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Archive for the ‘Swaziland’ Category

Videos: Susan Booysen Comments on Mantashe and Zuma’s Speeches at Mangaung

The African National Congress and the Regeneration of Political PowerSusan Booysen, author of The African National Congress and the Regeneration of Political Power, attended the national ANC electoral conference in Mangaung and was interviewed by Vuyo Mbuli of Morning Live about her thoughts on the conference.

Booysen commented on ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe’s speech, saying that the delegates seemed to be there not out of duty but rather because they are hoping to see the ANC “move to bigger and better places”. They know this will only be achieved through dialogue, she said.

She also discussed President Jacob Zuma’s speech, calling it “frank” and saying that “it was an excellent shopping list of all that is wrong” and what must be done.




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Susan Booysen Comments on the Pervasive Nature of Patronage in South African Politics

The African National Congress and the Regeneration of Political PowerFaranaaz Parker from the Mail & Guardian spoke to Susan Booysen, and other political analysts such as Adam Habib and Steven Friedman, about the system of patronage within the ANC.

Last week the Mail & Guardian published an article which revealed the details of an auditor’s report in which President Jacob Zuma’s close financial affiliations with several people and companies were revealed. Booysen, the author of The African National Congress and the Regeneration of Political Power, said that the party seems to be unable to redirect this state of affairs and that despite there being talk of organisational ethics and integrity “there is no interest in implementing it”.

On Friday the Mail & Guardian revealed the details of an auditor’s report, which formed part of the National Prosecuting Authority’s 2006 investigation into Zuma’s financial affairs, and showed how benefactors had funded the president’s lifestyle by more than R7-million.

The story was widely read over the weekend but reaction to it was muted. The presidency declined to comment on the matter at the weekend, as did the ANC.

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Susan Booysen Comments on the State of the ANC Ahead of the Party Conference in Mangaung

The African National Congress and the Regeneration of Political PowerSusan Booysen, author of The African National Congress and the Regeneration of Political Power, has written an article for the Sunday Independent in which she examines the ANC’s current “heyday of “un-reason””.

Booysen also looks at the party via what she calls “Zuma’s list of discredits”. In the end, the road to Mangaung has been fraught with controversy, and Booysen links the whys and wherefores of the state of the ANC, in the lead up to the conference.

The Mangaung battle speaks volumes of leadership and governance that are indicated for South Africa and the ANC beyond Mangaung. The ANC is neither “unravelling” nor about to cede substantial power to the opposition, yet there are few assurances that the annus horribilis of exposed fault lines that the ANC’s centenary year has turned out to be was an aberration, rather than a preview of times to come.

At a time in democratic South Africa when the ANC probably, more than ever, needs decisive, convincing leadership that builds on strong internal democracy, its unfolding leadership election processes largely gloss over candidates’ track records and nomination meetings suffer deficits of due process. Internal democracy became a nice-to-have, but easily sacrificed for the promotion of political gods and powerful business careers. It is the heyday of “un-reason”. How will these unstable and compromised internal processes translate into government, and impact on the ANC itself?

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Susan Booysen Analyses the Nomination Processes Ahead of the ANC’s Conference in Mangaung

The African National Congress and the Regeneration of Political PowerPolitical analyst Susan Booysen, author of The African National Congress and the Regeneration of Political Power, has written an analysis of the ANC’s three sets of competing and cross-cutting Mangaung nomination processes. Read it in its entirety below:

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The dominant ANC nomination rule is ‘no rules’

Susan Booysen

In the land of African National Congress (ANC) Mangaung nominations there is one dominant rule – the expected procedural rules do not apply, or at best, that they operate on a secondary trajectory. There is space for executive initiatives and deal-makings, which have also been fuelled by the Luthuli House ‘moratorium’ on campaigning.

The 2007 ANC document, Information sheet on NEC nominations (no formal update has been issued), is broadly confirmed as basis for the 2012 process. In the land of ANC elections, nevertheless, a cacophony of competing and cross-cutting procedures and initiatives unfold. The formal guide is that the branches take the initiative, nominate and hold their branch general meetings, which progress into regional and provincial nomination conferences. Finalised nominations have to be at Luthuli House on 26 November. The provincial conferences will probably be on the preceding weekend. The provincial nominations then feed into Mangaung. At present this process’ branch actions, as step one, is a tiny part of rampant nominations politics.

The gamut of ANC executive structures – national, provincial, regional, branch, the leagues, and in many cases factions within – charged into action upon the sounding of the Mangaung starting gun, Saturday 29 September. The contest was to make their voices heard in the cut-throat stakes. The goal is to influence or perhaps roughly intimidate the lower branch structures whilst impressing the gate-keepers to power, position and privilege. Appropriate and visible action now will be infinitely more effective in getting top-deployment than the most impressive curriculum vitae or impeccable performance record.

Three sets of competing and cross-cutting Mangaung nomination processes are operating.

