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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Great expectations: Pres. P.W. Botha's Rubicon speech of 1985
Author:Giliomee, HermannISNI
Year:2008
Periodical:New contree: a journal of historical and human sciences for Southern Africa
Issue:55
Pages:1-41
Language:English
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:speeches
1985
political change
power-sharing
National Party
About person:Pieter Willem Botha (1916-2006)ISNI
Abstract:President P.W. Botha's speech on 15 August 1985 to the National Party (NP) of Natal is generally recognized as one of the turning points in the history of South Africa's NP government. Botha was expected to announce far-reaching reforms which would make it possible for the government to break the stalemate in negotiations with black leaders as well as its international isolation. Instead, Both projected himself as the uncompromising leader of a white minority determined to fight to the end for its survival. The response to Botha's speech was extremely negative. Previous analysts have focused on his personality as an explanation for his stand or have blamed the 'unrealistic expectations' which R.F. (Pik) Botha, Minister of Foreign Affairs, had raised in a visit to Europe a week before the speech. The present author details the events which took place in the two weeks leading up to the speech, reviews existing interpretations of President Botha's performance and examines possibilities which so far have not been considered. Note, ref., sum. in Afrikaans. [ASC Leiden abstract]
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