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Assessing and promoting civil and minority rights in South Africa.

[Source: Daily Maverick by Stephen Grootes.]

On Wednesday the High Court in Johannesburg ruled that the ANC’s national executive committee had not followed the party’s own constitution when it decided to disband the party’s North West provincial executive committee. The decision has major implications for the ANC’s short-term future, and raises questions about decision-making processes of the NEC and its future ability to act decisively. While the judgment is a boost to Supra Mahumapelo, it doesn’t mean it necessarily changes the balance of power in the party in the longer term.

The decision by Supra Mahumapelo, and the PEC he led, to challenge the NEC’s decision in court led to some harsh criticism. Mahumapelo had famously said in the past that ANC members should not take their own organisation to court, and should rely on the party’s own processes. That was, of course, when he and his allies, and his major patron, the former president Jacob Zuma, were in the driving seat. Now that he was out of it, he was happy to eat his own words. Now he may well feel vindicated and that both he and his PEC were harshly treated.

In the short term, the key question is whether or not this changes the balance of power within the ANC. In the NEC, almost certainly not; it is now the same body that took the decision to disband Mahumapelo’s PEC in the first place. None of the people on it has changed, and nothing else appears to have happened that could weaken President Cyril Ramaphosa.

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South Africa at a Glance
58 780 000 (mid 2018 estimate)
4.5% y/y in June 2019 (CPI) & +5.8 y/y in June 2019 (PPI)
-3.2% q/q (1st quarter of 2019)
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