The Wrong Tribe

The British captured South Africa by force of arms, established its parliamentary tradition and civil service, dug out its gold and diamonds and built its roads and factories. Yet for years these onetime conquerors have been little more than a permanent opposition. With a population of 1.5 million compared with 3 million Afrikaners, English-speaking South Africans are a prosperous minority, controlling perhaps 80% of the economy. Why are they so politically powerless?

"The English didn't realize that government was the biggest business in the country," says Helen Suzman, with a touch of exaggeration and a touch of bitterness. Now entering her...

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