African National Congress

The Dark Spot of Nelson Mandela's Legacy

Is he responsible for South Africa's leadership crisis?

Is he responsible for South Africa's leadership crisis? 

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"You Have All the Reasons to Be Angry"

A mine massacre and the fight for South Africa's future

The liberation of South Africa was one of the great triumphs of the twentieth century. What happened next is one of the great disappointments of the twenty-first.

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About Those Protests

Tim Noah gives his take.

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Judging from the fervor of their celebrations, the Libyan people are acutely aware that they will benefit from the fall of Muammar Qaddafi. But Libya is hardly the only country that has reason to rejoice. As committed as the dictator was to destroying his own country, he posed an equal—perhaps even greater—danger to developing countries in other parts of the world. From the time he assumed power, Qaddafi leveraged Libya’s oil money, and his own willingness to have his country become a pariah state, to support insurgencies from East Asia, to South America, to southern Africa.

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Unloved Uruguay

I will admit under the cover of darkness, with a long head start from those who might disagree, that I supported Uruguay against Ghana.  Beirut had been gutted by the Brazilian loss in the afternoon (and here there are the Brazilians and there are the Germans, all else being commentary), so all that was left behind was a sense of solidarity for the little guy, for Africa, for the Third World, for the poor… Which is why, at a football dinner last night, the air turned to permafrost when I, rather alone, cheered Sebastian Abreu’s cheeky penalty that won the match for the “Celeste.” Echoes of the

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The Healer

BLOEMFONTEIN, SOUTH AFRICA—It was as clear as the film’s most famous scene: The work of reconciliation in South Africa is not done yet. In February 2008, a video appeared online showing four white students from South Africa’s University of the Free State (UFS) hazing their black janitors as if they were new freshmen. There’s a beer-drinking contest, a footrace to “Chariots of Fire.” Near the end, the boys appear to pee into bowls of stew and urge the janitors to eat up. It was supposed to be an in-house joke, a protest against a plan to integrate their dorm, a student residence called Reitz.

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The Healer

BLOEMFONTEIN, SOUTH AFRICA—It was as clear as the film’s most famous scene: The work of reconciliation in South Africa is not done yet. In February 2008, a video appeared online showing four white students from South Africa’s University of the Free State (UFS) hazing their black janitors as if they were new freshmen. There’s a beer-drinking contest, a footrace to “Chariots of Fire.” Near the end, the boys appear to pee into bowls of stew and urge the janitors to eat up. It was supposed to be an in-house joke, a protest against a plan to integrate their dorm, a student residence called Reitz.

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Bad Faith

One of the frustrating things about debating the Middle East is that most of the people to my left find it difficult to fathom, or sometimes inconvenient to acknowledge, the existence of actual liberals who have somewhat hawkish views on Israel. So anybody whose view on the Middle East is to the right of Naomi Klein must be a reflexive supporter of Israel and probably a "Likudnik," and could not possibly have any other foreign policy principles that dovetail with their views on Israel. Last week I wrote about a report bringing to light Richard Goldstone's Apartheid-era history.

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Dear reader, I'm in South Africa, a country I've already been to four times. The first time I came the apartheid regime was in power. The regime was tottering during my second visit. By my third the African National Congress had come to power. What I saw on my last visit were several undeniable realities: 1. That South Africa is a modern industrial power; 2. That its democracy actually works; 3. That it is undermined by black racialism and populism--and also by the antagonist of both, capitalism; 4. That its foreign policy is tribal and venal. These are still true.

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This morning, I attended a panel at the CATO Institute entitled, "Left Turn? South Africa after the Election." The referendum in question is the country's fourth general election since the end of apartheid, and will take place next Wednesday. As with every election in South Africa since 1994, there is little question about which party will win, and win big: The African National Congress of Nelson Mandela, now led by the far less reassuring figure of Jacob Zuma. I've written about Zuma before, most recently here and here.

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