Keywords: clandestine nuclear weapons programme, President De Klerk, denuclearisation process, South African nuclear tests, South Africa, nuclear deterrent, Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, NPT
The process of South African denuclearisation: an example for the world?
Largely unknown, the history of the accession of South Africa to nuclear weapon status resulted from a programme launched secretly in 1974, benefiting from secret cooperation from Israel, Germany and France. This programme was stopped by President De Klerk as of 1989, which allowed his country to ratify the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1991. It was the first example in the world of a country giving up nuclear weapons and was done in very particular circumstances: the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the prospect of apartheid ending and thus the transfer of power to the ANC.