3 June 2014

South Africa: Zuma's Last Big Power Push - and What Happens Next


The last week has seen a large volume of analysis on the various decisions made by President Jacob Zuma around his Cabinet. Certainly the appointment of a Cabinet is a good chance to understand the motivations of a political leader. However, it is now time to consider another question: that this appointment may actually have been the last big expression of power by Zuma himself. These appointments, both in Cabinet and to other big posts, are going to leave an interesting situation for whoever comes next to deal with.

It is common to hear among the middle-class commentariat some gnashing of teeth when President Zuma is mentioned, usually proportional to the amount of power he has. The tut-tutting started during the Schabir Shaik trial, as those in the suburbs muttered about how people simply didn't lend their friends money and not ask for it back. It got much louder during his rape trial, despite his acquittal. Now the head-shaking has probably reached its peak.

That's probably because right now, at this moment, Zuma is probably at the height of his might. He has been sworn in as President for his second term, he has had five years...

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