Johannesburg, Easter weekend, 1993. Nelson Mandela has been free for three years and is in slow-moving power-sharing talks with President FW de Klerk when a white supremacist shoots Mandela’s popular young heir apparent, Chris Hani, in the hope of igniting an all-out civil war. Will he succeed in plunging South Africa into chaos, safeguarding apartheid for perhaps years to come? Or can Mandela and de Klerk overcome their differences and mutual suspicion and calm their followers, plotting a way forward?
In The Plot to Save South Africa, acclaimed South African journalist Justice Malala recounts the riveting story of the next nine days – never before told in full – revealing rarely seen sides of both Mandela and de Klerk, the fascinating behind-the-scenes debates within each of their parties over whether to pursue peace or war, and their increasingly desperate attempts to restrain their supporters despite mounting popular frustrations.
Flitting between the points of view of over a dozen characters on all sides of the conflict, Justice Malala offers an illuminating look at successful leadership in action… and a terrifying reminder of just how close a country we think of today as a model for racial reconciliation came to civil war.