[DEBATE] : (Fwd) SA politics still wild and wonderful
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Sun Apr 19 09:45:13 BST 2009
A primer on ruling party-press shmoozing, by Jessie Duarte:
Cosatu warns if unions sidelined, it will be war
April 19, 2009 Edition 1
Barely three days before the polls, the ANC is already warning that it
will not "appease" its allies by rewarding them with cabinet posts,
while Cosatu describes the "marginalisation" as "a declaration of war".
In an interview with the Sunday Tribune yesterday in Johannesburg, ANC
secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said they would go for competent people
in cabinet and not reward loyalty.
"If you try to make everybody happy, you will never get a team. (We
want) a team of people who perform, best performers.
"We engage the alliance. This does not mean we must appease the
alliance. If you do that, you will alienate a bigger part of the ANC,"
Mantashe said ANC president Jacob Zuma would put together his team as
soon as he was elected president after Wednesday's elections, in which
the ANC is expected to win resoundingly, despite a tough contest sparked
by its members breaking away to form Cope.
However, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said Zuma was going to
be pulled between big business, labour and conservatives within the ANC.
He said as soon as Zuma assumed office as president, he was going to be
"an extremely powerful individual, where everyone would want to have his
"We want to impose our working class hegemony. This is why others hate
us like poison in the ANC. We don't like them (either)."
Vavi was speaking at a rally in Cape Town yesterday.
There is already tension in at least two ANC provinces about the
contentious premier positions, with the alliance partners feeling sidelined.
Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini told the Sunday Tribune yesterday that
the ANC was almost regressing to a Thabo Mbeki-style marginalising of
"There seems to be a pattern in specific provinces where there is a
deliberate exclusion of alliance partners when the decision is made to
select premier candidates... There is an anti-communist, anti-workers
sentiment we are picking up.
"We can't accept that. This ANC was rescued by the workers. This is why
I say it is a declaration of war," Dlamini said.
Cosatu in the North West has accused the provincial ANC leadership of
unilaterally deciding on names without its input, while a similar
scenario is playing itself out in the Eastern Cape, where one of the
more popular candidates, SACP national treasurer Phumulo Masualle, has
been dropped from the premier shortlist.
While the alliance partners are battling for provincial and national top
positions, Mantashe warned that they would pay out old-order key civil
servants in the security agencies.
Asked if the exercise of purging the old-order employees would not be
expensive, Mantashe said: "You have to pay people out now.
"We know it is expensive to reverse the results of a negotiated
"Transformation must be done, it is costly, but it is an investment."
With hostilities between Zuma and the opposition fired up by the
somewhat dirty elections campaign, Mantashe termed the DA's "Stop-Zuma"
campaign and white commentators as racist.
However, Zille yesterday told the Sunday Tribune that those who said her
campaign was aimed at blacks were racist themselves.
"It is about corruption," she said.
Zuma in his own words
Hogarth Published:Apr 18, 2009
As the Kangaman prepares to assume the title of Commander-in-Chief,
Hogarth presents a short reader on the thoughts of the Rev Jacob Zuma:
Crime and punishment
# “There is no magic bullet, but I am a great admirer of King Shaka
Zulu, who could be ruthless.”
# “My conscience is clear. I have not committed any crime against the
state or the people of South Africa.”
# “There are people who argue that while nobody has a right to take
anybody’s life, criminals do and they say, bring the death penalty. I
say, if there is sufficient majority . .. we should have a referendum .”
He withdrew the suggestion.
# “In other countries, newspapers and broadcast stations are patriotic
and far less interested in things that could damage their countries’
reputations in the world. This is why one gets the impression that we
have much more crime than other countries.”
# “If I sit here and I look at a chief justice of the Constitutional
Court, you know, that is the ultimate authority, which I think we need
to look at it because I don’t think we should have people who are almost
like God in a democracy ... Why are they not human beings?”
# “At times I always use the word that democracy is elastic. But at
times people interpret democracy in their own words. What I think is
important — it should be within a particular framework that is
acceptable. How do you stretch it? It depends on how you look at
# “The land was taken from us over centuries, but when you want it back,
you are given a short space of time (to do so) and a cut-off date (is
applied) to such an important matter.”
Birds and the bee’s knees
# “I told her that I did not have massage oils, but only had baby oil.
She said it was fine. She loosened the kanga from the front so that I
could lower it. As I did that I noticed that she was not wearing her
panties. I realised that she was up to something.”
# “It (showering) ... would minimise the risk of contracting the disease
(Aids).” He apologised for saying this.
# “Should she (his accuser) have (said) that ‘Yes, I want Zuma to pay
lobola’, I would definitely do it. Yes, if we had reached an agreement I
would have had my cows ready.”
# “There are plenty of politicians who have mistresses and children that
they hide so as to pretend they’re monogamous. I prefer to be open. I
love my wives and I’m proud of my children.”
# “Same-sex marriage is a disgrace to the nation and to God. When I was
growing up, ungqingili (a gay man) would not have stood in front of me.
I would knock him out.” He apologised.
