The Historical Significance of the African National Congress (ANC) Election Campaigns 1994-2014: A Genuine Process of Political Liberalisation?
AbstractThe aspirations of a ‘new’ democratic South Africa which were realised after the April 1994 general elections marked a critical moment of freedom for the majority of the country’s citizens who were refused the right to vote by the apartheid government prior to 1994. Unshackled from centuries of colonialism and apartheid, the idea of a ‘new’ South Africa held within it the aspirations of freedom, dignity and equality. The April 1994 election and the others which followed later marked more than a simple transfer of power. Rather, they signified the moment of liberation and the final victory over racial oppression and subjugation. Almost 20 years since the first general elections in South Africa, the study traces the role played by the African National Congress (ANC) and its election campaigns which made it victorious from 1994 to 2014. It is argued in the study that key rituals in the performance of democracy and election campaigns are windows providing insight into a particular political, social and cultural milieu at a particular time. The study concludes by showing the ANC’s campaigning strategies over the past elections.
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