Comparing countries political and economic trajectories are always dangerous. Entirely different factors across every facet of society often make such evaluations more academic than practical. Still, events over the last week in Zimbabwe offer South Africa some important lessons amidst this country’s deepening political uncertainty. Here are 9 parallels and their consequences currently being played out – in different forms and intensity – both north and south of the Limpopo. 1.      Single-dominant political parties – especially those immediately post-Liberation like Zanu-PF and the ANC - conflate party and state at all times. When the State becomes the Party through cronyism, jobs for pals and a deliberate placement of cadres across all state institutions, the well-being of the state is simply attached to that of the governing party. Usually, the deterioration of state owned institutions and general service delivery as a result of patronage rather than skills being the litmus test ...

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