Hope for South Africa?

Tuesday, January 1, 1991

Is there a path of peaceful evolutionary change for South Africa? Gann and Duignan have long thought so.

The shooting at Sharpeville in 1960 focused worldwide attention on South Africa's politics; since then South Africa and its future have been regarded in the West as a continuing morality play, with whites standing staunchly against blacks and wrong pitted against right. South Africa in this view is a powder keg ready to explode-a land where the clock stands forever at five minutes to midnight.

Dissenting from this view, L.H. Gann and Peter Duignan have consistently argued that the ruling Afrikaner establishment would, in and of itself, initiate far-reaching political, economic, and social changes without a breakdown in the economy. The authors' controversial views have been remarkably accurate.

In this book the authors consider the recent reforms initiated by President F.W. de Klerk and the willingness of Pretoria to negotiate with the African Congress and leaders such as Nelson Mandela. They examine the country's power structure (armed forces, police, arms industry), economy, politics and the ways in which these various branches of government and the private sector interact. If apartheid is dissolved and a peaceful political system allowed to evolve, they envision a prosperous South Africa built on the principles of a free market economy and parliamentary compromise. This prosperity will become the engine of development for the whole of southern Africa.

Copyright 1991.