Friday, September 18, 2020
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Dear Cyril

With the rise of Cyril Ramaphosa to the presidency of the ANC, we have seen the rise of hope, potential investment, and the Rand. Will the new party leader make good on his promises and can he do what desperately needs to be done? Can he rid government of corruption? Mphuthumi Ntabeni writes Ramaphosa a letter in which he reflects on the leader's political journey and encourages him to act swifty and decisively. 

The depoliticised history of the ANC formation

Tracing the non-romantic and authentic history of the formation of the ANC is not an easy thing to do. But it can be painstakingly done by trawling through newspaper clippings of the black newspapers of the time; from ANC archives; an exercise of intellectual joining of historical dots; and through oral recordings. Dissatisfied with what is on offer, Mphuthumi Ntabeni has decided give it a go, starting by trying to make sense of that history from reading newspaper clips of the era. Follow his journey through time to better understand the politics of South Africa's ruling party.

Archbishop Makgoba was right

The Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, Thabo Makgoba, called for the recall of President Jacob Zuma and a targeted cabinet reshuffle in his Christmas sermon. This sparked a heated debate on social media. Mphuthumi Ntabeni argues that if the Archbishop had not done so, he would have betrayed the very roots of his calling. 

Criticise Archbishop Makgoba, but you might be wrong

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba's Christmas sermon, in which he called for the hasty removal of President Jacob Zuma and a targeted cabinet reshuffle, has attracted a lot of attention. Some say that men of the cloth should stick to preaching and stay out of politics. Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya argues that this is absurd. What Makgoba did, he argues, has been and is the business of the church - for thousands of years.

#ANC54 Did SA’s politics just get a whole lot more messy and unruly?

Did the ANC vote create just the right kind of environment Jacob Zuma needs to continue as he has been? Russell Pollitt SJ asks who really won?

South African Council of Churches responds to the ANC’s leadership elections

In a statement issued on Tuesday, 19 December, the South African Council of Churches general secretary, Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana, responded to the ANC's leadership election.

Who really won?

Cyril Ramaphosa, the new ANC president has now been presented with a complex task every bit as difficult as the one he faced 25 years ago. Mike Pothier believes there is little doubt about Ramaphosa's dedication to be a genuine servant of the country and of the common good of its people, but will he be martyred before he succeeds?

Accusations, chaos and a vote that will go ahead

Despite legal interventions, finger-pointing and accusations, the vote for the presidency of the ANC is a case of the  winner takes all. 

How much credit should we give credentials?

ANC branches will send their delegates to the elective conference with a mandate to vote in a particular manner, however the most crucial decisions are made in late night meetings. Mphuthumi Ntabeni argues that the actual voting, most of the time, is nothing more than rubber stamping the decisions of these late night clandestine meetings.

An outside perspective of the ANC runoff

The campaigning and dealing within the ANC towards its elective conference has left many in the country very apprehensive about where the mind of the ANC is. The presidential candidates have failed to represent their party well in our eyes. Lawrence Ndlovu provides an outsider's perspective of the ANC's elective conference and the message the "drama" has sent South Africans.

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