Newswire : South African War on Corruption moves into high gear

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Protest in South Africa

(TriceEdneyWire.com/GIN) – A shakeup in the African National Party has boosted hopes that new party officials will make a clean sweep of the backroom dealings that have made millionaires out of a small South African elite and punished the majority with high unemployment and a national credit rating downgraded to “junk status.”
Business tycoon Cyril Ramaphosa, newly elected president of the African National Congress, has raised hopes that he will stamp out corruption, expedite job creation, improve the lackluster economy and speed up the transfer of land to black people.
“Corruption must be fought with the same intensity and purpose that we fight poverty, unemployment and inequality,” Ramaphosa declared in his maiden speech after his election. “We must also act fearlessly against alleged corruption and abuse of office within our ranks.”
“We must investigate without fear or favor the so-called ‘accounting irregularities’ that caused turmoil in the markets and wiped billions off the investments of ordinary South Africans,” he said.
Ramaphosa was echoing the frustration of South African citizens who turned out in the thousands this fall to march in anti-corruption protests in major cities around the country with blame often laid at the feet of the President.
“Things are just going down under President (Jacob) Zuma,” textile worker Florence Titus told Reuters. “He needs to play a president’s role not just be there to fill his pockets and his family’s pockets. He must step down.”
Efforts to recover several billion rands diverted “into the hands of unproductive and corrupt elites” are not, however, waiting for the new administration. Last month, a 151 page application with thousands of attachments was submitted to the North Gauteng High Court suing the President, his son, and 71 others, demanding a criminal investigation and the recovery of billions of dollars within 20 days of the order.
The foundation of Helen Suzman, an anti-apartheid activist who died in 2009, was one of the filers of the suit.
In a related development, South Africa’s top court ruled last week that Parliament failed to hold President Zuma accountable over his use of state funds to upgrade his private home. The court’s ruling could trigger impeachment proceedings.

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Newswire : N. Diamini Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa are contesting for the Presidency of South Africa

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N.Dlamini-Zuma and C. Ramaphosa

(TriceEdneyWire.com/GIN) – With President Jacob Zuma winding up his last term in office, his ex-wife is building up campaign momentum, especially among women. She’s one of two leading candidates for the top job.
An early anti-apartheid activist, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was an active underground member of the South African Students’ Organization and was elected its deputy president in 1976.
Later, as a doctor in Swaziland, she met her future husband, current ANC party president Jacob Zuma. Several cabinet positions followed – as Minister of Health, Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs. In 2012, she was elected chair of the African Union Commission, serving until January 2017.
But her accomplishments underperformed, according to some political observers, and in a few cases were serious missteps. During the early years of the AIDS crisis, Dlamini-Zuma along with President Thabo Mbeki endorsed Virodene, a controversial AIDS drug developed in South Africa but rejected by the scientific community. It was later learned that the main active ingredient was an industrial solvent and that businessmen with ties to Mbeki had invested in it.
More recently, she was chastised for labelling nationwide protests calling for President Zuma to step down as “rubbish” in a tweet which was then deleted from her timeline.
Her colleagues at the African Union considered her remote, disinterested and often absent from duty.
Even though there are other women aspiring to the number one spot, Dlamini-Zuma has become the face of the ANC Women’s League’s call that “South Africa is ready for a woman president.”
While she generally avoids the media and spends little time shaking hands, her stump speeches are turning heads with their focus on “Radical Economic Transformation,” – why white people shouldn’t fear it, and why it is necessary to change ownership patterns.
She faces a tough fight, however, from ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa who has already racked up nominations from branches in Gauteng, Pretoria, and the West Rand. A successful businessman and trade union leader, he was the ANC’s chief negotiator during the country’s transition to democracy.
He has an estimated net worth of over $450 million and owns 31 properties. mParticularly disappointing, he opposed the Marikana miners’ strike, which he called “dastardly criminal” conduct, while he served on the board of Lonmin, the miners’ employer.
Voting for ANC party president takes place in December. National elections are in 2019.