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The Threat That Apartheid Left Behind - 2002-11-27

The South African government is continuing its investigation into the recent bombings in Soweto. The attacks have been blamed on a white extremist group. But many question why they took place eight years after the peaceful transition from apartheid to democracy.

A South African author says one reason is the failure of the government to rid the army and police force of what he calls racist and ruthless groups. Mark Mathabane is calling for the “denazification” of the security forces. He says if this is not done, the government and citizens will not know whom in the police and army they can trust and whom they cannot.

He says he’s also concerned about large numbers of disgruntled Afrikaners who are facing a change in lifestyle, including the elimination of Afrikaans as a language in schools. The author says the Mbeki government must explain to whites why it is important to empower blacks; talk to blacks about the concerns of whites; and enlist the help of those whites who have embraced multi-racial democracy in South Africa.

From Portland, Oregon, Mr. Mathabane spoke to VOA English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua about what he calls “the threat that Apartheid left behind.”