12 February 2018

South Africa: Post Zexit - Lessons for Ramaphosa On Building an Inclusive State

opinion

A voluntary exit by Jacob Zuma would help the ruling party remain more cohesive, and Cyril Ramaphosa should not be maligned for attempting to effect this.

Cyril Ramaphosa has unfairly been criticised by political commentators for his attempt to negotiate Jacob Zuma's resignation. But it is a perfectly sensible strategy. Ramaphosa is facing an arduous task and is correctly concerned with having to rejuvenate South Africa economically and politically after the disastrous rule of Jacob Zuma. This would be greatly assisted if he had a coherent and cohesive organisation with which to effect this agenda. A messy exit for Zuma undermines this approach as it would fracture the ANC in important ways. A voluntary resignation by Zuma, by contrast, would keep the ruling political party relatively more cohesive, thereby enabling Ramaphosa to refashion it in ways that can be used to rebuild South Africa's economic, political and even institutional foundations.

Of course, opposition politicians and commentators do not have to worry about these issues. This allows them to make easy and glib statements about how the matter should be handled. To be fair, if opposition parties and civil society had not mobilised society against the corrupt practices...

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