Head to Head

Has South Africa’s ruling party betrayed Mandela’s legacy?

South African politician Baleka Mbete on corruption, xenophobia and whether the ANC has lived up to its promises.

In this episode of Head to Head, Mehdi Hasan challenges African National Congress (ANC) stalwart Baleka Mbete on whether, in the 25 years since apartheid, her party has betrayed Nelson Mandela’s legacy and the dreams of South Africa’s rainbow nation.


by ”Baleka

it’s all gloom.”]

Over the past quarter century, access to education has significantly improved and the rights of all South Africans to free basic healthcare has been guaranteed.

But the ANC’s successes have been overshadowed by rising youth unemployment, recent xenophobic attacks on African immigrants and ongoing allegations of systemic corruption, with former President Jacob Zuma currently facing trial.

From fighting apartheid, Mbete rose to become one of South Africa’s most powerful women, serving as deputy president, speaker of the National Assembly, and chair of the ANC.

We ask whether the ANC, and Mbete personally, have done enough to hold Zuma to account, and keep Mandela’s dream of a united Africa alive.

Hasan and Mbete are joined by a panel of three experts:

  • Makhosi Khoza – former South African politician who resigned from the ANC in 2017, after calling for President Zuma to step down
  • Xolani Xala – founder of South African Business Abroad and member of the ANC
  • Andrew Feinstein – former South African politician and author of ‘After the Party: A Personal Journey Inside the ANC’. He is now director of Corruption Watch UK

Has South Africa’s ruling party betrayed Mandela’s legacy? With Baleka Mbete, first broadcast on October 18, 2019, at 20:00 GMT with repeats on October 19 at 12:00GMT, October 20 at 01:00 GMT, and October 21 at 06:00 GMT.

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Head to Head is Al Jazeera’s forum for ideas, a gladiatorial contest tackling big issues such as faith, nationalism, democracy and foreign intervention in front of an opinionated audience at the Oxford Union.