He was born in Cape Town to Ralph Josef Feinstein and Erika Hemmer. He graduated from Wynberg Boys' High School in 1981, and received further education at King's College, Cambridge, the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Cape Town. He married Simone Sultana on 18 December 1993, and has a son and a daughter. His interests include reading, classical & jazz music, cinema, theatre, watching rugby, cricket & soccer.
A member of the African National Congress, his political life began when he served as an advisor to Gauteng's then-MEC of Finance, Jabu Moleketi, from 1994 to 1996. He also worked as an economic advisor to then-premier Tokyo Sexwale. He was elected as a member of the South African Parliament's lower house in 1997.
During his time in office, he served as chair of its study group on public accounts and ANC's official spokesman on the National Assembly's public accounts committee. Feinstein was at the time referred to as "one of its most vocal and talented MPs", who argued that a thorough investigation into the South African Arms Deal had to be done. However, he resigned in 2001 when the ANC refused to launch an investigation into the matter. He was succeeded by Geoff Doidge in both positions.
Immigration to the UK
He now resides in London, where he chairs the Aids charity Friends of the Treatment Action Campaign, and lectures and writes on South Africa. He also works as a Securities Coordinator for Investec Bank UK Ltd.
He is now considered an ANC dissident and critic, with his memoirs, After the Party, being severely critical of the political culture of the ANC.
In 2011 Feinstein published The Shadow World, an investigation into the global arms industry. He reported "that the trade in weapons accounts for around 40 percent of all corruption in all world trade The .. trade in weapons is extremely closely tied into the mechanics of government. The defence manufacturers, those who make the weapons, are closely tied in to governments, to militaries, to intelligence agencies and crucially to political parties."
- After the Party: A Personal and Political Journey Inside the ANC
- The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade.
- Profile of Mr Andrew Josef Feinstein - whoswhosa.co.za
- ANC seeks to play down Feinstein demotion, SAPA, 29 February 2001.
- Statement by Andrew Feinstein MP - 30 August 2001
- "As U.S. Faces Gun Epidemic Post-Newtown, Obama Urged to Break With NRA & Back Global U.N. Arms Treaty". 26 December 2012.
- South to North. "Is society inherently corrupt? A look at the global arms industry and the effect corruption has on our politics, society and culture.". Al Jazeera English. Al Jazeera. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
- Andrew Feinstein (2007). After the party: a personal and political journey inside the ANC. Jonathan Ball. ISBN 978-1-86842-262-3.
- Andrew Feinstein (2011). The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade. Hamish Hamilton. ISBN 978-0-241-14441-1.