Andrew Feinstein served as an African National Congress (ANC) Member of Parliament in South Africa for over seven years. He was initially chairperson of the Finance & Economics Committee in the Gauteng Legislature where he assisted in the establishment of a provincial Treasury and a new Economic Affairs Department. He also acted as economic adviser to the provincial Finance and Economic Affairs Minister and the provincial premier at the time, Tokyo Sexwale.
He moved to the national Parliament in 1997. Roles included serving on the Trade & Industry and Finance Committees and the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa). He chaired the sub-committee that drafted the country’s Public Finance Management Act. He was later appointed Deputy Chairperson of the country’s Audit Commission.
At a more local level, he served the constituencies of Johannesburg South and, after the second democratic election in 1999, Sea Point and the Atlantic seaboard of the Cape Province.
Andrew resigned in 2001 in protest at the ANC’s refusal to countenance an independent and comprehensive enquiry into a multi-billion dollar arms deal which was tainted by allegations of high level corruption. His account of the deal, the corruption, its cover up and his attempts to investigate it are the subject of his first book “After the Party: A Personal and Political Journey Inside the ANC”. The fourth edition of this best-selling political memoir was published in the UK in June 2010.
He now chairs the Friends of the Treatment Action Campaign, FoTAC, a UK based organisation campaigning for access to treatment for people living with HIV/Aids in South Africa and is a founding Director of Corruption Watch, an NGO using case studies of grand corruption to develop policy proposals to combat corrupt behaviour by corporations and governments. He works with anti-corruption NGOs, activists, investigators and prosecutors around the world. From January 2010 to July 2011 he was an Open Society International Fellow.
His writing appears in a range of media around the world, including Prospect, the Guardian, the SA Sunday Times, the New Internationalist, Africa Report and the New Statesman, amongst others. He recently authored the lead article in the Sipri Yearbook 2011. He also appears regularly on a variety of broadcast media including the BBC, Al Jazeera, CNN, Sky, Radio 702 and Cape Talk.
He was educated at King’s College Cambridge, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Cape Town and Wynberg Boys High School. He has also spent time at the London School of Economics as a participant in that university’s Distinguished Visitors Programme.
Andrew Feinstein became an active – and ardent – member of the ANC in the 1980s, and campaigned energetically for the party in the first democratic elections. He was elected to parliament and rose swiftly through the ranks, earning the label ‘Mr Clean’ for his unstinting work against graft and corruption. But his feelings of euphoria at being part of the new South Africa slowly soured. Initially disappointed by the constant jockeying for power and the denialist AIDS policy of President Thabo Mbeki, Feinstein’s disillusionment grew as he sought unsuccessfully to investigate the corruption surrounding the Arms Deal. Isolated from his former comrades, Feinstein was forced to choose between his principles and the party he had so admired.