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Jonathan Ball

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Hlumelo Biko Says His Father, Steve Biko, “Would Not Be Happy” About Continued Economic Inequity

The Great African SocietyIn a recent interview about his book The Great African Society, Hlumelo Biko said that his father, Black Consciousness leader Steve Biko who was killed in the custody of the apartheid police, “would not be happy” with the current state of South Africa today.

“We ceded the space to a few politicians and allowed them to operate. And then we look back 10 years later and think, ‘Oh no, what happened?’,” Biko said in conversation with Kristin Palitza of IPS News.

Palitza also asked Biko about his mother, Mamphela Ramphele’s recently formed party political platform, Agang South Africa, his ideas for better governance and tackling corruption:

Q: One of your book’s main premises is that South Africa needs better governance.

A: Effective regulation means you have to have competent people. It shouldn’t matter what you did before 1994 (the end of apartheid). Yet those records still give people a leg up over others. We need to go beyond that and focus on technical capability. If you look at economies like China, they are where they are because their government operatives are, like it or not, extremely qualified. They are able to put forward effective policies. That’s where we need to take it.

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