“Its mindset is in some ways still that of an underground opposition ..”

Personally, I think that comparisons between Northern Ireland and South Africa are fundamentally flawed. But, in light of the political reality, and here, comparisons between how revolutionary movements political parties in those polities regard themselves might not be.

Many in the ANC have great difficulty in differentiating between the party and the state. It insists on calling itself a revolutionary movement rather than a political party, and regards its government ministers and functionaries, with Marxist-Leninist rhetoric, as “deployed cadres”, installed in their posts to do its bidding.

Its mindset is in some ways still that of an underground opposition – loyalty to the party is all, debates are held in secret before a consensus view is revealed to the outside world, and public dissent is frowned upon.

At times it shows symptoms of a collective messiah complex, and there will have been little embarrassment about the fact that in a nation of 46 million people, the removal of the elected president has been decided by the 86 members of the party’s National Executive Committee.

Update Related post here.