Some people in South Africa refer to it as the ‘liberation dividend’ – a dividend that has paid handsomely for the African National Congress (ANC).
The party of Nelson Mandela has dominated the political life of this nation for the past 25 years with voters repeatedly backing the organisation that ended the apartheid regime.
In return, Mandela and his band of democratic revolutionaries created a country where the media is free, the courts are independent and civil society groups are vibrant and assertive.
But the ANC has failed to do the basics.
It has failed to provide essential government services, stable employment and a platform for economic growth. Under the calamitous presidency of Jacob Zuma, the party become a by-word for corruption, dirty-dealing and grubby officials.
As the nation goes to polls on Wednesday, the one-time liberators are looking tired and untrustworthy. Many South Africans will be doing the unthinkable and voting for a change.
It is not like the ANC do not know this. In an attempt to save their collective skin, they forced Zuma out of office last year and replaced him with a charismatic, self-made businessman called Cyril Ramaphosa.
The 66-year old, who has served 15 months as state president, benefits from his association with Nelson Mandela who favoured Ramaphosa to replace him when he went down in 1999 (the party chose Thabo Mbeki instead).
But that was 20 years ago and the nation has begun to reconsider ‘Madiba’s’ long-term legacy.
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