# “... teenage pregnancy — we must find a way to stop it ... because
what happens, even if you say they have a right to do so, once they get
their kids they leave them with their mothers, to the grannies so it
becomes the burden of the grannies. We must find a way as a nation to
say, how do we discourage that? I wish I would be supported on that;
once they do so they must be taken to colleges, forced to be educated so
that they can be in a position to look after themselves. It’s important
for any society to stand firm on discipline.”
Rites, wrongs of passage
# “We did all the things boys should do. Hunting birds, swimming in the
big rivers, fighting with sticks — what we call in Zulu the man-making.
It was absolutely wonderful. The teaching of respect was deep — how to
live in a community, how to do the things a man ought to do, like
propose love to girls. But critically, I was taught bravery. A man must
be brave. Nothing must defeat you.”
# “I have been trying to persuade the citizens of this country to a
point where we should not allow any child to be loitering around during
school time. We must force them to school; it is part of building the
Fiends will be friends
# “Of all the white groups that are in South Africa, it is only the
Afrikaners that are truly South Africans in the true sense of the word.”
# “The people love him, so how can we condemn him? Many in Africa
believe that there is a racist aspect to European and American criticism
Motlanthe: ‘Stop slating Mbeki’ - Mbalula under fire about open letter
to Thabo Mbeki
Wisani wa ka Ngobeni and Moipone Malefane Published:Apr 19, 2009
Silent: Thabo Mbeki has yet to comment on the letter
President Kgalema Motlanthe has lashed out at ANC heavyweight Fikile
Mbalula for attacking former president Thabo Mbeki in an open letter
published this week.
Motlanthe spoke for the first time on Friday about what he described as
“unbecoming conduct” on the part of Mbalula.
The ANC deputy president is the first leader in the ruling party to come
out publicly to rebuke Mbalula — considered to be one of the most
powerful leaders in the party — for his open letter, in which he accuses
Mbeki of betraying the legacy of former president Nelson Mandela.
In his letter, Mbalula, who is a member of the national executive
committee and head of the party’s election campaign— claims Mbeki had
allowed the ANC to “stumble on the edge of an abyss”.
Mbalula claimed Mbeki had decided to “spawn” COPE after being defeated
as ANC leader by Jacob Zuma at the Polokwane conference in December 2007.
Mbeki has yet to respond to Mbalula’s letter.
Speaking exclusively to the Sunday Times from Mahlamba Ndlopfu, the
presidential residence in Pretoria, Motlanthe said Mbalula would have to
explain his attack to the party’s NEC. He said he had not read the full
text of Mbalula’s letter and had not yet spoken to Mbalula about it.
“I have been trying to muster enough courage to read it so that I can
talk to him about it. I did chat to the secretary-general (Gwede
Mantashe) about it to find out what could have triggered this, and he
was not clear,” Motlanthe said.
“I do not know what (Mantashe) has done or whether he has acted on that.
It is the secretary-general’s job to ensure that we all act and conduct
ourselves within the constitution of the ANC,” he said.
Motlanthe added that no member of the ANC had a right to criticise
another member in the way Mbalula had tackled Mbeki.
“I just have difficulties in any ... of the membership of the ANC (who)
decides to define any member of the ANC (as) outside the ranks of the
(party) without due processes. The ANC constitution is very clear on the
obligations and rights of each member.”
Motlanthe said as a “bona fide” ANC member, Mbeki deserved to be treated
fairly and with respect. “This is the least he deserves.”
Motlanthe said the practice of ANC members addressing each other through
open letters “needs to be nipped in the bud”.
“I just think it is unbecoming ... I do not think it is a healthy way of
either engaging or conversing as members... because you can foster
divisions in the organisation by doing that.”
He said he would talk to Mbalula to find out why “he thinks his letter
enhances the ANC’s image and chances in the elections”.
“We have said over and over again that we must not talk about other
parties, but we must talk about the manifesto of the ANC. I do not know
what his letter seeks to clarify in terms of the ANC election manifesto.”
Mbalula stuck to his guns yesterday, saying: “I remain firm in my views
expressed in the letter and I therefore neither require permission of
the ANC deputy president in advancing such views as a member of the ANC,
nor expect him to agree with those views.
“It is rather disingenuous of comrade Motlanthe to suggest my actions
are un-ANC when Thabo Mbeki’s actions had all the hallmarks of
undermining the unity and integrity of the ANC, yet he never saw it fit
to call him to order,” Mbalula said.
Motlanthe also broke his silence on the controversial spy tapes, which
were instrumental in the National Prosecuting Authority dropping
corruption charges against Zuma.
Motlanthe revealed that the National Intelligence Agency had not briefed
him about the existence of the spy tapes, which implicate former
Scorpions head Leonard McCarthy and his former boss, Bulelani Ngcuka, in
a political conspiracy against Zuma.
Motlanthe said he had learned about the tapes on the day the NPA decided
to drop the charges against Zuma.
He added that although he — as president of the republic — is the
primary client of the NIA, he had not been consulted by the agency when
it decided to declassify the top-secret tapes.
