The life and legacy of Nelson Mandela: Queen's University expert
South Africa’s first black president, Nelson Mandela, has passed away and Africa expert Marc Epprecht is able to comment on Mandela’s legacy and public reaction.
“Nelson Mandela is a great hero to many people, and symbolic of an unexpectedly peaceful political transition in South Africa,” says Dr. Epprecht. “Less well remembered is that he ushered in the country’s embrace of neo-liberal economic policies that set the stage for massive disinvestment and capital flight, rising unemployment, and growing socio-economic inequalities.”
Dr. Epprecht lived in Zimbabwe, Lesotho and South Africa for eight years and is a professor of Global Development Studies and History at Queen’s.
“Much of the outpouring of emotion we are seeing will be trepidation,” says Dr. Epprecht. “Mandela was an admirable leader constrained by circumstances beyond his control.”
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