Tens of thousands of protesters take to the streets to denounce Zuma

Posted 09 April 2017

Tens of thousands of South Africans took to the streets in major cities across the country last week, calling for President Zuma's removal. This follows Zuma's dismissal of finance minister Pravin Gordhan as part of a cabinet reshuffle that resulted in SA's credit being downgraded the junk by credit ratings agencies. 

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ANC allies turn on Zuma - call for his resignation

Posted 05 April 2017

The SA Communist Party, trade union federation Cosatu and leading ANC figures have called for President Zuma to resign following his firing of Pravin Gordhan as finance minister last week. This comes as S&P announced a credit-rating downgrade that left SA on junk status with a negative outlook. Zuma removed Gordhan using a bogus intelligence report to justify the move to ANC officials. He is now appealing to provincial ANC leaders to buttress his support, but the tide has turned against the president, who appears to have grossly misread the public outrage triggered by last week's cabinet reshuffle. 

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Zuma goes for the nuclear option

Posted 31 March 2017

To hell with the rand, the ratings agencies, the people of South Africa. President Zuma is a desperate man with bills to pay trying to stay out of jail. His cabinet "reshuffle" has the fingerprints of the Guptas all over it. He sacked finance minister Pravin Gordhan and put a dandy in his place. No matter that the rand lost 6% this week. Zuma wants a finance minister who will sign the nuclear power stations cheques and green-light all manner of suspect deals. This is now an open declaration of war, and the fight back has begun. 

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Rand tumbles on fears that Zuma will replace Gordhan as finance minister

Posted 27 March 2017

After a strong surge in recent weeks, the rand reversed some of its gains as speculation spread that President Zuma intended replacing finance minister Pravin Gordhan. This time, the economic fundamentals for South Africa are on a firmer footing, but the president seems oblivious of the damage his arbitrary policy making causes to the country.

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Zuma's love affair with alternative facts

Posted 14 February 2017

Wits University academic Patrick Bond takes a look at President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation address and then proceeds to separate fact from fiction. The outcome is a president who makes all the right noises, but fails to deliver in the key areas.

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What has happened to the rainbow nation?

Posted 19 January 2017

Race baiting is the default political tool of dishonourable politicians seeking short-term goals. Detailed studies by the Institute of Race Relations shows ordinary South Africans of every colour are less concerned with the issue, and believe merit should be the basis for job selection. When Julius Malema says he is not calling for whites to be slaughtered (just yet?), are we to believe whites are here under sufferance? Rex van Schalkwyk, a former judge of the Supreme Court of SA, looks at what has become of the rainbow nation and whether we should believe politicians who cry racism as the source of all evil.

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Mugabe withdraws $6m for 30 day holiday while most struggle to withdraw $100

Posted 03 January 2017

While Zimbabwe's banks lower their daily cash withdrawal limits to between $100 and $200 a day, an increasingly frail President Robert Mugabe withdrew US$6m for a 30 day holiday in Singapore, giving him petty cash of $200,000 a day. Opposition member of parliament Eddie Cross reports on the bleak outlook for the country in 2017, a situation mirrored south of the Limpopo in South Africa.

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SA may be better off under Zuma than those who want to unseat him

Posted 13 December 2016

Frans Cronje of the Institute of Race Relations makes the case that we are probably better off under President Zuma than the destructive communists on the one hand who want to unseat him, and the corrupt cronies on the other. In the middle are the pragmatic reformers who, if they are able to prevail, will have pulled off a remarkable feat.

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Ministers threaten to quit if Zuma stays

Posted 29 November 2016

Business Day reports that several ministers are planning to resign should President Zuma remain in office, raising the stakes in SA's growing political crisis. The choice for these ministers - who remain unnamed - are to face Zuma's axe or to pre-emptively push him to resign.

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SA faces its "Trump" moment

Posted 14 November 2016

South Africa looks like it is facing its own "Trump" moment. In this excellent analysis, Capital Economics suggests that President Zuma may have survived last week's no confidence vote, but his end is nigh nonetheless. Zuma's game plan is clearly to find a friendly successor ahead of the ANC's elective conference in December next year. Then he may choose to resign knowing he will likely escape prosecution for corruption. The succession battle will likely provide fodder for a newly energised opposition ahead of the presidential election in 2019. South Africa is ready to turn its back on the Zuma era.

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Working class Americans boot out the bums

Posted 09 November 2016

Donald Trump's victory in the US presidential election is a victory of the working class over the oligarchs. But as former Ronald Reagan staffer Paul Craig Roberts points out, if Trump holds out the hand of conciliation to the neocons and warmongers who lurk at the trough of every US administration, then we will know that he has been captured by the oligarchs. The big loser in all this is the mainstream media, whose shameless shilling for Hillary Clinton was without precedent. Their credibility lies in tatters, and their priggish view of working class Americans has been exposed for all to see. Just one day ago the New York Times was calling it 87% certain that Clinton would win and the world would go on as it always has. Their readers are deserting them, as trust in establishment media hits an all-time low.  Ditto for the TV networks. Interesting times indeed.

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The tide has finally turned against Zuma

Posted 07 November 2016

The release of the state capture report by the Public Protector has shifted the balance of power away from President Zuma. Senior elements within the ANC now deem it safe to come out against him. Meanwhile the DA is shifting a chunk of its HQ to Johannesburg to ride a two and a half year campaign to unseat the ruling party from Gauteng, writes Keith Gottschalk.

