[De] constructing South Africa's Jacob Zuma led ANC: An Afrocentric perspective

Date01 November 2018
Published date01 November 2018
[De] constructing South Africa's Jacob Zuma led ANC: An
Afrocentric perspective
Kgothatso B. Shai
|Tawanda S. Nyawasha
|Emeka A. Ndaguba
University of Limpopo, Sovenga, South Africa
University of Fort Hare, Alice, South Africa
Emeka A. Ndaguba, University of Fort Hare,
Alice, South Africa.
Email: emeka@ndaguba.net
Based on the Afrocentric perspective, the central thesis of this paper is that if the
African National Congress (ANC) is to evade the wrath of coalition politics in the near
future (year 2019); it needs more than its traditional support base and appeals for
liberation rhetoric. Like other liberation movements cum ruling political parties in
Southern Africa, indications are that ANC cannot save itself from the brutality of com-
petitive politics and electoral democracy. While the ANC is based in South Africa, it
remains the political heritage of all Africans, and as such, it can only survive further
degeneration through the collective efforts of panAfricanists in the country and
across the corners of the continent. The fact that President Jacob Zuma led ANC
did not have a safe liberalised space for counsel by nonactive members has rendered
any possible renewal through the support of all Africans a pipe dream. Although the
renewal of the ANC may be necessary for the sake of preserving liberation heritage
in South Africa and Africa at large, it is concluded that the weakening of dominant
political parties such as the ANC is a necessary ingredient for healthy and functioning
The year 2017 was a defining moment in the context of the libera-
tion history of Africa in general and the political history of the
African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa, in particular. It is
in this year that Africa's oldest liberation movement and South
Africa's ruling political party had celebrated 105 years anniversary
since its establishment in 1912, in Mangaung (Bloemfontein). The
year 2017 also marked 23 years since the ANC came to power in
the year 1994. Related to this, it is in the year 2017 that the ANC
also hosted yet another watershed 54th elective national conference
postNelson Mandela's death in 2013. Since Jacob Zuma did not avail
himself for third term of office as the president of the ANC, the
much anticipated December 2017 national conference ultimately
produced his successor as the party leader and, subsequently, the
first citizen of South Africa. Hence, it is in the tradition of the ANC
that its president should also serve as its candidate for the
Presidency of the country.
The premise that Jacob Zuma's successor in the ANC would
become the country's substantive president is conditional upon a
number of factors. Among them, the ability of the ANC to regenerate
itself before the 2019 general elections retain its dominance of South
Africa's political landscape following shreds of electoral misfortunes
during the 2016 local government polls. For the purpose of this paper,
the incumbent Cyril Ramaphosa is understood as a caretaker state
president for the remainder of the ANC's term of office that officially
ends in the year 2019.
There are some in the ANC and beyond who believe that the
party's recent electoral misfortunes in areas such as the City of
Tshwane, Johannesburg, and Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan
municipalities is largely tied to the roughed moral fibre of its leader-
ship (Mokgosi & Shai, 2016). The Nkandla debacle, corporate capture
of the state, the shenanigans in state owned enterprises such as South
African Airways, South African Broadcasting Corporation, Eskom, and
rampant political corruption is emblematic of the extent of the break-
down in the morality of JacobZuma led ANC (Isike & Ogunnubi,
2017). The cauldron of ills within the circles of the government
presided by ANC's Jacob Zuma has served as a fertile ground for
widespread calls for him and to particular extent, the erstwhile
National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party to step down. The
whipping of the NEC in certain circles should be understood within
the context that, for quite some time, it has consistently demonstrated
Received: 10 May 2018 Accepted: 10 June 2018
DOI: 10.1002/pa.1842
J Public Affairs. 2018;18:e1842.
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/pa 1of6

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