Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

South Africa: Elections and Persistence of Memory

analysis

South Africa is now virtually at the doorstep of the next national and provincial election. As South Africans weigh up how they are planning to make their "X"s on their ballots, J. BROOKS SPECTOR contemplates the meaning of change in predicting the country's political future.

At first this writer started out to focus on Secretary of State Kerry's visit to Africa, but the image that kept swimming into view was that of the cinematic Vice President John Nance, played by Ben Kingsley, in that lovely film, Dave. To keep him out of the way while conniving presidential aides substitute a naive doppelganger in place of the president who has just had a major stroke while he was in an assignation, so those aides can effectively take over the government, Nance is sent off on an eleven-country trip to Africa to keep him out of the way as the aides carry out their evil plan. Somehow, a little bit of what Nance's character felt in the film might well be part of John Kerry's real feelings while he is on his actual current trip to the continent.

Of course, Kerry's trip to Ethiopia, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo,...

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