South Africa is a complex country, says Ndebele

26 November 2007 | Story by Myolisi Gophe

Adding his stamp: Prof Njabulo S Ndebele signs a book during the launch of Fine Lines from the Box

Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Njabulo S Ndebele says South Africa has become an "enormously complex country", and professionalism by those in power was needed to ensure good decision-making.

At the launch of his latest book, Fine Lines from the Box, at the South African National Gallery on 23 November, Professor Ndebele said that "no family can run a seriously complex country" and the real challenge in civil society is for introspection on good leadership.

Sam Raditlhalo, who teaches in the English Department at UCT, compiled the essays, articles and addresses in the book. The collection constitutes a map of the past three decades of political and cultural thought. It contains information about Brenda Fassie, President Thabo Mbeki, Jacob Zuma and King Moshoeshoe, among others. The book also examines the press and points to the pitfalls facing higher education.

At the launch there was a leadership discussion between Sunday Times editor Mondli Makhanya, award-winning writer Achmat Dangor and senior academic from Wits University, Carolyn Hamilton. Chancellor of Rhodes University, Professor Jakes Gerwel, introduced the book.

Professor Ndebele said the country should not resist the potential disintegration of large political parties into smaller entities, allowing for diverse views. "Otherwise the disintegration will result in various versions of itself," he warned.

Professor Ndebele hopes the book will contribute to the leadership debate.

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