Leadership In South Africa After Nelson Mandela "The [African National Congress] of 1994 and the [African National Congress] of 2019 are vastly different," one of our guests told us.

Want to support 1A? Give to your local public radio station and subscribe to this podcast. Have questions? Find us on Twitter @1A.
NPR logo

Leadership In South Africa After Nelson Mandela

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/722889411/722909338" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Leadership In South Africa After Nelson Mandela

1A

Leadership In South Africa After Nelson Mandela

Leadership In South Africa After Nelson Mandela

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/722889411/722909338" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

An Independent Electoral Officer opens a ballot box as counting begins at the Addington Primary School after voting ended for the sixth South African national general elections in Durban, on May 8, 2019. RAJESH JANTILAL/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
RAJESH JANTILAL/AFP/Getty Images

An Independent Electoral Officer opens a ballot box as counting begins at the Addington Primary School after voting ended for the sixth South African national general elections in Durban, on May 8, 2019.

RAJESH JANTILAL/AFP/Getty Images

South Africa's mission has not changed in 25 years. Nelson Mandela made it clear, the day he became president. Here's what he said at his inauguration:

"Let there be justice for all. Let there be peace for all. Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all. Let each know that for each the body, the mind and the soul have been freed to fulfill themselves. Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world. The sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement. Let freedom reign. God bless Africa! I thank you."

That mission remains the same, but many South Africans would tell you it is far from accomplished.

They went to the polls last Wednesday in a defining election. Mandela's party, the African National Congress, won control again, as it has for the last quarter century. However, its majority fell below 60 percent for the first time.

What's happening in South Africa? Does the ANC still have what it takes to lead the nation toward the vision Nelson Mandela suffered for? What might take its place, and what do South Africans want now?