South West Africa to Namibia 4
Success of Independence
Barend F. van Zijl
Olimpiad Pulishers 2018
Successes of Independence by Dr. B F van Zijl, concludes a trilogy of books that explored the prelude to independence of Namibia, the political contestation, principally among White political parties, and now, considers in this admirable volume, the primary political successes of the young Republic. Like the two accompanying volumes, this volume builds its arguments on theoretical and politicohistorical foundations, by framing the topic from the vantage point of a diversity of political parties and their successes or otherwise in national elections over the period 1989 to 2014. The value of such an approach is that it makes comparisons significantly more meaningful, while at the same time, it shows the ebb and flow of political and party political life in the country.
Successes of Independence has much to offer in terms of a comprehensive and in-depth treatment of the genesis and evolution of no fewer than twenty-five political parties, augmented by a balanced consideration of their electoral prowess and above all, of their political platforms across a rich diversity of policy domains. This book is surely one of the very few that pulls together an informed presentation of party platforms and manifestos in this country, and as such, it will become a most useful referent in the political archive of independent Namibia.
Students of politics and of political history will encounter a rich cornucopia from which to sip. Pulling together the political platforms of parties from across the political spectrum, with emphasis on key policy domains that cut across the promotion and protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens provided for in the Constitution, social and economic development, health, gender, corruption, environment, infrastructure, education and land, among others, Successes of Independence is at the same time, an exploration of the political culture and the health of democracy in the Republic. The volume provides a most useful comparison of the policies of the three largest parties in the country.
This is followed by probing the future of Namibia in respect of the continued dominance or otherwise of the governing party, the former liberation movement, SWAPO Party of Namibia, as well as the current and future topography of the economy. This volume boasts a current and comprehensive bibliography. An Index brings the book to a fitting end. The author needs to be warmly congratulated for delivering a book that should be widely read and discussed as the country faces a raft of challenges as a post-colony. The issues raised in this book should form part of such a discussion.