of Ulundi where the Zulu forces were defeated.
"The Zulu War." Sunday Times, 9 Feb. 1879