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Cyril Ramaphosa attends the oath of office ceremony for his second term as South African President at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa, 19 June 2024.


South Africa gets a new cabinet

President Cyril Ramaphosa unveiled South Africa’s new cabinet on Sunday, ushering in a new era of coalition governance for the Rainbow Nation. The move comes after the African National Congress lost its majority for the first time in 30 years in the May election, forcing Ramphosa’s party to enter a coalition government with its historic rival, the white-majority Democratic Alliance.

Ramaphosa announced that 32 positions were awarded across seven parties. The ANC retains the majority of seats, with 20, and has kept key ministries, including finance, foreign affairs (crucial in allowing continuity in their pro-Palestinian agenda and ICJ case), trade, and defense. The DA, after demanding 11 slots, was only assigned six, including key ministries like education and infrastructure, and DA leader John Steenhuisen was appointed agriculture minister. The remainder were divided among smaller parties.

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A worker removes a campaign banner of South African president Cyril Ramaphosa after an African National Congress event ahead of the upcoming elections in Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa, on May 25, 2024.

REUTERS/James Oatway

South Africa’s landmark election: Will the ANC be out?

South Africans vote this Wednesday in what is possibly the most significant election since the end of apartheid in 1994. Even with the support of older and rural voters, the ruling African National Congress, led by President Cyril Ramaphosa, could lose its majority for the first time. Despite leading South Africa to democracy under Nelson Mandela, the ANC now faces rising discontent due toan unemployment rate of 32%, a poverty rate of 50%, and myriad corruption scandals.
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Supporters of former South African President Jacob Zuma protest outside the Constitutional Court which ruled that Zuma is not eligible to stand for office in the National Assembly, in Johannesburg, South Africa May 20, 2024.

REUTERS/Ihsaan Haffejee

Zuma's disqualification shakes up South Africa's election

Nine days before South Africa’s general election, former President Jacob Zuma was disqualified from running for a parliamentary seat because the constitution prohibits candidates who have served more than 12 months in prison.

Background: Zuma led the ruling African National Congress from 2009 to 2018, before resigning in disgrace amid allegations that his administration was infiltrated by corporate interests. After he was released from his 15-month prison sentence last year, he launched his own uMkhonto WeSizwe party, or MK, which has surprised analysts by polling above 10%. Its gains have mostly been at the expense of the ANC, which is now polling around 46%.

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