First, there are the 4,102 branches and the formal understanding that branch-up movement democracy will prevail. However, even if there had been evidence that the branches rule, there is little ‘nominational’ innocence left on the ground. By now, the branches have been thoroughly canvassed by factions and leagues that have learnt the lessons from Polokwane. Or, they have been mapped and assessed by their regional executives. Little will be left to chance.

Each branch will not just be required to make nominations for the top six officials and the NEC members, it will also elect the branch delegate and his/her alternate. The challenge is on to root out potential turn-coats that may be tempted to use the secrecy of the Mangaung ballot to sabotage the party seniors’ nomination projects.

Second, there are the ANC’s Regional Executive Committees (RECs) and Provincial Executive Committees (PECs) who all jumped into open action (much had been happening under the covers in the time of the so-called moratorium) come 29 September. The formal ANC processes, entailing that the branches will take the bottom-up lead, after all, leave so little scope for initiatives of these all-important movement functionaries.

Provinces like Gauteng had a General Council meeting as opening event. Limpopo planned hosting a provincial nomination conference. In the Eastern Cape the regional executives hold general council
meetings. Executive structures of the Youth, Women and MK Veterans League followed to also try and take the lead over branches and impress the principals. The Western Cape had started with branches
and the Free State ANC decided to leave it to the branches. In Limpopo some branches sprung into revolt against their province’s suggestions.

These party executives try to lead the process, despite their controlled role to consolidate and coordinate the branch inputs further down the line. Through their candidate pronouncements they hope to rule in debate, and (almost) make it seem like ill-discipline to challenge the will of the leadership.

Judged by reports of their early actions these PEC and REC seniors are not always confident that their nomination wishes will prevail. Some executive structures have set out detailed ‘implementation
plans’ to see to it that their candidates’ chances will be optimised in the branch general council (BGC)proceedings. Their anchor persons are in place to ask the right leading questions, make the right nominations and motivations, and attack the unwelcome names.

One of the key ‘unknowns’ is the extent to which, as in 2007, the ANCYL for example has managed to sway key branch persons in favour of a challenger. Perhaps some branches will also recall that it was largely the RECs and PECs in the local elections of 2011 that overruled the ANC branches’ candidate listings and instead inserted their own favourites.

Finally, there are the big shot nomination squads that try and settle the nominations even before a notable number of branches have triggered their distant processes. Here are the groupings – mostly
denied by reported attendees, trying to avoid political damage – that comprise the top-shot power-brokers and kitchen cabinets. Journalist Piet Rampedi recently reported on the Pennington meeting in
which a compromise deal between Jacob Zuma and Kgalema Motlanthe was tested.

Such are the processes that will bring South Africa its next set of rulers. Until the formal provincial conferences pronounce, and Mangaung confirms, leaks from reliable sources will tell us who will be entrusted, beyond Mangaung, to steer South Africa away from future Marikana’s.

Analyst Susan Booysen is Professor at Wits University and author of The ANC and the Regeneration of Political Power. The analysis is also available on the SABC news and analysis website.

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Video: Susan Booysen Weighs in on the ANC Policy Conference

The African National Congress and the Regeneration of Political PowerProfessor Susan Booysen, author of The African National Congress and the Regeneration of Political Power, attended the ANC Policy Conference held in Manguang on 29 June.

She shared her immediate thoughts after the conference with SABC Digital News and followed this up with her analysis of the “second transition” and the rumours of divisions or factions within the party in two articles for the SABC:

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Did President Jacob Zuma escape out of the tight corner into which he seemed to have been pinned in the course of the African National Congress (ANC) national policy conference’s ‘Second Transition?’ spat?

It will only be the weeks after this June 2012 conference that will deliver the definitive answer on how and with what damages he (mis)calculated his position in relation to the second transition document. The signals and trends that emerged from the policy conference deliberations, however, were significant pointers to the unfolding ‘Battle for Mangaung’.[i]

The battle of the two titles, two phases and probably two candidates tells much of the story of the African National Congress (ANC) national policy conference of 2012. It is the tale of an ANC that battled to protect its history and achievements of its first 18 years in power against an intra-ANC grouping that wished to transpose ‘two transitions’ onto the ANC in order to capture the space that it thought the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) had been occupying through its campaign for ‘economic liberation’.

In the conditions where the ‘no-campaigning campaign’ for ANC elections in Mangaung latches onto any potentially divisive or differentiating issue to distinguish between possible candidates, the two phases-two transitions had a field day.

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Launch of Region-building in Southern Africa and African-language Literatures at CTBF

Region-building in Southern Africa Wits Press held several talks this past weekend at the Cape Town Book Fair.

