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Talks resumed five months later, after the signing by the ANC, PAC and the government of a Record of Understanding. The Record of Understanding marked a shift in the National Party (NP) government's negotiating strategy.It abandoned its alliance with the IFP, through which it had hoped to secure enough electoral support to force a power-sharing arrangement with the ANC.Instead, the ANC and the government now co-operated closely while the IFP aligned itself with a coalition of bantustan governments and elements of the white right wing.

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This development saw a further escalation in the level of violence.

With the IFP's chief negotiator threatening a civil war if the elections went ahead without the IFP, deaths from political violence in July and August 1993 soared to 605 and 705 respectively, compared to 267 in June 1993. In December 1993, a Transitional Executive Council (TEC) was installed, composed of representatives of all parties to the negotiations process.

Meanwhile, behind-the-scenes talks continued with the Freedom Alliance to secure its participation.

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley.

It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras. The Commission had considerable success in uncovering violations that took place before 1990. Information before the Commission shows that the nature and pattern of political conflict in this later period changed considerably, particularly in its apparent anonymity.

A comparatively smaller number of amnesty applications were received for this period. The first was the process of negotiations aimed at democratic constitutional dispensation.

The investigation and research units of the Commission were also faced with some difficulty in dealing with the events of the more recent past. The second was a dramatic escalation in levels of violence in the country, with a consequent increase in the number of gross violations of human rights. The period opened with the public announcement of major political reforms by President FW de Klerk on 2 February 1990 including the unbanning of the ANC, PAC, SACP and fifty-eight other organisations; the release of political prisoners and provision for all exiles to return home.

Mr Nelson Mandela was released on 11 February 1990.

The other goals were achieved through a series of bilateral negotiations between the government and the ANC, resulting in the Groote Schuur and Pretoria minutes of May and August 1990 respectively.

The latter minute was accompanied by the ANC's announcement that it had suspended its armed struggle. A long period of 'talks about talks' followed primarily between the government, the ANC and Inkatha culminating in the December 1991 launch of the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA).

CODESA, which involved twenty different political parties and organisations, collapsed in disagreement over issues of majority rule and regional powers. However, barely a month later, the ANC withdrew in the wake of the Boipatong massacre of 17 June 1992 and embarked on a campaign against the remaining homeland governments.

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