n Journal of Public Administration - Paradox of governance in a changing world : an editorial perspective

Volume 47, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



As we were finalising this December 2012 edition of the , tragedy struck the South African Association of Public Administration and Management (SAAPAM). We lost Professor Pholoso Disoloane of the University of South Africa (UNISA), whose untimely departure followed that of Dr Peter Veeran of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). This happened when the fraternity was still mourning the deaths of the Minister of Public Service and Administration (DPSA), Honourable Roy Padayachie, and Professor Petrus Brynard of the University of Pretoria (UP). In the March 2012 edition of the , Solly Pillay paid tribute to Minister Padayachie while Kabelo Moeti did likewise in remembrance of Professor Brynard. This December 2012 edition of the starts with a tribute to Professor Disoloane and Dr Veeran. Their absence in our midst leaves us lonely as we debate the complex questions of the paradox of governance in a changing world. One of the vexing questions of the post-1994 South African state, which they could have continued to be actively engaged with, is how do we take the best of liberal democracy while at the same time ensure that the indigenous system of governance remains intact? Does this not suggest contradictions? This question is asked as some are inclined to argue that the African system of traditional leadership and governance is, in the words of Mahmood Mamdani, "a representative of a particularistic and backward orientation" (1990:372), which is at odds with democracy. The argument is that traditional leadership and a democratic system of government are binary opposites. But is this really true?

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error