IN THE twilight of his unpopular presidency, Jacob Zuma has to vet his crowds carefully. Almost wherever he speaks, he risks a clamour of boos and jeers, many from members of his own party, the African National Congress (ANC). A rally organised by the country’s main trade union federation, which is formally allied with the ANC, should have been a perfect opportunity for him to drone on about the party’s achievements since ending white-minority rule in 1994. But he never got the chance to speak; union members shouted him down. Two of his closest supporters were also heckled at May Day rallies in different cities on the same day. Unionised workers, who in past elections made up most of the activists going door-to-door to canvas for the ANC, are turning against a tainted president, and against a party that excuses his many scandals.
Source: The Economist
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.
The ANC is nothing if not predictable. Zuma does something. There is righteous fury and furious anger. Society gets moving, people mutter darkly about Parliament passing a vote of no confidence. After a climax of press conferences, eventually a top ANC structure meets and glosses over it all.
Zuma stays on to giggle another day.
Source: Daily Maverick
South African judge blocks attempt to withdraw from ICC
President Jacob Zuma ordered to withdraw ‘invalid’ notification of withdrawal, ruling move to be unconstitutional.
A South African judge has blocked the country’s planned withdrawal from the international criminal court (ICC), saying the move is unconstitutional without prior parliamentary approval.
Sitting in the high court in Pretoria, deputy judge president Phineas Mojapelo said on Wednesday that any move to pull out of the ICC must be “on the basis of the expressed authority of the constitution”. He ordered Jacob Zuma, the South African president, to withdraw the “invalid” notification to the court of withdrawal.
Pretoria said last year it planned to leave the ICC after receiving criticism for ignoring the court’s order to arrest the visiting Sudanese president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who is accused of genocide and war crimes, in June 2015.
Source: The Guardian
The political year is under way. It is an especially important one for South Africa (as well as elsewhere), and it is delicately poised. For the ruling ANC, it is an especially fragile time: if the party fails to exit the Zuma era anything other than extremely carefully, it risks a fatal fracturing.
This is where the laws of physics and politics part company. When a big political entity such as the ANC starts to fall, Galileo’s theorem notwithstanding, it will tend to fall faster than a less weighty political creature.
The ANC is falling faster than we imagined and too speedily for it to see it itself or even comprehend what is happening.
But let us not run ahead of ourselves. What are the elements of such a decisive and, for many people, premature analytical outlook? And what have we learned from phase one of the “political season”?
The first thing is that President Jacob Zuma has been significantly contained and is probably appreciably weaker than he was at any point in the past 12 months.Source: M&G
Last week, scenes of disruption in South Africa’s parliament were shown on TV screens worldwide, as EFF opposition MP’s maintained a barrage of interruptions to show their disapproval, and belief that his hold on the office no longer has any legitimacy.
Many, perhaps most, South Africans would agree. The latest opinion poll from Ipsos for eNCA shows his approval rating at only 4.0, equalling the lowest it has ever been.