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Cape Hope

articleWall Street Journal WSJ Europe
Now 56, Ms. Zille follows in the footsteps of another Helen who espoused liberalism -- Helen Suzman, who for years was sole member of the old South African parliament opposed to apartheid. As in those days, Ms. Zille says that "people are still judged by the color of their skin not the content of their character." The ANC uses "nationalism and racial mobilization" to hold on to power, keeping the country riven along sectarian lines in the way apartheid rulers did. "It's just as easy and tempting for the new power elite to use race just as the old one did," she says. "The big issue here is are we going to descend into the closed patronage society in which your chances in life are going to be determined by your race and your closeness to people in power, or are your chances in life going to be determined by your commitment, your ability, your work ethic," says Ms. Zille. "If we go the wrong way, we'll end up like Zimbabwe. If we go the right way we'll end up closer to the United States." The outcome is sure to reverberate across Africa.