Colin Bundy is one of South Africa’s foremost historians and the author of The Rise and Fall of the South African Peasantry as well as the biography of Govan Mbeki in the series Ohio Short Histories of Africa.
What have been the most significant developments — political, social, economic — in South Africa since 1994? How much has changed since the demise of apartheid, and how much remains stubbornly the same? Should one celebrate a robust democracy now two decades old, or lament the corrosive effects of factionalism, greed, and corruption on political life? Colin Bundy tries to answer such questions, while avoiding simplistic or one-sided assessments of life under Mandela, Mbeki, and Zuma.
Govan Mbeki (1910–2001) was a core leader of the African National Congress, the Communist Party, and the armed wing of the ANC during the struggle against apartheid. Known as a hard-liner, Mbeki was a prolific writer and combined in a rare way the attributes of intellectual and activist, political theorist and practitioner.
“South Africa has jailed so many gifted men and women that there already exists a sizeable body of prison writing…The essays by Govan Mbeki which comprise this book add to this distinguished list. Yet they differ in important respects from all others: they were written, circulated and preserved in prison. They were never intended for publication but to be read by other prisoners; their aim is not to share an experience but to educate politically. They are remarkable documents.