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Articles on South African history

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Inkatha leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi, former South African President FW de Klerk and Nelson Mandela after signing a peace pledge ahead of the first democratic elections in 1994. Keith Schamotta/AFP via Getty Images

New book on South Africa’s history puts black people at the centre, for a change

This history covers twelve decades, from the surrender of Boer guerrillas in the Second Anglo-Boer War in 1902 to the July 2021 looting spree and violence.
Many black South Africans live in appalling conditions with no running water or electricity 27 years into democracy. Anders Pettersson/Getty Images

South Africa needs new thinking for its democracy to work for all

The new governing elite mistakenly believes that the goal of a democratic South Africa is simply to extend to everyone what whites enjoyed under apartheid.
A demonstration in Red Square (since renamed Freedom Square) in the Johannesburg suburb of Fordsburg, South Africa, 6th April 1952. Photo by Jurgen Schadeberg/Getty Images

Book sheds light on apartheid South Africa’s hidden massacre

When the Truth and Reconciliation was mandated to investigate human rights violations from March 1960, that left twelve years of apartheid rule unexplored.
The graves of the victims of the Sharpeville massacre tell a grim story. Frank Trimbos/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Survey shows ignorance about big moments in South Africa’s history – like the Sharpeville massacre

The low levels of familiarity with key historical events indicate that there are serious shortcomings in the development of national collective memory in South Africa.

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