Though of the day

Although South Africa is far away from home, 12 hours non stop fly from Paris to Johannesburg , circumstances made me more or less “aware” about the situation there. I clearly remember during my HP times that one of the “Measure” internal newspaper was dedicated to South Africa, right in the middle of the most critical phase of apartheid. At this time, probably thanks to the charisma of Bill and Dave, HP had a real concern for the mix of people within the company. But I also remember this mass spec specialist fellow from South Africa who explained to us how difficult it would be to reconcile all parties. Not only black and whites but all of the 11 official ethnic groups. Too much hunger, too much blood, to much tears.

And the change happened. In a very subtle and clever manner. Both leaders were not formatted for this task but they did it. I then had a chance to immerse myself in South Africa and to get a real feel about the new situation. Although mistrust was a latent feeling, people were leaving together. And I realized how high was the step from apartheid to reconciliation. “That’s one small step for a man, a giant leap for mankind” . Yes that’s right Mr. Armstrong, but this was no more than the extrapolation of a running model. The breakthrough in South African apartheid deserves the same recognition, because the step was real high and they made it.

My wish is that the momentum driven by Mandela will be enough so that the good willing man and women from South Africa will not fall off the stairs.

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