Democracy in South Africa
The ANC Fails a Crucial Test

When South African president Jacob Zuma canned his reformist finance minister in a cabinet shakeup last week, many members of ANC publicly balked at Zuma’s latest power grab. It was crunch time for the ANC, we noted, as the party faced a crucial test: did it have the institutional power to force Zuma out, or at least make him backtrack? Apparently not:

In a sign of Mr Zuma’s strength despite a growing backlash against his leadership, the ANC’s national working committee rallied behind the president and reprimanded party leaders who had criticised him. This included Cyril Ramaphosa, the deputy president, and Gwede Mantashe, the ANC’s secretary-general.

Mr Mantashe told reporters on Wednesday that “public dissonance” by top party officials in recent days “was a mistake that will not be committed again”.

Zuma’s cronyism and corruption will live to die another day. Meanwhile, South Africa’s credit status has been downgraded to junk status, and the South African rand took a nosedive after the ANC rallied behind Zuma: hardly a vote of confidence in the course he is currently charting for South Africa.

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