Mozambique's International
Relations with South Africa

Dossier MZ-0007, part 7


Button Button


7. The Immediate Aftermath of
Nkomati, March-September 1984

Brinde pós-Nkomati

Above: President Samora Machel with Party and government leaders raising their glasses to toast to the success of the negotiations leading to the Nkomati Accord, in early March 1984. The official line throughout this period was that the Accord represented a victory for Mozambican diplomacy and the policy of peace; nevertheless, relations with the ANC reached a low point, and some supportive but critical viewpoints were expressed outside the country.

The immediate aftermath of the formalisation of the Nkomati Accord was marked by a high degree of triumphalism on the part of the Mozambicans, and the quick seizing of business opportunities by the South African entrepreneurs, alongside some gestures of goodwill such as the much-publicised gift of 600 tons of apples for Mozambican children. For example, the businessman Tony Factor, known in Johannesburg as the “discount king”, announced cut-price air flights from Maputo to Israel, with passengers transported to Mavalane Airport by luxury buses. Delegations of South African businesspeople began to turn up and visit companies such as MABOR, also holding meetings with the Mozambican Câmara de Comércio.

However, by no means everybody was convinced that the signing of the accord represented a victory for Mozambican diplomacy and a policy of peace. In April President Kaunda of Zambia commented undiplomatically but frankly that the event was in fact a setback:

"We would be less than honest if we tried to glorify the situation. It is not glorifiable. We. accept we are weak … if we glorify this [pact] we will be making a tactical error (Financial Times, London, 17 April 1984).

Within a couple of months the Mozambicans were expressing dissatisfaction with South Africa’s compliance with its commitment to drop support for the MNR. In May, Jacinto Veloso demanded that the group should be “totally demobilised”.

MHN Resources

Consolidated Downloadable Zipped Files

Click on the yellow folder image below to download a zipped file of the seventh of a series of dossiers on South Africa-Mozambique relations. The archive covers the period March to September 1984, and contains 190 documents. New items will be added from time to time: this edition of the dossier is dated 23 October 2021.

Zipped file image