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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:From the nuclear 'laager' to the non-proliferation club: South Africa and the NPT
Authors:van Wyk, Jo AnsieISNI
van Wyk, Anna Mart
Periodical:South African Historical Journal (ISSN 1726-1686)
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:nuclear weapons
international agreements
military history
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/02582473.2014.977337
Abstract:South Africa is recognised for the termination of its nuclear weapons programme at the end of the 1980s. Despite global diplomatic efforts and sanctions, it took South Africa 21 years to accede to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). During this period, global opposition to its apartheid policies resulted in embargoes and sanctions, which served as catalysts for the country becoming a recognised nuclear proliferator and sanctions buster. Driven by domestic and regional threat perceptions, South Africa produced six nuclear devices as a deterrent strategy. It was only by 1987 that South Africa for the first time indicated its intention to accede to the NPT. Therefore, this contribution describes South Africa's position on and involvement in the multilateral negotiations leading to the NPT's agreed text, and South Africa's perspective on the nascent non-proliferation agreement. In order to achieve this, the contribution is chronologically limited to the period 1959 until 1991. The domestic and international motives, intentions and incentives that shaped South Africa's refused participation in the new regime until its ratification of the NPT in 1991, are analysed. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]