Term Paper: South Africa -- Past

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[. . .] But those ANC members in exile often had very little experience of political activity in South Africa. Individuals prison had little experience of daily administrative bureaucracy outside of the prison environment. In Zambia and Tanzania, the ANC's bureaucracy ran farms, schools, and workshops; and in Angola, Umkhonto ran training camps. The Congress had diplomatic offices in London and representatives in many capitals around the world. But this did not prepare the organization for the specific tribal and personal wars of the ANC South Africa's branch. (Ottaway, 1993, pp. 45-6) Many saw themselves more as employees of a government bureaucracy, personnel of an army, or clients of a welfare state, not members of a political party of South Africa. (Ottaway, 1993, Chapter 3).

These different experiences amongst the core constituency groups created a different view of democracy and made it difficult for negotiations to take place delineating the rights of people, the apportionment of territories to different groups, and the need to undertake reforms of local government. The residents of South Africa identified with governing the ANC from outside the prison gates were more concerned with specifically South African issues, such as tribal conflicts, the racial divisions inherent in the nation, and the day-to-day demands and feuds. The ANC abroad had established a bureaucracy not necessarily commensurate with these needs, with an intense ideological Marxist component of pan-African ideology that did not always treat the nation's legitimate needs. And the imprisoned individuals, including Mandela were often the most removed of all from bureaucratic demands of governance, given that their experience had been so personal and symbolic, behind the prison gates.

Still, despite all of this strife, in April 1994 South Africa held its first democratic nonracial election for Parliament and nine provincial legislatures. Apartheid officially came to an end. But even since this historic event, South African politics have remained fraught. Africa Today, a regional newspaper writes of the fact that eleven years into democracy, corruption still riddles the administrative structure of the land, as it hammers out its new, ever-evolving ideology. ("South Africa: On the Mend," Africa Today, 2005) The fear that South Africa would grow more militaristic, like the past white government has not occurred.

In South Africa, coalition building between political, geographic, ethnic, and racial groups remains problematic despite the land's economic power and rich natural resources such as gold. Recently, South Africa's governing alliance introduced new measures for better cooperation, including a process for dealing with the divisions of the ANC organization, including the factions of the ANC Alliance that have angered by the current leader's administration. These include the Congress of South African Trade Unions, the South African Communist Party and the youth leagues of both the SACP and ANC, all of which represent the pro-Marxist, South African-based faction of the ANC that stood apart from the national ANC and the 'Island' imprisoned factions during the period chronicled by Ottaway. (("South Africa: On the Mend," Africa Today, 2005)

This inter-governmental warfare has also made it difficult for the nation to conduct day affairs vital to government. The director-general of the National Intelligence Agency, Billy Masetlha, and two other senior officials at the agency were recently suspended pending an investigation into claims of administrative abuse. These events raised concerns about intelligence agencies being abused for political purposes, as well as claims by the opposition that the government has been keeping the substantial wealth of the gold mines to a political oligarchy. ("Minister Suspends Chief, Orders Probe," Business Today, 2005) Thus, political and economic concerns remain as contentious voices battle to work out a South Africa that embraces all races and all tribes in an equitable fashion. ("Mbuti Warns of Tighter Monetary Policy," Business Today, 2005)

Works Cited

"Mbuti Warns of Tighter Monetary Policy." (22 Oct 2005) Business Today. Retrieved 22 Oct 2005

http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/topstories.aspx?ID=BD4A104641

'Minister Suspends Chief, Orders Probe." (22 Oct 2005) (22 Oct 2005) Business Today. Retrieved 22 Oct 2005

http://www.businessday.co.za/home.aspx?Page=BD4P1236& amp;MenuItem=BD4P1236

Ottaway, Marina. (1993) South Africa. The Struggle for a New Order. Washington, D.C: The Brookings Institution Press.

"South Africa: On the Mend." (9 Sept 2005) Africa Today: The Voice of a Continent. Retrieved 22 Oct 2005 http://www.africatoday.com/cgi-bin/public.cgi?sub=news& action=one& cat=45& id=359 [END OF PREVIEW]

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