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The Plot to Save South Africa: The Week Mandela Averted Civil War and Forged a New Nation

The Plot to Save South Africa: The Week Mandela Averted Civil War and Forged a New Nation

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Author(s)/Editor(s): Malala, Justice - -

YearMonthDay of Publication: 20230404
Standardized Book Category: Africa - South - Republic of South Africa
Language: EnglishPage Count: 352

Publisher Marketing: A "gripping and important" (The Guardian) account of nine tumultuous days, as the assassination of Nelson Mandela's protégé by a white supremacist threatens to derail South Africa's democratic transition and plunge the nation into civil war.

Johannesburg, Easter weekend, 1993. Nelson Mandela had been released after twenty-seven years in prison and was in power sharing talks with President F.W. de Klerk. After decades of resistance, the apartheid regime seemed poised to fall...until a white supremacist shot and killed Mandela's popular heir apparent, Chris Hani, in a last desperate attempt to provoke civil war.

Twenty-two-year-old rookie journalist Justice Malala was one of the first people at the crime scene. And as he covered the growing chaos of the next nine days--the protests and police brutality, reprisal killings and calls for paramilitary units to get combat-ready--he was terrified the assassin's plot might succeed.

In The Plot to Save South Africa, Malala "masterfully" (Foreign Affairs) unspools this political history in the style of a thriller, alternating between the perspectives of participants across the political spectrum in a riveting, kaleidoscopic account of a country on the brink. Through vivid archival research and shocking original interviews, he digs into questions that were never fully answered in all the tumult at the time: How involved were far-right elements within the South African government in inciting--or even planning--the assassination? And as the time bomb ticked on, how did these political rivals work together with opponents whose ideology they'd long abhorred--despite provocation and their own failures, doubts, and fears--to keep their country from descending into civil war?

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