National Geographic : 2010 Jun
• of the year Zuma's supporters were burning T-shirts with Mbeki's face on them. Zuma and Mbeki, although both longtime ANC activists, could not be more unalike. Mbeki is a Xhosa from the Eastern Cape, highly edu- cated and emotionally remote. Zuma is a Zulu from KwaZulu-Natal with no formal education who served a decade-long sentence on Robben Island for opposing apartheid. A charismatic man of action, he has three wives and a rape al- legation to his name. (He was acquitted in 2006.) In 2007 Mbeki announced to both houses of parliament that he had authorized a special dis- pensation for pardon applications for politically motivated crimes that had taken place between 1994 and 1999. Mbeki's o cial explanation was that he wished to nish the business of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Uno cially the move was seen by some as an e ort to gain much needed support for the agging president. e next year a group with a representative from each of the 15 o cial political parties recom- mended 120 prisoners for presidential pardon. "It was an attempt to reach out politically," Tshepo Madlingozi of the University of Pretoria with Jobson---a dis- armingly mild-mannered doctor in her 50s--- from Johannesburg, and we're driving through the outskirts of Pretoria on a blameless summer a ernoon in late 2009. From here, South Af- rica's administrative capital seems all owering impatience---50,000 jacarandas lend the city a mildly campy glamour, and the streets are lined with beds of agapanthus. Advertisements for the World Cup are everywhere; a high-speed-train track is being built parallel to the road. "Everyone was exhausted by 1994. I think they just wanted apartheid to go away and the government to x everything. But that didn't happen," Jobson says. "It's up to each individual South African to participate actively in restitu- tion. You know, the power of one. e power one person has to perpetuate our violent past, or the power one person has to contribute to a just, peaceful society." In this way our conversation comes back to Coetzee. Sometime in 2004 Jobson received a phone call from Eugene de Kock. Over the years de Kock has tried to help Khulumani locate people who disappeared during the struggle, describing in some detail the manner in which they vanished, mostly because he was respon- sible for what happened to them. De Kock told Jobson that he had become acquainted over the previous couple of years with a young man called Stefaans Coetzee. "Stefaans wanted to meet with his victims and apologize for what he had done," she says. Jobson wasn't opposed to being helpful. e only problem was that Coet- zee had no idea who his victims were. He could give no names and---beyond the fact that three of the dead had been children---no identifying characteristics. THE PRESIDENTS In 2005 abo Mbeki, in his second term as South Africa's president, fired Jacob Zuma, the deputy president. Zuma had been implicated in a corruption scandal involving a ve-billion-dollar arms deal. (Charges were dropped in April 2009.) Mbeki must have thought ridding himself of this trou- blesome high priest of populism was a safe bet. But it turned out to be the political kiss of death, causing a deep split within the ruling party, the African National Congress, or ANC. By the end (Continued from page 93) "IT'S UP TO EACH SOUTH AFRICAN TO PARTICIPATE IN RESTITUTION. YOU KNOW, THE POWER OF ONE," MARJORIE JOBSON SAYS. "TO PERPETUATE OUR VIOLENT PAST, OR TO CONTRIBUTE TO A JUST, PEACEFUL SOCIETY."