South Africa’s democracy fighting for survival

South Africa President Jacob Zuma is under attack for extensive corruption and has just lost his position as African National Congress (ANC) leader to a protégé of the late Nelson Mandela. Will Parliament, controlled by the ANC in a multi-party system, impeach Zuma? Or can he survive until national elections in mid-2019?

Raissa Kanku is well-placed to examine the broader problems democracy faces in one of Africa’s most influential countries. Her talk will take place Friday, Feb. 16, from noon to 1 p.m. at the William Street United Methodist Church, 28 W. William St. in Delaware.

A resident of South Africa, Kanku is obtaining her bachelor’s degree in politics and government, and international studies at Ohio Wesleyan University.

Kanku has participated in conferences such as the Harvard Model United Nations and the UNESCO International Model United Nations, where she received the prestigious best delegate award. She also chaired the Pan-African Parliament committee at the African Leadership Academy’s Model African Union held in Johannesburg. She lead a discussion on gender equality in governance. She was one of four college students worldwide selected to participate in a panel discussion on global democracy in Greece in 2017 at the International New York Times Athens Democracy Forum.

A citizen of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kanku began visiting South Africa at age 14, and at 16, became a resident of Johannesburg, graduating from the African Leadership Academy high school. She presently works with several organizations, including one that supports and aids former child soldiers in the eastern portion of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

All Great Decisions meetings are held Fridays at the William Street UMC. Attendees are welcome to bring a brown-bag lunch. Coffee and tea are provided. The Great Decisions booklet with articles about the eight discussion topics may be purchased. Also available is a packet of questionnaires on the topics that may be collated with responses from all over the U.S. and sent to foreign policymakers in Washington, D.C.

The topic for Friday, Feb. 23, is “U.S. Global Engagement and the Military,” featuring retired U.S. Army Major General Dennis Laich.

Special to The Gazette

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