Results Matter More Than Party


For many South Africa watchers, it can be difficult to conceive of the state as a separate entity from the ruling African National Congress (ANC). The ANC is so closely associated with the long struggle against apartheid, the birth of a democratic state, and the founding leadership of modern South Africa that it can seem fundamental to the country’s identity. Notwithstanding some opposition parties’ important gains in local elections in recent years, many analysts and journalists cover the ANC’s internal debates and power struggles as if they were synonymous with national political contests—and for good reason, because to date they largely have been. For obvious reasons, the blurring of lines between the party and the state raises concerns about the extent of corruption in South…

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