Just slightly more than six weeks ahead of the 2016 Local government elections, the ANC is to battling on many fronts to contain the fallout from a deep political crisis. The party is deeply divided and in its weakest state ever. It is not only struggling to contain the wider social, economic and political crisis, but it is also forced to fight to manage the internal factional battles which is threatening to tear it apart.
On Monday 30th May, a special tribunal in Dakar, Senegal, convicted former Chadian dictator, Hissène Habré on several criminal charges including crimes against humanity, committed during his brutal eight years in power. He was also convicted of war crimes, rape, sexual slavery, torture and kidnapping. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.
At a mass rally in Soweto on April 30th the Economic Freedom Fighters launched their manifesto for the August 3rd local government elections. This was a big event with a sea of red filling Orlando Stadium. For the working class people, the students and the poor who were in attendance, it was an opportunity to listen to Malema’s speech, in which he made the manifesto public.
Ships are presently sitting outside Nigerian ports with two and half million tonnes of refined fuel but are not unloading their cargo because local buyers cannot access enough dollars to pay for the importation. Planes are not taking off from airports in Nigeria due to lack of aviation fuel. Police have been stationed at petrol stations. The country is facing the most serious crisis in its history.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) threw down the gauntlet to the rest of the their political rivals on Saturday at its mass rally to launch their manifesto for the 3 August local government elections.
When arguing the Nkandla case, President Jacob Zuma’s senior advocate, Jeremy Gauntlett, said that this was “a delicate time in a dangerous year, societally” and that the Nkandla saga has “traumatised the nation in many ways”- a profound statement which sums up the current state of mind of the ruling class.
The recent Constitutional Court judgment against President Jacob Zuma is only the latest in a series of rapid-fire events which have shaken South African society fundamentally. From the Marikana massacre in 2012, to the latest revelations, society has been staggering from one crisis to another. The turnover of these events is astonishing. New shocks crop up almost on a weekly basis, and old controversies resurface periodically only to assume new convulsive forms. In the final analysis, this shows that, on a capitalist basis, none of the fundamental problems of society can be solved.
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