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Published 21st January 2000

Vol 41 No 2

South Africa

Bonding with the Broederbond

The ANC government believes that Afrikaner businesses are more open to change than their English-speaking counterparts

In courting the country's three million Afrikaners, President Thabo Mbeki wants to harness their still formidable financial power to boost a flagging economy. Ministers concede that despite the government's adherence to International Monetary Fund-approved policies, economic growth has been far too slow (AC Vol 40 Nos 17 & 25). What is needed, they believe, is a critical mass of local savings and investment steered by government policy into expanding the economy. Afrikaners are a key element in this investment alliance. Nevertheless, they are more likely to be financial rather than political friends to the ruling African National Congress. Few ANC officials take seriously a bid by Roelof 'Pik' Botha, once Foreign Minister in the apartheid regime, to join the ANC. They admit, though, that it will be difficult to to stop him if he's determined to join their ranks. The ANC wooed Afrikaners before the 1994 elections to avert a revolt against black majority rule; now it woos them because it needs a more patriotic business partner. Mbeki favours Afrikaners over English-speaking whites because he thinks they are more committed to South Africa and are more pragmatic.

Not yet endgame

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Western support for the MPLA and its war against UNITA is running at an all-time high

The government's military victories have perked up President José Eduardo dos Santos. In fine form for a millennium address to diplomats on 17 January, he wooed investors an...

'Pre-humanitarian' surveillance

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Senior Angolan officers say their military intelligence has been much improved by foreign 'commercial agencies'. These officers are far too discreet to say if these commercial agen...

Mon général

Like De Gaulle, Gueï wants to be a general until he dies and perhaps president too

From the day he pronounced himself President, General Robert Gueï has insisted he has no political ambitions and will withdraw from government as soon as free elections can be...


President Moi deflects calls for constitutional reform and keeps quiet about the succession

Five years of promises from President Daniel arap Moi have brought little progress on constitutional reform and he is due to retire after the 2001 election. Until then, his circle ...

SWAPO steamroller

Peaceful elections are followed by worries about overspill from the Angola war

Nobody expected President Sam Nujoma or his ruling South West African People's Organisation to lose the elections but SWAPO's victory was impressive. Putting down a marker was the ...


Heading north

Africa Confidential has learned that more than 100 companies are considering applying to the South Africa Reserve Bank for listing on foreign stock exchanges. This follows the gian...

Friends of Sani

Who controls account No. J36650-70 at United Overseas Bank, 11 Quai des Bergues, Geneva? That is the issue in Gambia's latest scandal. Details of the private Swiss account emerged ...


The much hyped, much criticised, trans-Saharan car race, the Dakar-Cairo Rally (still called Paris-Dakar), won huge but costly publicity when, instead of for the first time driving...

Too close

His party won December's general elections comfortably but the surprise came when President Joaquim Chissano took only 52.29 per cent of the vote in the presidential poll while his...