Analysis  >  Friday Briefing: South Africa is in crisis – Ramaphosa cannot waste the moment

Friday Briefing cover

South Africa is in crisis – Ramaphosa cannot waste it

On the surface, it looks like South Africa is chugging along. On Thursday President Cyril Ramaphosa attended an official function of the health department in Gauteng, Deputy President David Mabuza answered questions in the National Assembly and Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula unveiled a fleet of new buses in Tshwane. But underneath, the war for control of the ANC, government and state resources is raging.

South Africa's political landscape is a battlefield strewn with skirmishes and assaults, retreats and ambushes. Ramaphosa is defending his corner against a Public Protector seeking to wreak maximum havoc while the EFF seem to be making common cause with the anti-reformists inside the governing party.

The president has been criticised for his inaction, and the only sign of life has been his supporting affidavits in the Pravin Gordhan matter and his statement after the Public Protector's report into his ANC dealings with controversial company Bosasa.

It may seem as if he has few cards to play – but there is an escape hatch: Act 108 of 1996, the Constitution. Ramaphosa can and must use his executive powers to drive change. He has shown too much reverence and deference to the ANC and its lumbering and arcane internal processes. His opponents are using it against him and the country's supreme law can be his (and our) saviour.

The ANC's national executive will meet this weekend. It's not going to be business as usual.

Best,

Pieter du Toit 

Assistant Editor: In-depth News

PW Botha, former president of South Africa during


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