Gillian Slovo – novelist and daughter of Joe Slovo and Ruth First has been speaking to the Guardian


What do you think about South Africa now, a quarter of a century on from liberation?

I’m disappointed and depressed, but I’m optimistic because it always amazes me how magnificent most people in South Africa can be.

That’s the miracle of South Africa. That’s how that transition was made possible, by people trying to lead decent lives.

My father said: “You think it’s been difficult to make the change – just see what it’s going to be like to rule this country given its history.” He was right. [Jacob] Zuma’s presidency is very depressing, with increasing tales of corruption.

School books being sold off. It fills me with a lot of sadness because in a way this is my family and it’s not doing well.