South Africa: Specter at the Celebration

Whites mark an anniversary, but blacks look angrily ahead

It was conceived as the most elaborate flag-waving event in years, a monthlong Republic Festival to celebrate South Africa's 20th anniversary as an independent republic. From the Cape shoreline to the Transvaal highlands, South Africans launched a series of sporting events and pageants. "All racial groups can be fired anew with determination and genuine patriotism," intoned State President Marais Viljoen.

From the outset, however, the celebrations ran afoul of the country's bitter, racially divided heritage. At Johannesburg's University of the Witwatersrand, black and...

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