The race to lead the African National Congress has turned ugly

SOUTH AFRICA’S ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), is on the verge of tearing itself apart with “dirty tricks”, says Gwede Mantashe, its secretary-general. As the ANC prepares to elect new leaders at a conference in December, a vicious battle is under way. The fight is broadly between those aligned with the party’s current leader, Jacob Zuma, who is the president of the country, and those who want to break his grip on the ANC.

Mr Zuma would like to see his ex-wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the former head of the African Union, succeed him as leader of the ANC. Cyril Ramaphosa, the deputy president, is her strongest opponent and, he claims, the victim of a “dirty war” by his comrades. Earlier this month his personal e-mails were hacked and leaked to a pro-Zuma newspaper editor, supposedly revealing extramarital affairs with at least eight women.

The story probably did Mr Ramaphosa no serious harm, not least because Mr Zuma has set new...

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