South Africa: Harold Wolpe - South Africa Today Is a Betrayal of My Father's Fight for Rights and Justice


Harold Wolpe led his life from a moral code not just in rhetoric, but in his work and actions. This code was not borne out of greed and power, but from honesty, integrity and a deep-seated belief in equality - traits that seem largely forgotten in today's South Africa.

Today, 19 January 2021, marks 25 years since the death of my father, activist, lawyer and acclaimed academic Harold Wolpe. It's perhaps a fitting anniversary to reflect on the kind of person he was, his life's work, the sacrifices he made and where we are today.

In recent years I have often wondered what his analysis would be, how he would have made sense of the corruption that has beset our country, the disappointments and the failure of government to right the wrongs of the apartheid era.

Certainly, he would recognise that there have been certain changes for the better since 1994. But it is likely that he would have the same deep concerns he raised in 1995 when he criticised the RDP policy - that the changes are not systemic or sustainable, do not go far enough and have fundamentally supported a pre-existing economic order which ultimately served only a...

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