History of South Africa 5

History of South Africa Part V

Corruption affairs and unrest under J. Zuma (from 2008)

In the 1999 elections, in which the ANC only missed a two-thirds majority by one mandate, Mbeki (ANC president from 1997 to 2007) was elected as the new president because Mandela was no longer running. In the 2004 elections, the ANC was able to achieve a clear two-thirds majority with almost 70% of the votes; President Mbeki was re-elected for another term. Since the NNP, which had a say in politics in the country for decades, only received 1.65% of the vote, it disbanded in April 2005.

According to eningbo, the focus of domestic politics was v. a. the fight against poverty, unemployment and AIDS, illegal immigration, crime and corruption, as well as reconciliation between social groups and economic development. The anti-corruption campaign, supported by President Mbeki, took a dramatic turn in June 2005 when Vice President J. Zuma was accused of negotiating bribes with a French arms company. The following preliminary investigation took Mbeki as an opportunity to dismiss his designated successor in the party and government on June 14, 2005. This development plunged the ruling ANC into an ongoing crisis. On 8 May 2006 Zuma acquitted of rape charges. Although Mbeki was no longer allowed to run for the 2009 presidential election, he ran again for the party chairmanship in 2007 in order to maintain influence over the party’s future top candidate and likely president. His political opponent Zuma was nominated as his opponent. At the National Conference of the ANC, which took place in Polokwane from December 16 to 20, 2007, a contest vote was held for the first time in 58 years: of 3,834 votes, J. Zuma received 2,329, Mbeki only 1,505. An outbreak of xenophobic violence in the townships, which v. a. aimed against immigrants from Zimbabwe and Mozambique, rocked the country in May 2008, killing at least 56 people and injuring several hundred; Tens of thousands were on the run. On September 21, 2008, President Mbeki announced his resignation as President under pressure from the ANC. The background to this step was the accusation that he had tried to influence the corruption proceedings against his internal party opponent J. Zuma. After Mbeki resigned, ANC deputy chairman K. Motlanthe became the new president.

As expected, the ANC won the parliamentary elections in 2009 with 65.9% of the vote. The second strongest force was the Democratic Alliance (DA). On May 6th, 2009 the ANC chairman J. Zuma was elected president. Previously, a pending corruption case against Zuma had been closed by the public prosecutor’s office.

Domestic politics were shaped by social conflicts and unrest. In August 2010, the country was paralyzed by a wave of public sector strikes that lasted more than two weeks. In July and August 2011, miners and civil servants went on strike for higher wages. The demonstrations in Cape Town led to riots and looting. On August 10, 2012, around 3,000 workers at a platinum mine in Marikana went on strike. Over the next few days, ten people died in clashes between supporters of two competing unions and security forces. On August 16, 2012, police officers allegedly shot and killed 34 miners in self-defense during the bloodiest operation against strikers since the end of apartheid. On October 1, 2012, a state commission began to investigate the incidents.

Zuma was confirmed as party leader of the ANC in December 2012. There were also several strikes and riots in 2013. With regard to the election year, there were changes in the party system. Julius Malema (* 1961), the former leader of the ANC youth, who was excluded from the ruling party in 2012, founded the Ecomomic Freedom Fighters (EFF) with the aim of attacking the ANC with a left-wing radical profile. On December 15, 2013, the freedom fighter and former President N. Mandela received his last honor with a state funeral with great domestic and foreign participation. He died on December 5th, 2013 in Johannesburg.

Although large parts of the population suffered from the poor economic situation, the ANC was able to win the parliamentary elections again on May 7, 2014. Despite slight losses, the ruling party defended its dominant position in the parliament. The Democratic Alliance (DA) recorded an increase in votes. The third strongest parliamentary force surprisingly became the EFF party. On May 21, 2014 the parliament confirmed Zuma in the presidency.

After a Somali shopkeeper shot a 14-year-old in an attempted robbery in Soweto on January 19, 2015, xenophobic riots broke out again in April 2015. Several fatalities occurred. In October 2015 the universities closed because thousands of students protested against an increase in tuition fees. In December 2015, protests against President Zuma took place in numerous cities across the country. The demonstrators accused him of arbitrariness, corruption and abuse of power and called for his resignation.

History of South Africa 5

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