Roelf Meyer served as minister of defense and of constitutional affairs in the cabinet of former South African president F.W. de Klerk and was intimately involved in the negotiations on the settlement of the South African conflict as chief negotiator for the National Party Government. In this capacity, he negotiated the end of apartheid together with Cyril Ramaphosa, who was chief negotiator for the African National Congress. These negotiations resulted in the first democratic elections in South Africa at the end of April 1994. After the election Meyer served in the cabinet of former president Nelson Mandela.
Having retired from politics, he is now an adviser in peace processes and has been involved in Northern Ireland, Sri Lanka, the Middle East, Rwanda, Burundi, Iraq, Kosovo, the Basque Region, Guyana, Bolivia, Kenya , Sudan, South Sudan, Colombia, Myanmar, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, and the Central African Republic. He is currently director of In Transformation Initiative, a South Africa–based institution that does facilitation and advisory work in and outside the country.