A multiethnic society, South Africa was ruled by a racist apartheid regime for almost half a century, shunned by much of the world — though the West courted it as an ally against communism in Africa. Since the mid-1990s, the country has grown into a major emerging economy. But recent corruption scandals, a faltering economy and heightened race tensions have raised fresh questions about whether the country can deliver on the dreams of Nelson Mandela, the man who shaped its modern identity.
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