Past cabinet minister and current ANC NEC member Kader Asmal has come out quit openly in his support for Cyril Ramaphosa:
Meanwhile, amid calls for a “new generation” of leaders, Asmal said he hoped “a thousand” more ANC branches would nominate Ramaphosa for the party’s presidency.
Explaining his nomination last week by the Gaby Shapiro branch in Rondebosch – which has five cabinet ministers as members – the former education minister said Ramaphosa was the perfect candidate for the job.
“He’s got the quality of leadership we need,” said Asmal.
I’m not sure if Asmal’s opinions are any indication of what the current thoughts are in the Mbeki camp. Mbeki and Ramaphosa were rivals before Mbeki came to power in 1997, an event that led to Ramaphosa quitting active politics (but not his position on the ANC NEC).
Meanwhile ANC Youth League leader Fikile Mbalula warned possible candidate Tokyo Sexwale:
Because you have money, you think you can buy everyone with a heartbeat who can pronounce your name
Doesn’t Sexwale know that if you want to buy off the ANCYL your surname has to be ‘Kebble’?
Yet another high ranking ANC member has come out against the Mugabe government in Zimbabwe. While Kader Asmal is no longer a cabinet minister he is still a repsected figure in the ANC.
Why did I not speak before. I should have, I should have spoken as an internationalist who invoked international campaigning for apartheid South Africa” and was now speaking as a “proud citizen of a free South Africa who should have spoken out and campaigned against a regime which has brought Zimbabwe to its knees.
Probably because like most ANC politicians in government you put party above all else and you’d rather keep a cushy cabinet job than have Thabo Mbeki fire you. An interesting point that Asmal repeats is that Mugabe didn’t suddenly turn into some tyrant over night. He’s been happily killing his own people since shortly after he took over power in 1980.
Why do I speak now? I should have done so in the 1980s, when thousands of people were murdered by the infamous Fifth Brigade in Matabeleland.
Thabo Mbeki has a history of using commissions as a political tool. It was barely three years ago that he convened the Hefer Commission to decide whether Bulelani Ngcuka (also head of the NPA at the time) was a spy for the Nationalist government. That commission ended in exoneration for Ngcuka and humiliation for Mo Shaik and Mac Maharaj who had made the accusations. It strengthened the case against Mo’s brother Schabir Shaik and by imlpication against Jacob Zuma as well.
This time however we have a new commission headed up by former Speaker of Parliament Frene Ginwala and instead of looking to exonerate NPA chief Vusi Pikoli it will be looking to decide whether he was abusing his role and had become a ‘rogue agent’ of sorts.
It’s interesting to note the tactic that government is taking in going after Pikoli. They are accusing him of abusing his “discretion in the decision to prosecute offenders or grant immunity from prosecution to suspects allegedly involved in organised crime”. From all the rumours going around it seems Pikoli has offered Brett Kebble murder suspect Glenn Agliotti some kind of deal in exchange for some juicy goods on Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi, his (ex?) friend “finish and klaar”.
This will allow government to show some righteous moral indignation that Pikoli was consorting with an accused murderer to go after a government official. I predict lots of statements talking about how justice in the Kebble case was being subverted for other aims and how Agliotti is not to be trusted. Any deals that were in the works will be quietly scuppered and Agliotti will receive the full weight of the law and be shuffled off to C-Max never to be heard from again.