Book review: After the Party

Author: Andrew Feinstein

It took me a while to read this book to the end, but simply because I didn’t have the time to read. To those who do have the time to read – you won’t put this book down until you have reached the end.

Feinstein delves deep into the leadership style of South Africa’s former president, Thabo Mbeki, with a focus on his failure to address the growing HIV/Aids crisis in the country. Feinstein also examines the arms deals and the intense corruption involved.

This book made me feel very conflicted. As a young person, I don’t feel any form of loyalty towards the African National Congress (ANC), as harsh as that may sound. So I do not support the ruling party or any other political party in South Africa. However, when I wrote an article on former Rivonia Trialist Ahmed Kathrada, I couldn’t help but feel a little “pro-ANC”. However, after reading this book I felt very “anti-ANC”.

Then I realised that the ANC of Nelson Mandela and Ahmed Kathrada is not the same ANC of Thabo Mbeki and Tony Yengeni. There is a major generational difference. The former’s main focus was fighting for liberation, but the latter’s focus was their greed for power and money – and this is the ANC we are faced with today and these are the individuals leading the country.

After the Party gave me plenty of insight into the ANC. I found the book highly useful for a young journalist as myself who did not grow up in a very political environment.

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