25 March 2019

South Africa: The Dawning of the Age of Ace - Sort of, Kinda, Maybe

analysis

When trying to examine the situation in the ANC to determine which groups, and their policies, are gaining traction and which are weakening, it is always important to look at particular personalities anchoring those groupings. And it appears that party Secretary-General Ace Magashule may have gained some ground of late.

Whether they want to or not, certain people become useful standard-bearers, they are indicators of what is really happening deep within the organisation. Over the last few months, it appears that the secretary-general of the ANC, Ace Magashule, has been able to consolidate, even increase, his power. This also appears to have happened at the expense of President Cyril Ramaphosa. This could have important implications for the ANC going forward. But it may also turn out to be a temporary victory, and that the situation over the longer term could still turn against Magashule.

In the history of the ANC from 1994 onwards, it appears there can be no more important relationship than that between the party's leader and its secretary-general. Those with longer memories will remember how Kgalema Motlanthe was Thabo Mbeki's secretary-general and played an important role in maintained support for Jacob Zuma after he was fired as...

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