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Southern Africa's people to watch in 2018


Makhosi Khoza















Makhosi Khoza - ANC rebel (South Africa):

Khoza dedicated her life to the African National Congress (ANC), believing  it was the only party to bring about change in a divided country.

But she lost faith  in the ANC and was one of Jacob Zuma’s most vocal critics inside the party and parliament.
In August she defied the ANC line and publicly called on him to step down.
Facing threats against her life and those of her children, she was hauled before a disciplinary hearing by the party. Khoza resigned from the ANC and parliament, and  has since called on all South Africans “to exercise their right by voting the ANC out of power”.
An articulate and sharp  voice, she holds a doctorate in administration and has over two decades  of experience in the public and private sectors. Her supporters want her to start  her own political party, but Khoza has been tight-lipped on her plans.
In the meantime, she is working with civil society to campaign for the improvement of science and maths education. 
José Massano - A reformer returns (Angola):
Having been fired amidst claims that he was too reform-minded for the previous government of José Eduardo Dos Santos, José Massano is now  back as head of Angola’s central bank.
President João Lourenço reinstated Massano in October, showing with this and several other appointments and announcements that he intends to fight corruption and limit the influence of the Dos Santos family.
Massano has a big job on his hands  to restore confidence in the financial sector and bring back correspondent banking relationships, many of which have ended over graft fears. Stabilising the exchange rate and stemming inflation are other top priorities.
Busisiwe Mkhwebane - Unpopular public protector (South Africa):
As South Africa’s public protector, Mkhwebane heads an institution intended to uphold South Africa’s democracy and investigate misconduct in state affairs without fear or favour.
She is instead now part of the struggle over whether South Africa’s state institutions  can remain independent and serve the public over powerful interests.
Although corruption-busting predecessor Thuli Madonsela was  a hard act to follow, Mkhwebane  is a controversial and unpopular figure after a year in office. Speculation is growing that 2018 may see her removed.
This article first appeared in the December/January 2018 print edition of The Africa Report magazine

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