Abstract

Abstract:

This article assesses the state of democracy in South Africa, twenty-five years after Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress (ANC) came to power. The ANC won its sixth straight election in 2019, led by presidential candidate Cyril Ramaphosa. Yet the party faced a strengthened challenge from the populist left, and the 2019 contest saw the smallest ANC majority and the lowest turnout of any general election since the end of apartheid. This article argues that the most fundamental test for South Africa's democracy has been dislodging the corrupt networks of "state capture" entrenched under former president Jacob Zuma. Civil society, opposition parties, accountability agencies, and the ANC itself succeeded in removing Zuma before the end of his term, but the task of rebuilding public trust remains.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3214
Print ISSN
1045-5736
Pages
pp. 5-19
Launched on MUSE
2019-10-11
Open Access
No
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