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Dreams, Betrayal and Hope

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Dreams, Betrayal and Hope

Mamphela Ramphele discusses her book Dreams, Betrayal and Hope. (Camera & editing: Darlene Creamer)

26th April 2017


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Systematically since 1994 the ANC government has betrayed the dream of democracy. A dream that imagined equality, the end of poverty, a thriving economy, and a just and prosperous future for all. Most devastatingly this betrayal can be seen in the failure of educational institutions to develop the talents and skills of the young generations. Given the ‘Fallist’ protests, given the public service delivery protests, given the voters’ message to the ANC in the municipal elections, ordinary people are suffering. Poverty still wears a black face. White racism becomes ever more strident.

The country needs to hope again.

In this searing critique of what’s gone wrong in the public and private sectors, Mamphela Ramphele turns to the tenets of black consciousness and argues for an ‘emotional settlement’ to heal the trauma of colonialism and apartheid that still ravages both black and white communities. Emotional settlement would unlock empathy for others and unleash the potential of all citizens to work together for a ‘socio-economic settlement’ to promote social justice and equality for all. ‘It is time,’ she says, ‘to reimagine the country and its future. We owe this to our children’s children. We dare not fail.’

About the author


Mamphela Ramphele has had a celebrated career as an activist, medical doctor, academic, businesswoman and political thinker. In 1968 she enrolled for a medical degree at the University of Natal, where she became involved in the South African Students Organisation (SASO) and was a founder, with Steve Biko, of the Black Consciousness Movement. In 1976 she was detained under the Terrorism Act, and from 1977 to 1983 she was banned to Tzaneen in the Northern Transvaal. Mamphela became a research fellow at the University of Cape Town in 1986 and was appointed vice-chancellor in 1996. In 2000 she became a managing director of the World Bank. Among many other positions, she has served as the director of IDASA, a board member of Anglo American and a trustee of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. In 2013 she formed the political platform AgangSA, and in 2014 she considered running as presidential candidate for the Democratic Alliance, but she subsequently withdrew from party politics. She is the author of several books, including A Passion for Freedom and Conversations with My Sons and Daughters.

Dreams, Betrayal and Hope is published by Penguin Random House South Africa



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