As South Africans cheered President Barack Obama’s speech at the funeral of Nelson Mandela on Tuesday, a nation of 4.6 million people 2,500 miles north was being torn apart by religious hatred.
When Nelson Mandela and South African President F.W. De Klerk began their historic negotiations to end apartheid, each man professed respect for the other. Indeed their relationship appeared not only professional, but personal.
Journalists are not easily impressed. We pride ourselves on our skepticism. (Most advisable of us, may I add.)
On the day that Nelson Mandela was elected as South Africa’s first black president, I drove across the fault lines of segregated suburbia to watch his fellow citizens vote him into office.
– Bernd Debusmann is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –