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Demonstrators protest against South African President Jacob Zuma, Pretoria, South Africa, April 7, 2017 (AP photo by Themba Hadebe).

A New Leader for South Africa’s ANC Won’t Guarantee a Break From Zuma

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

In December, South Africa’s ruling African National Congress will elect a new party leader to succeed beleaguered President Jacob Zuma and lead the party into national elections in 2019. Within the ANC, the campaign to replace Zuma officially has not started. But, in effect, it has been underway since the beginning of the year, with political maneuvering and jockeying behind the scenes.

This is a product of the ANC’s arcane internal procedures, a hangover from its years of exile when members viewed elections for party positions with suspicion and preferred so-called consensus candidates in order to avoid “disunity.” The fiction continues to be preserved that open competition for the party leadership is dangerous and that senior ANC figures should therefore wait to be called to serve, rather than openly seek party positions. ...

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