Capetown/South Africa: I am now observing South African society for a few days. After my stay as a scholarship holder of the South African Chemical Society at the University of Pretoria from 1995 to 1996, socially characterised images emerge in fast motion. It is a path away from the post-colonial society of apartheid towards the rainbow nation that Mandela dreamed of.
The picture has changed in fast motion, it has become more colourful and multicultural. The streets and shopping centres are full of people of different skin colours, with a high proportion of people of colour. At first glance, racial segregation no longer exists, and yet coloured South Africans are also asking questions about the government. Some finally want a white president. Most of them are open and friendly. Sometimes the coloured Africans are very demanding. But that is often the case in African countries. They preen themselves in their being. Many are African cheerful. But at second glance, the many population groups are segregated. Sometimes they feel robbed of their privileges by the whites. Everything is getting worse, they think. Many power cuts are endured with great composure. Added to this is the high migration pressure from the north. But for me as a contemporary witness, Mandela’s dream seems to be becoming more and more of a reality.
But for me as a contemporary witness, Mandela’s dream seems to be becoming more and more of a reality. What a miracle the Nobel Peace Prize winner has achieved, because many things were possible without civil war. The Europeans of our time could take an example from him.
Author: Dr Thomas Isenburg, science journalist