Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma share one big weakness
If President Thabo Mbeki is the CEO of SA Inc, the new cabinet announced in the ANC, and Mbeki's ace in the cabinet, Dlamini-Zuma is tipped for . She is the daughter of political stalwart Joe Matthews, who recently retired. ment has tried to learn from its predecessor, the Mbeki government Jacob Zuma foreign policy, concentric circles, national interest . ment in meeting our domestic priorities through international partnerships and cooperation'.3 In ,. DIRCO borrowed from the work of Joseph Frankel, who argued that. Mbeki and Zuma are symptoms of the deeper institutional malaise of the ANC's inability to become a modern political party.
- Meet Mbeki's 'delivery' team
- Thabo Mbeki
Jacob Zuma would deputise for Ramaphosa as deputy secretary-general. One name notably absent from the top leadership structure was that of Thabo Mbeki.
Ramaphosa, it seemed, had won the day. But it was not to be. As suddenly and surprisingly as he had risen to a position of strength, he lost ground to Mbeki as the date drew near for the formation of a new government after the first democratic election. Ramaphosa had been elected as ANC secretary-general, but power was already slipping out of his hands within the party. Mandela had to choose who would serve as his deputy president in government.
The episode is recounted by William Mervyn Gumede: Despite the ANC conference triumph, the presidency still slipped out of Ramaphosa's hands. Even Mandela's partisan support counted for nothing. Just as Jawaharlal Nehru had been singled out for leadership when the Congress Party of India took power after independence inMbeki was anointed by the ANC's elders.
Mandela And Zuma: A Tale Of Two Presidents
This proposal in fact had little to do with the respective merits of the two men - both of whom he holds in high regard as hugely capable leaders - but with his concern about allegations of Xhosa dominance while a non-Xhosa of Ramaphosa's capabilities was available. There was a buzz of nervous anticipation, which fell into a deathly hush as Ramaphosa walked in. Standing, he looked them in the eyes, paused, released his gentle smile and said - I will never forget the words - 'In a few weeks, we are all going to make history together.
People looked around; did he say 'we'? We are going to make history together? Not 'them' making it for 'us'. William Mervyn Gumede When I spoke to Ramaphosa some 20 years later, inhe said he believed Mandela wanted him to be his deputy president but had been countermanded after consulting senior figures in the party: Yes, it is true that Madiba had wanted me to play that role, but he had to consult other people and it was entirely within his right to consult a number of people and those people felt that I was still too young.
The president has made the circle smaller, taking counsel from a smaller and smaller coterie of loyalists in his Cabinet and in various kitchen cabinets. This has not served the nation well as the economy has tanked and the only interesting things the state is doing is in science and technology, in which the president takes little interest.
Mandela and his wife Graca Machel background are on a three-day state visit to Canada. Langa writes about the Mandela era: These were people who had acquitted themselves admirably in their various leadership duties in structures at home and in exile. However, there was still a lot of vetting before a name could be given a green light. The president's 13th Cabinet reshuffle in October was one of caprice and, informed, arguably, by greed.
In fact, reshuffles numbers seven to 13 have largely been irrational actions where the golden thread of political sense was missing. The appointment of David Mahlobo as Minister of Energy is widely seen as an effort to ram through the nuclear deal from which lucrative commissions may stem.
There are some highly talented people in the SA cabinet, but for the most part, they are complements of no-name brands and obscure provincial appointments recommended by the President's kitchen cabinets. This president used the positions of deputy ministers to build national unity. They often came from opposition political parties or from the ranks of coloureds, Indians or whites in order to give effect and meaning to diversity.Zuma leads song at a Mbeki party
The president has ballooned his executive to 39 deputy ministers and he uses these choices to install personal loyalists into powerful positions to bolster and protect him when he faces internal ANC challenges. Langa writes that Mandela spent a lot of time thinking about "How are the interests of the different national groups to be accommodated within non-racial unity?
The liberation struggle, which has been fought for eight decades in our country, was underpinned by deep thought and searching for answers to questions about the nature of our society.
The media were kept away from him on this particular occasion.
While Zuma's formal speeches favour non-racialism and unity, in two cadres forums late last year, he took a very different tone implying that the ANC did not have power because it does not have its levers on the hands of economic power. This is a popular view, but it also underpins the fact that in eight years of being president, he did not significantly grow wealth nor alter the patterns of its distribution. In November at a cadres forum, Zuma said: If you go to any African country, Africans are running their economies.
It is only here in SA where people indigenous to the country are not in charge of the economy. That would be us. And while Mandela reflected in office on what to do with power at various levels, Zuma's understanding of it as evinced at a cadres forum last November is far more crude as it fails to equate any value to state power which is significant.
Mandela And Zuma: A Tale Of Two Presidents | HuffPost South Africa
Political power, which we have, enables you to win elections. You can write the law with this power and run the country. The second pillar is money matters or the economy. The third pillar is defending the country or what is called the security of the country," Zuma said.
Those in charge of the economy, try to influence those with political power. Unfortunately, those who have political power have that alone, you cannot eat political power.
First among equals?
Jacob Zuma at an ANC cadres' forum. It will start to weaken This is what leads to what happens after 20 years where things change and political power can no longer grow. If you have political power but do not control the economy, it means that there are people who are in charge of something serious. Those in charge of the economy have something they can actually eat.
At this conference, Mandela will be stepping down as the president of the ANC and leaving the presidency to Mbeki. As president, he believed in the innate goodness of human beings.
Zuma's is now a presidency built on tension and mutual suspicion.