[The election of Cyril Ramaphosa as ANC president marked a
significant, albeit indecisive break with the Jacob Zuma era. He
narrowly defeated Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and found himself in a
divided leadership, with those who were or remain loyal to Zuma]



 Raymond Suttner 
 June 25, 2018
Polity (South Africa)

	* [https://portside.org/node/17660/printable/print]

 _ The election of Cyril Ramaphosa as ANC president marked a
significant, albeit indecisive break with the Jacob Zuma era. He
narrowly defeated Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and found himself in a
divided leadership, with those who were or remain loyal to Zuma _ 

 Cyril Ramaphosa, credit: Daily Maverick (South Africa) 


_The narrow margin that saw Cyril Ramaphosa elected ANC president,
surrounded by many who were hostile to his candidature, meant his
leadership was never going to be easy. The divisions and battles
fought in the courts and through more violent means make it seem that
the ANC may find it hard to pull together in the 2019 elections._

While Ramaphosa managed to attain the state presidency fairly speedily
and also, to effect some significant changes through state power
[http://www.polity.org.za/topic/power], he has continued to face high
levels of discord at the provincial and local levels of the ANC
[http://www.polity.org.za/topic/anc-company] and in some provincial
and local governments, like the North-West
[http://www.polity.org.za/topic/northwest-province-or-state] province,
until the removal of SUPRA MAHUMAPHELO.  There are potential problems
in the Free State with election of an ANC
[http://www.polity.org.za/topic/anc-company] leadership that
represents no rupture with the Ace Magashule
[http://www.polity.org.za/topic/ace-magashule] era.  KZN remains in a
state of political conflict with continued divisions and
assassinations.  Despite the desertion of former Premier of
Mpumalanga [http://www.polity.org.za/topic/mpumalanga-company], now
Deputy President of the ANC
[http://www.polity.org.za/topic/anc-company] and the country, DD
MABUZA from the “Premier League
(previously comprising an alliance between the Premiers of Free State,
Mpumalanga [http://www.polity.org.za/topic/mpumalanga-company] and
[http://www.polity.org.za/topic/northwest-province-or-state]), it is
unclear what remains of the Premier League
[http://www.polity.org.za/topic/premier-league-sports-league] ethos
and the accompanying graft and assassinations in that province.

Ramaphosa’s divided ANC [http://www.polity.org.za/topic/anc-company]
base constrains him, but he has recognised that it did not necessarily
impose limitations on the exercise of state power
[http://www.polity.org.za/topic/power] at a national level on a
day-to-day basis.  Consequently, he has used his power
[http://www.polity.org.za/topic/power] and even his imminent power
[http://www.polity.org.za/topic/power], before becoming state
president in February, to good effect in starting to clean up state
owned enterprises
[http://www.polity.org.za/topic/state-owned-enterprises] and cajoling
many dysfunctional state entities and services
[http://www.polity.org.za/topic/services] to swing their support,
behind the drive to restore regularised functioning.  Whether or not
they had wanted him to be president, many ANC
[http://www.polity.org.za/topic/anc-company] leaders and state
officials recognised that the future would be with Ramaphosa. 
Consequently, they appear to have complied with the injunction to
jettison many irregular practices and return to legality. 

At the same time in making cabinet appointments, it appears that the
weight of or consciousness of his opponents within the ANC
[http://www.polity.org.za/topic/anc-company] has been brought to bear
in the choices he has made.  Some are quite incompetent individuals
or some who may face corruption or charges related to state capture
have been retained or been elevated to high positions in the state. 
In some cases, the appointments may undermine the efforts of the
Ramaphosa-led state to distinguish his government from that of Zuma by
providing clean and effective governance.

Even then, regularisation has operated with varying levels of success
in state departments, while State Owned Enterprises
[http://www.polity.org.za/topic/state-owned-enterprises] confront very
difficult problems, especially that of liquidity, as a result of the
squandering of resources [http://www.polity.org.za/topic/resources] in
the Zuma period.  Heavy losses had been sustained, but members of
government, notably Minister of Public Enterprises
[http://www.polity.org.za/topic/public-enterprises], PRAVIN GORDHAN,
are making clear efforts to clean up boards and ensure regularised

It is important that the Ramaphosa-led government is open with the
public about the aftermath of the Zuma era, the financial
[http://www.polity.org.za/topic/financial] constraints it faces and
what effect this has on state performance, especially in areas of
service [http://www.polity.org.za/topic/service] that are vital to
citizens, especially poor people. This means that where meeting of
social needs is not possible now, the president and government needs
to take the public into their confidence and explain what is holding
things back.  People may be unhappy, but they will be less restive if
there has been meaningful communication.

