For perspective on what life under the reign of FW de Klerk was like, I decided to ask someone who was there: Vytjie Mentor, former ANC MP and freedom fighter. The below, unedited and candid, is what she had to tell me about life in apartheid South Africa.
“I was in detention during both of the State of Emergencies called by De Klerk.”
“I was a young teacher, I could not teach then. I was in Solitary Confinement for 180 days × 2. I was charged under Internal Security Act for possession of banned literature and for “harbouring terrorists”.
“I went into a hunger strike in prison and was hospitalized, I was released into House arrest after 39 days of hunger Strike. I could not be in the company of more than 10 people at a time until after the negotiated settlement. ( I could go on and on and on and on.)”