South Africa

Stories From The Arab Spring

Nov 10, 2015
Reynolds on a tank in the Panshjir Valley, Afghanistan
Andy Reynolds

UNC political science professor Andy Reynolds is one of the world’s leading experts in governmental and electoral design. During his graduate school years in post-Apartheid South Africa, Reynolds advised writers of the constitution.

He continued to help other countries devise political structures over the last two decades. During the Arab Spring revolutions, Reynolds spent time in Egypt, Libya and Yemen working for the United Nations and the United States National Security Council.

Father Michael Lapsley with Desmond Tutu
Institute for Healing of Memories

Father Michael Lapsley is a South African liberation activist and priest who knows firsthand what it is like to experience trauma. In 1990, a mail bomb intended to assassinate him caused him to lose both of his hands, an ear, and an eye.

Update at 7:05 a.m. ET

A judge in South Africa handed down a verdict of culpable homicide against double-amputee Olympic and Paralympic runner Oscar Pistorius in the shooting death of his girlfriend. The conviction carries a maximum of 15 years in prison.

John Hogg

South African choreographer Gregory Maqoma grew up hearing the story of his ancestor, a 19th century Xhosa warrior. The man is remembered for his long fight to preserve cultural traditions and resist colonial rule. In the dance piece, "Exit/Exist," Maqoma explores the connections between his past and present while live musicians sing in the Xhosa language.

Lawyer and freedom fighter Albie Sachs is one of the lesser-known heroes of South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement. He spent time incarcerated and years in exile before nearly dying from a car bomb.