[DEBATE] : (Fwd) Zuma's zigzags (or elite confusion)?
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Tue Dec 11 04:33:09 GMT 2007
(For headlines, this is revealing: BD on Monday has an olive branch; and
the IOL leads on Tuesday with 'Zuma's Attack on Mbeki')
10 December 2007
Zuma extends olive branch to Mbeki camp
Wilson Johwa and Karima Brown
AFRICAN National Congress (ANC) leadership hopeful Jacob Zuma yesterday
attempted to cut a presidential figure and rise above the bitter
politicking in the run-up to the party’s conference, offering an olive
branch to his critics and promising his support to any eventual victor.
Amid calls from his political backers to not seek “revenge” in the event
that he wins the ANC race against President Thabo Mbeki, Zuma told a
South African Communist Party rally at Bekkersdal, on the West Rand,
that the ANC must unite behind its new leadership.
“I have accepted nomination knowing that the result could be anything,
and I am ready to accept any outcome. When we come back from Limpopo we
will be united behind that leader. That is our duty, that is our task.”
Zuma’s comments come amid an intense fight-back campaign from Mbeki’s
backers, led mainly by cabinet ministers, following Zuma’s early lead in
the ANC’s provincial nominations. His remarks also set the scene for a
meeting today of the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC), its last
gathering before a new NEC is elected.
The succession race has rent the party down the middle as factions
aligned to the two men slug it out. Whoever becomes the ANC’s next
president will have the task of uniting a divided ruling party after the
dust has settled.
While Zuma proffered an olive branch to his detractors, he did not miss
an opportunity to launch a veiled attack on Mbeki, warning of an
“accumulation of power at state house”.
“This is an example I have been giving to people. After independence,
liberation movements in Africa cease to be known and people only know
the name of the leader,” Zuma said.
He condemned alleged attempts to influence the outcome through patronage
and cash. “Let us not make the ANC a mercenary organisation that buys
people. It may help individuals but not the ANC,” he said.
Weekend news reports said a cabinet minister was among those who sought
to use cash and other inducements to influence voting delegates.
Zuma also lambasted ANC leaders who questioned the nominations process
in branches, saying that democracy in the ANC “cannot be subverted”. He
came out against those who “use gender to achieve certain political
agendas”. This follows the ANC Women’s League’s decision to nominate him
for president instead of Mbeki, who has promoted women in the
government. Zuma, who has been out of the country, yesterday broke his
silence amid accusations from Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota that he
had been less than candid about his troubles with the law.
Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) general secretary
Zwelinzima Vavi, who flanked Zuma at the rally, endorsed Zuma’s
conciliatory sentiments, saying “there will be no vengeance, we want a
single ANC”. However, Vavi took on Zuma’s critics, saying state
resources were being used against the ANC deputy president to prevent
him from becoming the party’s new leader.
Zuma’s backers in the tripartite alliance accuse cabinet ministers of
wanting to hold on to their jobs as their main reason for endorsing an
Mbeki third term as ANC president.
“Look at the number of shares the chairman (Mosiuoa Lekota) of the ANC
has. That’s why he is so angry. Look at their bank accounts. We are
talking about the very rich and privileged. We are talking about
legendary womanisers who want 50-50 (gender parity) in the hope that
other things can happen. Women’s empowerment means empowerment of
themselves,” Vavi said.
He likened attempts to buy votes to the strategy of the former National
Party, which in its dying days tried to buy black support.
“They slaughtered cattle and we ate it but still voted ANC. Our message
is take the money and buy bread for your children but vote with your
conscience,” Vavi said.
He said Cosatu wanted to close the chapter of divisions in the alliance.
“We want change in the ANC. We are going to Limpopo to bury the politics
of elites,” he said.
Vavi said Zuma’s leadership of the ANC would “usher in space for
He outlined why Cosatu backed Zuma instead Mbeki.
“You (Zuma) will listen to us, you won’t write us a letter every Friday.
What kind of leadership is that? You will not label us ultraleft,
infantile or racist when we disagree with you,” Vavi said.
Could Mbeki be charged? And other questions
10 December 2007, 12:34
with Moshoeshoe Monare
'Polokwane will be bruising affair'
Ask an expert about Polokwane 2007
By Renee Moodie
If Jacob Zuma becomes president of the African National Congress, could
President Thabo Mbeki be charged for his part in the arms deal?
That's one of the intriguing questions posed in an online chat forum
about the Polokwane 2007 conference to be held later this week (December
15 to 20).
The chat, between readers and Moshoeshoe Monare (the Independent News
and Media Deputy Group Political Editor), was hosted by IOL.
The question, posed by a reader using the nickname modise, could only be
answered by saying there is no indictment, and no one knows.
Other questions, though, were more easily dealt with. They included:
fatman asked: why is it that the most important race in ANC politics
only has two "athletes" , i find it ironic that the biggest political
organisation can only stage two candidates?
