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Elections 2024     |     Fri 12 Jul

This limited series newsletter offers deep dives and timely updates from the Mail & Guardian’s esteemed politics and elections team. Your essential guide through South Africa’s pivotal elections, enriched by our historic journey from apartheid to democracy. Allow us to connect the past, present, and future of our nation’s democratic evolution.

National election debate at Fort Hare | Navigating South Africa’s political crossroads

As South Africa marks 30 years of democracy, this election debate at Fort Hare is more than just a discussion; it’s a pivotal moment for reflection, decision-making, and shaping the future of the nation.


What voters need to know about South Africa’s 2024 elections

For the first time since 1994, voters will be restricted to their home polling station when they cast their ballots in the 29 May elections.

Electoral court finds Zuma eligible to participate in elections

Former president Jacob Zuma could be a member of the National Assembly following the 29 May general elections, after the electoral court overturned the Electoral Commission of South Africa’s (IEC) decision to bar him from contesting.




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South Africans will once again go to the polls on 29 May in what is believed by many to be the most significant election since the first democratic elections held in 1994. As the country stands at a critical juncture, the Mail & Guardian, in partnership with the University of Fort Hare, is hosting a must-watch election debate to navigate the political, economic, and ethical crossroads facing the nation.

Scheduled for 17 April 2024 at the University of Fort Hare, this Town Hall debate will feature senior leaders from the country’s largest parties, making it a pivotal event in the lead-up to the elections.

Panellists include:

– ANC Deputy President Paul Mashatile

– Economic Freedom Fighters Deputy President Floyd Shivambu

– Democratic Alliance Chief Whip Siviwe Gwarube

– Inkatha Freedom Party Deputy President Inkosi Mzamo Buthelezi

– ActionSA Eastern Cape Premier Candidate Athol Trollip

Keep an eye out for the live stream HERE



Back to the future as parties talk government of national unity

Recent comments by Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen that the door was not closed to a potential governance arrangement with the ANC have sparked speculation about the creation of a government of national unity (GNU) after the 29  May elections.

The DA was at the forefront of creating the opposition Multi-Party Charter for South Africa, a pre-election coalition agreement aimed at dislodging the ANC, but Steenhuisen’s comments appear to indicate a realisation that they may not achieve their objective.

The ANC’s electoral losses are likely to rob it of its majority nationally, and past experience of attempting to manage coalitions made up of large numbers of small parties at the local government level — and with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) — may nudge it in the direction of convening a government of national unity instead with the DA.

Screenshot 2024 04 11 At 19.52.38

Nelson Mandela formed a government of national unity after the 1994 elections involving the National Party (NP) and the IFP, both of which had reached the threshold of 10% of the vote. The agreement allowing for this was reached during the negotiations at the Conference for Democratic South Africa and was contained in clause 88 of the Interim Constitution agreed upon in 1993.

The government of national unity was responsible for overseeing the transition to democracy, the establishment of integrated institutions of the new state and the implementation of the Reconstruction and Development Programme aimed at uplifting black South Africans and ending spatial apartheid.

It was also responsible for the creation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), which held hearings into human rights violations during the anti-apartheid struggle.

READ MORE | OPINION | Mandela and De Klerk: South Africa’s first election debate – 27 February 2024

READ MORE | NEWS | De Klerk on the GNU, minorities and transformation – 28 February 2005

READ MORE | EDITORIAL | Abandoning the ship or walking the plank? – 27 January 1995



04 Apr 8
The Weekly Mail & Guardian April 8-14 1994. “The week-long state of emergency in Natal and kwaZulu has already failed.”



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