Foreign Policy Blogs

Mandela’s Health, and South Africa’s


[Mail & Guardian]

Nelson Mandela is once again in the hospital and as has been the case so often in the past, his lungs are the source of his health problems. Mandela is obviously such a symbolically resonant figure in the country’s history that it is nearly unimaginable that he has slowed down to the point of invisibility in recent years, and it will be a horrible blow when he passes from this mortal coil. In some ways his legacy, and even mythology, serves as a glue for an ANC that, no matter what its critics assert, is far from monolithic and far from unified.



Derek Catsam

Derek Catsam is a Professor of history and Kathlyn Cosper Dunagan Professor in the Humanities at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. He is also Senior Research Associate at Rhodes University. Derek writes about race and politics in the United States and Africa, sports, and terrorism. He is currently working on books on bus boycotts in the United States and South Africa in the 1940s and 1950s and on the 1981 South African Springbok rugby team's tour to the US. He is the author of three books, dozens of scholarly articles and reviews, and has published widely on current affairs in African, American, and European publications. He has lived, worked, and travelled extensively throughout southern Africa. He writes about politics, sports, travel, pop culture, and just about anything else that comes to mind.

Areas of Focus:
Africa; Zimbabwe; South Africa; Apartheid