After weeks of speculation, dissent and deal-cutting, the African National Congress published on Friday the list of wildly disparate people it has nominated to replace the current homogeneous government of whites.
The list, in effect a gallery of the likely Parliament-in-waiting, is a mix of militants and moderates, exiles and insiders, technocrats and Communists, venerated veterans like Nelson Mandela, who inevitably tops the list, and newcomers like the granddaughter-in-law of Hendrik Verwoerd, the founding ideologue of apartheid.Most blacks would regard the list as an honor roll of the battle against white domination, but many whites are likely to react with a frisson of alarm to the names of prominent firebrands and Communists.
Despite some internal objections, the congress waived its rules to include Mandela's estranged wife, Winnie Mandela, although she was convicted of kidnapping in the case of a young boy abducted and killed by her bodyguards.
One of the most popular vote-getters among the 500 delegates who selected the campaign slate, Winnie Mandela is virtually assured a seat in the new Parliament - and a starring role in the campaign demonology of President F.W. de Klerk's National Party.
The names published on Friday make up the congress's slate for 200 at-large seats in the new National Assembly. Voters in the elections on April 27, will choose a party rather than individual candidates, and each party will fill its proportion of seats working from the top of the list.
Thus, if the congress wins 50 percent in the national poll, the top 100 members of the list will go to Parliament.
Another 200 assembly members will be elected from the country's nine regions, and there will be a 90-member Senate, selected by provincial legislatures. The congress has not yet completed its lists of regional candidates.
The names published on Friday were selected by a nationwide conference and were painstakingly adjusted by congress leaders to pay debts to allied parties and labor unions, to create a racial balance roughly similar to the population and to meet a promise that one-third of the candidates would be women.
De Klerk's party promptly declared that the list posed "a grave danger to South Africa" because of the many Communist Party members and outspoken militants represented.