Birth of a Nation

A historic agreement to hold South Africa's first free elections next April promises no miracle solution for the country's profound economic and social woes

"I consider myself neither morally nor legally bound to obey laws made by a Parliament in which I am not represented."

-- Nelson Mandela, 1962

That brave repudiation of a regime bent on perpetuating white hegemony in South Africa earned Mandela a lifetime's incarceration, while his jailers pressed on with their megalomaniac construct called grand apartheid. At the same time, his stance just as surely launched South Africa on the road to democracy. Last week the country took an irreversible step forward when black and white political leaders declared that every citizen will be able to vote to choose the government....

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