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Assessing and promoting civil and minority rights in South Africa.

[Source: Daily Maverick by Stephen Grootes.]

On Wednesday, barely ahead of the Electoral Commission’s deadline, the ANC handed in its list of candidates for Parliament and the provincial legislatures. It has been long awaited, mainly because it is likely to be the best indicator of the different factions’ relative strength. The main question has been whether those that have been accused of wrongdoing are on the list. Secretary-General Ace Magashule has now confirmed that they are.

A quick look at the top names on the ANC candidates list alone reflect the tensions and difficulties in the ANC at present. More important, it appears that President Cyril Ramaphosa may have lost this round, perhaps making the chances of the party losing Gauteng greater now. Also, the idea of the ANC winning 60% in the national election is now possibly off the table, which is likely to weaken Ramaphosa further. In short, the composition of the list, as it is currently known, may well be an important turning point in this election.

Magashule knew that he was going to face a torrent of questions when he stepped outside the headquarters of the Election Commission. Just five short years ago, in 2014, then secretary-general Gwede Mantashe held a press conference and distributed the list to anyone who wanted it. He knew what was coming, controversy and difficulty – at the time, the name of the moment was Dina Pule. Her name was on the list, at number 70.

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South Africa at a Glance
58 780 000 (mid 2019 estimate)
4.3% y/y in August 2019 (CPI) & +4.5 y/y in August 2019 (PPI)
3.1% q/q (2nd quarter of 2019)
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