Caution after Mandela

June 08, 1999

Here is an excerpt of an editorial from the Australian, in New South Wales, which was published Wednesday.

CHANGE of government anywhere can be risky but South Africa faces an extraordinarily delicate period in its development. Most South Africans still live in poverty, waiting for basic material living conditions that they believe are theirs by right.

Nelson Mandela's government was one of transition and reconciliation. The need to build economic and social stability, while reinforcing political integrity and transparency, is just as crucial but the task requires a government and leader prepared to forge their own path.

If reports that almost $12 million is being set aside for the inauguration of the new president are true, it would be an inauspicious beginning. Thabo Mbeki may want to step out of Mr. Mandela's shadow, but that does not justify a spree that exaggerates the divide between a privileged few and the impoverished masses.

Pub Date: 6/08/99

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