Articles on South African politics

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South Africans queue to vote in the 2016 municipal elections. The governing ANC is accused of wanting to generate ‘fake news’ to influence voters. Reuters/Mike Hutchings

Fake news: the internet has turned an age-old problem into a new threat

The planting of messages and countering narratives in the media is not new. It's part and parcel of contemporary politics especially during elections. The internet simply makes an old problem worse.
Rogan Ward/Reuters

The political theology of Jacob Zuma

The problem for Jacob Zuma’s political theology is that far too many members of South Africa's ruling ANC have been experiencing a dramatic loss of faith in a party they see as no longer righteous.
Demonstrators march against corruption in Cape Town. South Africa has some way to go to plug a public accountability deficit. Reuters/Mike Hutchings

South Africa has work to do to make government more accountable

South Africa's end of term report at the helm of the Open Government Partnership shows that it failed to meet key targets it set for itself. But it also shows improvements in some areas.
Cyril Ramaphosa celebrates his election as deputy president of South Africa’s embattled governing ANC. Reuters/Mike Hutchings

Ramaphosa has what it takes to fix South Africa’s ailing ANC. But …

Cyril Ramaphosa is in pole position to become president of South Africa's ruling ANC, 20 years after he lost the position by Thabo Mbeki. But, it won't be easy. Neither will rebuilding the party.
Suppoters of outgoing South African public protector, Thuli Madonsela, outside her offices ahead of her last media briefing. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Lesser-known stories of how ordinary South Africans felt the effect of an active public protector

Far from the limelight, South Africa's public protector has been instrumental in assisting individuals who grapple with unfair treatment from government departments and other public institutions.
Lack of support for beneficiaries of land reform in South Africa has seen many new farmers fail to live off the land. Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

South Africa’s land reform efforts lack a focus on struggling farmers

South Africa's government makes much of its efforts of putting more land in the hands of the previously disenfranchised black majority. Yet, many beneficiaries continue to wallow in poverty.
US President-elect Donald Trump has displayed behaviour that will resonate with autocrats in Africa. William Philpott/Reuters

Trump’s leadership traits are bad news for democrats in Africa

Besides worries that Donald Trump might not make Africa a priority of his presidency, his temperament and views bode ill for democracy on the continent.
Demands to recall South African President Jacob Zuma reached a climax at the governing ANC’s national executive meeting. EPA/Kim Ludbrook

A new centre of power through mass mobilisation is needed in South Africa

There are early signs of the emergence of a third force for good in South Africa in the likes of the Save SA movement and Socio-Economic Future of South Africa convened by the Archbishop of Cape Town.
A woman arrives for Nelson Mandela’s memorial. The idea of a rainbow nation has been futile. EPA/Jim Hollander

Why forging social cohesion still eludes post-apartheid South Africa

Despite the noble goals of the new South Africa and its ideals of racial harmony, racial tensions remain a major problem in the country. Prejudice and bigotry persists even in universities.
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.
South Africa and Ethiopia are part of a wave of protests sweeping across parts of Africa that are known as Africa Uprising. Reuters/Tiksa Negeri

The death knell of Zuma’s rule echoes transitions elsewhere in Africa

The growing revolt against South Africa's president, amid state capture allegations, is not an isolated event, but part of a much wider pan-African uprising led by the continent's disaffected youth.

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