Africa News blog
African business, politics and lifestyle
By Cosmas Butunyi
South Africa’s ruling African National Congress may have expelled the rubble-rousing youth league president, Julius Malema, but challenges still remain for President Jacob Zuma, who is seeking a second term in a race that he is considered the frontrunner.
Observers say that Malema, who is considered one of the most prominent members of the party to openly break from Zuma, still can be a thorn in his side even though he is permanently barred from party-related events. He may use his expulsion to sharpen his criticism against Zuma’s government.
Zakhele Ndlovu, a political analyst at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, says that while numerous predictions are being made of a possible Zuma victory in December, ‘anything can happen’ due to the changing balance of power in the party.
“People who sympathise with him could become influential and bring him back,” Zakhele told Reuters.
By Isaac Esipisu
Given that China is South Africa’s biggest trading partner and given the close relationship between Beijing and the ruling African National Congress, it didn’t come as a huge surprise that South Africa was in no hurry to issue a visa to the Dalai Lama.
Tibet’s spiritual leader will end up missing the 80th birthday party of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a fellow Nobel peace prize winner. He said his application for a visa had not come through on time despite having been made to Pretoria several weeks earlier. (Although South Africa’s government said a visa hadn’t actually been denied, the Dalai Lama’s office said it appeared to find the prospect inconvenient).
Desmond Tutu said the government’s action was a national disgrace and warned the President and ruling party that one day he will start praying for the defeat of the ANC government.
Zimbabwe’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change has agreed to join a unity government with President Robert Mugabe, breaking a crippling deadlock four months after the political rivals reached a power-sharing deal.
The decision could improve Zimbabwe’s prospects of recovering from economic collapse and easing a humanitarian crisis in which more than 60,000 people have been infected by cholera and more than half the population needs food aid.