Today Nelson Mandela died. He was a man who combined many admirable qualities and who helped bring about change favored by his own people and suffered for seeking change by serving a long prison sentence and in other ways. Notably he sought a regular and constitutional transition and tried to wisely combine socialist and capitalist elements of his restoration and revolutionary program. Under his tenure the economy survived, future administrations were made possible and South Africa was able to capitalize on it ties to the British Commonwealth as well as it fund of international goodwill. On the other hand South Africa is a dangerous crime-ridden country with brewing radical disruptive factions and elements. It is surrounded by neighbors in which open genocidal black racism is increasingly advocated.
The Union survives as economically viable but we are aware that Elon Musk who may be the greatest inventor-entrepreneur alive today is a native White South African who has become a US citizen. What there is of South Africa’s technical sector is shrouded in uncertainty. There is a great deal of complexity to his legacy and to the future of issues he confronted in his life. But we can surely applaud his sustained and committed effort to do the best he could for his country as he saw it.