Leadership and the ANC: The Thabo Mbeki Era in South Africa
Klippenstein, Chad Ellis
South Africa has been considered a bastion of democracy on the continent of Africa since its first fully democratic election in 1994. Yet, under its second president since apartheid, Thabo Mbeki, the consolidation of South Africa’s democratic gains tended to slow or even stagnate. This thesis develops a theoretical backdrop by explaining competing theories of leadership and development in Africa. With Thabo Mbeki’s promotion of the African Renaissance he should be considered to of promoted a good governance model of growth and leadership within South Africa. To determine whether Mbeki actively followed through in implementing good governance practices as leader of South Africa and the ANC this thesis analyzes three aspects of the African National Congress (ANC): centralization, corruption and the 2007 leadership succession. Through this analysis of these three aspects of the ANC under Mbeki the thesis moves to determine whether the former president should be considered to have cultivated a good governance regime while in office or whether his leadership of South Africa embraced more neopatrimonial logic. This study finds that under Mbeki neopatrimonialism expanded significantly, particularly within the ruling ANC, and can to a certain extent be used to explained Mbeki’s actions while president of South Africa. Despite actively promoting a good governance agenda this thesis argues that Mbeki contributed to the stagnation of democratic gains in South Africa. This legacy will continue to effect future South African leaders including Mbeki’s arch-rival Jacob Zuma.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
CommitteeNewman, Dwight; Deonandan, Kalowatie; Michelmann, Hans