Working with the enemy : the military integration process in transitional South Africa and the factors that shaped a new defence force

Master Thesis


Permanent link to this Item
Journal Title
Link to Journal
Journal ISSN
Volume Title

University of Cape Town

Against the backdrop of South Africa's political transition from Apartheid to a democratic system of governance during the early 1990s, the South African military underwent a distinct transformation of its own. During the military's transition seven disparate forces that had previously been vying for power were integrated under one umbrella organization and re-branded as the South African National Defence Force (SANDF). Scholars and analysts generally consider this process to have been successful; it was a seminal achievement by both the negotiating parties and the Government of National Unity. Looking at the transformation process during two distinct periods, 1990 through the national elections of 1994, referred to as 'the planning phase,' and postelections through 1996, referred to as 'the implementation phase,' this study seeks a more robust and nuanced accounting of the factors that contributed to this outcome. Building upon an evaluation of the existing literature, this study also analyzes the impact that the strategies employed by the negotiating parties had upon outcomes. It offers the novel approach of analyzing the military's integration through the lens of negotiation theory rather than more conventional theoretical lenses. In doing so, this study aims not only to contribute to a common understanding of the means by which the SANDF was created and shaped, but also to broaden the scope and depth of military integration theory itself.