Constitutions in transition
Constitutions in transition

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Constitutions in transition

2.2.1 Truth, damn truth, and statistics

Statistics rarely do justice to the reality of a situation but the stark results of the 1992 Human Development Index (HDI) demonstrate the systemic damage that apartheid inflicted on certain groups:

In the 1992 HDI rankings ... South Africa as a whole places 86th among 173 countries, adjacent to other middle income countries such as Sri Lanka, Botswana, and Peru. Differentiating the South African figures by race, one finds that white South Africa rises in rank to 18th place, with HDI place similar to New Zealand, while black South Africa falls to 118th place, close to countries such as Vietnam, Bolivia and Lesotho.

(Madlingozi, 2007, p. 107)

The date of the HDI rankings is significant as it sits in the middle of F.W. de Klerk’s presidency as leader of the National Party (N.P.), which was a significant epoch in South African history.

In the next activity you will be asked to adopt the role of another person when giving your response. Whenever you write in a legal context, it is important to think about things such as who is your audience and what is the appropriate style to adopt.

Activity 4 Imagine you’re F.W. de Klerk … it’s easy if you try

Timing: You should allow yourself 20 minutes to do this activity.

F.W. de KlerkIt was noted in Activity 3 that there is a gap in the timeline between 1989 and 1997 in the interactive map. That is because this activity asks you to imagine you were de Klerk, intent on ending apartheid. Knowing what you know about apartheid, and considering the information given on the interactive map, what steps would you take to ensure that this happened?

To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Comment

This activity wants you to understand the difficulty de Klerk faced in his attempt to end apartheid. You can find the missing pieces of the information below. Please, only go on to the following section once you have made an attempt to engage with the activity.

This is what de Klerk did:

  • 1990: he legalised the ANC (African National Congress) and released Nelson Mandela from prison.
  • 1992: he presided over a whites-only referendum on bringing apartheid to an end, with a substantial majority agreeing that it should be ended.
  • 1993: an interim constitution was written that provided for the first non-racial election (an election open to all, irrespective of race) in South Africa, and established a Truth and Reconciliation Commission as part of the healing process of post-apartheid South Africa.

  • 1994: he became Deputy President under Nelson Mandela’s presidency, after he and the ANC were elected in the first non-racial general election.
Figure 4 Nelson Mandela
W203_1

Take your learning further371

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses372.

If you are new to university level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. Find out Where to take your learning next?373 You could either choose to start with an Access courses374or an open box module, which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification.

Not ready for University study then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn375 and sign up to our newsletter376 to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371