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  • South Africa: a new president.

    By ACTSA | February 14, 2018

    The South African parliament will elect a new President on Thursday 15 February following Jacob Zuma’s resignation with immediate effect late on Wednesday 14 February.

    The ruling ANC  decided to recall Jacob Zuma, effectively calling on him to resign,  making it clear if he did they would  table a motion of no confidence in him to be debated in parliament on Thursday 15 February.

    It is clearly upto the ANC who is their leader and candidate for president and it is clearly up to South Africans to decide who is the President of South Africa.

    What is of concern of those who see themselves as friends of democratic South Africa particularly those who supported the struggle against apartheid which was a denial of economic as well as political rights is whoever is President South Africa needs to preside over a government that will reduce poverty and inequality, that will enable more citizens to have a decent job, that improves services.  The government must root out corruption. It must uphold human rights, eliminate discrimination and ensure the institutions of the state serve all its citizens.

    Many of those non-South Africans who supported the struggle against apartheid, led heroically by South Africans feel a stake in democratic South Africa. They have hopes and aspirations for a South Africa which deals with the terrible legacy of apartheid and colonialism. They celebrate with South Africans a free democratic, non-racist and non-sexist South Africa. They hope and want South Africa to reduce poverty, inequality, uphold and improve rights. This is the challenge for Cyril Ramaphosa who will be elected as democratic South Africa’s fifth president.

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    Cyril Ramaphosa elected the new president of the ANC

    By Tony | December 18, 2017

    Cyril Ramaphosa has been elected as the new President of the African National Congress (ANC) taking over from Jacob Zuma who stood down but who remains as President of South Africa until national elections in 2019 unless the ANC decides to recall him as it did his predecessor Thabo Mbeki.

    Cyril Ramaphosa will be the ANC candidate for President in 2019. The ANC got 62% in the national elections in 2014 and 54% in local government elections in 2016. Many commentators now expect that Cyril Ramaphosa will become the next President of South Africa. Cyril Ramaphosa came to prominence as a trade union leader in the 1980s and a leader of the United Democratic Front.

    In the earlier 1990s he was a key person in the negotiations for South Africa to become a democracy. It has been widely reported that he was Nelson Mandela’s preference to succeed him as President. The ANC chose Thabo Mbeki and Cyril Ramaphosa left a leading role in politics and became a successful businessman. He was a member of the board of Lonmin at the time of the Marikana massacre. He became Deputy President of the ANC in 2012 and Deputy President of the country in 2014.

    In other elections for the “top six” positions in the National Executive Council (NEC):

    - David Mabuza Premier of Mpumalanga province was elected Deputy President
    Gwede Mantashe, outgoing General Secretary was elected National Chairperson of the ANC
    - Ace Magashule, Premier of the Free State province was elected Secretary General by 24 votes.
    - Paul Mashatile was elected Treasurer General
    - Jessie Duarte was re-elected Deputy Secretary General.

    The ANC elective conference will now elect the 80 person National Executive.

    Topics: News | 1 Comment »

    Stalwarts and Veterans of the ANC call on Zuma to resign immediately

    By ACTSA | November 20, 2017

    Stalwarts and Veterans of the African National Congress (ANC) convened a National Consultative Congress 17-19 November in Johannesburg. It was attended by several hundred people.

    They had requested the National Executive of the ANC convene a National Consultative Conference but when it did not the Stalwarts and Veterans convened it. The Stalwarts and Veterans comprise people who have given many years distinguished service to the ANC, to the overthrow of apartheid and the establishment of democratic South Africa. Many had suffered because of their support and actions against apartheid. Attending the meeting were two former Presidents of the country, Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Mothlanthe, several former and some current cabinet ministers. The Stalwarts and Veterans say the ANC is in crisis and because it is the ruling party the country is in crisis and it needs to be openly discussed what action to take.

    The declaration from the conference called on President Zuma to resign immediately. It called for future presidents of South Africa to be directly elected and for the members of the ANC National Executive to be directly elected by one member one vote and not through branches as at present.

     

    The conference said there is, “moral degeneration in society that is overseen by a self-centred, non-caring leadership that lacks honesty, integrity and a vision for the future…

     

    [That] Membership of the ANC has come to be seen by some as a path to positions, personal power, privilege and licence to plunder the state resources.”

     

    It called on,  “all women and men of honour and integrity within the ANC and government to stand up against all forms of corruption, expose, reject and isolate the dishonest elements that seek to undermine and destroy our organisation, government and our reputation.”

    The full declaration from the Consultative Conference can be found here.

     

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    O R Tambo Centenary London Schools Competition

    By ACTSA | September 5, 2017

    As many of you will know this October will mark 100 years since the birth of Oliver Reginald Tambo, one of the founding fathers of non-racist, non-sexist, democratic South Africa and leader of the ANC in exile from 1960-1990.

