South Africa, following its peaceful transition, occupied the moral high ground and could influence the agenda of intergovernmental bodies like the United Nations. Not anymore.
Cyril Ramaphosa has secured the leadership of South Africa's governing ANC. But he may not be able to clean up the mess left by Jacob Zuma given the other members of the party's leadership team.
The ANC's elective conference is important for the party and South Africa. This is because the person chosen to lead the governing party since 1994, has gone on to become president.
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.
Namibia contributes a positive image to Africa in governance and other indicators. But the reality for most of the country’s 2.3 million people isn't quite as rosy.
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.
In previous elections speculation in South Africa focused on the likely size of the ruling ANC's majority. This time the question on people's minds is: will the ANC win or lose Nelson Mandela Bay?
The increase in rioting ahead of municipal elections in South Africa, such as that in Pretoria, suggests that the country's general election in 2019 could be more violent than previous elections.
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 finance minister delivered a good mix of macro and micro-economic strategies to ensure the country survives economic uncertainty, restores confidence and achieves some growth.
Judged by general citizen sentiment expressed at the grassroots, Jacob Zuma has failed to bring the ANC closer to the people. Research shows substantial alienation between the ANC and communities.