South Africa: Cyril Ramaphosa's Leadership - Many Challenges, 'No Easy Ride'

analysis

The narrow margin that saw Cyril Ramaphosa elected ANC president, surrounded by many who were hostile to his candidature, meant his leadership was never going to be easy. The divisions and battles fought in the courts and through more violent means make it seem that the ANC may find it hard to pull together in the 2019 elections.

This article first appeared on Creamer Media's website: www.polity.org.za

The election of Cyril Ramaphosa as ANC president in December 2017 marked a significant, albeit indecisive, break with the Jacob Zuma era. Ramaphosa narrowly defeated Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and found himself in a divided leadership (between those loyal to Ramaphosa and those who were or remain loyal to Zuma) at the very top and in the National Executive Committee (NEC).

While Ramaphosa managed to attain the state presidency fairly speedily and also, to effect some significant changes through state power, he has continued to face high levels of discord at the provincial and local levels of the ANC and in some provincial and local governments, like North West, until the removal of Supra Mahumapelo.

There are potential problems in the Free State with election of an ANC leadership that represents no...

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