Nice piece. Worth the time.
The deal he negotiated on behalf of many others who suffered and sacrificed was essentially this: in exchange for one-person-one-vote, both the accumulated wealth of South Africa’s apartheid rulers and global investors would remain untouched, as would rules and conditions of future accumulation. No redistribution, no land reform, and in place of an overhaul of the capitalist system, the ANC government, in coalition with the South African Communist Party (SACP) (an organization that has retrospectively claimed Mandela as a member) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) would seek, to establish a “national democratic revolution.” All of this was decided before a single South African set foot in a voting booth in 1994. Subsequent battles over housing, health, and economic policy under Presidents Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma have been shaped and fundamentally limited by the terms of this agreement.