20 Years After Apartheid, South Africa Asks, ‘How Are We Doing?’

By GREG MYRE, May 06, 2014 3:49 PM ET


The Rev. Desmond Tutu, shown during a press conference last month in Cape Town, has been sharply critical of South Africa's political leadership as the country marks 20 years since the end of apartheid. He said he wouldn't vote for the ruling African National Congress in Wednesday's election.

South Africa - 20 years

A women fills up water buckets in front of an election billboard near Johannesburg on Tuesday. Opposition political parties, like the one featured here, say that corruption is a major problem in the ruling African National Congress. Kim Ludbrook/EPA/Landov

When South Africa buried apartheid with its first all-race election in 1994, the Rev. Desmond Tutu danced with joy as he cast his ballot. He called it "a religious experience, a transfiguration experience, a mountaintop experience."

As the country votes Wednesday, here's what he recently told the Sunday Times newspaper: "I didn't think there would be a disillusionment so soon. I'm glad that (Nelson Mandela) is dead. I'm glad that most of these people are no longer alive to see this," a reference to a host of chronic problems such as corruption and poverty.

Tutu, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who is often described as the country's moral beacon, also said he won't vote for Mandela's party, the African National Congress, which has ruled for 20 years and is again heavily favored.

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