To Our Readers: May 9, 1994

The birth of a nation makes an exciting assignment for any reporter. In the case of South Africa, last week's unprecedented all-race voting created a united land out of bitterly divided fragments, and for Scott MacLeod, TIME's Johannesburg bureau chief, it represented the high point of nearly five years of covering Nelson Mandela's journey from prisoner to President. "Most conflict stories we cover have tragic endings," observes MacLeod, "but what has made this a thrilling time to me is witnessing the remarkable determination here to heal divisions and achieve reconciliation."

MacLeod was outside Viktor Verster Prison in 1990 when Mandela walked...

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