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Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and President Jacob Zuma at a cabinet meeting on January 31, 2018, in Pretoria. Photo: Thulani Mbele / Sowetan / Gallo Images / Getty Images

On Sunday, February 4, South African President Jacob Zuma was asked to resign by the six highest figures in the African National Congress (ANC), his own political party, but refused. The following day, he faced several difficult prospects: not only a move by his own party to recall him, but also a no-confidence vote by the Economic Freedom Fighters and an impeachment effort spearheaded by the Democratic Alliance, both opposition parties.

According to anonymous reports from an ANC caucus meeting today, Ramaphosa said that it was a “matter of days” before Zuma “goes.”

Zuma has been a gift that keeps on giving for the ANC's opposition, allowing them to disparage the entire party for the culture of corruption he brought about. Ramaphosa, a much less controversial figure and one less likely to be tempted by personal enrichment, is now firmly in control of the party. Should he successfully clean house and restore its image, the ANC will be able to recoup most of the losses it sustained under Zuma’s leadership.

The bottom line: Zuma is going and the country is moving on. The ANC is now better positioned for electoral success next year, and South Africa’s system of checks and balances between branches of government, political parties, and civil society has served the country well.

John Campbell is the Ralph Bunche Senior Fellow for Africa Policy Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Go deeper

Schumer's m(aj)ority checklist

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Capitalizing on the Georgia runoffs, achieving a 50-50 Senate and launching an impeachment trial are weighty to-dos for getting Joe Biden's administration up and running on Day One.

What to watch: A blend of ceremonies, hearings and legal timelines will come into play on Tuesday and Wednesday so Chuck Schumer can actually claim the Senate majority and propel the new president's agenda.

The dark new reality in Congress

National Guard troops keep watch at security fencing. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

This is how bad things are for elected officials and others working in a post-insurrection Congress:

  • Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) said she had a panic attack while grocery shopping back home.
  • Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said police may also have to be at his constituent meetings.
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) told a podcaster he brought a gun to his office on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 because he anticipated trouble with the proceedings that day.
Off the Rails

Episode 3: Descent into madness ... Trump: "Sometimes you need a little crazy"

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 3: The conspiracy goes too far. Trump's outside lawyers plot to seize voting machines and spin theories about communists, spies and computer software.

President Trump was sitting in the Oval Office one day in late November when a call came in from lawyer Sidney Powell. "Ugh, Sidney," he told the staff in the room before he picked up. "She's getting a little crazy, isn't she? She's really gotta tone it down. No one believes this stuff. It's just too much."