If the history of the world, or nations, is the development of the Idea of Freedom, as Hegel claimed, then the recent South African election suggests that the country is in political regression. When you study the voting patterns closely you're left with the conclusion that South African voters have relapsed to pre-1994 voting tendencies, by voting more according to race and ethnicity. Never you mind the negligible black pockets who voted the predominantly white liberal Democratic Alliance (DA), for reasons mostly to do with antipathy towards the ANC than choice. If ever it was in any doubt, it is clear now that the experience of apartheid left the South African nation traumatized, resentful and distrustful towards each other.
There is also, in the recent South African voting pattern, a clear revolt against reason and open society for radical collectivism. Racial nationalism, which appeals to tribal instinct, passion and prejudice, is still a driving force for the majority of the South Africans. It is no coincidence that when a Zulu became the president of the ANC for its support to grow drastically in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, where Zulus predominate. Meantime in the Eastern Cape, where the majority is Xhosa, the ANC support fell drastically. This might be in protest of the way the former president, Thabo Mbeki was recalled before the tenor of his presidency was over last year. Since Mbeki is Xhosa the argument still stands.
It'd seem the more the DA and VF use apartheid tactics of "swart gevaar" in their electioneering the more their support grows. It can't be a coincidence that their growths was predominantly in white areas; and both took the chunk of overseas voters, people who mostly left the country in fear of what is called the Zanufication [the spread of Mugabe political tactics, like confiscating white commercial farms] of the country. For those who had hoped South Africa was progressing towards a less racially, ethnically society the trends of our past elections were very disappointing indeed.
What is also of utmost concern is the fact that most South Africans don't seem to realize, or don't care, that the country, is slowly succumbing to the pathologies of totalitarian politics through radical collectivist tendencies that are mostly adopted by post-colonial African governments to distract attention from their delivery failures.
For instance, it is common to hear from the militant youth the Tripartite Alliance of promoting The Party (ANC) as being everything that the individual owes everything to, physically and metaphysically. The firebrand president of the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) Julius Malema said, to no comeuppance; "We'll show them [that] outside the ANC there's no life; no nice things."
From there it usually is one step short of the notion of divine state, a state that overrules all personal morality and conscience, as promulgated by Leninism and cruelly pursued by Stalinism. Then the principles of universal civil rights, gradualism and democracy are defenestrated.
It is no coincident that in these elections the ANC spent well over R200 million. It needed to bulldoze the voters with the razzmatazz of party paraphernalia and rhetorical dishonesty, and the rest of hypnotizing jargon while in the background it cooked the scheme to establish a ‘revolutionary democratic dictatorship' under the tutelage of its Tripartite Alliance partners, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and South African Communist Party (SACP). Surely if successful the SACP for one would like to see the Party become the supreme institution of the state, bending towards the extremist agenda of ultra radical left. The rest can be read in the history of totalitarian states.
Of greater concern still is the blatant disregard of South Africans for moral values and ethics when voting for their political leadership. It is starting to look more like revolt against the burdens of freedom and reason; a willed surrender for personal responsibility and the escape from the conditional self, to the rousing salvo of Party clichés: My vision! My ANC! [Why must the ruling party be outdone by the age of narcissist consumerism?] The pertinent question now would be who'll liberate us from all this, I mean ourselves and our liberators. How are we going to get ourselves out of what Dr. Mamphele Rampele calls, "The conflation of the ruling party with the state [that] is fuelled by the myth of the ruling party as the liberator of a passive citizenry that had to be rescued from apartheid." We were never passive people in our own liberation.
It is clear that South Africa needs to be built once more. It needs a people more liberated from their demons to shoulder the burdens of freedom. As Terry Bell, writing in the recently published political biography of Moses Mayekiso; Comrade Moss: A political journey. "We have a choice: either advance or retreat along the path that extends from repression and barbarism at one end to the long dreamed of goal of genuine social and economic democracy at the other." It all depends on us.