It is no exaggeration to suggest that the legitimacy not only of President Jacob Zuma and the ANC, but also the notion of the liberation struggle itself is in shreds. For some of us, it was unthinkable that such an alliance of forces could degenerate into a moneymaking, lawless and violent operation represented by people who were prepared to trample on the values that we understood the movement to embody. Certainly, this did not happen overnight. The process leading to the present state of affairs has been long in the making.
The Constitutional Court has found that President Jacob Zuma was in violation of the constitution when he failed to comply with remedial action recommended by the the public protector's office and must pay back a portion of the money for the Nkandla upgrade.
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said: "The remedial action that was taken against the president has a binding effect."
READ THE FINDINGS IN FULL HERE
Is South Africa finally maturing to the point that the economic - not just political compromises of the 1990s democratic transition can be reconsidered? When engaging student activists, for example, University of the Free State rector Jonathan Jansen frets that
If [former President Nelson] Mandela gets any mention at all, it is as a sell-out, the man who led South Africa into a soft transition that left white privilege undisturbed and black poverty undiminished.
In Angola in the spring of 1988 the armed forces of apartheid South Africa and the US-backed mercenaries of Jonas Savimbi were defeated by the combined force of the Cuban military, the Angolan army, and the military units of the liberation movements of South Africa and Namibia. This led directly to the independence of Namibia and then to the fall of the apartheid regime in South Africa itself. Cuba’s heroic role is the outstanding example of principled anti-imperialist internationalism in the last decades of the twentieth century.
Prohibited from meeting openly by South Africa’s apartheid government, the Seventh Congress of the South African Communist Party was held in Cuba in April 1989. When Jorge Risquet, one of Fidel Castro’s shrewdest and most trusted colleagues, addressed the gathered members, he was greeted with the resounding salutation “Viva Cuito Cuanavale!”
South Africa’s political landscape is shifting almost by the hour. The gloves are off in a power struggle that pits President Jacob Zuma against a group of reformers, led by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. It is a high-stakes drama that has profound, long-term implications for the country’s beleaguered economy at a time when the international rating agencies are circling, smelling blood.
This week, former president Thabo Mbeki admitted to having co-authored the HIV-Aids denialist Castro Hlongwane booklet in his “Monday missives” – letters to South Africa which apparently seek to “set the record straight”. Mbeki also defended his denialist position, which hampered the roll-out of anti-retrovirals (ARVs) to ordinary South Africans and, is said to have unnecessarily claimed the lives of over 330 000 people.
On Thursday evening, President Jacob Zuma will stand at the front of Parliament with his hand on his heart as the military band plays the stirring notes of Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika, the 21-gun salute thunders and fighter planes roar overhead. It is a poignant moment at the Opening of Parliament every year, a brief moment of unity and patriotism. This year, the national salute will be taken by a man unworthy of the honour of leading the Republic of South Africa. He shamed himself and he shamed the Parliament he will enter.