The African National Congress’ post-Apartheid Politics: Prominence of Individual Personalities above Communications


  • Johannes Tsheola
  • Nghamula Nkuna


The post-1994 General Elections ascendancy of the African National Congress (ANC) to state power entailed party evolution as a social system lest the curse of liberation movement popularity dislodgement with shift to ruling party politics. Transition from liberation movement to ruling political party is embedded with contradictions, paradoxes and contestations relating to organizational constitution with “individuals and assets as its elements” or “communications and actions”. Evidently, the ruling ANC has increasingly become synonymous with internal squabbles rooted in personalities and power mongering for both party and state. Post-1994 ANC organizational evolution appeared to lack a complementary autopoietic layer that defines systems of communications and actions, away from the nostalgic principle of democratic discipline founded in the allopoietic character of individuals and assets. Consequently, the post-1994 ANC sustained the liberation movement legacy that compromises state governance qualities of responsiveness, effectiveness, accountability, enduring civic duty, inclusivity and service of public interest, because individuals and actions are non-reproducible. Armed with the modernizing project apparatus, former President Mbeki sought for a departure of the conduct of party and state presidency from conventional wisdom prescribed to by former President Mandela, thereby entrenching a dreaded culture of slate political party voting with the appendage of the promise of state resources control and power politics patronage. This article identifies the 2007 Polokwane Elective Conference of the ANC as an important turning point in this political party’s anniversary “life story”; and, it concedes that the party has to consciously detest glorification of individuals and assets in order to evolve through communications and actions based on ideal political virtues, which would be transposed onto the state by instilling a sense of civic duty, shared ownership of state machinery and popular mobilization of the citizenry.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n15p630


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How to Cite

The African National Congress’ post-Apartheid Politics: Prominence of Individual Personalities above Communications. (2014). Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 5(15), 630.