Articles on South African politics

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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.
South Africa’s planned withdrawal from the ICC is considered a detraction from Nelson Mandela’s “inspiring legacy”. Jim Bourg/Reuters

Why South Africa’s withdrawal is not a death-knell for the ICC

The ICC has made important advances by investigating cases outside Africa and completing ones that further define what is not allowed in war. South Africa’s withdrawal is concerning, but not fatal.
Older generation freedom fighters like Nelson Mandela are losing currency among some young people in South Africa. Yves Herman/Reuters

Why the ‘loss of faith’ in heroes like Mandela may not be such a bad thing

Student activists are losing faith in the legacies of anti-apartheid heroes like Nelson Mandela. Perhaps all South Africans should do the same. It may just be what the country needs for its future.
Students make their feelings known during a fees protest at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Nic Bothma/EPA

How violence and racism are related, and why it all matters

States do not record the structural violence of racism as part of crime statistics. But this invisible violence has driven some people to self-harm. It has also masked forms of suicide.
Protesters call for the removal of South African President Jacob Zuma. Civil society has a major role to play in South Africa. Reuters/Mike Hutchings

South Africa’s economy will be stuck unless there’s new political alignment

South Africa's ruling party has lost its moral and intellectual capacity to claim the mantle of leadership. The country's economy won't recover unless new political alignments emerge.
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. eNCA.com

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.
The Democratic Alliance’s Herman Mashaba celebrates victory as Johannesburg’s new mayor after the ANC’s defeat. The Star/Boxer Ngwenya

Tumultuous times for South Africa as it enters the era of coalition politics

South Africa's watershed local elections have resulted in upsets for the ANC in key metropoles. But will the new, minority coalition regimes live up to their mandate of providing basic services?
Protesters decry the decision by the South African Broadcasting Corporation not to air scenes of violent protest. Reuters/Mike Hutchings

Questions that need to be asked to save South Africa’s public broadcaster

There were high hopes that the SABC would become a true public broadcaster after the end of apartheid when it was used ruthlessly as a propaganda machine. But those hopes have since been dashed.
President Jacob Zuma, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and former anti-apartheid activist Sophie de Bruyn at the unveiling of a monument to the 1956 women’s march. GCIS

Local elections show that South Africa’s women continue to play second fiddle

South Africa's past tells us that, under certain conditions, women mobilise in ways that produce significant political results. But the country's present shows how easily these gains can evaporate.

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