Zuma Rebellion Rocks ANC: Who is worse: Zuma or Mbeki?
- From: WWW.AfricanCrisis.Org
[The Star newspaper referred to the ANC conference as "Mbeki's four days
of Hell". It is stunning to see the amount of support Zuma has.
But now a new question is on my mind: Who is worse - Mbeki or Zuma? I am
quite shocked at how many Communists, and Trade Unionists are backing
Zuma. That bothers me.
And here is another worrying thing mentioned in the report below:
Apparently Mbeki had in mind the relaxing of Labour Laws on Affirmative
Action quotas. This goes against the grain of what the ANC has been doing
for years now and it would be good not only for us Whites, but for the
country too. This was smashed down by the delegates.
So I am starting to wonder, which is the greater of the two Evils: Mbeki
I'm not worried about who is corrupt - they all are - the whole lot of
them. But who is out to nail us Whites more? (Or doesn't it matter?)
Zuma seems to be firmly entrenched in the far left.
Furthermore, it appears there is now a Civil War inside the ANC - for the
first time ever - a real power struggle. Sure, division in one's enemies
is great - but then again, who will be the winner? And will the outcome
make things worse for us Whites? With Communist/COSATU support so strong
for Zuma, it is giving me cause to think again. Could Zuma be worse than
There is no question that the ANC has closed ranks, and this terrible
power-struggle is going to occur behind closed doors over the next 2-3
years. I wonder if it could change South African politics? And will the
results be better or worse for us Whites?
The ANC seems highly sensitive to letting people outside know the extent
of the struggle - but this is unprecedented - and this does not seem to
be part of the normal script for turning S.Africa into a Commie country.
There is a very real power struggle in the ANC for the first time ever,
and it seems to be a serious one. But the manner in which the Young
Communist League, the S.African Communist Party and COSATU went after
Zuma - bothers me a lot.
I think this particular power struggle will have to be watched closely.
President Thabo Mbeki's fortunes have plunged to a record low in a
humiliating week that saw the ANC rank and file throw their support
firmly behind the man he axed as deputy president.
A dramatic turn of events saw Jacob Zuma's power in the party rise, while
simmering discontent over Mbeki burst out in the open just as a crucial
ANC review conference was about to kick off.
The president was this week publicly humiliated in an unprecedented show
of anti-Mbekism by ANC supporters and delegates at the party's national
general council in Pretoria.
Mbeki supporters tried to drown them out
On Saturday night senior sources in the party said the president was
sharpening his knives for those forces of discontent - from the left and
the right of the party - whom he perceived to have rallied around Zuma.
On Sunday, Mbeki will address the closing plenary session to allay fears
of centralisation of the party. On Saturday afternoon he attended
discussions on the ANC's organisation report, which that committee
essentially threw out. Mbeki's move to modernise the party was seen by
delegates opposing him as an attempt to cement his authority.
After keeping the ANC leadership in the dark until the last minute, Zuma
arrived at the national general council opening ceremony on Thursday amid
chants from the floor of "Zuma my president", while Mbeki supporters
tried to drown them out.
The council meeting began in what some delegates called "a most horrible
atmosphere". There was a palpable air of tension and despondency, but a
day later the same people were jubilantly talking about a "coup" over
The drama started unfolding in public when, in a highly unusual departure
from his organisational report-back to the council, Kgalema Motlanthe,
the ANC secretary-general, explained to about 2 000 delegates why Zuma
had been fired.
'Everybody blames everything on him now'
It opened a window for delegates to discuss the issue, against Mbeki's
explicit wishes. Delegates were, however, barred from discussing Mbeki's
firing of Zuma, as well as his pending trial.
Instead they were allowed to discuss Zuma's role as ANC deputy president
and his decision last week to withdraw from "active party duties" pending
"It was a walkover," said a senior alliance delegate of the heated
discussions that followed. Delegates duly overturned an ANC national
executive committee (NEC) decision to allow Zuma "to be released from
party duties" that effectively relegated him to party deputy president in
In addition, most of the NEC policy proposals attributed to Mbeki
confidantes, notably those advocating deregulation of the labour market
and the redesign of the ANC's organisational structure to ensure greater
top-down control, are understood to have been resoundingly rejected.
Smuts Ngonyama, the ANC spokesperson, earlier admitted that the delegates
had little appetite for some of the proposals for tighter management of
party affairs, such as a more powerful NEC.
When Sankie Mthembi-Mahanyele, the deputy secretary-general of the ANC,
was asked yesterday whether this meant proposals to modernise the party
had been rejected, she said it had been decided to take the proposals for
organisational reform back to the branches for further discussion. A
decision would be taken at the ANC's 2007 congress. "There's no problem",
she said. "They just need more time."
It is understood that Mbeki cancelled his attendance at a royal wedding
in KwaZulu-Natal yesterday to address the council personally over its
perception that the executive, with its organisational redesign, was
trying to impose tighter top-down technocratic control over
The council snubs followed two weeks in which Mbeki seemed to have the
upper hand, apparently vindicated on his decision to axe Zuma and by the
goodwill displayed towards Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, whom he appointed as
deputy president. It is understood Mbeki and his top leadership believed
they had contained the fallout.
Zuma was reinstated to five powerful positions, including to the chair of
the national deployment committee, which is responsible for making key
appointments in the ANC and at all levels of government, the legislatures
and parastatals. This will enable him to continue dispensing party
patronage, an ace up his sleeve as it is now apparent he is not about to
quit the succession race.
Mosiuoa Lekota, the ANC's national chairperson, said the overturning of
the NEC decision was based on the principle that a person was presumed
innocent until proved guilty. As commissions started thrashing out ANC
policy behind closed doors on Friday, sources said discussions showed
that the recent drama around Zuma had entrenched an anti-Mbeki mood.
"Everybody blames everything on him now," said one delegate. Lekota
hinted that members who had publicly denounced Mbeki would be
This article was originally published on page 1 of Sunday Independent on
July 03, 2005
Source: Independent Online (IOL)