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Sep 09 2008

Good news from the dark continent…maybe

Published by at 10:00 am under Opinion,South Africa

First published on my old blog on 14/6/2005. An interesting read – more so now than then! A lot can happen in three, short years. 

South African newspapers reported yesterday president Mbeki had called a special sitting of parliament for today. Although he didn’t say what it was about, the media speculated Mbeki might use the opportunity to fire his deputy Zuma. 

Good news for more than one reason: Firstly, because a potential destabilising factor will then have been neutralised before it could fester. 

Secondly, it will show sceptical observers (including myself) that Mbeki can actually act decisively. That will be such a refreshing breeze! 

Thirdly, it will do a hellavalot for South Africa’s image as a country determined to stamp out corruption. An example to all in Africa. 

Fourthly (and the one I’m particularly excited about), this might boost Trevor Manuel’s chances for president. 

Now, would that not be something? If South Africa could get a president who understands the economy…. 

That would be a real first for Africa, if ever there was a first. 

I’ve been very bold (some might say reckless) with my forecasts, but if Trevor is nominated as the ANC’s candidate for president, it must be good for the rand. 

Why? Because Zuma always was (and still is) a Cosatu and ANC Youth League man. And you know what that means. It means slack economic policies. 

Or, at least, slacker than Trevor has thought it wise to run the economy. 

With Zuma out the way, the chances for responsible economic policies into the next decade must rise. 

And, that’s not all. With the post of finance minister vacant, that would give Maria Ramos her big chance – the chance she deserves so much. 

And since all of this will only happen by 2008, Trevor and Maria could go on doing there good deeds for the economy until then. While a stand-in deputy president “heals” the wounds our dear Zuma have caused. 

A final thought: Over the past 5 years the media were blasted many, many times by politicians for insisting something was wrong with the arms deal. In fact, the media stomached almost as much abuse as the politicians! The message was always: This is a “heksejag” on innocent politicians. 

Now we know it was correct to pursue this. 

So, the big question: Will the politicians (and I think Mbeki was critic number one) go public to praise the media for their role in exposing the corruption? And to apologise for their “wrong assessment” of the situation…..and the things they said against the media? 

Now, that would be totally “out of Africa”, if you catch my slang, dude. 

But, don’t hold your breath.

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