15 Years Of Freedom?

by Chris Kamalski

Fascinating article on Time.com about the national presidential elections happening today throughout South Africa.

I’ll post more tomorrow on the results, and my own experience walking down to our local polling station at Emily Hobhouse Park to see the voting process unfold, but for now would love for you to click on these links and spend a few minutes learning about the complex process of ‘liberators’ (the ANC) becoming those who in the eyes of an increasing number of South Africans, have dramatically failed in delivering the promises they were hailed for back in 1994 when Nelson Mandela led them to freedom and the dismantling of the apartheid system.

We have seen this disillusionment play out within our own community, as my roommate Johannes had to be talked into voting by Curtis, a fellow South African apprentice who highly values the political process and has had many good things to say about the political season concluding (as governing prepares to begin!) here in South Africa.  Johannes lives in Soshanguve, the local township I’ve been speaking about recently, and has witnessed the ANC fail to deliver on its promises of housing, improved infrastructure, and other forgotten things.  And yet there seems to be such a deep-seated loyalty to Nelson Mandela and the freedom fighters who served selflessly, that many older South Africans continue to believe that a vote for the ANC is a vote for Mandela’s legacy.

Complex to say the least.

To the links:

The ANC is expected to win a fourth consecutive term in South Africa’s parliamentary and presidential elections on April 22. But for the first time since it came to power with the end of apartheid in 1994, that result is not guaranteed, and by any measure — popularity, membership, moral authority — the party is in decline. Its leaders are embroiled in a series of scandals involving both corruption and ineptitude. As a government, it has failed to stem raging violent crime and the world’s largest HIV/AIDS epidemic. It has presided over an economic boom that has made millionaires of a well-connected élite but left countless lives unchanged. As a party, it is accused of politicizing the police and the bureaucracy and showing contempt for the constitutional democracy for which it fought so long.