Five years on, no-one has been held to account for the Marikana massacre where 34 miners were shot dead by members of the South African Police Service in a single day.
The bitter attitude of ANC leaders who spoke inside and outside Parliament before and after the no confidence vote added fuel to already existing public anger at the arrogance of the governing party.
The huge hype ahead of the vote of no confidence in President Zuma made the result anti-climactic. However, the fact that the motion was defeated by only a 21 vote margin is unprecedented.
All three female contenders for the presidency of the ANC and South Africa have strong liberation struggle credentials and have also contributed to democracy. But, are they up to the job?
Even if President Zuma wins the no confidence vote, the consequences for the ruling ANC are dire. A loss would see it further divided and weakened ahead of the 2019 elections.
A combination of politicking ahead of the ANC policy conference, plus the machinations just before it met meant heightened tensions between rival factions.
Policy conferences of South Africa's governing ANC have been about economic policy matters. But more recently organisational renewal has also dominated, as the party loses support.
The brand of South Africa's ruling party, the 104-year-old ANC, is in serious decline. The party needs to act decisively to stop this.
The internal processes of South Africa's ruling ANC for electing the president is distorted by money, patronage, factionalism and vote-rigging. It negates the democratic legitimacy the party claims.
South Africa's ANC and Namibia's SWAPO, governing parties, enter crucial leadership elections this year, with presidents Zuma and Geingob both facing challenges.
South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa's apology for his role in the 2012 Marikana massacre has no credibility, as there wasn't full disclosure.
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.
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.
The fallout at the meeting of South Africa's governing ANC clearly exposed how the party's factionalism has spilled over into government. This is likely to paralyse governance even further.
South African President Jacob Zuma's days of spinning out court cases indefinitely and at taxpayers' expense may soon come to an end -- possibly his worst news in a week of bad news.
The stakes have not been higher since the heady days of the early 1990s when South Africa also looked over the brink. Now it is less about brink and more about who will blink
South Africa's parastatals are in a dire state. Instead of being the mandated sites of development and profitability, they are costing the public purse billions and have been abused.
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.
When sociologists, driven by their value commitments, go beyond the relative comfort of the classroom and engage with organisations outside the university, they dirty their hands.
South Africa's governing ANC has to respond to public outcry about state capture or run the risk of electoral losses.