In this week’s New Statesman: The myth of Mandela

South Africa special | Pilger on Israel | Nadine Gordimer interview.

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With just eight days to go until the World Cup kicks off, this week's New Statesman is a special issue devoted to South Africa. In the cover story, Andrew Feinstein, a former ANC MP, warns that while the World Cup will create a feel-good factor, the same urgent problems will remain in the world's most unequal country. Elsewhere, in a moving essay, Gary Younge reflects on race, nation and football, and explains how he finally learned to cheer for England.

Also don't miss Samira Shackle's interview with the Noble Prize-winning novelist Nadine Gordimer and Tim Adams's cerebral guide to Fabio Capello.

Israel's assault on the Gaza aid flotilla has dominated the news agenda this week and, in his column, John Pilger describes the "master illusion" that allowed the Netanyahu government to mislead the media.

In British politics, Mehdi Hasan sees the first cracks in the coalition, Alan Duncan explains why he knows what David Laws is going through, and Alice Miles says that Labour needs Diane Abbott's name on the ballot paper.

The issue is on sale now, or you can subscribe through the website.

George Eaton is senior online editor of the New Statesman.

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