is the book that Alex Boraine never wanted to write. As a native South African
and a witness to the worst years of apartheid, he has known many of the leaders
of the African National Congress in exile. He shared the jubilation of millions
of South Africans when the ANC won the first democratic elections in 1994 and
took up the reins of government under the presidency of Nelson Mandela.
Now, two decades later, he is forced
to wonder what exactly has gone wrong in South Africa. Intolerance and corruption are the hallmarks
of the governing party, while the worsening state of education, health, safety
and security and employment strengthen the claim that South Africa is a failing
state. Boraine explores this urgent and critical issue from the vantage point
of wide experience as a minister, parliamentarian, co-founder of the Institute
for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA) and Vice Chairperson of South Africa's Truth
and Reconciliation Committee. He digs deep into the history of the ANC and
concludes that both in exile and today, the ANC is slavishly committed to one party
as the dominant ruling factor. All else - the Executive, Parliament, the
Judiciary, civil society and the media - take second and third place. The ANC,
Boraine claims, seeks to control every institution.
Gone Wrong? pulls no punches, but it also goes beyond strong criticism and offers a
number of constructive proposals, including the re-alignment of politics as a
way of preventing South Africa becoming a failed state. As South Africa mourns
the loss of Mandela and embarks on another national election, with the ANC
likely to begin a third decade of rule, this incisive, detailed critique is
required reading for all who are interested in the fate of this young nation.
About the Author
Alex Boraine served in South Africa's Parliament and was one of the main architects of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In 2001, Boraine co-founded the International Center for Transitional Justice, and now serves as Global Visiting Professor of Law at the NYU School of Law's Hauser Global Law School Program. He is the author of two previous books, A Country Unmasked and A Life in Transition."