Poisons and divides

Book: After the Party

Book: After the Party

Author: Andrew Feinstein

Publisher: Jonathan Ball

Reviewer: Zenoyise Madikwa

The run-up to the ANC national conference has not only heighte- ned tensions among the party's members, the succession debate has seen the mushrooming of books that do not help the situation, but add to the confusion.

After the Party: A Personal and Political Journey Inside the ANC by Andrew Feinstein is such a book. The cover is misleading. It boldly sports ANC colours and you would think that the book is about Feinstein's journey in the ANC. However, it is about besmirching both the ANC and President Thabo Mbeki.

Though the book is not about Mbeki, Feinstein casts doubt on the president's policies and his person. Maybe he should have written a biography instead.

His pen is poisonous and divisive to the ANC he claims to love. One can read between the lines that he never had the interests of oppressed blacks at heart. Joining the ANC was about self-aggrandisement and about protecting the interests of white people.

Feinstein sounds like a disillusioned white man who thinks that siding with black people in their struggle is a passport to bad-mouth the government.

I think in 1994 the ANC made a huge mistake in recruiting every white Jack and Jill to make up the numbers to fulfill its non-racialism policy. It is against this background that Feinstein found himself in parliament. He resigned in 2001 after being an ANC MP for more than seven years, ostensibly because he was angry about the way the arms deal scandal was swept under the carpet.

Though his ideas will make you want to shred his book into pieces because of his stance on certain issues, I strongly agree with his views on Palestine and Israel.

He is a good writer, but his book can lead you astray if you are not politically grounded.