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Past Events

Past EventsWednesday, February 25

On the Contrary

Tony Leon
James Harding

In his autobiography, On the Contrary: Leading the Opposition in the New South Africa, Tony Leon, leader of the opposition to the ANC for thirteen years, looks back on a half century of South African politics from the fight to end Apartheid to the birth and near death of the Democratic Alliance and his struggle with Thabo Mbeki over AIDS, Zimbabwe and race. In a no-holds-barred assessment he provided an insider’s account of the dramas and events which have helped shape and define modern South Africa. He also charted the future course of South Africa following the rise of Jacob Zuma and the struggle for power inside the ANC. This was a rare opportunity for a view from behind the scenes from one of South Africa's prominent actors.

For nearly twenty years Tony Leon has been a Member of Parliament in South Africa, and for thirteen years he led the Democratic Alliance. A trained lawyer, Tony Leon actively participated in the critical constitutional negotiations which led to the birth of a democratic South Africa. After standing down from the leadership of the opposition in 2007, he was awarded a Fellowship at the Institute of Politics, John F Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Fluent in Japanese, Chinese, French and German, James Harding opened the FT's Shanghai bureau covering the liberalisation of the Chinese markets and was the Washington bureau chief for theFinancial Times. He was named editor of The Times in 2007. He is the author of Alpha Dogs, The Americans Who Turned Political Spin into a Global Business.

 

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