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Wits University Press

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Susan Booysen Addresses Campaigning and the Upcoming ANC Leadership Election

The African National Congress and the Regeneration of Political Power In an article for Wits Press, Susan Booysen, author of The African National Congress and the Regeneration of Political Power, discusses the glaring contradiction that is the official “no campaigning” stance declared by the ANC and what actually happens in the corridors of power:

One cannot help but be filled with a ‘sense of wonderment’ (famous words once used by paleoanthropologist Phillip Tobias) at the glaring contradiction between the ‘no campaigning for positions in the ANC … we are a disciplined movement’ and the expansive maze of actual campaigning that envelopes both the African National Congress and South Africa.

The reality of pervasive campaigning and the need for campaigning – albeit veiled in denial, attempted ‘underground’ status, and proxy mobilisation – is well grasped by South Africans. After all, the ANC is in effect about to elect the next president of South Africa – for 2014, if Jacob Zuma retains his ANC president status, or if he gets beaten at the post by an unlikely effective challenger. With even longer term implications, the ANC may very well be set to be electing the subsequent president for South Africa – a now-deputy to take over from Zuma as ANC president in 2017 and 2019 as South African president. Should this yet-unknown person run for a second term, the 2012 ANC events could very well determine the president of the country for all of the period 2019-2029.

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