South Africa

Jacob Zuma - South Africa News

Jacob Zuma’s lawyers argued on Monday that the former South African president had been treated unfairly by prosecutors in his attempt to have revived corruption charges set aside because he is unpopular in the country at large. Zuma, who was in office from 2009-2018, has applied for a permanent stay of prosecution from 16 charges of fraud, racketeering and money laundering relating to a deal to buy 30 billion rand (1.6 billion pounds) of European military hardware for South Africa’s armed forces in the late 1990s. The 77-year old, appearing in court on Monday for the fifth time since the charges were reinstated in March 2018, has previously denied any wrongdoing and has said he is the victim of a politically motivated witch-hunt. On the first day of the hearing, Zuma’s lawyer, Advocate Muzi Sikhakhane, described the former president’s treatment by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) as “mob justice” and said Zuma had been charged because the country does not like him. “Suppose we know that he may well have done what we suspect he did. Does he get stripped of human dignity, is there a reason to deal with him in a particular way because he is Mr Zuma?” Sikhakhane said in his opening comments. He accused prosecutors of being biased against Zuma, who was ousted by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) in February 2018 after nine years in power marked by graft allegations and economic stagnation that led to credit rating downgrades. Sikhakhane also asked the courtHere's the full story.

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Many people are asking why the governing African National Congress (ANC) is happy after recording its worst performance since white minority rule ended in 1994 - 58% share of the vote.

This is the first time the party that has led South Africa since 1994 has won less than 60% of votes, but for an organisation that is hugely divided, riddled by corruption and has had a decade of lethargic leadership, this result is seen as a boost for its new leader Cyril Ramaphosa.

Many people see this as the ANC's last chance to redeem itself.

Mr Ramaphosa took over the party in December 2017, after the ANC sacked Jacob Zuma, embroiled in corruption allegations, which he denies.

One of its senior members, Fikile Mbalula, said the party's share of votes "would have probably dropped to 40%" had its leadership not changed.

But the ANC shouldn't celebrate too soon.

The people of South Africa may have given the ANC a mandate to lead, but it is not unconditional.

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Cyril Ramaphosa - South Africa Today News Headlines

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa led the African National Congress (ANC) to victory in Wednesday’s election, but a drop in its share of the vote underlines the challenge he faces restoring confidence in his party.

With opponents in the ANC and an emboldened far-left opposition party, the former union leader turned business tycoon may struggle to deliver on his promises to push through tough reforms.

Africa’s oldest liberation movement won 57.5% of the parliamentary vote. That was its worst parliamentary result since it swept to power at the end of white minority rule but an improvement on its showing in 2016 local elections.

Ramaphosa worked closely with South Africa’s first black president Nelson Mandela to end white minority rule in 1994. He replaced scandal-plagued Jacob Zuma as head of state in February 2018 after winning a bitter contest to become ANC leader and convincing top party officials to instruct Zuma to resign.

Ramaphosa’s first full presidential term should start later this month, after nomination by his party’s parliamentary caucus and an inauguration ceremony.

“We’ve made mistakes, but we are sorry about those mistakes, and we are saying our people should reinvest their confidence in us,” Ramaphosa said on Wednesday after casting his ballot in the Soweto township where he grew up.

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African National Congress , ANC , South Africa

The African National Congress easily won South Africa’s general election but its share of the vote fell, reflecting anger at corruption scandals and racial inequalities that remain entrenched a generation after the party took power.

The turnout for Wednesday’s vote was markedly lower than at the last election in 2014, falling to 66% from 73.5%, the electoral commission said, while the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), also saw its vote share fall.

ANC Deputy Secretary General Jessie Duarte said “confidence is returning and we need to correct our mistakes”. Other ANC officials had already acknowledged the decline in support compared with five years ago.

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Cyril Ramaphosa - South Africa Today News

Early vote tallies suggest South Africa’s ruling ANC party will retain power after an election on Wednesday, but analysts said its share of the vote could fall below 60 percent for the first time since the end of white minority rule.

As of 0900 GMT Thursday, more than 4 million votes had been counted out of about 26.8 million registered voters. In the parliamentary vote, the ANC was on 55 percent, with the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) on nearly 26 percent and the leftist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on nearly 9 percent.

South Africans voting for a new parliament and nine provincial legislatures had expressed frustration at rampant corruption, high unemployment and racial inequalities that persist 25 years after Nelson Mandela’s former liberation party swept to power in the first all-race poll in 1994.

Based on the early results, the News24 online site predicted the ANC would win between 56 percent and 59 percent of the final vote.

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Cyril Ramaphosa - South Africa Today News Headline

Even with a decisive election victory for South Africa’s ruling party this week, the country’s President Cyril Ramaphosa could still struggle to push through the tough reforms needed to galvanise Africa’s most developed economy, say analysts and some party insiders.

The former union leader turned business tycoon has promised to introduce major economic reforms and extend a crackdown on corruption if his African National Congress (ANC) party is returned to power in Wednesday’s national election. Ramaphosa’s allies say a result close to 60 percent in this week’s parliamentary vote, which some opinion polls suggest could be possible, would strengthen his hand to deliver on those pledges.

