South Africa: Entering the Post-Mandela Era

Issue Date October 1999
Volume 10
Issue 4
Page Numbers 3-18
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Post-apartheid South Africa’s democratic quest resembles a good thriller– just as the plot seems clear, a twist appears in the tale. In looking at the results of the country’s second universal-franchise election, held on 2 June 1999, the “obvious” interpretation is that politics in South Africa is in grave danger of becoming “re-racialized.” Yet upon closer scrutiny, a different and happier storyline can also be detected, reflected in the large turnout for the election. The ending of this story has not yet been determined; it will depend upon the political choices made by the government of new president Thabo Mbeki, which, in turn, will be influenced by how it interprets its election victory.

About the Author

Steven Friedman, director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy of Rhodes University and the University of Johannesburg, teaches politics and international relations and has written for numerous South African publications.

View all work by Steven Friedman