A Critical Analysis of the African National Congress’s Dominant Hegemonic Liberal Discourse

Teboho Bojabotsheha, Kholeka Constance Moloi


The objective of this paper is to engage in a critical analysis of the discourse of the ANC’s 1999, 2004 and 2009 national election manifestos. The three texts draw from the resources of the genre of manifesto, perhaps the sub-genre of party election manifesto, and share certain common structural features. We argue that these texts also use ambiguous pronouns to ensure an affinity between the ANC and the audience, (i.e., masses) with respect to the achievements of an ANC-led government, assuring it about what work still needs to be done and thus positioning the ANC’s vision as shared. Inherent in these texts are contrasting expressions, that we argue are used to denigrate the apartheid system (the segregationist regime prior to the 1994 South African democracy) and to laud the current democratic dispensation. What is also evident in all the three texts is the biased foregrounding of the ANC as the organisation which brought freedom to South Africans, leading the struggle for political, social, economic and educational transformation. It is silent about the contributions of the other political organisations to the emancipation struggle.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n1p313

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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