The possibility that South Africa's ruling ANC could lose power in 2019 runs like a tragic thread through its policy conference documents. It agrees that its actions have repelled many supporters.
Democracy in South Africa is meaningless if it doesn't improve the lives of the people. To do this, the governing ANC must be led by conscientious, competent and interested leaders.
Swapo supporters celebrated victory in the UN supervised November 1989 election.
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.
South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma (left), who is also the president of the governing ANC, and his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa.
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 ANC got rid of one president , Thabo Mbeki (right) in 2008. The groundswell against incumbent Jacob Zuma is growing.
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 criminal case against South African finance minister Pravin Gordhan, right, is an example of President Jacob Zuma’s abuse of state institutions.
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.
Protestors call for the removal of South Africa President Jacob Zuma outside court in Pretoria, the capital city.
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?
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”.
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.
Government shows offer relatively regular income with access to big crowds.
Music and politics have long been intertwined and political patronage can sometimes lead artists to self-censor. On the other hand, some musicians are just more interested in entertainment than politics.
South African President Nelson Mandela forged a powerful cabinet of national unity.
While Nelson Mandela’s cabinet made allies out of erstwhile adversaries, Jacob Zuma’s cabinet is making enemies out of former allies.
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’s deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa (L) and President Jacob Zuma. Ramaphosa has described the ANC government as being at war with itself.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Posters depicting the ANC in happier times.
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 African and ANC President Jacob Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.
South Africa's governing ANC has to respond to public outcry about state capture or run the risk of electoral losses.