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Vol 55 No 25

Published 19th December 2014

South Africa

How guns colonised politics

Competition for political office, with its opportunities for patronage, can be bitter enough to end in murder. Violence is affecting the labour movement, too

Political assassinations have risen to alarming proportions since the end of apartheid and are likely to continue, especially as new trades union rivalries emerge and the 2016 municipal elections approach. Faction-fighting was already intense within the African National Congress but it will go into overdrive as two new breakaway parties try to make inroads into the governing party's vote. Julius Malema's Economic Freedom Fighters, already poised to do battle for the radical ANC vote, will soon be joined by the union-based political party to be formed by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and its allies, now that NUMSA has been expelled from the Congress of South African Trade Unions.

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