Articles on Political patronage

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Côte d'Ivoire’s President Alassane Ouattara addresses a rally ahead of the referendum on a new constitution. The placard reads “yes to new Ivory Coast”. Luc Gnago/Reuters

Controversial constitutional referendum sparks distrust in Cote d'Ivoire

The proposed new constitution would allow Alassane Ouattara to remain as president. Opposition parties see this move as a constitutional “coup” that will also protect his allies.
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.

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?
Tshwane mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa unsuccessfully pleads for calm with angry ANC supporters. EPA/Ihsaan Haffejee

Violence in South Africa’s capital leaves ANC vulnerable at the polls

Some of the factors behind the riots by ANC supporters in Tshwane are not new. They include gripes within the governing party about its process for choosing mayors and divisions over Jacob Zuma.
Allegations that President Jacob Zuma’s friends, the Gupta family, corruptly dictate cabinet appointments have plunged South Africa into a political crisis. Shutterstock

Why state capture is a regressive step for any society

Lobbying political actors to achieve particular outcomes is an acceptable practice in a democracy. But state capture, as is allegedly happening in South Africa, denotes holding the state to ransom.

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