Facebook tells us that today is Nelson Mandela's 100th birthday.
A terrorist and communist, Mandela took advantage of the groundwork laid by President Botha, who eased many Apartheid laws, and De Klerk who convinced the South African National Party that the time had come to release Mandela and recognize the African National Congress.
De Klerk managed a peaceful transfer of power to Mandela. The South African government was not overthrown, but democratically turned over to the ANC. Mandela's Truth and Reconciliation Commission was a good idea that became a passion play for the likes of moral poseurs like Desmond Tutu.
Mandela was smart enough to maintain the economic status quo and worked hard to convince White South Africans that their country would not suffer the fate of every other African nation after white rule. See for example Congo, Nigeria, Uganda, Malawi...
Mandela was succeeded by Thebo Mbeki and later Jacob Zuma who showed none of Mandela's rhetorical brilliance and who have transformed the continents most important country into an economic and racial basket case.