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South Africa’s brain wars

Apartheid is over but the battle to control South Africa's institutions is just beginning. Sophie Pedder reports on the succession crisis dividing the liberal English-speaking University of the Witwatersrand

By Sophie Pedder   May 1996

Every time south Africa swells with its remarkable spirit of racial forgiveness, something comes along to puncture it. When President Nelson Mandela wore the springbok captain’s jersey at the rugby world cup final last July, he reached out to the Afrikaners, the minority which felt most threatened by majority rule. He then gave dignity to the black majority when he did the same for the national soccer team, which became African champions in February. But South Africa’s racial divisions cannot be waved away with generous gestures. Far from the sports field, a row has been raging at the grand old…

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