This article will consider the factors that have determined the course of events during the past 26 years of ANC rule. They include jockeying for position between the various factions within the Alliance; the contest between ideology and pragmatism; and the temptation to translate political power into personal enrichment.
The first two years of ANC rule represented the golden (but perhaps false) dawn of the new era. South Africa won the Rugby World Cup; Nelson Mandela used his immense charisma to promote reconciliation and national unity. The country was ruled by a Government of National Unity (GNU) that represented 90% of the electorate.