    As one of several celebrations taking place this year and as part of Black History Month ACTSA is delighted to have partnered with Park View School and the Anti Apartheid Movement Archives Committee to organise a competition for school students in Haringey, North London.

    O R Tambo lived in the borough of Haringey with his family during their exile from South Africa, and this October students age 7-18 from the London borough are being asked to ‘Make a Memorial to Oliver Tambo’.

    Students are invited to commemorate life and achievements of O R Tambo in an array of formats, from a painting to a speech, a photo essay to a magazine or webpage. Whole class and group entries are encouraged and the judging will take into particular consideration the way in which students link O R Tambo’s struggles and story to their own lives.

    Entrants will be split into three age categories and with a prize for each category, including, amongst others, a trip to the Houses of Parliament hosted by anti-apartheid activist Lord Peter Hain.

    Deadlines for entry to the competition is 4pm Thursday 19th October. For further information on the competition, including how to enter and tips on planning your winning entry, please click here to read online or download the leaflet here.

    Topics: News from ACTSA | No Comments »

    South Africa: President Zuma survives eighth no-confidence vote

    By Tony | August 10, 2017

    On 8 August a motion of no-confidence in President Zuma was defeated in the national assembly (parliament) by 198 votes to 177 with nine abstentions. To have been carried the no-confidence motion needed 201 votes (50% +1 of the Assembly).

    This was the eighth motion of no-confidence in President Zuma all of which have been defeated. This was the first conducted by secret ballot. It came several months after President Zuma sacked the Minister and Deputy Minister of Finance and amid increasing allegations of corruption and patronage at the centre of government.  On the face of it seems it was a comfortable victory for President Zuma however after allowing for a couple of vacancies and that a number of MPs did not vote it is estimated between 26-36 ANC MPs voted for the opposition motion of no confidence. The ANC has 249 MPs. The combined opposition in theory has 151. However two smaller parties usually vote with the ANC reducing the opposition to 141.

    Some think that having survived the no-confidence vote President Zuma will be strengthened. Others think the vote shows increasing divisions and tensions within the ANC which will hold its five yearly elective conference in December. President Zuma has said he will step down as President of the ANC at the conference. He may continue as President of the country until 2019 but then will have completed the maximum of two terms allowed under the constitution.

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    Future of South Africa

    By Tony | July 19, 2017

    A conference for the Future of South Africa was held on 18 July (Mandela Day) in Johannesburg. The organisers say 600 people from 130 civil society organisations attended.

    The conference was convened by the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation and the Save South Africa campaign. The conference was held due to continuing and increasing concern around the alleged corruption of state institutions and in particular what has been termed, “ state capture” used to denote family, corporate interests not just influencing but “capturing” state resources so they are used for their benefit. In particular it is alleged the Gupta family which has close links to President Zuma have directly and indirectly influenced and benefited from government institutions and policy. These allegations are denied.

    The use of PR firms by companies with strong connections to the Gupta family has become highly controversial with accusations that the campaigns these companies have engaged in to deflect attention from the allegations of state capture not only targeted individuals but sought to provoke racial tensions. Bell Pottinger set up an independent enquiry into its work. After receiving an interim report it dismissed a senior partner, suspended several other staff and issued a full, unequivocal and absolute apology to anyone impacted saying, “These activities should never have been undertaken. We are deeply sorry that this happened.” Bell Pottinger has been reported to the PR regulatory body. Bell Pottinger’s apology has been called insufficient and they have been requested to make public all communications they sent or received in connection with the PR work they undertook. Criticism has also been levelled at McKinsey who have suspended their South African director.

    A vote of no-confidence in President Zuma is scheduled for a parliamentary vote on 8 August.  It has been requested that this be a secret ballot. The president is elected by secret ballot by parliament. The constitutional court has ruled the Speaker can decide to hold a secret ballot. A national day of pray against state capture has been called for and it is likely there will be demonstrations in the run up to the no-confidence vote. The ANC currently holds 62% of the parliamentary seats.

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    South Africa: Victims of the Sharpeville Massacre Remembered on Human Rights Day

    By ACTSA | March 21, 2017

    On 21 March 1960, 69 black South Africans were killed by Read the rest of this entry »

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    South Africa: ANC stalwarts criticise current leadership

    By ACTSA | December 19, 2016

    A group of veteran ANC members including the three Read the rest of this entry »

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    South Africa local elections: ANC remains the largest party but loses control of several major cities

    By ACTSA | August 9, 2016

    Summary points from the South Africa local government elections held on 3 August.

    The African National Congress (ANC) has lost control of Nelson Read the rest of this entry »

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    South Africans to vote in local elections

    By ACTSA | August 3, 2016

    South Africans will vote today (Wednesday 3 August) in local elections. South Africa’s local government Read the rest of this entry »

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