Africa: South Africa Has to Move Away From the Liberation Mode of Politics


There needs to be a realignment within the ANC to break the paralysis that has manifested from the 'broad church' composition of its liberation era. The realignment should extend beyond the ANC where party politics is organised along ideological lines.

India won its independence in 1947. Ghana won its independence in 1957. Algeria followed in 1962. Freedom came later to the settler colonies in southern Africa. Mozambique won its end to colonial rule in 1975 and in Zimbabwe, independence finally came in 1980.

South Africa was an outlier, finally winning an end to apartheid in 1994. In countries like India, Ghana and Algeria, the political movements that led the struggle for independence lost their sheen, and their hold on state power, many years ago.

But in southern Africa, where independence came later, ZanuPF still rules Zimbabwe, Frelimo still rules Mozambique and the MPLA still rules Angola. In all these countries, the ruling party continues to be perceived as the movement that led the fight for freedom, and some people continue to view other parties with deep suspicion. This means that in these countries, the ruling parties' claim to represent the people rests on a claim about history, a claim that...

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