Since 1994, South Africa has had five presidents who have varied greatly in style and character, despite all belonging to the same political party. How do they compare? How did they handle the crises they faced? What impact did they have on the country?
As the ANC’s next elective conference approaches and Cyril Ramaphosa seeks a second term as president, South Africa is reeling from the effects of state capture and the Covid-19 pandemic. Coupled with an ailing economy and record unemployment, the need for good political leadership to steer us through the morass is more urgent than ever.
It is, therefore, a perfect time to think critically about the role that presidential leadership plays in our lives and in history. To this end, The Presidents provides an honest assessment of the five post-apartheid presidents – Mandela, Mbeki, Motlanthe, Zuma and Ramaphosa – examining their strongest qualities and greatest weaknesses in the context of the momentous challenges they faced.
Written with insight and rigour, and drawing from interviews with political insiders who are close to events, The Presidents shines sharp new light on the leaders who have been entrusted with South Africa’s future.