Cope: ‘Mbeki is our trump card’
Dominic Mahlangu and Nkululeko Ncana Published:Apr 17, 2009
Party planning to present ‘mystery gift’ to former president on Sunday
MVUME Dandala might be their presidential candidate, and Mosiuoa
“Terror” Lekota their party leader, but the one man Cope members clearly
adore is Thabo Mbeki.
Not only does the Congress of the People plan to shower former president
Mbeki with gifts “for his outstanding leadership”, but Cope members have
proudly displayed election posters bearing Mbeki’s image.
The party’s spokesman in Eastern Cape, Nkosifikile Gqomo, said talks
were at an “advanced stage” to have Mbeki accept the party’s gifts in
person at Sunday’s Cope rally at Port Elizabeth’s Wolfson stadium, at
which former deputy president Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka will speak.
“Our plans are that he will attend the event on Sunday, where Cope’s
youth league will honour him for his outstanding work in the government.
This is a gesture from us following the bad treatment that he received
from the ANC.
“They no longer appreciate him, even after what he has done for this
country,” Gqomo said.
But Mbeki’s spokesman, Mukoni Ratshitanga, said he was not aware of
plans for Mbeki to attend the rally.
The Cope event will take place on the day the ANC holds its Siyanqoba
[victory] rally in Johannesburg. ANC president Jacob Zuma will deliver
his last public speech ahead of election day at the rally.
ANC spokesman Brian Sokutu told The Times that a message from former
president Nelson Mandela would be read at the rally.
Though Dandala has been trying to distance Cope from Mbeki’s
controversial legacy, the former president is clearly the hero of the
In Port Elizabeth yesterday, hundreds of Cope supporters marched down a
highway carrying a large poster bearing Mbeki’s face.
During Dandala’s visit to King William’s Town later in the day, Cope
supporters sang pro-Mbeki songs and chanted anti-Zuma slogans.
Popular among the crowd was a song that detailed Cope’s “six-step
“Step one, join Cope. Step two, register your name as a member. Step
three, campaign for Cope. Step four, bring back Mbeki. Step five, arrest
Zuma. Step six, take [ANC Youth League president Julius] Malema back to
school,” they sang.
Dandala joined in when supporters sang: “Mbeki, yo, my greatest leader;
Dandala, yo, my president.”
But Ratshitanga told The Times that the former president had not agreed
to Cope using his name in its campaign.
“We are not aware of this poster. But if it exists, and Cope is using
the name of the former president in its campaign, then the office of the
former president does have a problem with it.
“The former president has indicated that nobody should use his name for
their own political fortunes. Those members [using Mbeki’s name, even in
makeshift posters] are doing that for their own political fortunes,”
Mbeki has insisted that he remains an ANC member, though he has refused
to campaign for the party in this election.
This has led some leading members of the ANC to believe that he is the
brain behind Cope’s breakaway from the ruling party.
On Monday, the ANC’s election head, Fikile Mbalula, issued a stinging
open letter to Mbeki in which, among other things, he accused the former
president of backing Cope.
Julius Malema recently called Mbeki Cope’s spiritual leader, saying he
was their Dalai Lama.
“What Mbalula did by writing that letter was the last straw for us,”
Gqomo said. “We want to show him [Mbeki] that there are people who
appreciate him and what he has done for this country.”
News that Mbeki might attend a Cope event was cause for celebration
among Cope members in East London yesterday.
Ayanda Manqina, from King William’s Town, said Mbeki’s attendance at the
Cope rally would seal victory for the party at the polls on Wednesday.
“I just hope that he will make it to the event.
“His presence will prove to the world that we do love him as our former
“In our hearts, he will always be our president,” she said.
Boesak lashes out at Mbeki
BOBBY JORDAN Published:Apr 17, 2009
Congress of the People heavyweight Allan Boesak today lashed out at
former President Thabo Mbeki, saying he made several ’very very
important’ mistakes during his term in office.
Boesak, Cope’s premier-elect for the Western Cape, left the African
National Congress last year after publicly berating senior ANC leaders
for their apparent failure of leadership and principle and for
perpetuating the ’politics of race’.
Boesak’s comments to the Sunday Times appear to contradict pro-Mbeki
comments this week from some Cope leaders and supporters in other
provinces. Cope’s Eastern Cape spokesman, Nkosifikile Gqomo, told The
Times earlier in the week that Mbeki had not received due recognition
for his "outstanding work’ while in office.
Boesak disagrees: "For me the mistakes that Mbeki made remain very, very
important things. It may be true that people are saying that now that he
is not in power anymore and he might be a different person -- I cannot
"But I do believe that a lot of what had gone wrong in the ANC in terms
of its culture and its responses to the needs of the people had gone
wrong under Mbeki, and that remains true," Boesak said.
Boesak, who toured the Karoo and southern Cape this week, also
reiterated Cope’s decision not to consider political coalition with the
ANC post-elections, neither nationally nor in any of the more
closely-contested provinces such as the Western Cape.
"There are other political parties one could talk to if it comes to
that," Boesak said.
"Coalitions depend so much on a common basis of trust and a sharing of a
political vision," he said.
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