Nelson Mandela's Illness Marks Period of Flux in South African Politics

Ruling ANC may not survive his death


South African politics recently appears to be entering a period of flux. The opportunity for change is signaled by national icon Nelson Mandela's serious illness. The media is regularly reporting that he is now on life support and South Africans seem to be reconciling themselves to his death.

Increasingly in recent years, he has been an important touchstone for the legitimacy of the governing African National Congress (ANC), especially as scandals involving party leaders have multiplied.