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South Africa

Yearbook 1999

South Africa. Nelson Mandela left the presidential post in June and was replaced by Thabo Mbeki. The change of power occurred since the African National Congress (African National Congress, ANC), won in the parliamentary elections on June 2 with 66.4% of the vote.

According to Countryaah official website, the European Central Bank's plans to sell large parts of its gold reserve caused a stir in South Africa. Earlier, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had announced the sale of ten percent of its gold to finance a debt relief program for the most indebted poor countries. According to South Africa, this would trigger a price race that would close many mines and place more than 100,000 without work. The gold price had already fallen to the lowest level in 20 years already in July. However, since the EU central banks in September limited sales to 400 tonnes a year for five years and the IMF shelved its plans, however, the price quickly rose from $ 250 per ounce to over 300.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission granted amnesty to former Police Minister Adriaan Vlok and former National Police Chief Johan van der Merwe for the blast of the South African Church Council headquarters in 1988. The assault was considered politically conditional, and they were considered to have responded sincerely during the interrogations. However, the five policemen who had killed the black leader Steve Biko in 1977 did not receive amnesty, nor did those who in 1993 were behind the murder of Communist leader Chris Hani.

Former pastor and ANC activist Allan Boesak was sentenced in March to six years in prison for embezzlement of, among other things. Swedish aid.

In October, the trial began for the former head of South Africa's chemical and biological weapons program, Wouter Basson. He is charged with murder and attempted murder of apartheid opponents and for experiments with drugs intended to kill or sterilize blacks.

Despite cuts in the armed forces, South Africa fulfilled the plans for large purchases of advanced military equipment. In December, an agreement was signed for the purchase of 28 Swedish JAS 39 Gripen plan for approximately SEK 13 billion. The first will be delivered in 2007, but South Africa can until 2004 limit the order to nine planes. A counter-purchase for SEK 60 billion is expected to create 65,000 new jobs in South Africa.

1999 South Africa

Although the Constitution had banned most forms of discrimination since 1994, a new law passed in January 2000 introduced the concept of non-discrimination in the relationships between individuals. The same law also prohibited discrimination based on age, sexual orientation, culture, pregnancy, marital status, conscience and language.

Although South Africa had already imposed restrictions on arms exports and imports in 1994 and played a key role in 1997 in the adoption of the Convention on the Use, Storage, Production and Resale of Anti-Personnel Mines, an October 2000 Human Rights Watch report accused Pretoria of selling weapons to countries where human rights are being violated and where the flow of weapons is only exacerbating the abuses. In April 2001, an official commission launched investigations into the allegation of corruption in a arms deal involving both Pretoria and English, German, French, Swedish and South African companies. However, the November Commission final report relieved the government of responsibility in the affair.

In early 2001, a government official accused the country's Indian minority of being unable to assume responsibility. That prompted Mandela to accuse members of the country's black majority of using their power to subjugate ethnic minorities, and at the same time urged the ANC to take steps to change this situation.

In September 2001, the UN World Conference against Racism was conducted in Durban. The conference was marked by strong contradictions between the countries present and the countries that boycotted the conference. In particular, it was about the United States and Israel who refused to enter into discussions about whether or not Israel's repression of the Palestinian people is discrimination. The conference ended up passing a resolution characterizing Israel's policy towards the Palestinians as racially discriminatory. Another theme that divided the conference was the demand by the African countries for financial compensation from the former colonial lords. Most European countries had initially been willing to apologize for the slave trade, but subsequently considered the claim for financial compensation "illogical".

On April 11, 2002, the South African judiciary acquitted Wouter Basson, who in the South African media went by the name of "Doctor Murder". He had become known for the development of a bacteriological program against the country's black population. Basson had sought to develop "intelligent" bacteria that would kill blacks alone, and he had collected enough reserves of cholera and anthrax bacteria to start an epidemic. Among his "weapons" were, sugar with salmonella, anthrax cigarettes, botulinum chocolate and herbicide whiskey. Mbeki's cabinet chief, Frank Chikane, had been close to dying after wearing clothes poisoned by Basson. During the trial, this man pleaded innocent, claiming that he had simply followed orders, though he did not express remorse on any occasion.

According to a report from the South African Medical Research Council will 5-7 million South Africans die of AIDS by 2010, and life expectancy drops to 36 years. Mbeki claimed that the report's sources were not credible, and therefore pressed to delay publication. It is believed that South Africa has the world's highest HIV infection rate of 4.7 million. infected. Over 12 million children have lost their parents as a result of AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. Leaders of the Opposition Democratic Alliance in March 2001 urged Mbeki to introduce a national state of emergency so that infected people could access appropriate copy medicine. The South African legislation that allows for these imports in exceptional situations could never be implemented due to pressure from the multinational medicine groups that manufacture the original medicine. Still, in April international pressure forced 39 groups to withdraw a bail ban. The step was given great importance by the poor countries who need to import cheaper medicines to curb the epidemic.

 

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