South Africa Vows to End Corruption. Are Its New Leaders Part of the Problem?

Some see a deep cynicism behind the conditions in the schools. When black South Africans become educated and move into the middle class, their loyalty to the party tends to wane, recent elections have shown. So by perpetuating a culture of dependence, critics contend, the A.N.C. ensures its dominance.

But Ms. Mhaule, the childhood peer of Mr. Mabuza, rejected any suggestion that the A.N.C. had failed to prioritize education.

Before becoming deputy foreign minister, she served as Mr. Mabuza’s education minister in the province for nearly a decade. The A.N.C., she said, had built schools in every corner of the country, making education accessible to all. The government gives students meals, books and, to the poorest, free education. It also issues monthly grants to children, pensions to the…

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