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South African Perspective

Raymond Suttner is a professor attached to Rhodes University and UNISA. He is a former ANC underground operative and served over 11 years as a political prisoner and under house arrest.He has recently published Recovering Democracy in South Africa (Jacana Media, 2015)

Raymond Suttner

ANC legacies? Retrieving and deploying emancipatory values today

For many decades and for many people, the name “ANC” conjured up selflessness, sacrifice in the service of the oppressed people of South Africa and the meaning of freedom itself. People bent every effort to link themselves with the message of the ANC. They risked police attention and possible arrest by listening to the ANC […]

Tshwane in flames as ANC authority disintegrates

There have always been problems with ANC electoral lists in post-apartheid South Africa. There have been undercurrents of dissatisfaction since the earliest parliamentary lists of 1994, though they did not initially become public issues and there do not seem to have been significant electoral irregularities. What has emerged in recent years, however, is widespread and […]

“Show of strength” by declining ANC

The Gauteng ANC almost fulfilled their promise that they would fill the 95,000- seater FNB stadium for the provincial launch of their local government election manifesto last Saturday. There were some empty seats and people did leave during President Jacob Zuma’s speech, but they definitely pulled some 20-40,000 more than there have been at any […]

How do we identify ethical leadership and politics?

Very many South Africans are cynical about politics and doubtful whether it will ever be pursued with integrity, with the purpose of serving the people of the country. When people claim to have devoted their lives to public service it is seldom treated seriously. The ANC slogan for its centenary was “100 years of selfless […]

“Imminent arrest” of Pravin Gordhan and undermining of legality

There has been a flurry of denials since the Sunday Times broke the story that Pravin Gordhan, the minister of finance, faced “imminent arrest” on charges of “espionage” associated with an alleged intelligence unit in the South African Revenue Service. The Presidency called the report mischief making, but did not specifically deny that an investigation […]

Democracy beyond electoralism

The political choice is clear for many South Africans: If you don’t vote for the ANC then it is your duty to get them out of power by voting for one of the opposition parties to “make a difference”. That does not work for me. I struggle to find a way to contribute towards making […]

Removing Zuma: We need to ensure a democratic outcome

Removing Zuma: We need to ensure a democratic outcome

The outpouring of anger and calls for President Jacob Zuma to step down, although occasioned by the Constitutional Court judgment on Nkandla, are in fact a result of rage that has been building up for many years. We need to try to understand the significance of this moment and how it will define the future. […]

Freedom is a constant struggle

They say that freedom is a constant struggle They say that freedom is a constant struggle They say that freedom is a constant struggle Oh Lord, we’ve struggled so long We must be free, we must be free (20th century freedom song from Mississippi, providing the title of Angela Davis’s most recent book, Freedom is […]

Yes, Zuma must go. But what are the reasons?

Yes, Zuma must go. But what are the reasons?

In life and in politics it often happens that a particular event or experience looms large in public consciousness and memory, representing more than the event. It sometimes renders invisible other events, which may or may not be as or more serious than the particular issue. Such is the case of the Nkandla scandal in […]

Liberation and Ethics: Is there a connection?

It is no exaggeration to suggest that the legitimacy not only of President Jacob Zuma and the ANC, but also the notion of the liberation struggle itself is in shreds. For some of us, it was unthinkable that such an alliance of forces could degenerate into a moneymaking, lawless and violent operation represented by people […]

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