Lynne Duke's article regarding African author Rian Malan [Style, May 11] assumed that white South Africans had a negative response to Malan's recent outstanding article, which was quoted by President Thabo Mbeki to illustrate the South African miracle of peace and prosperity. Although many whites turned a blind eye to apartheid's brutalities while benefiting from its policies, it was not without a price: fear, guilt, alienation and a sense of failure because they neglected to heed Nelson Mandela's words that we are all equal South Africans, black and white. And so sadly the mass exit and the subsequent brain drain to the United States, Britain and other countries of educated, skilled young South African whites has been your gain and our loss.

We in South Africa have moved further ahead than we are given credit for, and the stereotypical perceptions from Duke do little to nurture South Africans beyond the abyss that Malan is so powerfully haunted by. My views were felt by millions of South African whites and only an insane minority would see Malan's observations as being negative.

The time has come to close the book on the black and white conflict of South Africa 10 years into our democracy.

-- Beezy Bailey

Cape Town, South Africa