n Journal of Public Administration - Drawbacks in South Africa's pursuit of democratic rule and good governance

Volume 49, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



The history of South Africa, in terms of democratic rule, whether examined from the indigenous, colonial or post-independence period, evokes varied emotions because of its chequered nature. It is, therefore, not surprising that there is acceptance of the popular belief that "ex Africa semper aliquid movi" (there is always something new out of Africa). Analysts often associate the problem of corruption with single factors such as the indigenous past or colonial rule. This paper adopts a broader view in order to argue that there are multiple and complex factors, sometimes even conflicting and contradictory, which individually or in combination contribute to the failure to attain democratic rule and good governance in African states such as South Africa. Most African countries fought for independence on the nationalism slogan, which operated as a catalyst for rallying the nation together to eliminate colonial rule. Thus, most often there was a sense of unity and a sense of belonging. However, this tended to be short-lived after independence.

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