Book Review: ‘These Traits Portend’: Review of Thabo Mbeki and the Struggle for the Soul of the ANC by William Mervyn Gumede. Cape Town: Zebra Press, 2005.

Wright, L.S. (2005) Book Review: ‘These Traits Portend’: Review of Thabo Mbeki and the Struggle for the Soul of the ANC by William Mervyn Gumede. Cape Town: Zebra Press, 2005. Wordstock : official publication of wordfest (July).

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Abstract

“The identity of the old ANC is changing fast and its soul is becoming harder to locate” – so writes William Gumede in his best-selling account of the Mbeki presidency. This is a thoroughly admirable book, critical, informed and deeply concerned with the welfare of the people of South Africa, especially the poor – with no taint of political hagiography. The central plank of the critique concerns the ANC’s management of the economy. Gumede’s account of the genesis of GEAR and the devious way it was sprung on the tri-partite alliance is illuminating. It was done under the rubric of necessary modernization, according to Gumede, and allegiance to the Blair/Schroeder Third Way. But there were huge ancillary consequences: the loss of influence by the ordinary ANC membership, neglect of branch activity, sidelining of the parliamentary caucus, centralization of policy development in the office of the president, increasing reliance on consultants and relentless cosying up to big business.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Reprinted as ‘Struggle for Control of the ANC’ in The Daily Dispatch, Saturday 23rd July 2005.
Uncontrolled Keywords:William Gumede; Thabo Mbeki; GEAR; Blair/Schroeder Third Way; Zimbabwe; HIV/AIDS; COSATU; SACP; South Africa
Subjects:Y Unknown > Subjects to be assigned
Divisions:Research Institutes and Units > Institute for the Study of English in Africa (ISEA)
ID Code:1228
Deposited By: Prof Laurence Wright
Deposited On:21 Oct 2008
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:20
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