n Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe - 31 Mei 1902 - 31 Mei 2002 : twee vredes, twee visies, een toekoms : die betekenis van die Anglo-Boereoorlog vir vandag en môre

Volume 42, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0041-4751


May 31 2002 was the centenary of the Peace of Vereeniging. It was also the day on which the three yearlong commemoration of the Anglo-Boer War officially ended. One issue that received precious little attention during these commemorations is the long-term meaning of the Anglo-Boer War especially in terms of the outcome of the latest peace process in South Africa. This article is a comparative study of these two most important peace processes in South African history : the negotiations of 1902 which was aimed at peace, reconciliation and reconstruction, predominantly between Afrikaners and the British / English; and the negotiations of 1992-1994 as a classic example of modern sophisticated political engagement to achieve a political settlement between white and non-white in South Africa. The outcome of both processes is evaluated in the context of the century since 1902 and the very brief ten years since 1992. Seven important long-term implications that represent the enduring meaning and significance of the Anglo-Boer war are discussed. The differences and some similarities between the Vereeniging peace and the Pretoria peace of 1994 are outlined. The main difference is identified as the nature and meaning of the conflicts involved. Three comparative areas are briefly explored : the peace process, the leadership roles and the incomplete provisional view of the possible meaning of the peace of 1994 compared to that of 1902.

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