oa South African Medical Journal - Signing off after two decades at the helm - : from the editor

Volume 102, Issue 12
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



1993, the year I was appointed Editor of the , turned out to be a Dickensian moment in the history of South Africa. As in , 'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us.' In that year, the diverse parties concluded the political negotiations leading to the adoption of a new democratic constitution. At the same time, senseless political violence continued, typified by the deadly attack on worshippers at the St James Church in Kenilworth, Cape Town. Nelson Mandela and F W de Klerk were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and activist Chris Hani was assassinated by the right-wing fringe. The Proteas, newly readmitted to international competition after 21 years of the sports boycott of South Africa, walloped Sri Lanka and drew with Australia in test cricket; domestically, the defence force opened fire on a house of an anti-apartheid activist in Umtata, killing five schoolchildren. The atmosphere in the country was thick with trepidation and hope, anxiety and anticipation.

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