Political leaders who cling to office well past their sell-by date

The SACP re-has returned Blade Nzimande to the helm of the organisation he has led for 19 years.

He has been re-elected unopposed as general secretary with no objections, while Jeremy Cronin decided that he would not stand for re-election after 22 years in his post.

This begs the question, when is it time for a leader to hang up their proverbial leadership hat and go graciously back into the rank and file?

Do political leaders who cling to office way past their sell-by date?

702's Bongani Bingwa chats to South African Politics lecturer Wesley Seal about issues of age and when enough is enough

Why do leaders stay in power for so long? With a long and rich history of leaders like OR Tambo and Albert Luthuli, where are the new crop now?

There seems to be a dearth in South African leadership.

Wesley Seal, South African Politics Department, Rhodes University

And not just within the ANC, he says.

Cosatu is where it is today because of Zwelezima Vavi and his extended stay in his position as general secretary of Cosatu as well.

Wesley Seal, South African Politics Department, Rhodes University

South Africans need to be talking about this issue, says Seal.

Because dearth of leadership means a dearth of ideas and innovation.

Wesley Seal, South African Politics Department, Rhodes University

He adds that it is probably the first time since 1949 that there has been such division within the ANC on strategy and tactics to take forward the National Democratic Revolution.

Seal takes a look at the various candidates putting their hand up within the ANC succession battle and says things are not so rosy in the SACP either.

Indeed the SACP is in trouble, because if it re-elects Blade Nzimande it can mean only one thing. That there's nobody else to replace him.

Wesley Seal, South African Politics Department, Rhodes University

He says the SACp regrets backing the wrong horse at the ANC Polokwane Conference, but now they are doing the same thing again.

They repeating history by once again concentrating on personalities rather than policy.

Wesley Seal, South African Politics Department, Rhodes University

Take a listen to this discussion below:


This article first appeared on 702 : Political leaders who cling to office well past their sell-by date


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