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Jonathan Ball

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

More on Andrew Feinstein’s After the Party

After the Party“I had been compelled to choose between my loyalty to this extraordinary party and my constitutional responsibility to the country. On this occasion the two did not coincide. For me, the party was over.”

Andrew Feinstein, active supporter of the African National Congress in the 1980′s, was elected to parliament with the advent of democracy and rose swiftly through the ranks. But his euphoria at being part of the new South Africa slowly soured, until he resigned in protest at the party’s handling of the ams deal.

After the Party is his story.

“Within the culture of the ANC it is implicitly accepted that one does not talk publicly about what happens inside the organisation. Especially if what happens is controversial or at odds with the party line.”

In the early years of South Africa’s democracy, the ANC government spent R60 billion on arms that the country didn’t need. British and German investigators now suspect that over R1 billion in bribes was paid to facilitate the deal.

Meanwhile, as an MP, Andrew Feinstein was earning the label “Mr Clean” for his unstinting work against graft and corruption.

When he attempted to investigate the deal, however – against the wishes of the party leadership – he found himself stymied at every turn. Now he has written the first insider’s account of what really happened: the personalities, the scheming, the cover-ups and the corruption.

In chronicling the ANC’s decline from a revered liberation movement and dynamic first democratic administration under Nelson Mandela to a run-of-the-mill, tawdry governing party under Thabo Mbeki, Feinstein reveals the inner workings of his former party in office.

Feinstein recounts the ANC’s early successes and failures: building a new provincial government in Gauteng with Tokyo Sexwale; the adoption of controversial but crucial macro economic policies; the closing down of meaningful internal debate around AIDS and the ongoing softly-softly approach to the crisis in Zimbabwe.

After the Party tells the human story of a cosmopolitan, white, Jewish South African, married to a Bangladeshi Muslim, who was deeply committed to the ANC. The circumstances surrounding his agonising decision to leave it reveal extraordinary insights into the state of contemporary South Africa and the battles currently raging within the ruling party.

About the author

After working in financial services, Feinstein now writes, lectures and consults on public policy issues, particularly governance, leadership, corruption, diversity and AIDS. He also chairs an HIV & AIDS charity. Andrew lives in London with his wife and two young children.

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