But some analysts and ANC party insiders are sceptical that Ramaphosa would make much progress with reforms, even with a clear election victory. They cite his tenuous grip over the party’s decision-making bodies, where former comrades in the struggle against the brutal apartheid regime are at each other’s throats in a high-stakes battle for power and wealth.

“Ramaphosa needs a united ANC to achieve his agenda, but he doesn’t have that,” said a veteran ANC politician who did not wish to be identified discussing internal rivalries. “His enemies are going nowhere.”

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Cyril Ramaphosa - South Africa Politics Headlines News

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) will kick-start the economy and deal with corruption, it vowed on Sunday, three days before elections at which its overwhelming majority faces its sternest test since the party rose to power.

Less than 30 km (18.6 miles) away, the country’s second-biggest opposition party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), challenged the ANC’s governance record and promised a tougher stance on corruption and economic policies to target racial inequality.

Though the ANC has won each parliamentary election since the transition from apartheid in 1994, recent opinion polls predict that it will bleed support to opposition coalitions that have gained ground as the ANC has been dogged by political scandal and a flagging economy.

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Mmusi Maimane - South Africa News

South Africa's largest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), although heading for defeat in May 8 national elections, pledged to forge coalitions with smaller parties to break the dominance of the ruling ANC, especially at the local level.

South Africans vote for a sixth time since the end of apartheid in 1994, and while an all-out victory for the ruling African National Congress is almost certain, the margin of its majority is set to drop following a decade of weak economic growth and a rise in racial tensions.

At the DA's final campaign rally on Saturday, Mmusi Maimane, the first black African to lead the center-right party, told 5,000 supporters in the township of Soweto the DA would grow jobs, protect minority rights and unite the country.

"You will find us at the heart of coalition governments in this country, as we build a strong center for South Africa, free from the divisions of the past," Maimane said.

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Cyril Ramaphosa - South Africa Politics Headlines News

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) appears headed for victory in next month’s election, as President Cyril Ramaphosa seeks to strike a reforming tone, with three opinion polls showing support ranging between 51 and 61 percent.

The three pollsters, which used different methodologies and turnout assumptions for the May 8 parliamentary vote, put support for the biggest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), at between 19 and 24 percent.

Facing huge pent-up demand for better living standards for the country’s black majority, the ANC is seen by some critics as having failed to live up to the heady promises of Nelson Mandela’s era. The party’s image was severely tarnished under Ramaphosa’s predecessor, Jacob Zuma.

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Julius Malema - Julius Sello Malema - South Africa News in Politics Today

Julius Malema (Julius Sello Malema) was born on 3 March 1981, in Seshego, Limpopo, and raised by a single mother who worked as a domestic worker in Seshego Township. He went to Mohlakaneng High School in Limpopo. Malema began his political career at a young age. He joined the Masupatsela (Trailblazers), a movement of the African National Congress (ANC) at the age of nine, where, according to Malema, their main task was to remove National Party posters placed outside police stations.

At the age of 14 Malema was elected as both chairperson of the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) branch in Seshego and the regional chair in 1995. Two years later in 1997, he became the chair of the Congress of South African Students (COSAS) for the Limpopo province. In 2001, he was elected as the national president of COSAS.

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African National Congress , ANC , South Africa

If left unresolved, the Free State matter could adversely affect party support in this year’s elections. In what is set to politically polarise the ANC in the Free State, a group of disgruntled party activists – unhappy with the outcome of the December 10, 2018 provincial list conference – plan to step up legal pressure against the provincial executive committee (PEC), if the outcome of the provincial conference is not declared null and void. According to Monnapule Ntamo – an ANC provincial member behind the campaign – last year’s provincial list conference took place against the backdrop of a court process to dissolve “an illegitimate PEC which, through gate-keeping subverted the ANC constitution, guidelines and procedures” and “parachuted” itself into power with the assistance of some national leaders. The threat by the Free State ANC members flies in the face of the party policy of resolving matters internally. If left unresolved, the Free State matter could adversely affect party support in this year’s elections. Said Ntamo: “Today we are reaping the results of this imposed PEC. “It becomes important that the coming into office of this PEC be located [viewed] properly [with] in the continued programme of further hollowing the ANC and actively creating membership dissatisfaction in pursuit of an alternative agenda. “As members of the ANC we have once again taken a difficult decision of taking our communities, in particular, and the country in general into our confidence. “The decision is informed by the knowledge that ANC is theHere's the full story.

Shamila Batohi - South Africa

Shamila Batohi started her public service as a junior prosecutor in the Chatsworth magistrate’s court in 1986 and steadily rose through the ranks to become the Director of Public Prosecutions in KwaZulu-Natal. She was seconded to the Investigation Task Unit established by President Nelson Mandela in 1995 and later served as the first regional head of the Directorate of Special Operations based in KwaZulu-Natal. For much of the last decade, she has served as a Senior Legal Adviser to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.

In 1995, Shamila Batohi was appointed by former president Nelson Mandela to be part of the multi-disciplinary team mandated to investigate hit squad activities within the police service during apartheid.

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