South Africa's turbulent transition to multi-racial democracy
It took courage on all sides to bridge the chasm of suspicion and hostility engendered by generations of apartheid in South Africa. The world knows about Nelson Mandela but few realize that behind the scenes thousands of South Africans of all races worked at the community level to prevent simmering tensions from erupting into chaos.
In January 2005, the radio program A World of Possibilities aired a series of interviews with key players in these grass-roots peace building efforts; activists who held out for a non-violent, democratic transformation.
Susan Collin Marks was an international mediator who used her skills to calm volatile tempers in the early days of the peace accords. She writes about her experiences with the peace committees in her book, Watching the Wind and she is now Executive Vice President of Search for Common Ground, a U.S.-based conflict resolution organization.
Vincent Diba was an anti-Apartheid campaigner who spent a decade in a notorious prison before spearheading community-level peace-building efforts in the Western Cape. He served in the African National Congress Provincial Legislature from 1994-1999.
Dr. Alex Boraine was formerly the Deputy Chairperson of South Africa's pioneering Truth and Reconcilliation Commission. He is now the founding president of the International Center for Transitional Justice.
Sean Tait was a National Peace Accord organizer and violence prevention specialist who helped build community peace structures in Cape Town.
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