South Africa: Transition to Freedom?
Eighty-one years after the African National Congress was formed to fight white rule, its leaders shook hands with the party that devised apartheid in an agreement which, at least on paper, will treat blacks as equals to whites. On November 18, 1993, Nobel Peace Prize winners Nelson Mandela and F.W. de Klerk signed South Africa’s first non-racial constitution. The agreement takes effect immediately after elections in April, 1994. It provides for the elimination of all legal vestiges of apartheid as well as the ten homelands created by whites as reservations for blacks. After decades of strife and struggle, what will the new South Africa look like?
Dennis Brutus was long involved in the South African freedom movement. He was almost single-handedly responsible for the successful sports boycott of South Africa. Imprisoned, beaten and shot by the regime, he went into exile in 1966. He was a professor of African Literature at the University of Pittsburgh. In addition to his political activism and academic work, Professor Brutus was a distinguished poet. He was the author of a collection of poetry, Still the Sirens. He died in December 2009.