Opposition parties in sub-Saharan Africa struggle to prove themselves worthy to skeptical voters who, unlike in Western competitive systems, don't trust them over former liberation movements.
President Zuma's speech is historically meaningless in that it is not a milestone of any professed historical mission.
The ANC should draw the lesson that South Africans are unlikely to tolerate the ongoing descent of their politics into the gutter without strident resistance - in the streets, if necessary.
Mahlangu's resignation over the deaths of mental patients sets her apart from her colleagues in government. But, it does not portend a new trend in political accountability for the governing ANC.
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.
It's vital that the problems at the South African Broadcasting Corporation be fixed in the public interest and for democracy, given its wide media reach in the country.
Dlamini-Zuma is an ambiguous, ambitious figure, an operator and bureaucrat with good credentials. But, she offers nothing new and can't shake off claims that she's just a shoe-in for her ex-husband.
The effects of a sovereign credit rating downgrade would be painful for all South Africans.
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.
The legitimacy and credibility of those in power has been eroded by bad governance, patronage and the obsession to claim an exclusive agency representing the people.
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.
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 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.
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.
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?
Democracy resulted in a sea change in the governing ANC. In the past, only highly committed idealists joined the party. Today's splits and factions are about patronage and clientelism.
South Africa's governing ANC has to respond to public outcry about state capture or run the risk of electoral losses.