‘Peacemaking and Peacebuilding in South Africa, The National Peace Accord, 1991 - 1994’ by Liz Carmichael

Jun 23, 2022
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‘Peacemaking and Peacebuilding in South Africa, The National Peace Accord, 1991 - 1994’ by Liz Carmichael

Liz Carmichael, a Tutu Foundation Ambassador, writes, 'Peacemaking and Peacebuilding in South Africa, The National Peace Accord, 1991 - 1994’ which examines the creation and implementation of South Africa’s National Peace Accord and this key transitional phase in the country’s history, and its implications for peace mediation and conflict resolution.  

This first full account of the South African National Peace Accord (NPA) fills a significant gap in knowledge of this key transitional phase in the country’s history. Signed by the ANC Alliance, Government, Inkatha Freedom Party and other political and labour organizations on 14 September 1991, the parties agreed in the NPA on the common goal of a united, non-racial democratic South Africa and provided practical means for moving towards this end. This book describes the formulation of the NPA and its implementation: the establishment of codes of conduct for political organizations and for the police, the creation of national, regional and local peace structures for conflict resolution and the investigation and prevention of violence, and peace monitoring, as well as the critical socio-economic reconstruction and peacebuilding that aimed to bring lasting change. The NPA was recognized internationally as South Africa’s sole consensus document, bringing observers from the UN, EU, Commonwealth and OAU. The author also assesses their role, and that of the Goldstone Commission which existed under the NPA and prefigured the TRC. 

About the author

Revd Dr Liz Carmichael MBE is an Emeritus Research Fellow at St John’s College, Oxford, where she convenes the peace studies network in Oxford University. She worked as a medical doctor in Soweto 1975-1981, and in the Anglican Diocese of Johannesburg 1991-1996 while also serving on the local and regional peace structures. 

Book Contents

Foreword by Archbishop Desmond Tutu 


PART ONE: Peacemaking, Peacebuilding, and the South African Conflict 

1 Peacemaking and Peacebuilding: situating South Africa 

2 South Africa’s Fractured Rainbow 

3 Repression, Reform, Resistance, and Grassroots War 

PART TWO: Peacemaking 

4 Churches, Business, Secret Talks 

5 De Klerk becomes President, Mandela walks free 

6 Deadlock and the President’s Summit 

7 Convening the Parties 

8 Negotiating the National Peace Accord: the Process 

9 Negotiating the National Peace Accord: the Agreements 

10 National Peace Convention, 14 September 1991 

PART THREE: Peacebuilding 

11 National Peace Committee: Promoting Peace 

12 National Peace Secretariat: Getting to Grassroots 

13 Mobilizing the People, Making Peace Cool 

14 Peace Monitoring: Building Peace on the Streets 

15 Socio-economic Reconstruction and Development (SERD) 

16 Building Peace in the Regions I: Natal/KwaZulu, Wits/ Vaal 

17 Building Peace in the Regions II: the Cape, OFS, and Transvaal 

18 The Goldstone Commission 

19 The Police Board, Community Policing, CPFs 

20 A Role in Future Peacebuilding? 

21 Conclusion: Impact and Unfinished Business 

Praise Quotes

“South Africa owes Dr Carmichael an enormous debt of gratitude for documenting, in such fascinating detail, this significant piece of South African history.” Val Pauquet, National Peace Committee and Secretariat, 1991–1994 

“The National Peace Accord brought us from a life of violence under apartheid to a multifaceted quilt of warring parties working together to save lives and lay the foundation for South Africa’s transition to a peaceful democracy in 1994. This book tells how it was done.” Jay Naidoo, General Secretary of COSATU 1985–1993 

“This book offers what few have accomplished: a nuanced and overarching exploration of both the promise and challenges of moving a whole society from protracted violent conflict toward enduring peace. Perhaps the most compelling aspect of this extraordinary book is found in its multi-faceted understanding of what is required of a transformational process, and always with the capacity to look back at the before, during, and after the formal accords were signed. The detail, integrity of research, and comprehensive nature make this a must-read for those interested in peace with justice.” John Paul Lederach, University of Notre Dame 

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