At the Dawn of Liberation

In the first democratic, all-race elections, the black majority is taking control of its own country after more than 300 years

His broad, beaming grin is one of his trademarks, but Nelson Mandela thinks it makes him look silly. At 75 and soon to achieve his lifelong dream, he feels he must project a more dignified image. But his struggle to restrain the smiles failed last week as Zulu Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi finally agreed to end his Inkatha Freedom Party's boycott of the country's first all-race parliamentary elections. The agreement, said a jubilant Mandela, "is a leap forward for peace."

As the date of liberation approached over the past few weeks, the curse of violence grew across the land. It looked as...

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