9 February 2018

South Africa: Dear President Zuma, Waiting's Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Lose

analysis

If you didn't know that before the start of this week, you're probably well aware of it now. Frustration, as Yoda never said, to anger can lead, and thus to the dark side. And it is this entirely human and understandable emotion which may be leading to a certain amount of pessimism that is creeping into our discussions around the current showdown between ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa and SA President Jacob Zuma.

When it became apparent on Monday that the ANC's national working committee was calling a special meeting of the national executive meeting, there was huge excitement. That has now given way to gloomy prognoses that Zuma is somehow winning this battle, or that Ramaphosa is going soft. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth.

Zuma is a spent political force. Ramaphosa is in charge. It is important to remember that.

It may seem odd to say that the person who is currently the president is not as powerful as the person who is the deputy president, but it is important to consider the evidence. Then you have to examine what it is that Ramaphosa is actually trying to achieve. And then one must...

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