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This Day for Africa – Truce reached between Inkatha Freedom Party and ANC; Christian Institute raided by Apartheid regime

On 27 November, 1990, a joint ANC government statement was issued after a meeting between President FW de Klerk and the ANC deputy president, Nelson Mandela. Consensus was reached following the fall-out between the leaders of the African National Congress (ANC) and government over the continuation of talks.

It indicated that both sides were committed to peaceful negotiation, and confirmed that dialogue was to continue. The inconclusive meeting had been held to discuss issues which appeared to threaten the dialogue. The concerns of the ANC included police brutality in dealing with unrest. The government sought a suspension of the ANC’s mass mobilisation campaigns, which it regarded as a violation of the ANC’s commitment to suspending the armed struggle.

On this day in 1986, three of the 22 Delmas Treason trialists were released after Judge K van Dijkhorst delivered his judgment. The judge released them on the grounds that there was no sufficient evidence to justify keeping the men behind bars. He pointed out that the government had failed to present a case against them after a year of court hearings and two years in custody. The three men were Lazarus More, a literacy teacher, Mkhambi Malindi, a timekeeper at a power station, and Maxala Vilakazi, a clerk at the South African Committee for Higher Education (Sached). All three were members of the United Democratic Front (UDF). The other 19 trialists were not freed.

These 22 men were arrested for being members of the illegal organisation, the African National Congress. The state argued that they were part of a conspiracy to overthrow the government

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), this day in 1985, proposed a truce with the African National Congress (ANC) as an effort to calm violent clashes between members of the two parties. The Secretary General of the IFP, Oscar Dhlomo, communicated the peace offer to the ANC in exile. Despite this effort, the IFP still maintained prospects for peace were unlikely for as long as the Frontline States were not part of any negotiations.

The IFP consistently maintained that it was not responsible for the violence between the ANC and itself. In an attempt to bring itself closer to the ANC. It blamed violence on the South African government. In London in 1979, the two parties established a co-operative relationship and mutual respect. However, this relationship deteriorated when the United Democratic Front was formed in 1985 and began to expand into the IFP stronghold KwaZulu-Natal.

On 27 November 1976 the offices of the Christian Institute (CI) and the South African Council of Churches (SACC), two religious formations considered to have links with the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM) were raided by the Security Police. This was part of a campaign undertaken by the Security Police following the outbreak of the Soweto Revolt on 16 June 1976. Dr Beyers Naude, founder and Chief Director of the CI, was arrested a month earlier on 28 October 1976. Dr Naude had been ordered to give evidence to the Schlebusch Commission of Enquiry and he refused.

The Schlebusch Commission was established to investigate the CI, the National Union of South African Students (NUSAS) and the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR). The Security Police believed that these formations, even though made up predominantly of white members, were nevertheless giving support to the rioting students and to the BCM. It is not clear what the search yielded, but the police were probably looking for any materials that could link these formations to the BCM and the Soweto Revolt.

A year later, in October 1977 the then Minister of Justice, Jimmy Kruger, banned all organisations associated with BCM. The list of organisations banned included the CI.

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