As liberation movements rise up and overthrow existing powers of imperialism and oppression, a sense of promise and hope is felt that is all too often lost in the years to follow. The role that these liberation movements must fulfil shift from agencies of transformation to effective governments that uphold the democratic principles they strived for. However, as this article explains, this role change is rarely realised as ruling parties become a new elite replacing the former oppressors. These parallels between colonial rulers and liberation-movements-turned-dominant-parties are drawn by the author by exploring many trends. Namely, analysing decolonisation as a method of consolidating rule that is maintained through processes of rhetoric and national unification is addressed. This is followed by a discussion of how the state is subordinated both interests of the ruling party, using examples from Southern Africa. Finally, the discussion concludes with the issue of identity within liberation movements pre- and post- independence, and the limitation this places on true democratisation.