In this timely work, WHO RULES SOUTH AFRICA?, highly regarded authors Paul Holden and Martin Plaut analyse the political elites that battle daily for power in South Africa. They argue that power does not reside in traditional institutions such as Parliament or even the Cabinet. Rather, power lies within the ANC-led Alliance which, with no founding document and no written constitution, is an unstructured and mutable political hydra with business and criminal elements in close attendance. It is the interaction between these forces which is the real story behind post-apartheid South Africa.
In a country where poverty is rampant and institutions are weak, the battle for power is set to intensify. The authors unravel the mystery of how the rainbow nation has reached such a pass. What are the origins of the Alliance, and will it survive the current power struggles? Who are the shadowy forces that operate within or alongside the Alliance? Most importantly, they seek to answer the burning question of whether South Africa is destined to become another African tragedy, or whether there is still the promise of growth and a stable democracy.
Paul Holden is the author of The Arms Deal in Your Pocket (2009) and The Devil in the Detail (2011). Martin Plaut is the Africa editor, BBC World Service News and has been reporting on the continent for more than 25 years. He has published widely about the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa.