With South African Elections, Mandela's Legacy is Fading Fast

CNN is reporting that the African National Congress (ANC) is likely to maintain its majority in South Africa's first national election since the death of its former leader, Nelson Mandela. That means that the current president, Jacob Zuma, will almost certainly maintain his position despite huge scandals and terrible performance on everything from combating crime to promoting economic growth.

CNN also reports that a new party, The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), will gain ground. That too is bad news for South Africa. The leader of EFF, Julius Malema, is an unabashed fan of Robert Mugabe, the homicidal tyrant who has destroyed Zimbabwe.

Click above to watch Rob Montz and Reason TV's powerful documentary "Life After Liberation: Triumph and Tragedy in South Africa," which charts the dismal failure of the ANC to follow up on Mandela's promise of a better, freer, wealthier country. Go here for full text, downloadable versions, and more resources.

How bad is it? Desmond Tutu, the Nobel laureate who like Mandela fought against the apartheid system, now says bluntly: "This government—our government—is worse than the apartheid government."

Such a dismal turn of events is as unbelievable as it is tragic.

The video originally aired on Monday. Here's the original text:

South African voters are headed to the polls this week for the fourth national election since 1994, when Nelson Mandela was elected president after the end of the apartheid regime.

Their country represents epic history in our lifetimes. After a decades-long struggle against brutal, state-run racial segregation, the black liberation movement emerged victorious in the early 1990s. Led by the transcendent figure of Mandela, South Africa swiftly dismantled the apartheid apparatus and, defying dour predictions of a bloody race war, peacefully transitioned to majority rule. Mandela’s government ushered in pluralistic democracy on a continent long-defined by colonialism and autocracy. State officials established remarkably robust constitutional protections for individual rights.

Black South Africans would finally be afforded the economic and social opportunities they’d been denied for so long.

Or so everyone had hoped.

Two decades later, Mandela’s promise of renewal has largely gone unfulfilled as Mandela's party, the African National Congress (ANC) has maintained its huge electoral majority. The beautiful dream animating the South African experiment is crumbling amidst ongoing corruption, violence, and failed economic policies. As Nobel Peace Prize recipient Desmond Tutu has said of the current regime, "This government—our government—isworse than the apartheid government."

"Life After Liberation," directed and hosted by Rob Montz, details the role played by political monopoly in South Africa's post-apartheid decline. The documentary shows how the ANC has grown corrupt and complacent—and how widespread resentment of the ruling political class is now fueling the rise of a populist demagogue, Julius Malema of the Economic Freedom Fighters, who is pushing precisely the sort of Mugabeist socialist policies that have ruined so many other African countries.

About 10 minutes.

Produced, written, and edited by Rob Montz. Camera by Josh Swain.

More here.

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  • Almanian!||

    Meet the new boss....

  • ||

    ...Same as the old boss.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Don't blame me. I voted for that cyborg Olympic runner.

  • Almanian!||

    DIVERSITY!

  • IceTrey||

    He deserves a shot.

  • R C Dean||

    I don't get it. The ANC will keep its majority, another even more militant group (based on the regime that took over after the whites were kicked out in neighboring Zimbabwe) will gain ground, and this is Mandela's legacy fading. . . . how, exactly?

  • ||

    I think by "legacy" they mean "FREEEEEEEEEEEEE NELSON MANNNDELLLL-A", you know that catchy song all about freedom and peace and overcoming adversity.

    They don't mean the Nelson "Kill the white people" Mandela legacy, which is what is now coming to fruition.

    That real legacy is icky and makes a lefty hero look bad.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    This article makes it sound like the EFF a major opposition party in South Africa when it currently doesn't even have a single seat in parliament. It's like wondering if Obama's unpopularity is going to lead to the Communists taking over the House in November.

  • Jordan||

    The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), will gain ground. That too is bad news for South Africa. The leader of EFF, Julius Malema, is an unabashed fan of Robert Mugabe, the homicidal tyrant who has destroyed Zimbabwe.

    Ah. I see they define "freedom" the same way Tony does.

  • Sudden||

    Remember, anytime a modifier is placed in front of a principle, in serves the function of negating that principle. Economic Freedom, Social Justice, etc etc

  • GamerFromJump||

    Economic freedom is a function of actual freedom.

  • Paul.||

    State officials established remarkably robust constitutional protections for individual rights.

    So they were racist.

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    Desmond Tutu has said of the current regime, "This government—our government—is worse than the apartheid government."

    Ouch.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Is there any worse possible political insult in South Africa? That's like a Russian saying the current government is worse than the Soviet government, or a Democrat here saying Obama is worse than Bush. Serious shit, man.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Isn't there a sizeable fractions of Russians who look back on the Soviet Union fondly?

  • Pro Libertate||

    I'm sure there are. Perhaps I should've said "like a Pole saying. . ."?

  • Skip||

    Anyone who criticizes modern South Africa is a super racist!
    -All lefties 6 months ago

  • Redmanfms||

    Anyone who criticizes modern South Africa is a super racist!
    -All lefties 6 months ago

    And Stormy Dragon below.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    So, the choice is basically between thieves and lunatics.

  • Almanian!||

    "Students - how ELSE is South African government like the US government?"

  • GamerFromJump||

    Thread winner ^

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Or one of the 12 other parties that Nick Gilespie manages to overlook that are bigger than the EFF in his desire to be sensationalist.

  • Almanian!||

    Ima just guess that "thieves and/or lunatics" will cover most of them, too

  • Stormy Dragon||

    How about the Inkatha Freedom Party. Not perfect, but seems a big improvement on the ANC. They have 18 seats in parliament too (fourth largest party in the country). How come they don't get a mention?

