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The Plot to Save South Africa The Week Mandela Averted Civil War and Forged a New Nation


The Plot to Save South Africa The Week Mandela Averted Civil War and Forged a New Nation

  • ISBN 13:


  • ISBN 10:


  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 04/04/2023
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster

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A “gripping and important” (The Guardian) account of nine tumultuous days, as the assassination of Nelson Mandela’s protégé by a white supremacist threatens to derail South Africa’s democratic transition and plunge the nation into civil war.

Johannesburg, Easter weekend, 1993. Nelson Mandela had been released after twenty-seven years in prison and was in power sharing talks with President F.W. de Klerk. After decades of resistance, the apartheid regime seemed poised to fall…until a white supremacist shot and killed Mandela’s popular heir apparent, Chris Hani, in a last desperate attempt to provoke civil war.

Twenty-two-year-old rookie journalist Justice Malala was one of the first people at the crime scene. And as he covered the growing chaos of the next nine days—the protests and police brutality, reprisal killings and calls for paramilitary units to get combat-ready—he was terrified the assassin’s plot might succeed.

In The Plot to Save South Africa, Malala “masterfully” (Foreign Affairs) unspools this political history in the style of a thriller, alternating between the perspectives of participants across the political spectrum in a riveting, kaleidoscopic account of a country on the brink. Through vivid archival research and shocking original interviews, he digs into questions that were never fully answered in all the tumult at the time: How involved were far-right elements within the South African government in inciting—or even planning—the assassination? And as the time bomb ticked on, how did these political rivals work together with opponents whose ideology they’d long abhorred—despite provocation and their own failures, doubts, and fears—to keep their country from descending into civil war?

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