Nov 01 2006

Category: Uncategorized<ADMINNICENAME> @ 5:46 PM

“While to many P.W. Botha will remain a symbol of apartheid, we also remember him for the steps he took to pave the way towards the eventual peacefully negotiated settlement in our country.”
— Nelson Mandela

Nov 01 2006

Death of a Tyrant

Category: Uncategorized<ADMINNICENAME> @ 5:30 PM

P.W. Botha’s death — peaceful and in his own home — is a reminder of South Africa’s tremendous achievement in dismantling the political system of apartheid. In a parallel universe, Botha would have spent his final days in jail for the crimes against humanity he committed as South Africa’s head of state. A hard-liner who opposed any form of equality and reconcialiation black Africans, Botha surrendered power in 1989; his replacement negotiated the end of apartheid with Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress. That Botha died in comfort, and at the ripe age of 90, speaks loudly about the committment to fairness of black Africans, and especially the wisdom of Nelson Mandela and other anti-apartheid leaders. The lack of organized political backlash against white architects of violence and repression against blacks is the most remarkable feature of life in post-apartheid South Africa. It is worth remembering, however, that there were roads not taken. The peaceful death of Botha, whose life was steeped in racist violence, can only be bittersweet. How he escaped justice must also be viewed as a failure, however an inevitable and a practical failure.

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