On Sunday 17 June Chris Saunders, Dawn Nagar and Gilbert Khadiagala discussed the topics raised in their book Region-building in Southern Africa: Progress, problems and prospectus. Mandy Watson tweeted from the launch using #ctbf:

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African-language LiteraturesInnocentia Mhlambi, author of African-language Literatures, Sizwe Satyo and Mbulingeni Madiba discussed new directions in the study of African-language literatures and isiZulu fiction. Mandy Watson tweeted from the launch, held on Saturday 16 June, using #ctbf:

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Susan Booysen Addresses Campaigning and the Upcoming ANC Leadership Election

The African National Congress and the Regeneration of Political Power In an article for Wits Press, Susan Booysen, author of The African National Congress and the Regeneration of Political Power, discusses the glaring contradiction that is the official “no campaigning” stance declared by the ANC and what actually happens in the corridors of power:

One cannot help but be filled with a ‘sense of wonderment’ (famous words once used by paleoanthropologist Phillip Tobias) at the glaring contradiction between the ‘no campaigning for positions in the ANC … we are a disciplined movement’ and the expansive maze of actual campaigning that envelopes both the African National Congress and South Africa.

The reality of pervasive campaigning and the need for campaigning – albeit veiled in denial, attempted ‘underground’ status, and proxy mobilisation – is well grasped by South Africans. After all, the ANC is in effect about to elect the next president of South Africa – for 2014, if Jacob Zuma retains his ANC president status, or if he gets beaten at the post by an unlikely effective challenger. With even longer term implications, the ANC may very well be set to be electing the subsequent president for South Africa – a now-deputy to take over from Zuma as ANC president in 2017 and 2019 as South African president. Should this yet-unknown person run for a second term, the 2012 ANC events could very well determine the president of the country for all of the period 2019-2029.

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Wits Press Autumn Sale: Up to 50% Off Selected Books from 27 February – 2 March

Autumn Sale

Don’t miss the Wits Press Autumn sale at the end of this month, where you’ll find 50% off all books published in 2010 or earlier, and 40% off all books published in 2011. The sale takes place from 27 February – 2 March at the University of Witwatersrand Main Campus, on the ground floor of Senate House (Map).

Some of the titles recently published by Wits include Somewhere on the Border, Visual Century, The African National Congress and the Regeneration of Political Power, New South African Review 2, and Luka Jantjie.

Don’t miss it!

Somewhere on the BorderVisual CenturyNew South African Review 2The African National Congress and the Regeneration of Political PowerLuka JantjieLife of BoneSara Baartman and the Hottentot VenusMetal That Will Not BendRiding HighStranger At HomeBury Me at the MarketplaceMarginal SpacesThe Animal GazeAlexandraBecoming Worthy AncestorsSouth Africa and India

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  • Visual Century: South African Art in Context 1907-2007 edited by Gavin Jantjes, Jillian Carman, Lize van Robbroeck, Mandisi Majavu, Mario Pissarra, Thembinkosi Goniwe
    Book homepage
    EAN: 9781868145478
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

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Musa Mohamed Remarks on the Timely Publication of The ANC and the Regeneration of Political Power

The African National Congress and the Regeneration of Political PowerIn a column in The Citizen, Musa Mohamed writes that Susan Booysen’s book, The African National Congress and the Regeneration of Political Power, couldn’t have come at a better time, considering that the ANC is currently reflecting on 100 years of its existence. Particularly interesting to him are the fresh insights Booysen provides into the party’s internal power struggles, as well as her explanation of how the ANC uses state power and its authority as liberation movement to continually regenerate power:

Booysen asks some critical questions, such as how long will the ANC remain in power? Are organisational turmoil and failures in government weakening the party as a whole?

How has the party managed to stay in power so long in the face of apparent organisational decline?

These intriguing questions are explored and clarified with convincing force in this insightful book.

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Susan Booysen Explores the ANC’s “Power Quest” and 17 Years of Governance

The African National Congress and the Regeneration of Political PowerAuthor Susan Booysen says her new book, The ANC and the Regeneration of Political Power, is “more of a reference book than a casual night time read”.

The work looks at the 17 years the ANC has been in government – and the various disillusions, disappointments and shortcomings that have gone “electorally unchallenged” during this time. Booysen argues that while the ANC has proved to be good at reinventing itself, the party has also reached its “peak” and is unlikely to ascend any further on the “power graph”.

Booysen was interviewed by the University of Witwaterstrand‘s newsroom:

“I am a political scientist and I love South African politics. You cannot appreciate South African politics without delving into the issues in and around the African National Congress (ANC),” says Prof. Susan Booysen from the Graduate School of Public and Development Management (P&DM).

In 2009/2010 Booysen’s primary research project was her book The ANC and the Regeneration of Political Power which was published by Wits University Press in September 2011.

“My research explores the ANC’s power quest – its continuous consolidation and regeneration of political power amidst changing conditions – in its 17 years as the ruling government, 1994-2011,” explains Booysen who describes this period as “a crucial yet under-explored part of the ANC’s first 100 years.”

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