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Vol 51 No 12

Published 11th June 2010

South Africa

Football fever, faction fever

As the world’s best football teams battle it out in the stadiums, the ruling party’s factions slug it out behind closed doors

As South Africa opens the World Cup tournament on 11 June, the most important national event since the 1994 elections, most of the visiting football fans will be blissfully unaware of the growing factional rivalries within the governing African National Congress. Yet for ANC-loyalists, the battles between the business-minded nationalist faction and their communist and trades unionist rivals may be more gripping than a Brazil versus Spain final. The expected 300,000 visitors will see the workings of Africa’s biggest economy and enjoy the benefits of the 30 billion rand (US$3.9 bn.) that the national government has spent on the tournament, plus the R9 bn. spent by the provinces.

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