What is the matter with this country? If oppression by the West is to blame, why are things getting worse under indigenous rule? AIDS, which had a manageable prevalence in the early Nineties, is now set to kill at least a quarter of the population. The new president, Thabo Mbeki, has responded by questioning whether HIV causes AIDS. Crime has become so routine that to speak of certain areas as dumps for the bodies of raped and strangled children is not a hyperbole. Foreign policy is a long funeral for the country’s hopes, with the regime openly seeking advice from Libya, Zimbabwe, and Algeria.

Post-apartheid South Africa looks to me very much like another case of African government. Africans can call me a racist if they feel like it. (The sanction has little meaning where it is applied even to black journalists indicting corruption...


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