Transformation in South Africa: A People Engaged

  • Harold H. Saunders


At the end of a two-hour conversation in his Johannesburg home over tea in September 1999, my wife and I moved to take our leave of Allister Sparks, prize-winning South African journalist and one-time editor of the Rand Daily Mail, the country’s leading opposition newspaper. He concluded our conversation with this peroration after citing a statement by the U.S. ambassador at a dinner the previous evening that “all countries have a stake in South Africa”:

Right at the end of a century which has arguably been the most terrible in all history—millions have died because of ideology and racial nationalism all the way through to Bosnia, Rwanda, Chechnya—we, who have been the polecat of the world because of our ideology and our racism, are actually pointing the way to the next century. And we’ve got to get it right!


Peace Accord Peace Process African National Congress National Party African Culture 
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Chapter Six Transformation in South Africa: A People Engaged

  1. 66.
    Steven Friedman, ed., The long journey: South Africa’s quest for a negotiated settlement (Braamfontein, South Africa: Ravan Press, 1993), pp. 13–14.Google Scholar
  2. 70.
    This account is based on Susan Collin Marks, Watching the Wind: Conflict Resolution during South Africa’s Transition to Democracy (Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace, 2000), pp. 7–8.Google Scholar

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© Harold H. Saunders 2005

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  • Harold H. Saunders

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