Sunday, 21 September 2008

Personal thought on political situation in South Africa

A friend from overseas asked me this week what I thought about the ruling concerning Jacob Zuma, and I guess the next question that follows this weekend is what I feel with regard Thabo Mbeki and his resignation.

I am no political commentator, and I know well enough that what I think one thing is going to happen in a political arena, another generally does!

But the transition of power from Mbeki to Zuma was always going to happen, and the two questions really were when and how. These are now answered, though the “how” remains a little clouded in mystery.

With regard the view of myself and people around me, I think we generally feel that this was going to happen, that perhaps a new energy will be injected into the government, and yet at the same time, perhaps a new direction – and it is perhaps the direction more than anything that is a concern.

It was very worrying to me to see the mass action that was threatened prior to the announcement of the ruling in the Zuma case. I certainly got the feeling that, regardless of where guilt lay or didn’t lie, the country got a better result through the case being dismissed – as for it to have gone ahead would have triggered mass action and public demonstrations that have long not been seen here. Possibly with violent outcomes.

And one has to wonder if that will be a theme going into a new era in South Africa?
President Mbeki has just made a speech on national TV, lauding the achievements of successive governments he has been part of since 1994, and saying how these governments have always upheld and defended the judiciary in the country. Whether this is true or not might only be revealed in any subsequent judicial findings – but more to the point is whether this defence of the judiciary will continue in the future. Certainly there were some worrying signs in the past few weeks.

South Africa continues to be a strong economic force in Africa and within the global market, and this must continue in the future. For the sake of the country and the future of its people, there surely can only be one direction that the government can choose.

Let’s hope that is the direction chosen.


Jonny said...

Hi there! Politics never interested me much before moving to South Africa. The people involved are juicy characters and the whole political arena shocking!

Most of all I'm asounded to see people accept such unacceptable standards from the politicians. Politicians should be role models and a good example for the people...???

Zuma's desperate efforts to avoid prosecution is that of a guilty man! In any event, you can't have a leader suspected of such charges. Also, how can Shabir Sheik be in prison when Zuma who actually reseived the very same money is now about to become president???!!! Unbelievable!!

Zapiro's charicature of Zuma gives an exact portrayal of Zuma's integrity. You can't shower off HIV after unprotected sex...

Personally I have lost all faith in South African politics. To charge Zuma and put a decent guy on top would have been the only way to restore some credibility on the international arena. The Xhosa, Venda, Zulu's and the other SA tribes don't care about that of course... As long as Zuma can shake his Zulu ass they are amazingly enough happy...

Riots or not, Zuma will be a disaster, and he should have been charged like any other guy and at least prove his innocence.

I've heard ANC top politicians (Zuma loyals) say that they are happy to let the whole political system collapse in order to speed up the BEE processes in the country. With the crime on top, it's a very worrying situation for SA! I wanted to build a future in SA, but decided not to after living there for 2 years. Actually it was my South African wife who first wanted to leave!

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