18 June 2019

South Africa: Who's Winning the Battle of the Bulls, Cyril or Ace? and Will Busisiwe Mkhwebane Survive?


Respecting a rogue Public Protector is a naive political strategy. In the brute world of real politics, Busisiwe Mkhwebane is an absolute risk to the Ramaphosa era.

There can only be one bull in the kraal, but not in the case of the African National Congress. Ace Magashule, the secretary-general, represents the other bull, second to President Cyril Ramaphosa. On Tuesday 18 June the ANC will hold a special meeting of the national executive committee (NEC) -its highest decision-making body - that will put the final stamp of approval on the list of portfolio committee heads in Parliament.

Magashule will no doubt try to ensure troops from his battalion are chosen to head up the committees. He is not likely to win, considering that his camp is in the minority in the NEC, although not by much.

The "Magashule Battalion" has its base in the Jacob Zuma camp and style of politics, and the names of many of its prominent members are on the lips of participants at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture. The former Free State ANC chair seems to be struggling with using the power that comes with the secretary-general's office, whose actions carry a...

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