The last nine years or so of our democracy has been described as ‘wasted’ by the current sitting president Cyril Ramaphosa and many other political analysts.
This was a period in which Jacob Zuma led the nation for two consecutive terms as state president. Zuma’s presidency was mired by the large scale of corruption in government, collapse of state owned enterprises such as SAA, SABC and Eskom and of course the state capture project among others took centre stage.
In this sixth edition of The A-Z of South African Politics, five respected former and current editors of national newspapers, Kashiefa Ajam, Kevin Ritchie, Lebogang Seale, Janet Smith and Thabiso Thakali look at the events, people and political parties that played an influential role in the last decade of our negotiated democracy.
Since the 2009 general and provincial elections, there were new political parties formed. The level of corruption has been taken to new heights, which has seen the state being used as an ‘ATM’ by certain politicians and their close friends and families.
The authors in this regard have boldly and one might even say unapologetically listed in alphabetical order events that changed South Africa’s political discourse from the #FeesMustFall movement,expropriation of land without compensation hearings and Life Esidimeni among others.
The scribes also name and shame political players who are alleged to be corrupt, captured and enablers of the state capture project such as Malusi Gigaba, Ace Magashule and Brain Molefe among others.
A lot of South Africans, young and old have been facing a voter’s dilemma, with many not sure who to vote for or even worse toying with the idea of whether to vote or not.
The “Big Three” political parties, the ruling ANC, DA and EFF are all facing their own internal challenges, ranging from corruption, racism and leadership squabbles and this has left many South Africans confused about who to trust with their votes.
With a few weeks left before the country’s sixth democratic elections, this book provides new voters with a guide to know who is who in the political scene. For older voters, this book will give them a proper review of what the parties they voted for in the last elections have done and whether they can still trust the leaders they voted for in the previous elections.
Well the book is a much needed compass for ordinary citizens ahead of what is tipped to be a highly contested election of our young democracy.
Many politicians named in the book to be corrupt and agents of state capture project will not be happy with this book, as many might claim that the authors based their assertions purely on rumours and not facts.
The book is well written and organised and I recommend that each and everyone facing a dilemma about who to vote to for in the May 8 elections, should read it in order to find a good solution to their problem.