- Paperback: 752 pages
- Publisher: Penguin (25 Mar. 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0141000325
- ISBN-13: 978-0141000329
- Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 3.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 172,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
South Africa's Brave New World: The Beloved Country Since the End of Apartheid Paperback – 25 Mar 2010
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A relentless and pulverising polemic against the ruling African National Congress and virtually all of its leading lights (Economist)
[A] ripping audit of the post-apartheid settlement ... especially good at skewering Mbeki's "Africanist" rhetoric (Stephen Robinson Sunday Times)
Offers glorious detail on the political infighting and Mbeki's vindictive style of government (Chris McGreal Observer)
'Johnson names names and spells out amounts ... there are landmines scattered throughout ... not a comfortable wrap up'
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
You can feel the pain of the author as he describes , sometimes in exhaustive detail , the widespread incompetance , indifference , self serving egotism permeating through the land we love . I would be very curious to find out the reaction to this book in SA.
I feel nothing but sadness reading this book . The Beloved Country is no more .
The book basically centers on the period in which Thabo Mbeki occupied the presidency of post-apartheid South Africa. It makes you sad reading how one tried to turn the clocks backward in trying to make South Africa look more African. All in all, one gains the impression that South African whites have no future there. The book also dwells heavily on corruption and governmental inefficiencies, the growing crime problem and health issues such as the HIV problem. The presidency of Jacob Zuma is only touched very briefly at the end of the book.
All in all, the book makes you sometimes feel very depressed, as little hope is offered for the future in South Africa.
I would recommend the book to anyone trying to be up to date on African developments, however, prepare yourselves for some depressing stories!
The book is most enlightening when analysing Thabo Mbeki's psychological make-up. Johnson outlines a disturbed, paranoid individual whose "colonial mindset" prevented him from confronting reality. Those puzzled by Mbeki's AIDS-denialism and refusal to confront Robert Mugabe will find their answers here.
Read between the lines & then google about issues like the Nats' leader marrying the wife of an ANC arms deal broker, and in another context the bill to the taxpayer for Johnnie Walker Blue Label whilst surfing the internet about HIV/AIDS.
Essentially the message is that since 1994 (not to say if not before) corruption is endemic, and the ANC moral high ground is long gone.
The book disputes the old cliches about Nelson Mandela, and whether the Scorpions were some sort of angelic FBI clone.
There was always one view that South Africa was too big to succumb to African continent-type presidential pillage.
The real question is, by when will the South African piggy bank be emptied?
I can recommend the following works. In his study of corruption in the ANC in government, 'Eye on the Money: One Man's Crusade against Corruption' (Umuzi, Johannesburg, 2007), the anti-apartheid banker Terry Crawford-Browne writes that the 'arms deal' is 'central to the succession crisis that dominates the ANC', while Andrew Feinstein's 'After the Party: A Personal and Political Journal Inside the ANC' (2007, 2009), is in fact an 'insider' expose of the wheeling n' dealing behind the 'arms deal', "which has poisoned the whole political system".
The latter quote is from R. W. ('Bill') Johnson's tour de force of 646 pages, 'South Africa's Brave New World - The Beloved Country since the End of Apartheid', on the last page in fact. The cover blurb says it all: "(this) new book tells the story of South Africa from the magic period from 1994 to the bitter disappointment of the present ... At the heart of the book lies the ruinous figure of Thabo Mbeki, whose over-reaching ambitions led to catastrophic failure on almost every front ... As Johnston makes clear ... Mbeki may have contributed more than anyone else to bringing South Africa to 'failed state' status, but he had plenty of help." Johnston, a Durban-born Rhodes scholar and Oxford tutor, he was a correspondent to the London Sunday Times and a prolific commentator on South Africa.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A good read,behind the scenes revelation of the ANC battle for power at any cost,cry the beloved country,opens a can of worms on current government.Published 21 months ago by lady jane
Disappointed that the illustrations are not in color as in the original edition.Published on 9 Dec. 2014 by hank starrett
I haven't read the book myself, I bought it for my daughter who was going to South Africa. She was delighted with the present.Published on 7 Aug. 2014 by Mrs Janet Johnson
One would have been forgiven for thinking that the South Africa which was to emerge from the ashes of Apartheid was to be a beacon of hope and prosperity for all citizens of the... Read morePublished on 3 July 2014 by Mr. D. J. Walford
Mr Johnson is passionate about his work, as he has every right to be. The ANC held the ostensible morale high ground with its mantra's of non racialism, equal opportunity amongst... Read morePublished on 22 Mar. 2013 by Mark Stewart