“If this racial polarisation sets into concrete, affirmative action will have failed. Instead of unleashing the talent that prejudice suppresses, it will become the mechanism through which SA’s professions balkanise and fight. Universities with two parallel professoriates; a legal profession with two parallel bars of advocates — in short, a country in which black and white literally cannot share the same space. The world I am describing here is one of mutual destruction, a truly ghastly place in which some of the most important institutions in South African society become irreparably deformed.
I am writing from the heart. As a teacher, I have had the privilege of teaching brilliant students who would not be where they are without affirmative discrimination; students whose talent would have remained forever suppressed because they were black people trying to get into a world too long controlled by whites. This is what affirmative action does. But to do its work, it must be a common project, one that everybody believes in. It would be a travesty if future generations of talent were to come to nothing because the policies designed to do them justice were mangled in a racial war”.
See: Affirmative action unleashed Thatcher’s talent first published on BDlive by Business Day on 4 March 2016 by Jonny Steinberg, who teaches African studies at Oxford University and is a visiting professor at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research.
By all accounts, Thatcher was brilliant on the evening of the selection. Young, lucid and formidably clever, she came across as a natural-born leader. When he counted the votes, the chairman of the Finchley branch of the Conservative Party, Bertie Blatch, found that Thatcher had very narrowly come second. And so, he quietly slipped a couple of ballots from her opponent’s pile to hers and declared her the winner. When he got home that night, Blatch confessed what he had done to his son, Haden. “She actually didn’t win,” he said, “the man did, but I thought, ‘He’s a got silver spoon in his mouth. He’ll get another seat.’” Finchley was a Conservative safe seat. At the next general election, Thatcher won easily, beginning a career that would culminate in one of the most famous British premierships of the 20th century.