Briefly.co.za reviews what 2018 had brought South Africa in politics. From the resignation of Jacob Zuma to the State Capture Inquiry the year has had its highs and lows for the country
2018 has ended and the year has been a mixed bag as far as politics has been concerned.
From State Capture to Cyril Ramaphosa as president, the year has held many disappointments but also a few victories for South Africa.
The State Capture Inquiry unraveling allegations of the governments involvement with the Gupta family 2019 is set to have its own challenges but with a little luck some relief.
Jacob Zuma’s long-anticipated resignation
On February 14 Jacob Zuma had caved in to the mounting pressure from numerous sources and resigned.
When Cyril Ramaphosa had won the ANC presidency at the elective conference in late 2017, Zuma’s chances of retaining power had been devastated.
Cyril Ramaphosa sworn in as South Africa’s new president
Just one day after Jacob Zuma had lost the ANC presidency, Cyril Ramaphosa had been sworn in as president. He had heralded a ‘New Dawn’ for the country, which many perceived as a step forward from the damage the former president had wrought during his reign.
Ramaphosa adopted the phrase ‘Thuma Mina’ which means ‘send me’ and launched a campaign to encourage citizens to volunteer in addressing the challenges facing communities in the country.
Historical first- State of Nation Address postponed
For the first time in South Africa’s democratic history, the State of Nation Address had been postponed. The reason for this deviation from the norm had been due to threats of disruption and had seen the Address moved to a week later.
Parties such as the Economic Freedom Fighters had been disrupting the former president Zuma’s previous addresses on numerous occasions.
The Great Bank Heist
An explosive report from the South African Reserve Bank took aim at the Venda Building Society Bank ( VBS).
Titled ‘ The Great Bank Heist’ the report detailed how almost R2 billion had been stolen from VBS by officials in high positions as well as by individuals with political connections.
Numerous depositors had lost their money when the bank had collapsed early in 2018.
Shockingly it had been revealed that a number of municipalities had illegally deposited millions and subsequently lost the funds with the likelihood of recovering any looking bleak.
Parties such as the ANC and the EFF had found themselves tangled in scandals with some of their officials implicated.
Malusi Gigaba resigns
November saw the resignation of Malusi Gigaba, from his position of Home Affairs Minister and a few days later as an ANC member of Parliament/
This was after increasing calls for him to be removed following the Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s finding that he had violated the executive ethics code when he had lied in court.
The Constitutional Court had ruled against his appeal of a High Court judgement which had found he had been dishonest in the court proceedings involving the Oppenheimer family and their VVIP terminal.
Court orders Jacob Zuma liable for his own legal costs
December saw a court judgement ordering ex-president Jacob Zuma to repay the state for legal costs from his numerous corruption charges.
The High Court had deemed the agreement between Zuma and ex-president Thabo Mbeki invalid. Zuma is now facing repaying the state as well as covering his own legal costs going forward.
Long awaited State Capture Inquiry begins
In August the long-anticipated State Capture Inquiry had begun. It saw former public servants and political heads appearing to testify before it. The Inquiry had begun unraveling the nest the Gupta family had created for itself in the country’s government.
The inquiry has already seen the downfall of Nhlanhla Nene as the minister of finance following after he had admitted to meeting with the notorious family despite denied it in 2015.
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