African Journal of
Political Science and International Relations

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pol. Sci. Int. Relat.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0832
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPSIR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 402

Full Length Research Paper

Debunking “The New Dawn” Myth: A comparative analysis of South Africa and Zimbabwe

Bheki R. Mngomzulu
  • Bheki R. Mngomzulu
  • Centre for the Advancement of Non-Racialism and Democracy (CANRAD), North Campus, Nelson Mandela University, South Africa.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 03 March 2023
  •  Accepted: 26 June 2023
  •  Published: 31 July 2023


This paper is a comparative analysis of the politics of South Africa and Zimbabwe. It aims to demystify “The New Dawn” phenomenon espoused by the presidents of the two countries. On 24 November 2017, Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn in as Zimbabwe’s President. This followed the forced resignation of President Robert Mugabe by the country’s military after spending over three decades in office. In South Africa, President Jacob Zuma was also forced to resign as President of the country by the African National Congress. On 15 February 2018, Cyril Ramaphosa became the new President. Strikingly, both these new leaders announced that they were bringing with them the so-called “New Dawn” for their respective countries. This was even though they were both from the governing political parties in the two countries and were going to implement the same policies. The paper uses the Constitutions of the governing political parties in South Africa and Zimbabwe to demonstrate why “The New Dawn” was a myth from the day the concept was appropriated by the two leaders. Indeed, five years after these leaders made such a claim, “The New Dawn” remains a myth. Instead, the socio-political situation has become worse than when they assumed office.


Key words: Constitution, Myth, South Africa, The New Dawn, Zimbabwe.