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August 17, 2005

The Future of South Africa

Tim Burke writes:

Easily Distracted: South Africa'9s Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka comments http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=13&art_id=qw112369500781B225 that South Africa can learn a lot from Zimbabwe's land reform, namely, how to do it faster. South Africa needs a bit of "oomph"D she says, and maybe should get some colleagues from Zimbabwe to come and advise on how to get that oomph. Polite laughter.

South Africa's an interesting case. Can a constitutional process of transition, a good political precedent in the practices of the first democratically elected leader, a political culture that prizes dissent, and the best hopes of many millions be enough to keep the consistently bad impulses of nationalist political leaders from self-destruction?

The examples of Botswana and Mauritius tell us that it is possible.

Posted by DeLong at August 17, 2005 08:43 PM