Despite what has been said about state power
[http://www.polity.org.za/topic/power] at the national level, the
changes have been uneven, partly because of institutional cultures
remaining unchanged and partly because of callous behaviour and
funding cuts. In Home Affairs, for example, obtaining an ID is vital
for those who need social grants, or seek a job or wish to open a bank
account [http://www.polity.org.za/topic/bank-account] and to enter
countless other transactions.  Yet, the service
[http://www.polity.org.za/topic/service] provided varies greatly, with
some offices still insisting that people should be there from 5 am,
when they open at 8 am, and then often waiting till 2.30 pm when the
service [http://www.polity.org.za/topic/service] closes.  (This is
information provided on an office in a province, outside of Gauteng,
where I live).  The experience in places like Randburg may have
remained relatively unchanged, but in some of the smaller towns, it
appears that there has been some cutback on the equipment
[http://www.polity.org.za/topic/equipment] used and this also slows
down processes.  The costs entailed for individuals travelling from
small villages to come to a city to renew or obtain a document is
often very great in relation to their meagre income and then they are
often turned away and have to return again, with an unknown likelihood
of success.

The national policing and prosecuting forces have not yet demonstrated
a thorough break with the period of Zuma.  The NPA made some efforts
to pursue prosecutions against Free State and Gupta officials, only to
have three cases thrown out of court, apparently through the
ineptitude of the prosecution.  Also, the Gupta brothers and DUDUZANE
ZUMA were allowed to travel freely out of the country, where they have
remained, despite there being prima facie cases against them.  At
least one Gupta brother had more than one South African passport,
provided on a basis that may have been irregular.  This had been
obtained during the earlier tenure of Home Affairs Minister MALUSI
GIGABA [http://www.polity.org.za/topic/malusi-gigaba], a cabinet
position to which he has returned.

At the same time as these prosecutions are failing, three former SARS
officials forced out by Tom Moyane
[http://www.polity.org.za/topic/tom-moyane] for allegedly being
members of the now discredited “rogue unit” currently face charges
that seem to have little substance, but the case is continuing, with
no sign of withdrawal.

While the steps taken to restore legality has won some respect, this
does not represent transformation of people’s lives and there
continues to be high levels of poverty, unemployment, inequality, and
after 24 years of democracy many do not have access to property, basic
sanitation [http://www.polity.org.za/topic/sanitation], clean water
[http://www.polity.org.za/topic/water], decent housing
[http://www.polity.org.za/topic/housing] and are harassed or evicted
when they occupy makeshift shelters. 

While it may be that much of this has been exacerbated by Zuma and his
allies creaming off state resources
[http://www.polity.org.za/topic/resources], it is Ramaphosa and his
government who have to face up to the demonstrators who-out of
frustration or in some cases, hooliganism- are burning public
resources [http://www.polity.org.za/topic/resources], torching trucks
[http://www.polity.org.za/topic/trucks] transporting goods on the
national highways, when faced by a government that does not have a
swift remedy for their needs.

It cannot reasonably be expected that the new administration can
swiftly remedy the range of ills experienced by the poorer sections of
the population.  It inherited a massive debt and withdrawal of
investment and the country’s investment status was reduced to junk
by most rating agencies.

Much of the efforts of Ramaphosa and his team have understandably been
devoted to building [http://www.polity.org.za/topic/building] the
confidence of local and international investors with some degree of
success, although it has not led to a flood of investment that is
dearly needed in order to create jobs and to secure funds needed to
meet urgent social needs.  The restive conditions in many parts of
the country has led to considerable destruction, sometimes of
properties or transport [http://www.polity.org.za/topic/transport]
vehicles of businesses.  This hampers achievement of the climate of
stability that investment needs.

At the same time, if the Ramaphosa-led administration is unable to
meet people’s needs, there needs to be communication of what it can
and cannot do in the short and long -run, a frank admission of what
the constraints are.  But there needs to be clarity over what people
can reasonably expect now.  Even if this disappoints many, openness
and invitation for citizens to contribute ideas on how to speed up
processes, is one way of winning public support.

