June 3, 1999 |
The man expected to be the next president of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, wears smart suits and boasts a British education. He can recite the poetry of William Butler Yeats by heart. He was married in an English castle and has lived half his 56 years outside South Africa. But home is here in the rolling hills of the secluded Eastern Cape, where people favor mud huts and English is the language of outsiders.
May 30, 1999 |
Election day in this village off the main highway from Pretoria will be a nuts-and-bolts affair. Most everyone who goes to the polls Wednesday is expected to mark the second box from the top: African National Congress. "Many expectations from the last vote have not been met," said Jabulani Mtsweni, a local ANC activist who has been canvassing voters. "But we've been patient for 350 years--why can't we be patient for another five?"
April 9, 1999 |
Of the many democratic changes since this country's first multiracial elections in 1994, South Africans are especially proud of their new constitution. The document not only enshrines basic rights such as those in the U.S. Bill of Rights, but bars discrimination based on race, age, gender and sexual orientation. It even addresses the right to water, housing and health care.
March 27, 1999 |
Bringing an end to a remarkable era of political change, President Nelson Mandela bade farewell to South Africa's Parliament Friday and paid tribute to the achievements of five years of democratic government. Mandela told lawmakers in their final session before national elections June 2 that all political parties had worked hard to overcome the racial divisions left by colonialism and apartheid.
March 19, 1999 |
As a token of reconciliation, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has given her wedding band from Nelson Mandela to a 13-year-old girl whose father's job under apartheid was to destroy her reputation. "I am not one that cries easily, but I was all choked up," said Paul Erasmus, a former security police officer who has confessed to a dirty tricks campaign against Madikizela-Mandela, including leaks to local and foreign media about her alleged marital infidelity. "It was a fantastic moment," he said.
March 10, 1999 |
As leader of this country's fastest-growing opposition party, Bantu Holomisa is a man with reason to worry. Earlier this year, he buried a top party official assassinated in KwaZulu-Natal, a coastal province where supporters of his United Democratic Movement and the ruling African National Congress have been locked in a bloody power struggle since the opposition group's founding two years ago. The day after the assassination, 11 ANC supporters were slain in an apparent revenge attack.
March 5, 1999 |
A panel probing apartheid-era atrocities rejected amnesty applications from 27 leaders of the ruling African National Congress, including Deputy President Thabo Mbeki. Mbeki, who is almost certain to succeed President Nelson Mandela after the June 2 election, and other senior ANC figures sought amnesty for collective responsibility for acts carried out by ANC members during the fight against white rule.
January 25, 1999 |
Police fired tear gas Sunday to prevent street clashes, and officials from the nation's ruling party came under gunfire after the killing of an opposition leader and the massacre of 11 people. Sifiso Nkabinde, 38, a controversial leader of the small United Democratic Movement party, was fatally shot Saturday as he sat in his car in Richmond, a town 300 miles southeast of Johannesburg.
November 28, 1998 |
The shiny Mercedes-Benz sedan wove through a maze of wobbly tin shacks and open sewers Friday on the opening day of voter registration for South Africa's second democratic election. "Madiba! Madiba!" the crowds chanted as President Nelson Mandela, greeted by his clan name, stepped into the morning sunshine to urge residents of Johannesburg's most destitute suburb to sign up to vote. There was one problem: The would-be voters had to be turned away.
April 17, 1998 |
Former President Pieter W. Botha angrily denounced the postponement of his trial Thursday, saying it denied him a chance to respond to allegations that he authorized the killings of black activists. The trial was postponed to June 1 to give prosecutors time to collect and deliver documents to defense lawyers that indicate a council Botha headed approved the slayings and torture of blacks. Botha and his lawyers objected to the delay.