Posted with permission from

The robust anti-Zuma protests that climaxed in a peaceful recall of our president shows a country maturing in its freedom and democracy.

I disagree with Cheryl Hendriks' analysis that former president Jacob Zuma's recall is "the beginning of the end" and "South Africa is no longer the beacon of hope for the continent it once was".

Hendriks draws on pre-existing opinions, for example, by Prince Mashele that Zuma's ANC finally ends South African exceptionalism and "we're just like every other African country". I believe this is far too bleak a viewpoint if by "every other African country" they mean a failed postcolonial state run by a liberation movement gone rogue.

Yes, the ANC is awful. But there is a glass-half-full version of events here.

Cause for optimism

Bantu Holomisa of the United Democratic Movement (UDM), in welcoming the decision to recall Zuma, lauded South Africa's democracy:

"We can rightly say that the ANC only reached this decision because of the continued, consistent pressure exerted by opposition parties, civil society, and the media, who played a critical role in exposing institutionalised corruption such as #GuptaLeaks. It is encouraging that those who campaigned for Mr Zuma to vacate his office had free...