The Cold War ended, which meant that Moscow was too internally distracted to subvert South Africa the way it had the rest of the continent. So Mandela was gracious and dignified, and content to cut himself and the ANC in on the crony capitalism of the old National Party. Even so, South Africa has been living off the capital of its racist past these last two decades, even as all its social indicators head remorselessly south and a fifth of the white population has fled.
A bunch of us had over/unders on how long we’d get into the official mourning period until the massacres of whites broke out.
We were all proven too pessimistic, as we had been when South Africa hosted the World Cup with breathtakingly little mayhem.
But long term?