Tag Archives: Mangaung

Through the eye of an ANC slate

On the issue of slate politics in the ruling party, perhaps the time has come for the party to consider a policy that limits the reach of this mechanism somehow. This is a matter for ANC members to contend with. As for the ordinary folk, slate politics within the “top six” of the ruling party…

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Why Motlanthe?

The road to Mangaung has revealed a lot, not only about South African politics but our society as a whole. Many seem to be looking outside themselves for solutions to our problems — waiting for a saviour to “fix” things. It’s almost as if we fear being a part of the solution. Or rather, we…

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The good ship Msholozi needs Captain Courageous, not Pugwash

Just over three months ago President Jacob Zuma was sailing towards the African National Congress leadership conference with only clear water to be spied ahead of him. Now the good ship Msholozi is battered, yawing from side to side, and its skipper panicked. What happened? After all, a home province membership drive promised KwaZulu-Natal a…

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How should we remember Zuma’s presidency?

History is a complex social construction but a few grand narratives tend to stick out. Among other stories we’ll remember Mandela as the reconciliatory president, asking us to throw our “pangas into the sea” and forgive. We’ll remember Mbeki’s poetic appeal to our African identity, an aloof renaissance man and, bitter-sweet, as the statesman who…

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South Africa, a democracy only in form

I’ve come to despise elections because they’ve been used to warp democracy. Invariably, each time I’ve said this, one of you lot has had a conniption because you’ve misinterpreted this as me saying people should not vote. Don’t assume. Read — and exercise your atrophied comprehension muscle. There’s an accounting principle known as substance over…

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Obama and Mangaung

Truth never damages a cause that is just — Mohandas Gandhi And so Barack Obama takes the presidency. A congratulatory note to the American people for choosing leadership continuity. We must take this moment to recognise the smooth and painless electoral process that sees Obama with another opportunity to effect change domestically and internationally. Presumably…

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Kgalema (anyone but Zuma) Motlanthe

By David Smith There are two gestures now essential to understanding South African politics. One is a rolling hand motion as practised by football fans when calling for a player to be substituted. The player they want yanked off is the president, Jacob Zuma. The other is the cupping of a hand at a downward…

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Forget Mangaung. Budget politics is where it’s at

Xolela Mangcu in his latest book Biko – A Biography writes about a “big-chief syndrome” that exists among the current ruling elite, in which followers are placed at the mercy of the “chief”. South Africans arguably suffer as much as politicians from big-chief syndrome, in that we imbue leaders with inordinate power. This has to…

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How far is South Africa from a female president?

The road to Mangaung is paved with good intentions, but none of these intentions include advancing women to the position of president or deputy president. This year’s race is patriarchal to the core — just have a look at the effort that’s been put into pushing the Traditional Courts Bill through the system despite the…

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To Mangaung and beyond

So what happens after Mangaung? What happens to the main role-players whose names are being bandied about in the media and their supporters? How will the results affect the contesting leaders, the ANC itself and most importantly how will it affect SA? There are only two results that can emerge out of Mangaung if the…

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