History has shown that liberation movements in the continent tend to lose their power after 30 years in charge – unless you are ZANU-PF in Zimbabwe, and you find creative ways to stay in power longer.
The ANC is just three years shy of reaching its three decades in power and in charge of South African politics since the country’s negotiated democracy 27 years back.
And it is on this basis that Ralph Mathekga has penned his latest book predicting the end of the ANC’s reign just before this current decade. Let me first give credit to Ralph for the good work he has done in this book, because I was expecting to read a lot of rehashed work or old published work, as it has been the case with those who similarly read books of this taste.
In The ANC’s Last Decade, Mathekga-through his different solid case scenarios and observing deeply the current internal wars raging within the party illustrates how the giant of South African politics will eventually fall at either 2024 or 2029 elections.
Now, the fall of the ANC has been something that has been predicted by many political scientists, scholars, and even its nemesis in the political circle, and so Ralph wouldn’t be the last person to make such a similar prediction.
However, what I found to be a solid argument presented by Ralph in this book in that regard is how he bases all his predictions on what is currently happening in the party: the party’s financial crisis, its fragmented leadership, no policy direction, warring factions, and the fact that the party has now even failed to register its candidates with the IEC for the upcoming local government can also be added as another reasons for its inevitable loss of power in the near future.
Perusing through the pages of this book many will agree and disagree with Ralph, and can even go to the extreme of accusing him of being pro this faction and anti this one- I found myself doing exactly that. And I guess that speaks to the nature of ANC’s politics- you cannot be in the middle, because whatever you say about the party, it will either be seen as being pro or anti this faction- and that is purely on the basis that there are currently two ANCs in one party.
The ANC’s Last Decade is not only a fresh reminder of what led the ANC to find itself in this precarious situation, but how the party will inevitably lose its grip on power irrespective of whom it has as its leader before the end of this decade.
This is a book that will obviously draw different opinions- and that is on the basis that it is based on a prediction rather than fact. But it is a book that I will recommend that we all read ahead of that much-awaited elective conference of next year, because whether we like it or not, whatever outcomes that will emerge from the conference will have impact on the future of this country.