Summary and Info
The South African Communist Party (SACP) is something of a historical anomaly. In an era when communist organisations have crumbled, the SACP emerged in 1990 from years of exile to build an organisation of some 75,000 members by 1995. Some of its leading cadre entered South Africa's first democratically elected government as members of the African National Congress (ANC) and the SACP is arguably one of the most influential and powerful Communist Parties in the western world. This book analyses social and political contradictions unique to South Africa, which have given rise to such a situation and attempts to explain the historical role of the SACP within the South African liberation movement. Specifically, the book looks at the role of the SACP in the transition from apartheid to democracy and from exile to government. While theoretically rigorous, Comrade Minister is also accessible to members of the general public with an interest in South Africa's much celebrated democratic transition. The SACP's unique position as perhaps the only mass communist party to enter government in an industrialised country since the fall of the Berlin Wall, should also attract those with a wider interest in the historical implications of "the death of communism" post-1989. Comrade Minister should appeal to all enthusiasts of the South African struggle against apartheid and to those with a general interest in communism and communist parties. It would be useful for anyone running courses in South African history, "race" relations, in labour or development studies. Moreover, the uniqueness of the work is that it is based solidly on primary research and is the first attempt to write a detailed academic history of the SACP and its role in South Africa's recent democratic transition.
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