Mozambique's International
Relations with South Africa

Dossier MZ-0007, part 6


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6. The Ceremonial Signing of the
Nkomati Accord, 16-18 March 1984

Machel and Botha signing the Nkomati Accord, 16 March 1984

Above: P. W. Botha and Samora Machel signing the Nkomati Accord on 16 March 1984.

The signing of the Nkomati Accord took place with much fanfare – certainly on the Mozambican side – at a site on the Nkomati river, in the presence of the two delegations and a large number of invited guests, and with extensive journalistic coverage. The event lasted from mid-morning until well after 14h00. This page makes available an MHN dossier of documents; another dossier prepared at the time by the Ministry of Ports, Railways and Merchant Shipping; the official programme; the text of President Machel’s speech in Portuguese and English translation; the text of the Accord itself; and two extra galleries, one of photographs and one of contemporary cartoons. Click on the green buttons above to access the galleries; the major documents may be accessed individually below, or downloaded in a Zip file as a complete archive (click on the large yellow folder icon below). The Accord was to provide the framework though which Mozambique’s relations with South Africa were to be understood for the next decade – essentially until the reaching of a peace agreement between the Mozambican government and RENAMO in Rome in October 1992, and the holding of the first democratic elections in South Africa in April 1994.

Machel speaking at Nkomati, 16 March 1984

Above: Samora Machel speaking after the signing the Nkomati Accord on 16 March 1984. The official line was that the Accord was a major victory for Mozambican diplomacy, although several allies were quietly dismayed, and relations with the ANC were seriously damaged. In fact, it rapidly became clear that the South African side had no intention of keeping their side of the bargain, and support for the MNR/RENAMO continued for years afterwards in various forms.

MHN Resources

16 March 1984
Programme: signing of the Accord of Nkomati, 16 March 1984. 8 pages. Contains the programme in English, Portuguese, and Afrikaans, as well as the names of the members of the official delegations of the Mozambique and South African sides. Click here to download a PDF file.

16 March 1984
Acordo de Não Agressão e Boa Vizinhança entre o Governo da República Popular de Moçambique e o Governo da República da África do Sul. Maputo, 1984. The official Portuguese text in a souvenir pamphlet printed in Mozambique. Click here to download a PDF file of

16 March 1984
Discurso de Sua Excelência o Presidente da República Popular de Moçambique, Marechal Samora Moisés Machel. Textos oficiais em português e inglês. Maputo, 1984. Click here to download a PDF file of the official souvenir pamphlet containing the speech, size 1.8 Mb.

March 1984
Ministério dos Portos, Caminhos de Ferro e Marinha Mercante. Departamento de Documentação e Informação. Acordo de Nkomati, 16 de Março de 1984. Maputo, 1984. 162 p. Click here to download a PDF file of this document, size 18 Mb. This dossier was compiled at the time of the Nkomati Accord by the Department of Documentation and Information in Mozambique's Ministry of Ports, Railways and Merchant Shipping. It includes an introduction, the text of the Nkomati Accord and the speeches made on the occasion, as well as a section of photographs and multiple newspaper reports – mostly non-Mozambican – on the negotiations and the ceremony. The quality of the photocopies of the photographs and texts is variable (some appear to have been stapled to A4 sheets for the purpose of copying, some are faint, and some are dark) and in some cases illegible.

More Consolidated Downloadable Zipped Files

Click on the yellow folder image below to download a zipped file of the sixth of a series of dossiers on South Africa-Mozambique relations. The archive covers the period 16-18 March 1984, and contains 54 documents, including those listed above. New items will be added from time to time: this edition of the dossier is dated 23 October 2021.

Zipped file image