After the Dance


In April 1994, South Africa stepped back from the slough of endemic violence and danced its first bold dance with constitutional democracy. Millions of people entered into a state of euphoric rejoicing. The date marked the end of the apartheid past and the beginning of a brave new future.

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This is how the first edition of this highly-praised examination of African democracy was introduced. The date of its release was 2004. Now

15 years on, the dance is well and truly over. Democracy at the southern end ofAfrica has been sorely tested by the world’s largest HIV/Aids epidemic, by deliberate attempt at ‘state capture’ that has relieved the national fiscus of several trillions of Rand, by poverty levels that have surpassed those under apartheid, and by steadily declining educational standards and massiveyouth unemployment. The value of this early work is that it so accurately pinpoints the cracks in the democratic façade. As the second decade of the 21st century draws to a close, the author’s method and keen perceptions resonate far beyond the country he is describing.

David Robbins
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