  • Cytotoxic||

    The South African Alliance for Democracy seems pretty reasonable and they are gaining ground, but not fast enough.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    The more the black majority runs things into the ground, the more virulent the racial scapegoating and socialism will become - just like Zimbabwe. Unlike the Zim however, South Africa's white population (and other notable minorities) is too large and organized to roll over so easily, especially since they're the technocracy the rest of South Africa needs to keep the lights on etc.

    Should be by 2020 or so a full-on race war there.

  • Almanian!||

    Yeah, I was thinking the same. Sad if/when it happens, and I think "when" is the operative word...

  • Cytotoxic||

    If you are a white or wealthy self-made South African, you need to get weapons, training, and to join up with and move into an area patrolled by a militia. You also need to 'do something' about Zimbabwe's government and 'do something' about Julius Malema. I would also recommend getting Bostwanan citizenship or another way into that excellent oasis of a country.

    When the oppression comes, use whatever means necessary to fight back and take whatever you can. If you can't overthrow the government, establish break-away enclaves and persuade Bostwana to annex it if necessary.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    So you're a Vryheidsfront+ supporter, I take it?

  • Cytotoxic||

    I don't even know.

  • MWG||

    http://www.vfplus.org.za/who-is-the-vf-plus

    What is the solution?

    Defeat the ANC through coalition politics (FF Plus can govern together with other opposition parties in Gauteng);
    Stop policies and legislation which hamper job-creation;
    Stop racial discrimination;
    Stop affirmative action and Black Economic Empowerment which are based on race alone;
    Implement mother-tongue education;
    Implement the protection of minority rights and self-determination;
    Retain private property rights.

  • LarryA||

    So:
    Step 1 - Pull out your magic wand and...

  • Stormy Dragon||

    (ZF+ is basically the pro-aparthied party)

  • MWG||

    Hmm... interesting. I was looking for clues for that... but i didn't dig very deep. OTOH, the have a big picture of Mandela on their website.

    I'm trying to think of the US equivalent. Someone who everyone on both the left and the right use to their benefit.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Thomas Jefferson? Abraham Lincoln?

  • MWG||

    Meh... Jefferson was a slave holder and rapist. Lincoln is probably closer.

  • MWG||

    Also, neither are nearly as modern as the Mandela mantle.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Well, they're the David Duke style white nationalist, where they're smart enough to not actually come right out and say it so that they can maintain a veneer of respectability.

  • Sudden||

    Not wanting to become a victim of genocide in a country that would be a backasswards shithole were it not for Dutch Boer settlement and economic development is now considered white nationalism?

  • TheZeitgeist||

    I'm trying to think of the US equivalent. Someone who everyone on both the left and the right use to their benefit.

    Teddy Roosevelt was pretty cool if you swing statist. An original progressive prick; yet also a Great White Hunter who sailed the Great White Fleet proclaiming America's world-spanning cock power.

    Plus he won a Nobel Peace Prize, and was an environmentalist who antitrusted the Kochtopuss of his day!

    Statist clowns from Bill Kristol to Al Gore can find something to love in that hot mess.

  • Brandon||

    That means that the current president, Jacob Zuma, will almost certainly maintain his position despite huge scandals and terrible performance on everything from combating crime to promoting economic growth.

    Obama did it first.

  • ||

    ""This government—our government—is worse than the apartheid government."

    Such a dismal turn of events is as unbelievable as it is tragic."

    Not only unbelievable, but totally unexpected. Totally unexpected. It shocks me, really. Knock me over with a feather.

    *See the history of every other former colony in Africa given independence. *

  • Cytotoxic||

    Bostwana bucks this pattern. Maybe a couple others too like Zambia.

  • Hawk Spitui||

    Such a dismal turn of events is as unbelievable as it is tragic.

    Unbelievable? I'd say "inevitable" is the word anyone with a clue would have used. Of course, those are the people you'd refer to as "ignorant".

  • GamerFromJump||

    Tragic, maybe. Unbelievable, not at all.

    The depressing, we'll, African-ness of it all was entirely predictable, sad to say.

  • DRM||

    Wow, a Marxist terrorist organization turned government is making a mess of things? What an unbelievable outcome . . . if you're a total moron.

  • RishJoMo||

    Sounds like a pretty solid plan to me dude.

    www.myAnon.tk

  • ChrisN||

    In the wake of Mandela, there's Mbeki and Zuma and maybe something worse.

    In the wake of MLK, we've gotten Jesse Jackson, Sharpton, and Obama (better than Sharpton).

    The ideals may have universal appeal, especially when embodied by the right moral leaders, but the incentives can be off. Once you get beyond slavery and oppression under the laws, there are major problems when it comes to maintaining a Constitutional Republic.

    Mandela's radicalism is understandable to me, if not the violence. The Communism a shame, but that kind of crude ideological definition of freedom, especially when mixed into various brews has a lot of appeal and offers shelter.

    Obama's warmed over radicalism, some appreciation for liberation theology and majoritarian, progressive tendencies pose serious threats to liberty.

    Yet, in South Africa, aside from the consequences of a genuinely racist system of government, and genuine colonial and imperial ambitions, it's left with the native kin and tribal loyalties, big chief tendencies of being in Africa.

    You don't even get the competent, if racist and divided, leadership.

  • ChrisN||

    But, then again, Oprah started a school there and Matt Damon played a pioneering, transcendent rugby-player, so there's that.

    And thanks for Charlize Theron.

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