Articles on Political patronage

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Cyril Ramaphosa, the new president of South Africa’s governing party, the ANC, and potentially the country’s future president. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

The ANC has a new leader: but South Africa remains on a political precipice

South Africa's ruling ANC has a new leader - Cyril Ramaphosa. But this doesn't mean that the country is out of the woods. Political instability remains a real possibility.
Supporters of Joao Lourenco and the ruling MPLA during an election campaign rally in Luanda. EPA/Manuel de Almeida

Angola’s ruling party regains power but faces legitimacy questions

Angola's recent election results showed the ruling MPLA losing support across the country. If opposition claims are to be taken seriously, the losses could be more severe than they appear.
South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma (left), who is also the president of the governing ANC, and his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

South Africa’s ANC can only be salvaged by leadership of epic ethical proportions

After two decades of political dominance, the electoral performance of the ANC is at its lowest since it became the governing party of South Africa in 1994. But is the party really unraveling?
The criminal case against South African finance minister Pravin Gordhan, right, is an example of President Jacob Zuma’s abuse of state institutions. GCIS

How Zuma has used the capture of South Africa’s state institutions to stay in power

The use of the prosecuting authority and the police in ANC succession struggles has a long history. What's different in the Zuma era is the symbiosis between elite police and the prosecution service.
Protestors call for the removal of South Africa President Jacob Zuma outside court in Pretoria, the capital city. Mike Hutchings/Reuters

Tide begins to turn against South Africa’s president and his supporters

For the moment President Zuma's supporters control the governing ANC's levers of power. But an unprecedented number of people in the ANC are turning against him. How long will the centre hold?
Côte d'Ivoire’s President Alassane Ouattara addresses a rally ahead of the referendum on a new constitution. The placard reads “yes to new Ivory Coast”. Luc Gnago/Reuters

Controversial constitutional referendum sparks distrust in Cote d'Ivoire

The proposed new constitution would allow Alassane Ouattara to remain as president. Opposition parties see this move as a constitutional “coup” that will also protect his allies.
South Africa’s deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa (L) and President Jacob Zuma. Ramaphosa has described the ANC government as being at war with itself. EPA/Mike Hutchings

Why patronage and state capture spell trouble for South Africa

South Africa has reached a critical point. If patronage politicians win the battle within the ruling ANC and complete the capture of the state, the country will slip from stagnation into the abyss.
Des van Rooyen, cooperative governance minister and new treasurer-general of the MK Military Veterans Association.

Comrades in arms against apartheid are now at one another’s throats

MK, the army of the then banned ANC, electrified millions of oppressed people to rise against the apartheid regime. Today, its veterans are being used in factional battles within the ruling party.

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