The road to the Mangaung (Bloemfontein) National Elective Conference of the African National Congress in December 2012: a political challenge to the Jacob Zuma presidency?

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • Abstract:

    On 8 January 2012, the African National Congress (ANC) marked the centenary of its existence. Without doubt, this was a remarkable celebration and achievement for any liberation movement. Despite all the challenges which faced the Jacob Zuma presidency during these eventful celebrations, the ANC portrayed a “united front”. The article gives a chronological account of the events leading up to the ANC’s Mangaung Conference in December 2012. In attempts to achieve this, the run-up events to the Conference will be traced from the ANC as a ruling party, as well as a political organisation in the broader South African political landscape. Critical issues confronting the ANC, which include among others, both organisational and leadership renewal, will be discussed. The eventual release of the ANC’s Discussion Document on Organisation Renewal in March 2012 after nine drafts was a measure of just how deep the malaise in the organisation has become, and just how uphill the battle will be to address the sins of incumbency that beset the ANC. The author attempts at weaving together different perspectives of the events, leading to the destabilisation of the Zuma presidency and raises pertinent questions about the role of the media in South African politics. After nearly two decades in power, the organisation still needs to adopt to the reality of the 21st century democratic South Africa or be left behind; a fact acknowledged by Zuma at the ANC’s centenary celebration on 8 January 2012 at its Mangaung birthplace.