South Africa: Zuma's Vs Ramaphosa's Kimberley ANC Anniversary Speeches - Ten Years Later, Clear Differences, but Some Similarities Too


Ten years ago, almost to this day, former president Jacob Zuma delivered the ANC's January 8 birthday statement in Kimberley. This weekend his successor, Cyril Ramaphosa, showed up in the same town for the same purpose, but much has changed.

Only days before former president Jacob Zuma declared 2010 the ANC's year of "working together to speed up effective service to the people" at the party's 8th January birthday celebrations in Galeshewe, Kimberley, he married his third wife. A month later, he apologised to the nation for fathering a child with girlfriend Sonono Khoza. For the first time, his loyalists in the party wavered, but two years later in Mangaung he was elected for another term in a landslide. Only in 2018 was his power cut short after his personal relationship - this time with monetary benefits - with the Gupta brothers irked the party faithful.

Days before President Cyril Ramaphosa entered Kimberley's Tafel-Lager Stadium on Saturday morning, 11 January, analysts were already writing his political obituary:

"This January could be the end of Cyril," the headline to Makhanda ka Lima's analysis in the Mail & Guardian read. Doom is fashionable in the media's echo chambers these days, but it's...

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