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Can Ramaphosa Halt South Africa's Rot?

Jul 22, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa stands during the national anthem before delivering his annual State of the Nation address to parliament in Cape Town on June 20, 2019.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa stands during the national anthem before delivering his annual State of the Nation address to parliament in Cape Town on June 20. The odds that Ramaphosa will be able to turn around South Africa's economy are getting ever longer.

(SUMAYA HISHAM/AFP/Getty Images)

On July 15, South Africans tuned in to witness a sight few on the continent ever expected to see: a former African leader getting a grilling from a corruption commission. But while former President Jacob Zuma's appearance before South Africa's Judicial Commission of Inquiry Into Allegations of State Capture (popularly known as the Zondo commission) was notable -- given that the vast majority of former African leaders accused of such impropriety never face such questioning -- his presence belies the gravity of the situation South Africa faces. In fact, nearly two months after the ruling African National Congress won an election to give the new president, Cyril Ramaphosa, an ostensible mandate to push through pro-business and anti-corruption reforms, details on the government's plans to breathe life into South Africa's moribund economy are either vague or fanciful. Instead, evidence is mounting that Ramaphosa remains weak and that he will have no choice...

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