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Opposition demonstrators gather on the lawns of the Union Buildings, Pretoria, South Africa, April 12, 2017 (AP photo by Denis Farrell).

Has South Africa Finally Reached a Tipping Point in Zuma’s Disastrous Presidency?

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Have the events of the past few weeks in South Africa provided the long-awaited tipping point for President Jacob Zuma’s dysfunctional presidency? His reckless sacking late last month of respected Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan was driven not by any economic logic, but by narrow political and financial ambition. It has helped unite previously disparate forces against Zuma and brought closer the prospect—though not the guarantee—of his removal.

This emerging opposition goes well beyond the official opposition parties and now embraces a large section of the ruling African National Congress itself. Last year over 100 ANC veterans called for Zuma’s resignation, including some of the most revered figures in the movement that led South Africa’s struggle against apartheid. So low is Zuma’s stock in parts of the ANC that even before Gordhan’s sacking, South Africa’s president was discouraged from attending the funeral of Ahmed Kathrada, an anti-apartheid veteran and comrade of Nelson Mandela. It was an unprecedented snub for an ANC leader who would normally be expected to give the eulogy at such an occasion. ...

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