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ANC smear campaigns go back a long way

Posted 27 October 2016

Former finance minister Trevor Manuel recently complained of a smear campaign involving the current finance minister Pravin Gordhan. But his memory is short. He might have mentioned the ANC's trumped up smear campaigns alleging a third force, falsely implicating former president FW de Klerk, IFP leader Mangosutu Buthelezi and others. These are just some of the smears the ruling party has confected over the years.

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The ANC is on the brink of all-out war - with itself

Posted 12 September 2016

The ANC is at war with itself, as the Occupy Luthuli House protests affirm. After the local government electoral disaster in which the ruling party lost most of SA's big cities to the opposition, the party of liberation should have entered a period of deep soul searching. Instead it has atomised into various factions each seeking ascendancy and retribution, as this editorial from Mail & Guardian points out.

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Pulling the plug on funding may save SA

Posted 07 September 2016

President Jacob Zuma is not one to back down from a fight, particularly one where he was humiliated. In this case, he was forced to appoint Pravin Gordhan as his finance minister after trying to shoe-horn a hopelessly unqualified Des van Rooyen into that post. In this article, Gumani Tshimomola, a researcher for the Economic Freedom Fighter's parliamentary caucus, explains why the decision by certain investors to stop funding SA's state corporations may save SA in the long run.

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Tshwane's DA mayor tells ANC majority they are "heading to jail"

Posted 04 September 2016

Tshwane's new Democratic Alliance mayor Solly Msimanga pulled out five forensic reports last week and told recently dethroned ANC councillors that some of them will soon be wearing orange jump suits.

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RW Johnson's take on post-election SA - it's not good for the ANC

Posted 04 September 2016

In this interview, author of How Long Will South Africa Survive?, RW Johnson, sees the ANC as a party in retreat, with its more militant members seeking to make Joburg and Tshwane ungovernable, just as they did when the National Party was in control. The ANC has become the National Party version 2, with President Zuma astride a giant system of patronage and corruption. His repeated attacks on his finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, who has refused to sign off on SAA's financial statements, speaks volumes about the feud currently underway eating the heart of the ANC. The question is, can Zuma survive till the next presidential election in 2019? 

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DA mayors set to lead Pretoria and Johannesburg

Posted 18 August 2016

The Democratic Alliance (DA), with the support of smaller parties, is set to appoint mayors for Johannesburg and Pretoria. The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party will not join a formal alliance with the DA, but will vote with it on specific issues.

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Local government elections show wit gevaar politics have failed

Posted 16 August 2016

More blacks voted for the Democratic Alliance than did whites, and in a city with just a 15% white population - Nelson Mandela Bay - a white mayor in the form of Athol Trollip is about to take office. The ANC's attempt at racial mobilisation has failed, just as the National Party of old attempted to scare white voters with the "black threat". The ANC's troubles from here will likely multiply, showing how far of course the party of liberation has strayed.

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What the election results of 2016 tell us about 2019

Posted 08 August 2016

The 2016 local government elections offer a tantalising taste of what is to come in the 2019 presidential elections. The Democratic Alliance has promised it would become the dominant party by 2019, but to do that is a tough ask. The way to achieve this goal is to focus on reorganising Gauteng in the same way it did Cape Town, and create a model of governance that will peel away millions of voters from a decrepid ANC.

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ANC in a race to the bottom

Posted 02 August 2016

Given recent statements by two former presidents, Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe, one wonders whether these men will vote for the party of Nelson Mandela at all, or whether they wil abstain, or perhaps even vote for the opposition. Motlanthe was recently reported to have said the ANC is engaged in a race to the bottom. Strong words from the former leader of the country.

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New poll shows the ANC set to lose major cities

Posted 28 July 2016

A new poll by Ipsos shows the ANC losing its dominant position to the Democratic Alliance in next week's local government elections in three major urban centres: Joburg, Pretoria and Port Elizabeth. Cape Town has long since been under DA control. The ANC says its own polls come to a different conclusion. The trend is clear: the ANC will, like Zani-PF in Zimbabwe, from hereon have to rely on the rural vote.  

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We're in an election, and it doesn't look good for the ANC

Posted 06 June 2016

It's official. We are in an election and nearly 3m new voters have registered. Gareth van Onselen crunches the numbers, and suggests it doesn't look good for the ANC. It's unlikely it will win the 60% it claimed in the last election, but much depends on the energy of the opposition in these last few months before voting.

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Gordhan being hounded by a disintegrating government

Posted 23 May 2016

Finance minister Pravin Gordhan's "imminent" arrest for allegedly setting up a rogue investigations unit in SA Revenue Services some years ago is a symptom of the disintegration within the government. The Hawks could better use their time chasing down the R25,7bn in irregular spending reported by the auditor general in 2014, and nearly R1bn more in fruitless and wasteful spending. 

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Zuma's back - is Pravin on borrowed time?

Posted 15 May 2016

The presidency was quick to squash rumours that finance minister Pravin Gordhan is about to be arrested for his alleged role in setting up a rogue investigations unit when he headed up SA Revenue Services. But the Hawks appear to have other plans. Zuma's recent behaviour suggests he is far from beaten. His mood was ebullient in recent days as visited Eskom's head office and declared power cuts a thing of the past. Then it was on to SAA to bestow his blessings there. Maybe Pravin will see out his term to 2019, but don't count on it.

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