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Kenyon College

Publication Date

Fall 2007

Program Name

South Africa: Reconciliation and Development


The purpose of this research has been to explore how and why former liberation activists have continued to speak out against the government since the African National Congress (ANC) transitioned from a liberation movement to a ruling party. These individuals highlight the importance of having a voice, and making that voice heard by the government. They also provide a plurality of opinions that are just a sampling of the sentiments held by South Africans today. The objective of my research is to better understand what is wrong with the ANC and South Africa, possible causes, and how they can be changed. More specifically, I examine the roles of the government and civil society, how they interact, their strengths and weaknesses, and guesses at what their futures may hold. The final section of the paper consists of my reflections on the research I have done and a discussion of some themes that stood out. This paper has no thesis because the opinions of people in South Africa are varied and complicated, and cannot be simplified into a concise argument. Instead it provides a space, albeit small, for just eight of their voices to be heard, and the beginnings of a discussion on the government and civil society.


Political Science


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