South Africa’s Election Will Be a Referendum on Ramaphosa, for Better or Worse

Members of the ruling African National Congress gather at a stadium in Durban, South Africa, Jan. 12, 2019 (AP photo).
Members of the ruling African National Congress gather at a stadium in Durban, South Africa, Jan. 12, 2019 (AP photo).

Like all elections, South Africa’s upcoming national vote on May 8—the country’s fifth ballot since the end of apartheid—will see rival parties waging a struggle to control the narrative and frame the contest in the best possible terms. Given the change in the leadership of the ruling African National Congress in December 2017, that means much of the campaign will focus on President Cyril Ramaphosa and the extent to which he is delivering his promised “new dawn” in South Africa following what he has called the “nine lost years” of Jacob Zuma. Restoring the sense of mission and idealism that […]

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