Original Research

Assessing Development Paradigms of Democracy: A Perspective of Minimal Democracy in the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope 1853 – 1994

E. A. Ndaguba
Africa’s Public Service Delivery & Performance Review | Vol 4, No 3 | a123 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/apsdpr.v4i3.123 | © 2016 E. A. Ndaguba | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 December 2016 | Published: 01 December 2016

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E. A. Ndaguba, University of Fort Hare, South Africa

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This paper is a first of two separate papers in an attempt to recount the antecedent of minimalist democracy in the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope. The study uses thematic reviews, documentary evidence, scholarly encyclopaedia and articles. Other methods used in gathering data for the study include legislative proceedings, enactments and Acts, as well as various Constitutions and information from websites (www.nelsonmandela.org). The study establishes that there existed tenets of democratic element not in wholeness as with maximalist approach to democracy in the Cape of Good Hope. Nonetheless, based on the context of time and space. It contends that both representative and responsible democracy existed in practice and principle in the Cape of Good Hope between 1854 and 1872 respectively. The central thesis of this paper is that, the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope is arguably the first and only Colony under British Conquest in Africa to operate both representative and responsible government in colonial era. Also, opportunities were evenly shared between whites and non-whites. It concludes with an African Proverb that says, “Until lions tell their tale, the story of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.”


Democracy; Minimal Democracy; Cape of Good Hope; Colonial Era


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