PICTURE: SIPHIWE SIBEKO South Africa’s governing ANC has gone through episodic crises in its century of existence. Right now, the media and commentariat are seized with debate about whether or not it is in a crisis and whether it is as serious as any other.The party has survived tumultuous times, including a major split that resulted in the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) in 1959 as well as friction in the post-democratic era. The present crisis differs because the party has governed the country for more than 20 years and faces different threats such as clientelism and patronage.History should serve as a sombre warning to the ANC of what might happen if it does not manage leadership rivalries within its ranks. Though the party has won between 62% and 68% of votes cast in every election since 1994, history does not guarantee any party predestination to govern forever.The tumultuous 1920s, 30s, 40s and 50sDuring the 1920s, ANC members were demoralised and dropped out when their delegati...

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