This was the year that pressure on Jacob Zuma ratcheted up. Former public protector Thuli Madonsela set the scene with her State of Capture report in late 2016, which gave the remedial action that the president should appoint an inquiry into the allegations of the capture of various organs of state by his friends the Guptas — but that the chief justice, and not Zuma, should appoint the judge to head it. He survived another motion of no confidence in Parliament, by a narrower margin than before; he got short shrift in a variety of court rulings, such as his attempt to have the State of Capture report set aside; and he courted the party’s wrath with a couple of ill-communicated Cabinet reshuffles, and his insistence on challenging a court ruling on the state capture inquiry in defiance of the party’s recent decision that it should go ahead. The year was rounded off with a Constitutional Court ruling that opens the door to impeachment proceedings over his defiance of the public protect...

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