Articles on The Guptas

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South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma is part of a faction which embraces patronage politics. Reuters/Mike Hutchings

Economic exclusion feeds the politics of patronage in South Africa

It is common to reduce the politics of the ANC to a battle between personalities. A closer look suggest that this is a fight between two factions, both of them products of trends in the economy.
The criminal case against South African finance minister Pravin Gordhan, right, is an example of President Jacob Zuma’s abuse of state institutions. GCIS

How Zuma has used the capture of South Africa’s state institutions to stay in power

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.
South African President Jacob Zuma. What next? Reuters/Philimon Bulawayo

Zuma and ANC run out of road as bad news piles up

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.
Protestors call for the removal of South Africa President Jacob Zuma outside court in Pretoria, the capital city. Mike Hutchings/Reuters

Tide begins to turn against South Africa’s president and his supporters

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?
Head of South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority, Shaun Abrahams, dropped a fraud charge against the finance minister Pravin Gordhan. Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

South Africans learn that the law can be a double-edged sword

South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority charged the country’s finance minister Pravin Gordhan and two of his former colleagues at the tax authority, Ivan Pillay and Oupa Magashule, with fraud last…
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.
Nelson Mandela laughs with journalists and performers ahead of the second 46664 concert in the Western Cape in 2005. Reuters/Mike Hutchings

Reflections on building the South Africa of Nelson Mandela’s dreams

When celebrating Nelson Mandela Day, it would benefit South Africans to reflect on what the statesman's legacy means for the nation and how they are living up to his dreams for the country.
A woman cheers during Freedom Day celebrations in South Africa. Reuters/Mujahid Safodien

South Africans take stock as the country celebrates Freedom Day

South Africa's transition to democracy was based on the values of inclusive politics, reconciliation, human rights and constitutionalism. Twenty-two years on, how has the country fared?
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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