Telling empowering stories, South Africans want to hear

Wednesday, 21 February 2024 19:48

Will 2024 be end of Ramaphosa's presidency? Is the Party Over? by Oscar Van Heerden.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.


By the early evening, the irresolute and weakened Ramaphosa slate left no one unscathed – not Mabuyane, not Lamola, not the Mkhize camp. The Ramaphosa caucus was tarnished by infighting. The Mkhize camp was initially none the wiser as to whether Mashatile, who saw an opportunity to mop up votes in the Ramaphosa camp, would contest the position on its list.

The situation left a power vacuum in its wake. The bigger picture remained unresolved. There was no obvious successor to David Mabuza.

As an ANC insider, Oscar van Heerden had a ringside seat at the ANC elective conference at NASREC in 2022.  In Is the Party Over?, he presents a gripping account of how political power changed hands and what was at stake as Cyril Ramaphosa battled to strengthen his power. Ramaphosa was either going to consolidate his power, or be ejected.

Van Heerden does not simply give us the numbers, the money, the delegates, the switching, the promises and the backstabbing. 

In this powerful account of the inner workings of a cripplingly divided political party, he is part of the story, having to contend with his great disappointment with the party of liberation.

Ramaphosa's fortunes have been in decline since he first came to power, having to deal with the RET group, COVID, the July 2021 civil unrest, and the brutal energy crisis.

Over each crisis he has had to stand by his party's glorious history and against its rapid decline into inner-party feuds, corruption and bureaucratic ineptitude.

What legacy then has Ramaphosa left? How has he contended with a country coming apart at the seams? Will 2024 be the end of his presidency, and will the party be over for the ANC?

​Vivid and unputdownable, Is the Party Over? is a must read anytime, but in 2024.

Is the Party Over is published by Jacana Media. Available for purchase at all good bookstores and online on 1 March 2024, it retails for R280.

About the author:

Oscar van Heerden is one of South Africa's foremost political analysts and authors. Oscar has written for publications, participated in several organisations, written columns, and challenged the political and social "status quo.” He has also held numerous executive positions.

Also, by Oscar van Heerden: Consistent or Confused: The Politics of Mbeki’s Foreign Policy 1995–2007 and Two Minutes to Midnight: Will Ramaphosa's ANC Survive?