Apartheid was labelled a crime against humanity by the United Nations General Assembly as early as 1966. By contrast, a freelance journalist from Cape Town, Andrew Kenny, claimed in an article published in 1999 that apartheid had saved South Africa from Communism.1 Even after its demise apartheid has continued to be a source of both academic controversy and political contention. The struggle against apartheid produced one of the towering figures of the twentieth century, Nelson Mandela. His standing was a reflection not just of his own extraordinary qualities but also of the significance the world attached to the miracle of South Africa’s transition to democracy in 1994. The triumph of liberal-democracy constituted an amazing conclusion to the story of South Africa in the twentieth century. During the long years of Mandela’s imprisonment such a development had seemed wildly improbable. There was a broad consensus among analysts that white minority rule could not last for ever on the southern tip of the African continent, but those who predicted its demise rarely predicted such a benign political outcome. Indeed, it had been widely feared that apartheid would end in a racial bloodbath with a profound impact on race relations in the rest of the world.
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