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Mandela’s last dance

Behind South Africa's fading miracle lies a familiar African story. RW Johnson says that the country has exchanged one dominant party regime for another and, with Mandela's power waning, the new rulers are making the lives of whites and Asians so uncomfortable that many are leaving

By RW Johnson   June 1997

Anyone who has lived in South Africa knows that it is a Janus-faced country. This is particularly true of its political life, for both black and white South Africans are addicted to histrionics and windy rhetoric. Everyone is in search of moral catharsis. When you look behind some of this the reality is often rather tawdry. Assessing how to treat this two (or more) sidedness sometimes seems like a full time job and is part of the incredible richness that living in South Africa provides.

Take one of the most moving moments which even this country-which specialises in moving moments-has…

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