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Assessing and promoting civil and minority rights in South Africa.

[Source: The Economist.]

Faced with a choice between right and wrong, the ANC chose wrong.

The most striking thing about the vote over whether to sack Jacob Zuma was the claims his supporters did not make. During the debate, in South Africa’s parliament on August 8th, no one said: “Let’s keep Mr Zuma as our president because he has done such a splendid job of running the country.” Some MPs from the ruling African National Congress (ANC) did not mention him by name at all, so embarrassing has his record become. Instead, they accused the opposition of all manner of skulduggery and, of course, racism. The defence minister likened the motion of no confidence in Mr Zuma to a coup. The arts minister called the opposition parties that supported the motion “Mickey Mouse organisations”. Shortly after Mr Zuma narrowly survived the vote, his police minister described those who failed to back his boss as “suicide-bombers”.

Mmusi Maimane, leader of the Democratic Alliance, the largest (and most liberal) opposition group, spoke with more conviction. He called Mr Zuma a “corrupt and broken president” and quoted ANC grandees, including two former presidents of South Africa, who had called either explicitly or implicitly for parliament to throw him out. He even suggested that Nelson Mandela, were he still alive, would have voted to ditch the president. Julius Malema, the leader of the other big opposition party, the far-left Economic Freedom Fighters, was even more forthright in his contempt for Mr Zuma.

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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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