South Africa’s Massive Protests Bring Zuma’s Cronyism to the Fore

South Africa’s Massive Protests Bring Zuma’s Cronyism to the Fore
Hundreds of demonstrators at a protest, Johannesburg, South Africa, Dec. 16, 2015 (AP photo by Denis Farrell).

Last week, thousands of protesters took to the streets of South Africa’s major cities, demanding that President Jacob Zuma step down. Controversy has mounted over his Dec. 9 decision to sack the country’s widely respected finance minister, Nhlanhla Nene, who he subsequently replaced with an unpopular former mayor. The shakeup immediately sent shockwaves through South Africa’s economy and the rand, the country’s currency, falling. That prompted Zuma to rescind the initial nomination and instead appoint Pravin Gordhan, a well-regarded former finance minister who served from 2009-2014, assuaging some fears. Many saw Zuma’s decision to remove Nene as strategically shortsighted, but […]

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