Twenty-five years ago:  Mandela finishes his long walk to freedom

On 11 February 1990, the world’s most famous political prisoner was set free after 27 and a half years in captivity. Keith Somerville, a senior research fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies (ICWS) who has been following South African politics for decades, discusses the event that heralded the end of white minority rule and… Continue reading Twenty-five years ago:  Mandela finishes his long walk to freedom

Mandela:Myth and Reality – a chance for considered reflection

Keith Somerville, a senior research fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies (ICWS), who was able to observe at first-hand, developments in South Africa, helped to organise the recent Mandela: Myth and Reality conference. Coming a year after the death of the country’s first black president, it brought together a remarkable group of experts to… Continue reading Mandela:Myth and Reality – a chance for considered reflection

PoTW – Ruth First: Não Vamos Esquecer (We Will Not Forget)

The South African revolutionary Ruth First made an extraordinary contribution to activism and radical writing and research on Africa. She worked as a journalist in South Africa from 1946 until her exile in the UK in 1964. She then became an editor, co-author and author of a large number of books, as well as a… Continue reading PoTW – Ruth First: Não Vamos Esquecer (We Will Not Forget)

Why John Simpson was right to raise the issue of white poverty in South Africa

In his recent blog, Martin Plaut, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Commonwealth Studies, discusses John Simpson’s controversial coverage of white poverty in South Africa. Though poor whites are in a minority, should this mean that the tens of thousands who do live in squalor should be ignored? Read this fascinating blog and other interesting Commonwealth opinions on the… Continue reading Why John Simpson was right to raise the issue of white poverty in South Africa