The choice that could save SA, or wreck it

Posted 08 December 2017

Frankly, it's not a great choice: Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma or Cyril Ramaphosa as the next leader of the ANC and possibly the country. Dlamini-Zuma will be hell-bent on protecting her ex-husband Jacob Zuma against 783 charges of corruption. Ramaphosa, a former trade union leader turned billionaire, is seen as friendlier to business and likely to return the ANC to its Freedom Charter roots. As The Economist argues, opposition parties hoping for a wrecking ball like Dlamini-Zuma to win the election race are playing a dangerous game. She might just win, and then we face the prospect of a hereditary kleptocracy.

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Ramaphosa must fire Jacob Zuma, says Gordhan

Posted 12 October 2017

Former finance minister Pravin Gordhan has called on Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to sack President Jacob Zuma in January, and warned South Africans to be vigilant against state capture of institutions now under threat, such as the Reserve Bank, Treasury and the Public Investment Corporation.

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Ramaphosa claims leaked emails of extra-marital affairs a "smear campaign"

Posted 04 September 2017

The Sunday Independent reported it was in possession of leaked emails that purport to show deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa was involved in multiple extra-marital affairs. But is this part of a campaign to stifle his challenge against President Jacob Zuma and put an end to his presidential ambitions? And if so, who is behind the leaks?

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Three scenarios facing SA - the best involves paying Zuma R2bn to get the hell out of Dodge

Posted 27 July 2017

There are reports that President Zuma has been offered R2bn to resign immediately as president. That's the best scenario facing the country. It would kill any hopes of handing the keys to the kleptocracy to his former wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. The other scenarios range from a Mugabe-style rule-by-thuggery to a split in the ANC and the possibility the ruling party may not gain 50% of the vote in the next election, writes Theuns Eloff, executive director at the FW de Klerk Foundation.

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Anybody's fault but Zuma's

Posted 04 July 2017

President Jacob Zuma has taken the ANC from a shoe-in at elections to an electoral liability. His reign as president has spawned two break-away parties, and a gaping credibility problem. Could the 2019 elections bring electoral disaster for the ruling party? At last week's ANC national policy conference, Zuma looked to point the finger for the party's problems anywhere but at himself. 

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Truth be told, opposition parties pray that Zuma stays in power till 2019

Posted 03 May 2017

Be careful what you wish for. SA's opposition parties want Jacob Zuma dislodged as president, but keeping him in power for as long as possible may suit their electoral chances come 2019. The ANC members are having to read the weather vane: if Zuma goes then many jobs are on the line, but if he stays, party loyalists will be roasted for protecting a fatally compromised man. So long as Zuma remains in power, the opposition can mine his failing presidency for all it is worth, reminding voters for the next two years how seriously he has damaged this country. Bloomberg explores how this could play out.

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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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