HELEN ZILLE: Time to revive the notion of SA exceptionalism
If SA is to have a valid claim to exceptionalism, we need to resuscitate the state, with nonracialism as a starting point rather than an elusive end goal
Are we, South Africans, as special as we like to think we are? We certainly thought so, back in the mid-1990s, when the whole world worshipped our secular deity, Nelson Mandela, and heaped praise on us for the "miracle" of our 1994 elections.
But that notion has been thoroughly debunked over the past 25 years, as we followed the trajectory of a failing transition — single-party dominance, centralisation of power, cronyism, corruption, and the captured, criminal state (rationalised by the overriding imperative of "racial transformation")...