Manipal, India — Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe represents the other side of apartheid – the forced segregation of races in a country where a single ethnic group dominates the rest. His macho actions against the few remaining European-origin citizens living in Zimbabwe may be psychologically satisfying to those who share his viewpoint. But the fact remains that Zimbabwean whites have been as marginalized and dispossessed as blacks were in South Africa till Nelson Mandela was finally released from prison in 1990.
Mugabe's theatrics against the whites carry little resonance among the populace – they have realized that reverse apartheid has made their economic situation worse, not better. While most of the blame for this rests on the commissar-style administration of the octogenarian head of state, it has also been fuelled by the comprehensive economic boycott of Zimbabwe by countries with European-origin majorities.
Having voluntarily handed over power to the majority black population in 1980, Zimbabwe's whites had sufficient moral justification to expect an honorable accommodation with the rest of the population. Instead, they were soon rendered politically irrelevant, and their properties sequestered by armed thugs loyal to the new master of the country.
It is fortunate for South Africa that despite the example set by Mugabe, whites in that country went ahead with democratization a decade later, with somewhat better consequences for themselves than in Zimbabwe.