Report: South Africa

Former Mandela assistant sparks South Africa race row

Zelda La Grange at the launch of her book Good Morning, Mr Mandela
Zelda La Grange at the launch of her book Good Morning, Mr Mandela AFP

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma is attending the Davos World Economic Forum with a message that investment and business are key to South Africa’s economic success. He leaves behind a simmering row caused by Zelda la Grange, Nelson Mandela's former personal assistant who has said she would feel more welcome in France than in her native South Africa.


La Grange says potential white investors from Europe and the United States should be told they’re not welcome in South Africa.

Slideshow Mandela

She later apologised for any hurt her remarks might have caused but she has not withdrawn her assertion that President Jacob Zuma is making whites the scapegoats for South Africa’s ills.

Deputy telecommunications minister Hlengiwe Mkize has proposed that she and la Grange meet to go back to basics and discuss the evils of colonialism.

Dossier: Africa Cup of Nations 2012

At Davos Zuma will have his work cut out selling the country’s national development plan in the teeth of new evidence that race remains a highly sensitive and potentially disruptive issue in South Africa 21 years after the ANC took power.

The ruling party is incensed at a Constitutional Court decision overturning an election court ban on the opposition Democratic Alliance saying Zuma has stolen from the people by improperly enriching himself from the publicly funded upgrade of security at his private residence in Kwazulu/Natal.


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