Issue 548 of New Internationalist

Reader-owned global journalism

South Africa magazine cover

March-April 2024

South Africa: 30 Years Later

Thirty years on from the end of apartheid, South Africa is in the headlines for prosecuting Israel at the International Court of Justice.

As elections approach, we look at the troubles facing this young democracy and ask if this new leading role in global politics could provoke a reckoning at home.

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Debt Justice

In this issue

A woman walks past a mural of Nelson Mandela in Cape Town

In this issue

Africa's pandora's box

The ICJ ruling shook the global establishment. In Cape Town and Johannesburg, Conrad Landin asks if it could pave the way for justice for Indigenous peoples.

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All rise

South Africa’s constitution has allowed social movements to clockup a number of legal victories. But, Claire-Anne Lester asks, can the law really deliver social and economic justice?

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Morbid symptoms

South Africa is losing its status as an upper-middle income developing country. Benjamin Fogel examines the challenges this poses for a young democracy.

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The metal that bent

When South Africa’s largest trade union broke with the ruling alliance, left-wingers saw cause for hope – but things soon turned sour. Niall Reddy and William Shoki explore the consequences of what happened next.

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When the lights go out

The ‘state capture’ of South Africa’s public services has seen billions sequestered by a new boss class as public services collapse. Ra’eesa Pather reports.

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Fortress nation

Xenophobia is on the rise in South Africa. Musawenkosi Cabe assesses the conditions in which vigilante groups gain ground.

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A woman holds a sign that says 'Holocaust survivor says peace not war in our name'


Israel: Warring Words

Public discourse in Israel remains more concerned with the diplomatic and political fallout of genocidal language than with the massacres meted out in the country’s name.

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Cyprus: Troops Out

Protestors demand that Britain end its military presence in Cyprus and interventions in the Middle East.

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Nepal: Tibetans betrayed

Geopolitics in the region have transformed Nepal from a safe-haven for Tibetans into effectively an open-air prison.

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Malaysia's invisible children

A series of proposed citizenship rule changes could exacerbate statelessness.

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Europe: Digital rights now

Criminalization and social demonization mean that sex workers are not granted the same victimhood when it comes to online harms.

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El Salvador: Gold Rush

There are indications that El Salvador’s Trump-like President Nayib Bukele intends to reverse a ban on metal mining.

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Introducing: Guilherme Boulos

The Brazilian politician identified as ‘the heir’ to President Lula da Silva.

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Country profile: Georgia

In the 30 years since the fall of the USSR, Georgia has been struggling to fulfil post-independence aspirations.

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Cartoon History: Bay of Pigs

ILYA looks back on the botched US invasion of Cuba after Fidel Castro’s revolution.

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Temperature Check

Danny Chivers shares four reasons to be hopeful about tackling climate change.

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The Interview

Indian author Amitav Ghosh discusses the colonial roots of today’s opioid crisis, with Graeme Green.

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Hall of Infamy: Keir Starmer

Snakey Starmer sheds his socialist skin to show the cold-hearted Blairite within.

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Agony Uncle

How can movement veterans share the benefits of their own experience without rubbing other activists up the wrong way? NI’s ethics adviser takes a look.

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Side profile shot of Girogia Meloni


Melony's canny game

Italy’s far-right Prime Minister is cultivating international support as she enacts extremism at home. When will supposedly liberal leaders give her the cold shoulder, asks Elena Siniscalco?

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View from India

As Indian politicians try to woo women ahead of the election, Nilanjana Bhowmick calls time on gimmicks.

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View from Africa

After the damning revelations about Nigerian megachurch leader TB Joshua, Rosebell Kagumire reflects on religion, politics and power.

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View from Brazil

Leonardo Sakamoto asks whether the Lula administration’s attempts at careful diplomacy on Israel-Palestine have reached a dead end.

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Afghan woman sits with her baby


'Strong beyond the world's imagination'

In the face of Taliban rule, a spirit of feminist resistance lives on in Afghanistan, reports Jen Ross.

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The Long Read: The betrayal

Yara Hawari explores the disconnect between public support for Palestine across the Arab region, and the diplomatic ties leaders have made with Israel.

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'I will live with the scars for life'

Promise Eze on the resurgence of leprosy in Nigeria and how patients continue to be stigmatized.

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Aziza Brahim

Mixed Media


Sahawari musician Aziza Brahim speaks to Graeme Green.

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Book reviews

Business Power and the State in the Central Andes by John Crabtree, Francisco Durand and Jonas Wolff; Lovebug by Daisy Lafarge; Alphabetical Diaries by Sheila Heti; Ghost Pains by Jessi Jezewska Stevens.

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Film reviews

The Zone of Interest, co-written and directed by Jonathan Glazer; The Settlers, co-written and directed by Felipe Gálvez Haberle.

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Music reviews

Arushi Jain, Delight; Checkpoint 303 featuring Maloun, If I Must Die and other works

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Books essay

How the World Made the West by Josephine Quinn

Ed McNally on how the modern age reconstructed ancient civilization in its image.

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