I've written what I observed of this moment previously.
Nelson Mandela's death marks the definitive end of The Struggle era. Forty percent of South Africans were born after the historic election in 1994 that made Mandela -- four years out of prison -- the country's first President elected by universal suffrage. Democracy has not ended grotesque economic inequality nor even brought widespread prosperity. The new era has been concurrent with the world's worst rate of AIDS infection, a coincidence that has been devastating to the country's self-image and confidence.
In this troubled context, South African gays, especially interracial couples, are necessarily anxious. And outside the comfortable classes in the cities, conditions for gays can be brutal. Black South African lesbians and transgender folks are at particular risk. Activist and photographer Zanele Muholi explained this to a U.S. audience recently:
The difficult evolution of the "new" South Africa is a reminder that a struggle for freedom and justice never ends. It just changes form ...