Karen MacGregor


The South African version of "Big Brother" recently scored a reality-TV first when two contestants were filmed bonking under a blanket. But its real pioneering significance lies outside the sheets.

Fighting For Survival

Job Sikhala, 30, a tall, energetic leader of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change, chain smokes as he tells his story: Although he sits in Parliament, he has been arrested 17 times in the last three years.

Return Of The Right

Their bizarre terror plots include a scheme to bomb black neighborhoods from a yet-to-be-acquired submarine. And while their numbers are miniscule, South African police say a new generation of militant Afrikaner Boers is planning to overthrow the elected government and resurrect an all-white republic in the north of the country.However unlikely their plans may sound, the resurfacing of South Africa's white far-right has resurrected many old fears in a country which experienced more than its...

The King And The Virgin

The facts of the case read like a feudal fable. Amorous King Mswati III, the 34-year-old ruler of Swaziland, takes a shine to one of the bare-breasted virgins dancing for him in the reed ceremony held annually in this small southern African nation.

A Shaky Start

Can Zimbabwe reach a political agreement in the wake of last month's controversial presidential election? It's early yet, but, nudged by South Africa and Nigeria, President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party is paying at least some lip service to a settlement with members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).Members of the two rival parties held their first-ever national meetings this week to try to drag their troubled southern African country out of its accelerating spiral...

Time To Go?

Ben Mbanga no longer doubts that it is time for him to leave Zimbabwe. On Thursday, the mechanical engineer was at work at a gold mine southwest of the capital of Harare, when a pistol-toting thug led a 2,000-strong mob into the compound. "They wanted to pan for gold to celebrate [President Robert] Mugabe's victory," says Mbanga. "They forced their way in and started digging."It was Mbanga's second encounter with Zimbabwe's simmering political violence.

Unfree And Unfair?

Not surprisingly, the tension is palpable. With just two days to go before Zimbabwe goes to the polls for the hardest-fought presidential election in the country's history, both black and white residents are stockpiling food and making plans for a rapid exit in case further violence erupts in their troubled nation.In the capital of Harare, a white man opens his wallet to reveal a box of bullets. "I stocked up with these today," he says. "And I feel safer for it." In the nearby town of Ruwa, a...

Sports Therapy

Michael Scholl gave up a stimulating, lucrative practice in Maryland as a lawyer for professional athletes and entertainers so he could serve as a role model for teens in South Africa's fight against AIDS.

Condoms For Catholics?

Bishop Kevin Dowling has seen the horror AIDS inflicts on poor people living in his diocese of Rustenburg, northwest South Africa. There was the young pregnant woman who died about to give birth on a dirt floor-and whose baby perished shortly afterward.

Land Grab

Thousands of poor south Africans stood quietly for hours, some for days, in mile-long queues along a road leading to dusty fields in Kemp-ton Park, near Johannesburg.

A United States Of Africa?

It got off to an inauspicious start. When Africa's big men began gathering for the 37th summit of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) on Monday, they found thousands of mourners clogging the streets of the Zambian capital, Lusaka, for the funeral of Paul Tembo, the Zambian opposition politician shot just hours before he was due to testify in a corruption trial involving several top members of government.

'A Huge Win For South Africa'

South Africa's Retief Goosen took the world-and his country-by surprise when he won the U.S. Open on Monday. Most South Africans had never before heard of the self-effacing golfer, but now he is hailed as "Golden Goose" and showered with praise from the country's president on down for his plucky play in the tournament, which will also be remembered for humbling Tiger Woods."This is a huge win for South Africa," says Duncan Cruickshank, editor of the country's biggest golfing magazine, Compleat...