Moshoeshoe: I wrote in the Sunday Independent about the same thing, that
members are to blame for narrowing their choices to two men whose
personality clashes triggered division
IOL533: do you think we all (non- ANC Members) white and blacks
(specifically black professionals) are to blame for our lack of interest
in active politics ... we could have been active branch members and
pushed for "better" candidates
Moshoeshoe: hi 533, again, this Sunday I used WB Yeats to say the best
lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity.
that's my opinion
IOL415: Do you think Zuma will plan a revenge to all those who he
believe did him wrong? (including Mbeki)
Moshoeshoe: I don't think so. I spoke to him on several occasions,
including private discussions, he is not the vindictive but remember the
corruption and rape case hurt him badly. He believes, wrongly or
rightly, that they want to finish him off. He may, my personal view,
want to make changes but not revenge.
luntu: What do you think of Winnie's intervention, given the reported
sour relationship between her and President Mbeki?
Moshoeshoe: luntu. My understanding is that Winnie and Mbeki had kissed
and made up. I read her intervention as guaranteeing Mbeki a third term
because she says they must be retained as they are.
Tebogo: Hi, why do think President Mbeki opted to run for presidency of
the ANC instead of supporting the Woman for ANC presidency.
Moshoeshoe: Hi Tebogo, during our interview with him, my reading was
that he wanted to preserve his legacy and the woman presidency backtrack
I think was due to the fact he thinks none is strong enough to beat Zuma
Rez: Do you think that the SA presidency race will ever be more like the
American presidency race? Where the citizens vote for a leader instead
of taking the leader of the winning party?
Moshoeshoe: I prefer the US system but I don't think it will change.
Tinky: Mbeki is not a people person - JZ has the common touch.
Unfortunately, it might turn out to be too common...
Moshoeshoe: Tinky I think humans are different in personality and we may
need to adjust to different leaders. Manadela was different from Mbeki
so is Zuma from Mandela
Vulcan: question: Will Shabir Shaik get exonerated pending Zuma's
Moshoeshoe: Vulcan, I don't think so because he was convicted by the
court of law and lost appeals.
Mshoe: How is the Cosatu going to benefit if Msholozi win the Race?
Moshoeshoe: Gege I think the Zuma presidency will be pro left in talk
and centrist in walk. Cosatu will be benefit by being close to the
Abuse of state power highlighted
Zuma's attack on Mbeki
December 11, 2007 Edition 2
Wendy Jasson da Costa
With five days to go to the ANC's national conference, Jacob Zuma went
for the jugular, laying bare all the shortcomings of President Thabo
In a thinly veiled attack on his rival for the ANC president's position,
Zuma used an International Human Rights Day lecture at Wits University
yesterday to highlight crime, education, poverty, abuse of women and
children, and the one probably closest to his heart - abuse of state power.
In a hall filled to capacity, mainly by his supporters, the ANC deputy
president said it was important for South Africans to uphold the
constitution and ensure that state organs operated under the democratic
principles enshrined in it.
"These principles must not be abused in any way by anyone," said Zuma.
His followers have always argued that organs of state have been abused
to target him, specifically in relation to his on-off fraud and
Zuma said yesterday that there should never be a time when abuse of
authority and state power was tolerated or excused.
"In the same vein, our citizens need to maintain careful watch to ensure
the separation of powers, so that the executive can never exercise undue
influence over the judiciary and parliament."
One of the many criticisms against Mbeki was that the executive held too
much power, while members of the ANC, SA Communist Party and Cosatu had
accused Mbeki of taking decisions without consulting them.
Zuma said the constitution and the universal declaration of human rights
was essential because history showed that some humans had the
"indeterminate and insatiable tendency to undermine and deprive the
rights of others".
Taking a dig at Mbeki's policy of "quiet diplomacy" towards Zimbabwe,
Zuma said it was tragic that there were world leaders who witnessed
repression and pretended that it was not happening, or was exaggerated.
"When history eventually deals with the dictators, those who stood by
and watched the deterioration of nations should bear the consequences,"
said Zuma. On poverty, he said there were "pockets of grinding poverty"
that existed just metres away from "opulence", that went unnoticed by
Zuma's speech also dealt with the issues of crime and HIV/Aids. He said
many lived in fear of violent crime and hid behind security barriers,
but that fear was not the "natural state" of a free people.
Zuma also accused the country's laws of being "user friendly" towards
criminals. "In a country where we don't have (the) death penalty, then
the laws must bite."
To loud applause, Zuma said that if education was recognised as a basic
human right, it should be free for all and not something that should be
bought. He also said HIV should be treated as a national emergency.
rez: If Zuma should win - what do you think will his most positive
Moshoeshoe: Rez he has a way of making people to feel they are
important. and that feeling has been lost in the ANC for a long time.
More information about the Debate-list