Mozambique's International
Relations with South Africa

Dossier MZ-0007, part 14


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14. "Butter Before Guns in 1990":
South Africa Frees Mandela
and Mozambique Liberalises

Nelson Mandela and Joaquim Chissano, July 1990

Above: Nelson Mandela was released from his 27-year imprisonment in February 1990, and visited Mozambique a few months later, in July, for talks with President Chissano. He commented that the ANC was "more at home" in Mozambique than almost anywhere else, and that the movement had played a "pivotal role" in the founding of FRELIMO. (Photo: Tempo no.1033, 29 July 1990, cover).

In February 1990, President de Klerk moved to unban the ANC, the PAC and the Communist Party, as well as releasing Nelson Mandela after 27 years in prison. This served to open a lengthy process of political negotiation within the country that led eventually to the first non-racial democratic elections in South Africa in April 1994.

It also radically changed the environment in terms of relations between South Africa and Mozambique. President Chissano stated that the ban on the ANC and the continued imprisonment of Mandela were clearly obstacles in the relations between the two countries, but the main objective remained the complete elimination of apartheid. By the end of the year Mandela had visited Mozambique, and Chissano and de Klerk had held lengthy talks, as negotiations were held on the return of nationalised properties to their former South African owners.

MHN Resources

Consolidated Downloadable Zipped Files

Click on the yellow folder image below to download a zipped file of the fourteenth of a series of dossiers on South Africa-Mozambique relations. The archive covers the year 1990, and contains 36 documents. New items will be added from time to time: this edition of the dossier is dated 23 October 2021.

Zipped file image