Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Who Killed Apartheid?

Who Killed Apartheid?

As a follow up to the post on Mandela, my friend Mike Levine shared this fascinating interview with me on Facebook.  It raises some interesting questions.  I have no doubt in my own mind that with the end of the Cold War the external and internal pressure on South Africa to democratise would have become irresistible, so that by the mid-90s, white minority rule would have been a thing of the past in any case.

The big question is what kind of South Africa would have replaced it?  As Howard Barrell asserts, the ANC's armed struggle gave them the moral and political authority to dominate the New South Africa and its creation, and put in place a constitutional and political system based on human and democratic rights that should stand as an inspiration to the rest of the world, as imperfect as it may be.

The big question, I suppose, is in the absence of that, would we have got the same South Africa, or something more closely resembling Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe, or worse still, Idi Amin's Uganda?

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