Peter Bruce Columnist

I’ve been away for two weeks and seem to have come back to a slightly different country. It looks the same and smells the same. But it feels somehow lighter and I’ve figured out what it is. It isn’t Cyril Ramaphosa. It is the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. In her passing and in the often ugly arguments that raged on social media about her life, one simple but powerful fact emerged: Madikizela-Mandela was complicated, or her story is complicated. Before my holiday the most depressing thing about life in SA was how the very notion of complexity had become a swear word. Madikizela-Mandela has given it respectability again and I’ll guarantee that we will be the better for it if we hold on to it. Complexity is the enemy of the new “identity politics” that seems to have taken a grip of the whole millennial generation. Nowadays everything is about identity, rather than action. It started in SA, as it did elsewhere in the world, as a feature of the political Right. Afrikaners trekked north...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, Morningstar financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00.