“Crisis? What crisis? There is no crisis in Zimbabwe.” Of the many colourful quotes attributed to former President Thabo Mbeki, this remains one of the most memorable; together perhaps with the famous mock homily on ‘fishers of corrupt men’ - a reference to those who dared suggest that the country’s mega arms procurement process in 2000 was rife with irregularities.
The African National Congress (ANC) is seen as slipping away from democratic practices reminiscent of the regime it fought to overthrow, especially in its handling of the Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM), according to a United States diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks. .
It says the ANC, which led South Africa out of apartheid had by 2010, slipped into anti-democratic practices reminiscent of the regime it fought to overthrow.
The Centre for the Study of Democracy at the University of Johannesburg says that the African National Congress (ANC) is treating its youth league leniently over its threat to help bring about regime change in Botswana.
The Centre’s director, Steven Friedman, has described the Botswana comments as a major embarrassment to South Africa’s foreign policy, adding that he expected more from the ANC.
Friedman further argues that he had long believed that the ANC Youth League president, Julius Malema, is under the protection of powerful politicians within the ANC.
Swazi pro-democracy campaigners have urged South Africa not to give their country financial assistance without imposing conditions aimed at steering the troubled kingdom towards negotiations for a transitional government.
A delegation of union leaders and activists, as well as politicians from two banned political parties, travelled to South Africa to lobby against the handout, which is believed to be in the region of R1.2 billion.
According to the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (Idasa) survey, rural South Africans think their councillors are corrupt, ineffective and unresponsive.
The survey found that about 70 percent of people polled in rural areas of four provinces said councillors are not doing a good job and municipalities did not provide a good service.
The Zimbabwe Institute, a political advocacy organisation, says the crisis in Zimbabwe goes beyond the disputed elections and is more about the division of opinions among Zimbabweans themselves.
The Institute research manager, James Muzondidya, warns that the elections in that country will not resolve the crisis, adding that, "This is more of a political and governance problem."
As part of the Human Rights Day celebrations, Right to Know (R2K) and the Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) have launched a new access to information campaign in Sebokeng, south of Johannesburg.
Gauteng R2K spokesperson, Dale McKinley, states that information such as the right to housing, health, education, service delivery and clean environment is important and most South Africans at grassroots levels do not know how to access it.
Emerging from the throes of colonialism in the 1960s, many analysts theorised that the nascent African states, as opposed to their Asian counterparts, were most likely to record substantial political and economic achievements.(2) This optimism was underlined by both economic and political factors.
Zimbabwean civil society groups have called on South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) party to do more to pressure President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF to embrace democracy, the rule of law and human rights.
In a press statement, the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition points out that, “The ANC must insist that political parties in Zimbabwe particularly ZANU-PF, which controls the country’s security forces, must strictly adhere to principles of democracy and respect for the basic rights of all Zimbabweans.
Freedom of expression, of which media freedom is an important dimension, is one of the fundamental rights South Africans secured through the democratic political revolution of 1994. This is according to the African National Congress (ANC) veteran, Dr Pallo Jordan.
Jordan says The ANC has a long track record of commitment to media freedom, adding that in defending a free media, “We are defending the ANC's own rich heritage, the heritage bequeathed to us by those 19th century pioneers.”