18 May 2017

South Africa: A Lesson for Cyril Ramaphosa, From Hillary Clinton

analysis

Ahead of its National Elective Conference later this year, the race to become the next President of the African National Congress (ANC) is taking shape with Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma emerging as the main contenders. With the provincial support Dlamini-Zuma recently received, ascending to the forefront of the party won't be easy for Ramaphosa. But, the example of Hillary Clinton's failed campaign against United States President Donald Trump, could provide a lesson. By DAVID REIERSGORD.

Over the past few months, there have been a number of pieces published that make comparisons between Donald Trump and President Jacob Zuma. These comparisons refer to some uncomfortable overlaps between American and South African politics, but they don't recognise just how much the success of Trump was shaped by the negative perception of Clinton.

Clinton's strategy of using her political track-record as a selling point could be instructive for Ramaphosa, whose eyes seem to be on the Presidency, and who will also face a populist in Dlamini-Zuma. Clinton was perceived to represent a conventional version of politics that is out of touch with people's daily lives. And to the extent that her loss was the result of some of the ugliest compulsions in...

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