15 June 2017

South Africa: While Zuma May Want to Be Like Mugabe, South Africa Is Not Zimbabwe

Photo: allafrica.com
Left: Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. Right: South African President Jacob Zuma.
analysis

When reaching for ways and examples to understand what is happening in our politics, it is common to hear the more alarmist among us (and in British newspapers) suggest that President Jacob Zuma and his cronies are beginning to act in a way similar to Robert Mugabe and his ZanuPF. For some people, the only way to analyse our political situation is through the prism of Zimbabwe. Some of this is correct - there are indicators that Zuma, and some of the people around him, would like to act as Mugabe has. But the claims that South Africa will end up like Zimbabwe are deeply flawed. By STEPHEN GROOTES.

To listen to some of our recent headlines is to hear all sorts of resonances with Zimbabwe. We have young men who claim, impossibly, to be military veterans of the liberation struggle guarding the ANC's headquarters, amid more claims that our politics is going through a process of "militarisation". In Zimbabwe this process ended with "military vets" raiding white-owned farms while being led by a man called Chenjerai "Hitler" Hunzvi.

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