After four days of late-night announcements, angry press conferences, furious statements, and leaked speeches, it was time for the first major ANC structure to meet to discuss President Jacob Zuma, and the reaction to his factional reshuffle and removal of Pravin Gordhan from the Finance Ministry. In the end, the National Working Committee, surprising no one, simply resolved to “discuss” with Cosatu and the SACP their calls for Zuma to leave. At first glance it looks almost as if nothing has changed, that Zuma is still the MacDaddy of our politics, and the game goes on the same way as it has for many years. But look a little deeper, and it’s possible that the rules of the game have actually changed quite dramatically. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
Thokozani Magwaza vs Bathabile Dlamini: A looming battle that might shine a light on social grants debacle
Last week Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini, in responding to a ConCourt order that she file reasons why, as the office-holder responsible for the Sassa/CPS crisis, she should not be personally liable for the considerable legal costs, ditched her legal team, Tim Sukazi Inc. She also blamed Sassa officials for the debacle. Sukazi, who headed one of Dlamini’s costly parallel work streams installed to “guide” Sassa, has now informed Sassa CEO Thokozani Magwaza that he will not be acting as the attorney of record in Magwaza’s attempt to file an affidavit “to reflect the correct version of events”. By MARIANNE THAMM.
The Opposition’s motions of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma will be debated just after Easter on April 18 in a special sitting of Parliament. The announcement was made by National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete late on Wednesday afternoon. A day earlier, the ANC national working committee (NWC) met amid calls for the president’s resignation or removal, from ANC veterans, civil society, religious leaders, organised labour and expressions of deep misgivings by business over the president’s Friday midnight reshuffle to remove Pravin Gordhan and Mcebisi Jonas from the finance ministry. By MARIANNE MERTEN.
With it becoming clear that the ANC is unlikely to recall President Jacob Zuma of its own devices, opposition parties are throwing everything they can at the courts in the hope that something sticks. This week the DA launched its second court application in a week to try to undo the Finance shuffle undertaken last Thursday, while the EFF is still hoping that the Constitutional Court will force Parliament to take action against the president over Nkandla. By REBECCA DAVIS.
The Cabinet reshuffle leading to the removal of Pravin Gordhan from the Finance Ministry, the subsequent public outrage expressed following the almost simultaneous death of Ahmed Kathrada and the shock induced by the swift action of Standard and Poor’s in downgrading South Africa’s investment status to “junk” have created considerable political fluidity in the country. It may be that President Jacob Zuma can be forced to resign, though it is unclear what process can bring that about. There needs to be careful consideration of how this crisis can be turned into an opportunity for regaining the legitimacy of public institutions that have been so sullied during the Zuma presidency. There needs to be frank acknowledgement of the organisational vacuum and the need to rebuild democratic organisations that can become homes for many who are disinclined to restrict their political voice to periodic voting in elections. By RAYMOND SUTTNER.
Former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas has been reluctant to attack President Jacob Zuma after he was axed in last week’s Cabinet reshuffle, but on Wednesday he urged South Africans to protect state institutions from abuse. By GREG NICOLSON.
We need bold and far-reaching initiatives that will create and reinforce linkages between large and small enterprises, training opportunities, access to markets, mobility and skills development – a national focus on inclusivity in our economy. This is a keynote address delivered by MCEBISI JONAS to the AHi Small Business Chamber’s Conference on 5 April 2017.
The takeaway from the ANC’s contentious National Working Committee meeting is in, and it makes grim reading for President Jacob Zuma’s growing legion of opponents. But while Zuma has won this round, the party’s endorsement was not as vocal as it might have been. By SIMON ALLISON.
It seems that the theory of vulgar individualism and fetish corruption has triumphed over the political firmness and sharpness of the leadership of the ANC in defending its political line and organisational discipline, and, thus, of the entire society. By POPO MAJA.
On Tuesday the South African Government Twitter handle, @GovernmentZA, went on a rant about what it termed “illegal protests” across the country, including one tweet that said the protests “do not possess the characteristics of strengthening democracy”. While the misunderstanding of the role of protest in democracies is itself jarring, the tweets also misrepresent the law in important ways. By John Stephens and Marcus Low for GROUNDUP.
South Africa will appear before the Pre-Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Friday to argue why the court should not make a finding of non-compliance against the country for its failure to arrest President Omar al-Bashir when he attended an African Union Summit in South Africa in June 2015. By KAAJAL RAMJATHAN-KEOGH.
It’s time to admit the truth. The ANC’s biggest “smallanyana” skeleton is that it did not liberate the country but was positioned to take credit for the end of apartheid because this would do more to unify us than the uninspiring non-story of that time’s financial realities.
This past week has left most of us somewhat puzzled. Zuma’s sudden almost schizophrenic decision that a Cabinet reshuffle must happen NOW has had us all asking: Has he lost it? Has he indeed gone bonkers? Or is there more to this than meets the eye? Perhaps there is a more sinister, dark reason that compelled the President to act in the manner he did?
If we cannot unify in protest over President Jacob Zuma's actions then we have truly slipped past the point of no return. Zuma can continue to laugh to his “Thixo waseGeorge Koch” because he now knows full well that our passivity and inability to mobilise is our final surrender to the hijacking of this nation.
President Jacob Zuma’s political future depends on the balance of forces within the African National Congress National Executive Committee. While interesting legal questions arise about whether Speaker Baleka Mbete or the members of the National Assembly can insist on a secret ballot when a vote of no confidence against President Zuma is considered (they can), obsessing about these technicalities is a distraction. The faction that controls the NEC controls the ANC (in between elective conferences) and, in turn, controls the ANC caucus in Parliament.
Johannesburg - Three of the ANC's top officials - deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, secretary general Gwede Mantashe, and treasurer general Zweli Mkhize - have accepted that they made a "mistake" by publicly criticising President Jacob Zuma following his Cabinet reshuffle.