One Hundred Years Later: A Qualitative Analysis of the Progression of the African National Congress through the Presidency of Jacob Zuma Using the Marxist Theory

Andrew Hairston


In January of 1912, the African National Congress (ANC) was founded in South Africa to serve as a voice for the oppressed, indigenous people who longed for social, political and economic equality in their country. In January of 2012, the people of South Africa and members of the Black Diaspora commemorated the significant achievements of 100 years of the party’s political and social activism. Through its progression, the party has served as a breeding ground for South Africa’s greatest advocates for human rights and equality, such as Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu. One hundred years later, following the successful struggle against apartheid, the ANC has grown to be a dominant force in South African politics. The party has a strong presence in South African Parliament, as well as on the Constitutional Court, the highest court in South Africa. The current President of the Republic of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, was previously the Chairman of the ANC, showing the political leverage that the party holds. The major questions under analysis in this research are as follows: (a) How has President Zuma’s policy formulation advanced the original mission of the ANC? (b) How does Marxist Theory fit into President Zuma’s political ideology and execution? (c) What is the current state of the ANC as a result of President Zuma’s policy implementation? (d) What direction will the ANC take under President Zuma’s leadership as it enters its second century of existence? This essay hypothesizes that President Zuma’s use of Marxist Theory in his policy formulation has yielded great progressive achievements for the ANC since its founding in 1912. This research employs scholarly journals, ANC documents, addresses by President Zuma, and expert interviews to test the hypothesis. Furthermore, the use of qualitative methodology manifests the implementation of various policies in South Africa by President Zuma and the ANC that have served to establish the country’s formidable presence in Sub-Saharan Africa and the world.


Marxist Theory; African National Congress; Jacob Zuma

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