What Was South Africa Like After Mandela?

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June 19, 2019

Nelson Mandela spent decades in prison as a revolutionary leader fighting against the white supremacist apartheid regime in South Africa. In 1994, he got out of prison and became South Africa’s first Black president, and the whole world was watching!

For those looking at South Africa from outside, his fame may have outshined what’s happened since he left office.

His presidency was followed by those of Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma, a man currently on trial for corruption.

South Africa has had its struggles. From the 2012 Marikana massacre of striking workers to the recent trial of Pieter Doorewaard and Philip Schutte, farmers who murdered a Black teen, there are still major hurdles to overcome.

You can still see how the desire for liberation thrives today. The 2016 #FeesMustFall university protests showed fearless Black youth who were not afraid to call out the racist, oppressive environment on their campuses.

Now Cyril Ramaphosa is president, and one of the biggest issues before him is land reform, the movement to reclaim stolen land and address the harms of apartheid for the benefit of Black farmers. Who knows what’s next, but South Africa is still fighting and inspiring.

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