South Africa. In January, the government appointed a
commission to investigate the dramatic currency exchange
rate in 2001, when the rand lost 37% of its value. According
to the government's assessment, there was no economic logic
behind the depreciation, and the general view was that the
rand had become a victim of speculation in the international
Countryaah website, the Commission found that extensive transactions carried
out by Deutsche Bank on behalf of three South African
companies could have affected the rand exchange rate but
could not prove that something illegal had taken place.
General uncertainty in the market was also considered to
have contributed to the breed, as well as among other
things. the global economic downturn following the terrorist
attacks in the United States in 2001 and the proximity to
the crisis-hit Zimbabwe.
The economy recovered quite well during the year. Due to
the weak rand, the trade surplus increased sharply and the
rand rose by about 20% against the bottom listing in 2001.
In an attempt to curb unexpectedly high inflation of almost
10%, the central bank raised the interest rate in
installments by 4 percentage points to 13.5%.
The Constitutional Court, South Africa's highest legal
body, ordered the state to provide Nevirapine medicine to
all pregnant women. The government had shown great
skepticism about Nevirapine, which is considered to halve
the risk of HIV-infected pregnant women spreading the virus
to their children. Every ninth South African is estimated to
be infected with HIV or sick with AIDS and every year at
least 70,000 infected children are born.
The government announced in October that it plans to
almost double the cost of combating AIDS in 2003 from about
SEK 1 billion to SEK 1.8 billion.
The apartheid era often reminded itself. In April, a
Pretoria judge acquitted the apartheid regime's expert on
biological and chemical warfare, Wouter Basson, who was
charged with developing methods for poisoning the white
regime's political opponents. The verdict shocked the
apartheid opponents and the state immediately announced its
intention to push the case forward.
Relatives of victims of apartheid filed a lawsuit in New
York in April against US and Swiss banks accused of
supporting the apartheid regime. In Cape Town, a similar,
collective lawsuit was filed against the South African state
for delaying promised financial compensation.
1996 Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Also in 1996, the so-called Truth and Reconciliation
Commission was set up under the chairmanship of Nobel
laureate Desmond Tutu. It began to gather testimony of the
human rights violations made during the period 1960-93. A
myriad of offenses came to light in light of the case.
Commission investigations. Several senior police officers
admitted the use of torture in the 1980s as well as the
hiring of mercenaries. Those responsible had the right to
request amnesty at any time simply by conceding their own
participation in the events.
The government unveiled a new macroeconomic strategy that
would form the basis for the creation of 800,000 new jobs in
the period up to the year 2000. The aim was to reduce the
budget deficit and attract foreign investment. However, it
was labeled by the trade unions as "neoliberal". Mandela
admitted that privatizations were the basic instrument of
his economic policy. GDP increased by 3% in 1996. At
year-end, unemployment was 32.6%. By the end of November,
about 2 million hectares had been distributed as part of the
government's land reform.
In October 1997, Mandela made a trip to Libya to mediate
in the Tripoli, Washington and London conflict over the
blockade the latter two had sustained against Libya since
1992. Mandela supported Libya's demand for the conduct of a
lawsuit in a neutral country regarding. 2 Libyans alleged
participation in the bombing of a plane over Lockerbie in
1989. However, he did not demand the unconditional lifting
of the blockade.
Faced with the ever-increasing crime rate, Mandela in
April 1998 hinted at the possibility of imposing curfews in
some parts of the country to maintain law and order.
In his farewell speech to the OAU in June 1998, Mandela
decided to break one of the basic principles and
non-intervention of the single organization in the internal
affairs of the member states. For defended "the right and
the duty to intervene in internal affairs when massacres of
citizens to defend a tyranny".
During hearings in the Reconciliation Commission, it was
revealed in 1998 that a number of white scientists under the
apartheid regime had been working on plans to destroy
Mandela's health when he was a political prisoner, and to
further develop diseases that would only affect the black
population or drugs that would limit their fertility.
The black population began to manifest its
dissatisfaction with the slowness of change in the country,
and the number of attacks on white landowners and landowners
increased. During the ANC Congress, Mandela and his Vice
President Thabo Mbeki declared that the formal
reconciliation period should be considered completed when
Mandela's presidential term is complete. During the second
term of the ANC, more drastic steps should be taken to
improve the living conditions of the millions of blacks who
had been marginalized during apartheid.
In April 1999, Russia and South Africa - two of the
world's largest producers of gold and diamonds - signed an
agreement on closer economic cooperation in the production
of these goods.
Although the parliamentary elections in June gave the ANC
solid control over parliament, control did not reach the 2/3
of seats needed to unilaterally change the constitution. The
leadership of the opposition in parliament remained in the
hands of the White Democratic Party. Thabo Mbeki received
the presidential nomination from Mandela and appointed Jacob
Zuma as its vice president.