Zimbabwe Delayed Land Reform to Save S.A. from Prolonged Apartheid

Zimbabwe delayed carrying out its land reform program to avoid scaring White South Africans at a time the country was negotiating the end of apartheid, former South African President Thabo Mbeki has revealed.

Mbeki made the disclosure at the inaugural Zimbabwe Diamond Conference in November, where he also defended President Robert Mugabe’s reforms as successful.

Under Zimbabwe’s constitution adopted at independence, the government was prevented from seizing White-owned commercial farms for a period of 10 years from 1980.

“As an outstanding act of African solidarity, the government of Zimbabwe decided on this delay expressly to facilitate the then on-going negotiations in South Africa, from 1990 onwards, concerned that nothing should be done in Zimbabwe which would so frighten the White South African population that it would oppose our own country’s transformation,” Mbeki said.


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