16 October 2017

South Africa: ANC Leadership Race - Court Applications As Politics By Other Means

The road to the ANC's December conference appears to be lined with court cases. Hardly a day goes by without the news that someone or other has lawyered up and taken someone else in the party to court on some technicality or other. In the end, these cases are usually about using legal means to limit someone else's exercise of political power. So far, those who have taken the legal route have had some success, albeit at the expense of the political legitimacy of those in power, in various places, and in various ways. From a certain angle, the timing of all of these cases, and the answer to the question of "who benefits", may have the consequence of making them look almost orchestrated to help Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

On Friday it emerged that two former members of the ANC Youth League were lodging an application against the league's leader, Collen Maine. They are suggesting that he is too old to qualify to be a member of the league, and thus must step down. Their claim chimes with much of public opinion, Maine has been known as "34.9" since he was elected in what was clearly...

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