Playing the Enemy

2445 WordsApr 22, 201310 Pages
The South Africa the world knows today was not always one of general unity and democracy but of division and supremacy throughout the races. John Carlin’s, “Playing the Enemy,” guides you through South Africa’s journey during the nineteen eighties and early nineties to non-racial democracy. Through firsthand experiences of many South Africans including the dismantler of apartheid and former president, Nelson Mandela, Carlin helps the reader understand what Mandela and many others had to endure to make equality a reality for black South Africans. Carlin’s focus on the destruction of apartheid is coupled with the 1995 Rugby World Cup held in South Africa, more specifically South Africa’s Springboks and how Mandela used them to unite the…show more content…
Mandela was not bitter and was able to put Coetsee at ease right away which unknown to everyone then, began the spark of Mandela’s rule. Carlin takes you through Mandela working his way up the political ladder starting with Coetsee, than to Niel Barnard, head of state intelligence, than to President PW Botha, FW de Klerke, the successor of Botha, and lastly, General Constand Viljoen, the man who wanted to go to war against Mandela’s government when Mandela did come to power. Carlin gives full justice to Mandela and what he had to do to go from prisoner to president in a matter of 4 years. During apartheid most of the South African population either thought themselves to be with whites or with the coloured side. The white side was made mostly of the Afrikaans, the white Dutch descendants. Although a smaller percentage of the population, these white people were generally the wealthy and based their acceptance of apartheid on fear, Carlin states. Fear of unemployment, loss of land and sharing the wealth were all factors that contributed to this outlook. The white population generally did not hate Mandela himself but just feared his motives. They questioned if he wanted to become president for redemption and make their fears reality or if Mandela simply wanted equality. The black side was made up of the native peoples of South Africa including Mandela’s native tribe, Tembu Xhosa which is a common native language. The blacks were obviously against the oppression they

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