Short Fuse Podcast #62: The Week Mandela Averted Civil War and Forged a New Nation

By Elizabeth Howard



Episode Summary

Journalist and author Justice Malala. Photo: courtesy of the artist

In this episode of the Short Fuse Elizabeth Howard is in conversation with Justice Malala, one of South Africa’s foremost political commentators.

Justice Malala was a twenty-two-year old rookie journalist and one of the first on the scene after a white supremacist shot and killed Chris Hani. The assassination of this beloved Black leader on Easter weekend, April 10, 1993, was intended to provoke civil war, just as then Presidend of South Africa, F. W. de Klerk, and Nelson Mandela were negotiating to end apartheid.

Thirty years on, in his new book The Plot to Save South Africa, Malala visits the events that transpired over the ten days after Hani’s assassination and the role Nelson Mandela played in keeping South Africa from descending into civil war. It is a riveting narrative with many lessons about what leadership can achieve. A critical read in understanding modern South Africa.

Episode Notes

Justice Malala is one of South Africa’s foremost political commentators and the author of the bestseller We Have Now Begun Our Descent: How to Stop South Africa Losing Its Way. He has been a columnist for the Times in South Africa, and written for the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, and the Financial Times, among other outlets. He is the former publisher of The Sowetan and Sunday World. He now lives in New York.

The Short Fuse Podcast is hosted and produced by Elizabeth Howard. Learn more at Elizabeth Howard.

The Arts Fuse was established in June 2007 as a curated, independent online arts magazine dedicated to publishing in-depth criticism, along with high quality previews, interviews, and commentaries. The publication’s over 60 freelance critics (many of them with decades of experience) cover dance, film, food, literature, music, television, theater, video games, and visual arts. Our core belief: that there is a robust readership for arts coverage that believes that culture matters.

Alex Waters is the technical producer, audio editor, and engineer for the Short Fuse Podcast. He is a music producer and a student at Berklee College of Music. He has written and produced music and edited for podcasts including The Faith and Chai Podcast and Con Confianza. He writes, produces and records music for independent artists, including The Living. He lives in Brooklyn and can be reached at with inquiries.

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