South Africa is further removed now from the ideal of a rainbow nation than at any other time since the official end of apartheid in 1994. Some feel that the extremists are increasingly gaining traction and poisoning the atmosphere, as they incite hatred for short-term political gain. The tide is turning in South Africa. Following the death of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, South African anti-apartheid politician and activist and the former wife of Nelson Mandela, at the beginning of April, only a handful of the leading anti-apartheid campaigners now remain.
South Africa ex-president Jacob Zuma is on trial for corruption. He and his cohorts have lined their pockets in an unprecedented fashion over the course of recent years. Now younger politicians, unwilling to wait any longer for a redistribution of wealth in South Africa, are making radical demands. They want white farmers to have their land confiscated without compensation. Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa’s new president, has indicated he too would support that. But at the same time, he appears to be taking a more professional approach and is keen to clean up South African politics. Nevertheless both black and white South Africans say relations between them are worse than ever since the end of apartheid.
Most feel that it was only under Nelson Mandela, who would have turned 100 years old on July 18th, that South Africa took genuine steps towards becoming a rainbow nation. We look at a country that carried the hopes of an entire continent back in 1994, but now threatens to break down amid controversy and contradictions.
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