Here's to an invigorating 27 years of democracy

25 April 2021 - 00:00 By Sunday Times Editorial

For many, 1994 was the best of times. The worst of times were, we believed, behind us. After all, what could be worse than the evil system of apartheid, which April 27 consigned to the dustbin of history? If ever there was a new dawn, Nelson Mandela's first administration was it. South Africans, black and white, were relieved that democracy had been attained without a resort to war, despite adventurist threats by a lunatic fringe. SA shed its pariah status in the family of nations and promised to put a lid on the injustices of the past and remove from its statutes anything that enabled the subjugation of one race by another.

There was as much restlessness as there was hope. Many wondered how soon the democratic promise, the fruits of liberation, would be realised. They hoped that access to education and quality health care would be prioritised. Some hoped unemployed people would get jobs and have their dignity restored. Hope had triumphed - only to be followed by a season of hopelessness in later years...

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