Just as Ramaphosa has sought to rely on national state institutions to
bring his opponents in the provinces to book, in terms of the force of
the law, the Secretary General, ACE MAGASHULE
[http://www.polity.org.za/topic/ace-magashule] and to some extent his
deputy JESSIE DUARTE [http://www.polity.org.za/topic/jessie-duarte]
have used their ANC [http://www.polity.org.za/topic/anc-company]
national positions to endorse or sanction processes that have
undermined Ramaphosa in KZN and it seems, also, in other provinces. 
What they have done has not always been direct incitement against
Ramaphosa, rather than sanctioning processes that support his
opponents in the provinces.  But in at least one case in KZN
Magashule went further and sought to console Zuma supporters -at the
end of January- by referring to the return to the ANC
[http://www.polity.org.za/topic/anc-company] that they know at a
future conference. “Stay focused, it is just a matter of five years.
It’s a matter of five years. Conference happens after five years.
Mayibuya i-ANC [http://www.polity.org.za/topic/anc-company] esiyaziyo
(when the ANC [http://www.polity.org.za/topic/anc-company] that we
know returns). It’s a matter of five years comrades. So let’s work

When Zuma has appeared in court he has sought to mobilise support by
depicting himself as being victimised and asking what he has done that
is wrong.  Zuma’s claim that he is being victimised found resonance
with a section of the KZN ANC
[http://www.polity.org.za/topic/anc-company] conference that was
recently disbanded, where ANC
[http://www.polity.org.za/topic/anc-company] National Chair, GWEDE
MANTASHE [http://www.polity.org.za/topic/gwede-mantashe] was shouted
down.  It is claimed that attempts to mend rifts between factions in
the KZN ANC [http://www.polity.org.za/topic/anc-company] through
having an agreed slate of candidates, was allegedly torpedoed by Zuma

The array of forces aligned with Zuma has not openly included the
disbanded KZN Provincial Executive Committee, but it has been backed
by the discredited MKVA, disgraced former cabinet ministers and a
range of forces outside of the ANC
[http://www.polity.org.za/topic/anc-company] like the previous or now
reconstituted National Interfaith Leadership Council,  a mainstay of
Zuma support in earlier periods, and the Gupta funded BLF.

Apart from building [http://www.polity.org.za/topic/building] on
grievances -outside- in order to rally support around himself as an
alternative pole within the ANC
[http://www.polity.org.za/topic/anc-company] to that of Ramaphosa,
Zuma has attended a range of ANC
[http://www.polity.org.za/topic/anc-company] national activities,
something not done by any previous retired presidents.  It is claimed
that he says nothing and just observes.  It is said that members of
the NEC see this as intimidatory, to simply have him there watching
what they say and do.

Possibly to quell this potential zone of opposition Ramaphosa relented
on the earlier decision not to oppose the DA/EFF court action and has
agreed that the state continue to meet Zuma’s legal expenses in his
various corruption and other cases.  This is a costly decision.  It
may have been taken to limit Zuma’s resistance to the current
leadership, but it remains funding that will be demanded for some time
and that could instead be used to meet pressing social needs.  It may
be that this follows legal advice, but it will be a further financial
[http://www.polity.org.za/topic/financial] burden to the current

There is vagueness on allocation of land, on meeting basic needs more
generally as a result of gestures, for example the periodic handing
over of long awaited homes.  Many people are unaware of the state of
the fiscus and there needs to be communication with those who are
affected.  When time is made to address investors, locally and
internationally, it is clear that this is seen as a priority, which it
is.  It is however important that similar time is allocated to
address local people on an ongoing basis, to assure citizens that they
are being heard, even if there needs cannot be immediately met. People
need clarity as to what will be remedied in the short and the long

Ramaphosa cannot afford to focus on ANC
[http://www.polity.org.za/topic/anc-company] internal battles alone.
South African citizens, from a range of sectors, rose to demand
Zuma’s departure.  They need to see some material evidence of that

_[This part of a series of articles on Nelson Mandela
[http://www.polity.org.za/topic/nelson-mandela]’s leadership
continues next week, in celebration of the centennial of his birth.]_

_[Raymond Suttner [http://www.polity.org.za/topic/raymond-suttner] is
a scholar and political analyst. He is a visiting professor and
strategic advisor to the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, University
of Johannesburg
and emeritus professor at UNISA.  He served lengthy periods in prison
and house arrest for underground
[http://www.polity.org.za/topic/underground] and public anti-apartheid
activities.  His prison memoir  Inside Apartheid’s prison
[http://www.polity.org.za/topic/inside-apartheids-prison-facility] was
reissued with a new introduction in 2017. He blogs at
raymondsuttner.com [http://www.raymondsuttner.com] and his twitter
handle is @raymondsuttner [http://www.twitter.com/raymondsuttner] .]_

	* [https://portside.org/node/17660/printable/print]







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