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Sep 17 2008

SA “radicalising” under Mbeki

Published by at 11:27 am under Opinion,South Africa

This article first published on my old blog on 9/6/2008. 

We are beyond the point where we should discuss whether there is tension between Mbeki and Zuma, or not. We are even beyond the point where the two should sit down and discuss their differences (as suggested in the article below). 

We are at the point where we must acknowledge that every day longer with Mbeki at the helm, is a day in which SA is pushed further in the “radical” direction. Zuma and Mbeki might still be able to exist next to one another – but is that in the best interest of the country?

The anti-refugee war has shown: The poor can’t “afford” the luxury of a Mbeki any longer. 

So, the longer the man stays, the bigger the jump will be to the left in the economic and other policies, when Zuma eventually takes over. Under the circumstances, the ANC should focus its energy on how to get Mbeki out – as soon as possible. Not on how to get Zuma and Mbeki to stomach one another. 

This article lifted from Fin24.com:

Zuma and Mbeki ‘unaware’ of rift between them 

June 09, 2008, 10:15

Steven Friedman, a research associate at Institute for Democracy in South Africa (Idasa), says the reconciliatory letter that has been written by President Thabo Mbeki and ANC president Jacob Zuma ‘is denying the tensions which exist in the ANC at the moment’. 

Friedman says he doubts the letter will deal with all the problems that have engulfed the ANC, especially after its policy conference that was held in Polokwane in December last year, where Mbeki was defeated by Zuma. ‘It is very doubtful that it will actually deal with the problems. In fact it may well create problems for Zuma because people in the new leadership of the ANC may feel that he is being too reconciliatory to Mbeki.’

Mbeki and Zuma wrote a letter to the City Press over the weekend, dispelling all the rumours and talks that there was a rift between the two. In the letter the two leaders discuss issues where they had different points of view. 

One of the issues that raised the eyebrows of the public on the rift in the ANC, was the Zimbabwe electoral crisis, in which Mbeki said there was no crisis, but days later Zuma said there was a crisis in that country. 

Friedman stressed that the two leaders have to work hard to heal the rift in the ANC by discussing their problem within themselves than using the media to solve their problems.

‘…At the moment all what they are saying is that there is no tension and people are exaggerating the problems. If you look at the ANC Youth League Congress and the North West ANC Congress, clearly there is massive tension. Perhaps what the two leaders ought to be doing is sit down and talk about it.’

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