Thabo Mbeki: The Dream Deferred


Mark Gevisser

Publisher: Jonathan Ball Publishers

Published: April 2022

Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781776191734

SKU: 9781776191734 Categories: ,


Hailed in the Times Literary Supplement as ‘probably the finest piece of non-fiction to come out of South Africa since the end of apartheid’, The Dream Deferred is back in print and updated with a brilliant new epilogue.

The prosperous Mbeki clan lost everything to apartheid. Yet the family saw its favourite son, Thabo, rise to become president of South Africa in 1999. A decade later, Mbeki was ousted by his own party and his legacy is bitterly contested – particularly over his handling of the AIDS epidemic and the crisis in Zimbabwe.

Through the story of the Mbeki family, award-wining journalist Mark Gevisser tells the gripping tale of the last tumultuous century of South Africa life, following the family’s path to make sense of the liberation struggle and the future that South Africa has inherited. At the centre of the story is Mbeki, a visionary yet tragic figure who led South Africa to freedom but was not able to overcome the difficulties of his own dislocated life.

It is 15 years since Mbeki was unceremoniously dumped by the ANC, giving rise to the wasted years under Jacob Zuma. With the benefit of hindsight, and as Mbeki reaches the age of 80, Gevisser examines the legacy of the man who succeeded Mandela.

‘…essential reading for anyone intrigued by South Africa’s complex philosopher-king.’ – The Economist

Mark Gevisser is one of South Africa’s foremost writers. He is the author of five works of non-fiction and his journalism has been widely published in South Africa and abroad. Mark has been a Writing Fellow at the University of Pretoria and at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER). Since 2018, he has been a judge on the Gerald Kraak Award for writing on gender, human rights and sexuality in Africa. He lives in Cape Town.