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South Africa

Zuma carries on regardless



The fall in the ANC's vote to less than 50% leaves no single party in charge of some vital councils and the promise of much turmoil

One of the most fiercely contested elections in post-apartheid South Africa has left the African National Congress in shock, the Democratic Alliance energised and the Economic Freedom Fighters as the new king-maker. In some 27 of the 278 councils, no party has an overall majority, including some of the largest, including Johannesburg, Tshwane (Pretoria) and Nelson Mandela Bay. The EFF held the keys to the cities and opted to govern jointly with the 'better devil', the DA. 'We are not co-governing; we are voting for the opposition, this is the start of removing the ANC from power,' the buoyant and confident EFF leader, Julius Malema told reporters on 17 August in Alexandra Township, outside Johannesburg.


Pax Salvatica

The balance shifts as Washington acknowledges Taban as Vice-President and Riek flees to Khartoum

International plans for an expanded peacekeeping force of 4,000 African troops are at odds with the aims of South Sudan's rejigged Transitional Government of National Unity. Juba o...


Patriotism, politics and position

The patriotic pastor is in exile but opposition parties are regrouping to keep up the anti-ZANU-PF momentum

The euphoria created by the #ThisFlag campaign, which mobilises tens of thousands of supporters and is spearheaded by the now-exiled evangelical Pastor Evan Mawarire, is likely to ...


One-party stasis

Dos Santos increases his grip on the MPLA as a few new faces are admitted to the inner sanctum of power and wealth 

The only surprise from the seventh ordinary Congress of the Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (MPLA), which ended on 20 August, was the complete absence of surprise. Althou...


Bongo's sure bet

The presence of 13 opposition candidates does little to blunt the certainty that the President will be re-elected

Two oppositionists may have rallied to presidential candidate Jean Ping at the last minute on 16 August but that won't be enough to stop President Ali Ben Bongo Ondimba from walkin...


Lungu's victory under fire

The opposition legal challenge to the President's narrow win seems unlikely to succeed but there are major holes in his defence

Most pundits think that the opposition petition submitted to the Constitutional Court challenging President Edgar Lungu's much criticised election victory has only a slim chance of...


Ministry of muddle

Caught between Frelimo and the exasperation of international donors, the Finance Ministry is a confusing place to be

New horror stories about public finances are continually emerging from the Finance Ministry as the confusion over who borrowed what and from whom beleaguers civil servants and poli...


A dollar emergency

Just as investment companies began advising clients to return to the Nigerian market to take advantage of the sharp depreciation of the naira currency over the past two months, rep...


No compromise, no bail

General Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko's appeal for bail over a charge of 'endangering the internal security of the state' was rejected by a Brazzaville court on 18 August. Mokoko was Pr...


Feds grab middleman

The arrest of Samuel Mebiame by the US Department of Justice on 16 August is causing sleepless nights in Guinea, Chad and Niger. Son of the former Gabonese premiere Léon Meb...


Juicier carrots, heavier sticks

Niger Delta Map Copyright © Africa Confidential 2016

The deepening crisis in the Niger Delta is now the most serious threat to the government's plans for economic revival

This month's announcement that the government is to resume payments to former militants in the Niger Delta is by any measure a victory for the myriad gangs and activists who have b...

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The scramble for the spoils

Western policy looks confused and contradictory, while the UN stands accused of giving in to blackmail 

The political process set up by the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has buckled under the weight of the country's multiple divisions, leaving Western governments c...


Unending flow of Cashgate

More and more prominent names are coming into prosecutors' sights but their political masters are applying the brakes


Fear stalks the law

The recent extrajudicial killings intimidate lawyers and seems designed to deter law suits over police brutality


Finally, the AU moves in

Although backed by the UN and regional organisations, AU plans to send an intervention force to Juba are fraught with peril


Lungu's media vendetta

The President is determined to keep an opposition-supporting newspaper off the streets, seemingly at any cost


Racing to the finish

While the President cracks down on critics, defectors back his rival and try to bring their ethnic support with them


Kaizar the kingpin

Presidential advisor Kaizar Zulu is the architect – or is blamed for – a ruthless re-election strategy