“The way the Scorpions [and the NPA] have continued to conduct themselves has raised a lot of eyebrows and the people have lost faith in the institutions,” said Maleka.I have a feeling that if Maleka took a poll he’d find support for the NPA and Scorpions to be a bit higher than expected. Perhaps what he meant to say is “Why do the NPA investigate prominent polititicians? Don’t they know we’re above the law?”
He said an overhaul of the NPA and the Scorpions is needed in order to improve the public’s trust in them. “More than perhaps the suspension, we need a serious overhaul which must be informed by the resolutions of the ANC national general council in 2005 and the policy conference that took place this year.”
...on getting married. Just one question comrade, don’t you think the horse drawn carriage was a touch too much bourgeoisie? And it’s going to be a lot harder to criticise those BEE fat cats when your wife’s working for Patrice Motsepe…
The Western Cape provincial branch of COSATU is about to withdraw from the nationwide public services strike. I assume this means they have decided to accept the government’s latest salary increase offer.
I think this is a bit of a watershed moment in labour/government relations. Not only is there a split in the ANC/COSATU/SACP tri-partite alliance but it seems there might even be splits amongst COSATU itself, both at a national level (between Willie Madisha and Zwelinzima Vavi) and now on a regional level. It will be interesting to see how other COSATU provincial branches react.
It’s also interesting to note that many people suspected COSATU planned to use the strike in order to influence the upcoming ANC policy committee meeting. Now COSATU are going into the meeting with even less power than before.
The SACP is worried about the founding of the Progressive ANC Voters Network, a ‘caucus’ (for want of a better more official sounding word) whose founders include TAC leader Zackie Achmat, who still confounds me with his decision to publicly support the ANC despite the ANC controlled government wishing he would just go away and die (literally). I guess that’s idealism.
The fact that there are internal movements within ANC membership is not really a suprise but these have always been unofficial and more of a loose affiliation than a formal organisation like the Progressive ANC Voters Network aims to be. Nevertheless they are extremely important. Thabo Mbeki managed to get the influential ‘Islanders’ (ANC politicians who had done time on Robben Island- Mandela) to back him and his ‘Exiles’ (ANC politicians who spent most of the struggle in exile) over the much more popular Cyril Ramaphosa. And of course Jacob Zuma has his pals in the ‘Operation Vula’ gang.
Now these affiliations and groupings are pretty much an open secret but they are only discussed behind closed doors as the ANC loves to do. Which is probably why the SACP objects to this as I would guess a ‘progressive’ network such as the one Achmat has started could steal some of the leftist thunder from the SACP.
Despite the continued statements concerning unity in the tripartite, alliance the relationship between the ANC and COSATU/SACP is not getting any better. A weekend meeting between the ANC and it’s alliance members nearly resulted in a walkout of COSATU/SACP delegates after Deputy Finance Minister Jabu Moleketi accused them of “tailism”(?), attempting to turn the ANC into a socialist organisation and not producing enough leaders. He also said their father was an elderberry and their mother wore combat boots. Ok I made up those last two.
I expect as the ANC NEC elections get closer we’ll be seeing even more of these outbursts.
Following Thabo Mbeki’s criticising of SACP leader Blade Nzimande the Feud That Will Not Die™ now enters another messy chapter. Of course the Young Communists League responded in a quiet and dignified manner which then caused the ANC to criticise them further.
You know I called the end of the tripartite alliance way back in June but it seemed for a brief moment after that proclamation that things might work out but alas I’m sticking with what I said on the 20th June. Even if the alliance still perseveres in public, behind the scenes it seems like it’s not even functioning any more.
Moneyweb has two opinion pieces today on possible presidential contenders. Barry Sergeant writes about Tito Mboweni calling him ‘Zuma’s Nemesis’. Mboweni has long been put forward as a potential contender by many who have been impressed by his governorship of the Reserve Bank. It’s a logical choice considering that Trevor Manuel still insists he doesn’t want the top job (which we’re still in denial about by the way), as people look to the next ‘fiscally conservative’ ANC politician in line. Should it be absolutely certain that Manuel has no chance of attaining leadership of the ANC, and therefore leasdership of the country, then I don’t see any obvious reasons why Mboweni would be an unsuitable candidate.
A more suprising choice, in a piece authored by veteran business journalist Alec Hogg, is Minister of Safety and Security Charles Nqakula. Alec gushes over Nqakula saying that ‘Like [Trevor] Manuel, the latent talent is obvious.’ and claims that those within the ANC consider him a very serious contender.
Now what’s interesting about Nqakula is that he is Chairman of the SACP which means that the SACP should be putting their support behind him instead of Jacob Zuma.
Despite me chaving previously called the tripartite alliance a thing of the past it continues to persist despite visible and widening rifts between the ANC, COSATU and SACP. That might be due to the fact (probably well known to all three players) that should SACP/COSATU split, the ANC will still get 60% of the vote.
Now those of you fearing a Zuma lead COSATU/SACP presidency can breathe a bit easier however this highlights a problem trend with the electorate of SA. Despite there being major grievances with the performance of government. people are still reluctant to vote for anyone else, preferring to show their displeasure not via the ballot box but with street protests.
Now this actually suits the ANC. Sure they get some bad press with protestors wailing on about no service delivery, but at the end of the day they are still in power.
Moeletsi Mbeki is the deputy chairperson of the South African Institute of International Affairs as well as a businessman and political analyst. He is also Thabo Mbeki’s younger brother. On certain issues he disagrees with his brother, for instance Moeletsi has described the current form of BEE, where a few politically connected businessmen are involved in the majority of large deals, as worse than colonialism.Now when it comes to Jacob Zuma and his supporters amongst COSATU and the SACP I have a feeling their thoughts are more in sync. In fact I think Moeletsi might even be echoing the true feelings of Thabo, who has to self censor what he really feels due to his position as head of the ANC, which all but forbids public disagreement between senior members. In a recent interview Moeletsi tore into COSATU and the SACP accusing them of forgetting about their mandate to protect workers by focusing on getting Zuma into power.
In another interview he states that Zuma, despite having no economic and political policies, is trying to pressure the ANC to elect him president:
Mbeki says Cosatu and the South African Communist Party (SACP) are pre-occupying themselves with the job of one individual instead of addressing the issue of the welfare of the masses. He says the Jacob Zuma corruption trial and whether he becomes the ANC president or not is an ANC matter and not Cosatu’s.
He also accusses COSATU/SACP of using Zuma as a (seemingly willing) puppet in order to take control of the ANC.
If he had better policies he would have produced them long ago, but he hasn’t. He just wants the power.
What Cosatu is trying to do is to manipulate the leadership process of the ANC so that it ceases to be a transparent process and so that the leadership is open to appointment by secret groups operating outside the rules of the party
The best-case scenario is that they think they will manipulate him and dictate economic policy to him. The more cynical view is that these guys — [Cosatu general secretary] Zwelinzima [Vavi] and [South African Communist Party General Secretary] Blade [Nzimande] — want to put JZ in power because they expect to become ministers in his cabinet.
Update: Richard Calland also writes about COSATU abandoning their mandate to workers.