There never was a good war or a bad peace. ~Ben Franklin
from the rush transcript of the interview:
RANDALL ROBINSON: "5,000 Americans who came to the embassy over the following years—year to be arrested. And of course that helped to propel through the Congress the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986. So, it—and then American investments in South Africa began to tumble. And, of course, that, combined with the internal pressures in the country, produced the circumstances in the government there, the readiness to negotiate and to ultimately release Nelson Mandela. ... [The divestment movement] made every difference. There was no inclination in government to change policy. There was in place a policy that the Republican government called "constructive engagement," meaning that, in effect, that we were on South Africa’s side and that sanctions would be the wrong thing, even though the ANC was asking us to do all that we could to put in place sanctions, because they knew, and we knew, that unless the government of South Africa felt the steel of some penalty for what they were doing, nothing would ever change. But once the loans began to disappear and the corporate investors began to disappear and the income and the size of the South African economy began to shrink, because of these efforts and because of these civil disobedience efforts across the United States, it made all the difference in the world.
And so, then we saw passed in 1986 in October the Comprehensive Act, with a Republican Senate overriding the veto of Ronald Reagan. It was the only time in the 20th century that an American president had suffered an override for a foreign policy measure, an override of a veto. So, it was historic. And it happened because of the leadership in the Congress working with us, the leadership of Senator Ted Kennedy, the leadership of Bill Gray in the House, the Congressional Black Caucus and many others—Richard Lugar, a Republican leader. Lowell Weicker, a Republican from Connecticut, became the first American member of the United States Senate to be arrested in an act of civil disobedience."