Event Date and time: Thursday 24th November 2016 | 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Venue details: Committee Room Two, House of Lords | Houses of Parliament, London SW1A 0AA

Organisers: The Henry Jackson Society | violet.hudson@henryjacksonsociety.org

Event website: Tony Leon: South Africa’s Year of Living Dangerously

Event cost: Free

Change is afoot in South Africa. 2016 has been the most crisis-ridden year in Africa’s most developed political economy since 1994. The year began just after the country had endured three finance ministers in four days in December. Since then we have seen an election in which the ruling African National Congress (ANC) lost a sizeable portion of votes in the capital, Pretoria, and in Port Elizabeth. Even in Johannesburg the ANC failed to win an outright majority. These votes were hoovered up by the Democratic Alliance (DA), which gained 43% of the vote in the capital after the ANC was beset by scandal. And the year ends with the real prospect of a sovereign credit downgrade; not to mention a ruling party that continues to be besieged by gossip and embarrassment.

By kind invitation of Lord Risby, The Henry Jackson Society is pleased to invite you to an event with Tony Leon, the former leader of the recently boosted DA in South Africa. Mr Leon addressed our audience in the spring on the subject of South Africa’s place in Africa and the world. At that point it was already clear that 2016 would be the most challenging year in decades for the country; but little did he know that the party he helped to create would go on to gain such massive political ground. He will assess his comments from that time, discuss the role of the DA in South Africa today and read the tea leaves on its future prospects.

Tony Leon is a South African politician who served as Leader of the Democratic Alliance between 1999-2007. He led the Democratic Alliance from its inception in 2000, until his retirement from leadership in 2007 and is the longest serving leader of the official opposition in parliament since the advent of democracy in 1994. Mr Leon served as the South African Ambassador to Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay from 2009-2012. He is author of four books, most recently Opposite Mandela (Jonathan Ball, 2014).

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