Saturday, December 22, 2007


No guarantee Zuma will be president

According to South African President Thabo Mbeki, there is no guarantee that new elected ANC head Jacob Zuma will get to lead the country.
Despite constant criticism by the white right, Mbeki has overseen the economy's longest period of expansion since the end of World War II, with growth accelerating to a 25-year high of 5.4 per cent last year. Not even the Nationalists could top that.
But this had done little to quell discontent among the workers, who say he has done nothing to relieve the 26 per cent unemployment rate or reduce poverty. Only someone who is truly communist could even out the huge imbalance left by apartheid.
But Zuma heading the ANC does not mean that the government is going to swing left. The ANC is still bound by economic policy as decided by the party and which will be carried out by the party leader.
It still remains to be seen, however whether or not Zuma will beat the corruption charges he is facing. Which-ever way this plays out the hysterical, and hysterical reaction of the former masters of the nation has been hilarious.
From shrieking that the country is doomed to a communist regime, to clapping their hands in glee at the prospect of a complete meltdown between the fractious Xhosa and Zulu nations they have been filling their blogs with doom, gloom and on one side, unmitigated relish at the firm belief that the West gives a fig about South Africa. Of course all these wild scenarios see the mighty whites rise again.
Personally I think the country's fragile peace and tenuous economy had about as much chance as a family friend staying over in Zuma's house - not likely to remain unscrewed.
But looking back at the ANC rule, you can understand how this contest can be celebrated as a resounding success of the party's stewardship of the nation. And this, from me, an ardent anti-ANC journo. In all honesty the country has not descended into the mass chaos predicted. There has not been a prolonged bombing campaign by disaffected whites. Inter tribal conflict has been minimal.
Despite white prediction there are no starving masses in the country. Health care has reached more South Africans than ever before, more South Africans are living in houses, more are getting fresh water.
Again, despite what the white right would have you believe the SA press is as freer now than it was under Nationalist rule.
And generally speaking the rule of law has been followed no matter who is in the dock - though I'm sure Mr Scott-Crosley might have room to disagree. He was convicted of tossing one of his former labourers to the lions - literally. Yes, only in Africa.
The standing joke of One Man, One Vote, One Time, does not apply in South Africa. And in fact it was this sentiment that precipitated Zuma's rise to power in the first place. Mbeki fumbled the pass of power. He should have handed off to someone like Tokyo Sexwale or even Cyril Ramaphosa, but he failed to do that. And in fear that the country was going to go the way of its northern neighbour, the ANC voted him ...O...U...T.
And pigs can fly. What have you been smoking, girl?
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