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Assessing and promoting civil and minority rights in South Africa.

Elections 2016

[Source: Business Day Live by Anthony Butler.]

The renewed assault on Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has President Jacob Zuma’s fingerprints all over it. Given that the creation of an investigative unit inside the South African Revenue Service does not, under any existing law, constitute a criminal offence, and given that the failure of the Hawks to specify the nature of the crime for which the finance minister is supposedly being investigated, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that we are witnessing a ham-fisted attack on Gordhan’s reputation. Read more

[Source: Daily Maverick by Ranjeni Munusamy.]

The Hawks’ decision to summon Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and former South African Revenue Service (SARS) officials to their headquarters for warning statements on Thursday can only mean one thing: the onslaught on the National Treasury has resumed. The outcome of the local government elections has signalled that the window of opportunity for President Jacob Zuma, his allies and his friends to have unfettered control of the state is closing. The ANC is disorientated by the results and reeling after the loss of major metros to the opposition. In this scramble for coherence and atmosphere of unpredictability, dangerous and risky actions are possible.

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[Source: Daily Maverick by Raymond Suttner.]

The disruption witnessed in elections in council chambers, through defeated ANC councillors, feeds into fears that many of us would previously have discounted: that the ANC may be reluctant to concede power should it be defeated nationally in 2019. This has a range of implications including resorting to illegal means to frustrate or obstruct opposition in order to avert defeat. We can no longer discount illegality since there has been ample evidence of the ANC leadership’s willingness to depart from the rule of law, and constitutionalism more generally, in the last few years. Since it has been used to secure benefits, why should such means not be deployed to defend what has been secured and to which some regard themselves as entitled in the future?

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South Africa at a Glance
56 500 000 (mid 2017 estimate)
4.6% y/y in November 2017 (CPI) & +5.1% y/y in November 2017 (PPI)
2% q/q for the 3rd quarter of 2017
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