Book Review: Frank Chikane’s Eight Days in September

Eight Days in September by Rev. Frank Chikane is a non-fiction published in 2012 and is about the events of the eight days leading to the removal of President Thabo Mbeki from office following his defeat in the 2007 ANC Polokwane conference.

In this book we see Reverend Chikane, who was the Director General in the office of President Mbeki, at pains to justify Mbeki’s actions and paint him a victim of the then new leadership of the ANC. This is a highly biased account of events that led to the ANC recalling Thabo Mbeki as state president.

This book is written in extremely in accessible English: a bit of a weakness for many authors his age. He could easily have used everyday words, but he opted to show off just how good he is good in English.

I quite enjoyed the informative nature of the book, although some of the theories he put out were not tested in the court of law at least he attempted to demonstrate that there exists a line between party and government. Chikane believes that the ANC acted unconstitutionally in recalling Mbeki, but Mbeki did not want to go through the legal route to prove that theory valid.

The big negative to this book is the one-sidedness of Chikane’s views regarding Mbeki. It is all good to admire the man, but Chikane was way up Mbeki’s rectum.

I’d recommend this book to everyone that is interested in at least one side of Mbeki’s legacy within the ANC — effectively as state president – and how he eventually got to leave Mahlampa Ndlopfu unceremoniously.

Out of ten, I rate Eight Days in September a seven, taking away the three points solely for Chikane’s biased views.

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