Ex-apartheid party joins the ANC

The South African party that introduced apartheid and enforced racial segregation for 50 years is to merge with the African National Congress, the party that led the fight to end white rule.

    Nelson Mandela was elected as SA's first black president in 1994

    A meeting of the New National Party's (NNP) Federal Council on Saturday proposed members join the ANC, but retain their party membership, parliamentary and local government seats as a special transitional arrangement until September 2005.

    "Individual members of the NNP would be encouraged to join the ANC in their respective localities. The NNP will in future contest elections under the banner of the ANC," the former pro-apartheid party said.

    The NNP is all that remains of the once mighty National Party, which came to power in 1948 and hardened already discriminatory laws under a system of racial segregation known as apartheid, a word meaning separation or being separate - only to dismantle them in the face of global political and economic pressure.

    Conciliatory move



    The NNP, rebranded from the National Party in 1997, was virtually wiped out in April elections with less than 2% of the vote, while the ANC won a commanding two-thirds majority.

    "Individual members of the NNP would be encouraged to join the ANC in their respective localities. The NNP will in future contest elections under the banner of the ANC"

    New National Party statement

    The NNP and the ANC already had a cooperation agreement, and NNP leaders admitted that that contributed to the party's dim showing in the April elections.

    But in a conciliatory move, President Thabo Mbeki put NNP leader Marthinus van Schalkwyk in his cabinet in charge of environmental affairs and tourism.

    The country's first free elections in 1994 were won by the ANC and Nelson Mandela, icon of the anti-apartheid struggle, was elected as the country's first black president.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    From Zimbabwe to England: A story of war, home and identity

    The country I saw as home, my parents saw as oppressors

    What happens when you reject the identity your parents fought for and embrace that of those they fought against?

    Becoming Ocean: When you and the world are drowning

    Becoming Ocean: When you and the world are drowning

    One woman shares the story of her life with polycystic kidney disease and sees parallels with the plight of the planet.

    The evening death came for me: My journey with PTSD

    The evening death came for me: My journey with PTSD

    On a gorgeous Florida evening, a truck crashed into me. As I lay in intensive care, I learned who had been driving it.