USIP and Beyond Conflict discussed lessons learned from South Africa’s transformation experience with some of the key negotiators during the transition, from both the African National Congress and National Party.

Pictured from left to right, Tim Phillips, Ambassador Princeton Lyman, Roelf Meyer, Mohammed Bhabha, Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool

South Africa’s remarkable transition from apartheid to majority rule in the 1990s has often been referenced as a model for other countries in need of significant reform and grappling with a bloody past.  The recent passing of Nelson Mandela has renewed interest in the country’s transformation.  But there remain unanswered questions concerning whether the processes that worked in South Africa and lessons learned are applicable in other contexts.  Can the South African experience be replicated?  Twenty years after Mandela was elected president, is the South African model still relevant in today’s world?  What messages do the transition leaders have for countries struggling with their own transitions?


Roelf Meyer
Former Chief National Party Negotiator and Minister of Constitutional Affairs 

Mohammed Bhabha
Chairperson of Senate Select Committee on Constitutional Affairs and former ANC negotiator

Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool
Republic of South Africa Ambassador to the United States

Tim Phillips, Introductory Remarks
Chairman and Co-Founder, Beyond Conflict

Ambassador Princeton Lyman, Moderator
Senior Advisor, U.S. Institute of Peace & former U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa

Related Publications

At 100, Nelson Mandela's Meaning for 'A Troubled World'

At 100, Nelson Mandela's Meaning for 'A Troubled World'

Thursday, March 1, 2018

By: USIP Staff

One hundred years after Nelson Mandela’s birth, his example calls nations and political elites to examine their failings in providing justice and hope to people worldwide, said Cheryl Carolus, Mandela’s colleague in the movement that toppled South Africa’s apartheid regime. Amid warfare across the globe, and alienated voters roiling the politics of democracies, “maybe it is fortuitous that we are confronted with these challenges in the centenary year of Nelson Mandela,” Carolus said, delivering USIP’s inaugural Nelson Mandela Lecture. “Maybe we will remind ourselves that peace can only reign and endure if there is justice and equality.”

Democracy & Governance; Reconciliation; Peace Processes; Human Rights

Episode 32 - Ben Naimark Rowse

Episode 32 - Ben Naimark Rowse

Thursday, July 23, 2015


In this episode we speak with Benjamin Naimark-Rowse – a PhD candidate at the Fletcher School for Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. His dissertation, in the works, is titled “Dear Friend: Correspondence Across Enemy Lines,” which looks at the relationship Nelson Mandela had with leaders of the Apartheid government during and immediately after his 27 years in prison.


Immunity Cannot Allow Impunity

Immunity Cannot Allow Impunity

Monday, August 4, 2014

By: Jon Temin

African leaders want to exempt themselves from prosecution for terrible crimes -- but new research shows their people aren't as forgiving as they might think. 

U.S. Africa Summit Leaders Face Weighty Agenda for Continent

U.S. Africa Summit Leaders Face Weighty Agenda for Continent

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

By: Viola Gienger

President Barack Obama and African leaders attending the first U.S.-Africa Summit in Washington next month face an array of factors undermining the democratic development and economic growth achieved on the continent in recent decades, according to three former high-level U.S. officials on Africa who spoke at the U.S. Institute of Peace.

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

View All Publications