Is the Alliance Underpinning South Africa’s ANC About to Fracture?

Blade Nzimande, then South Africa’s higher education minister, addresses students protesting a proposed hike in tuition fees, Cape Town, South Africa, Oct. 21, 2015 (Rex Features via AP Images).
Blade Nzimande, then South Africa’s higher education minister, addresses students protesting a proposed hike in tuition fees, Cape Town, South Africa, Oct. 21, 2015 (Rex Features via AP Images).

Last month, embattled South African President Jacob Zuma removed his higher education minister, Blade Nzimande, who is also the general secretary of the South African Communist Party. It was more than a Cabinet reshuffle. By sacking Nzimande, Zuma poisoned his relationship with the African National Congress’ alliance partner. The move, and its outcome, was rich in irony. In its desire to be rid of then-President Thabo Mbeki from the early 2000s onward, the SACP, led by Nzimande, fatally tied its fortunes to Zuma’s candidacy. It sought to convince itself that he represented a progressive alternative to the neoliberal economics, excessive […]

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