The resignation of Thabo Mbeki last week has left many South African citizens uncertain of the future and with mixed views. Here is what members of the Rhodes community have to say.
It seems to me that to succeed politically in South Africa, you have to include in your CV, perhaps under work experience and qualifications, an extensive criminal record. The past glory of the anti-apartheid crusaders has served to immunise our politicians from law. They now ride on the back of indignant popularity and judicial inefficiency. Justice and truth have been lost to group mentality. I am concerned about South Africa’s economic future, especially now that Trevor Manuel plans to walk out the door. Jacob Zuma has the socialist reputation working very well for him but, when it comes to the crunch, I don’t believe Zuma is qualified to lead this country, nor am I certain of where his priorities lie.
First year politics student
I’m not a big Zuma fan. The man still has a lot of issues to settle before we can think of making him our president. I believe that Mbeki’s pressured resignation was embarrassing and unfair. Why couldn’t they have let him finish his term? It was all a plan banked on revenge from the Zuma camp to just humiliate him. Thinking about Julias Malema angers me. He is a stupid boy without respect and a lack of discipline. I don’t understand why a party that claims to be disciplined decided to make Malema their ANCYL president – it is such a contradiction of their claim. I am looking for service delivery in the party I elect, and then I am satisfied. For example, we no longer use the bucket system because Mbeki’s promises were delivered – not just a beautiful speech of empty words. I certainly hope that is what the elections next year will bring.
The whole current political situation is a joke. I don’t know where South Africa is going – that’s why it is a crisis. With the resignation of Thabo Mbeki from office, I know Jacob Zuma will win the elections in 2009. I don’t think he would make a bad leader, it all depends on who he surrounds himself with. Although, I do believe that Zuma’s credibility is compromised internationally. I don’t agree with the tactics that the Zuma camp uses to gain support and control. Singing apartheid songs and using Malema’s public declaration that he will kill for Zuma unapologetically are no longer plausible. If inciting violence and instilling fear to dominate politics is their plan to conquer, then between Malema and Zuma, they can become a totalitarian government because they are both power hungry and that is a situation we must be weary of. The solution is to have the ANC to official separate into two parties-after all, they are already a divided party.
First year journalism student
South Africa is sitting with a difficult situation with regards to the current political state of affairs. Thabo Mbeki’s resignation was not constitutional, but it was politically legitimate. Proper channels were not adhered to in the quest of releasing Mbeki from his presidential seat. Although I agree that it was well for Mbeki to step down, his action made him party to undermining the constitution. I believe the NPA should appeal the case. We then move over to Zuma coming into power and having a leader with charges hanging over him which is uncontested. However, society needs to realise that this is not about morality, but a question of this man’s leadership abilities. Recently, there was the debacle surrounding Zapiro’s cartoon of Zuma depicted as raping the justice system portrayed as a woman. I find this highly unfair that Zuma’s charges have been dropped and his rape case acquitted, but this is still utilised by media and namely Zapiro to further defame Zuma’s name. Resurrecting matters that have been settled by the courts is no longer relevant. It was decided that Zuma is not a rapist – it was consensual sex. We need to move on from that. One can’t mention Zuma’s name without bringing Julias Malema into the mix and my thoughts on that character are clear. He is a disaster for the country, for the ANC and for everyone concerned. I have little respect for him, and I am plagued by how this man of meagre ration became so prominent. Another concern is what will happen if Trevor Manuel walks. He may have done a great financial job, but Manuel will not be the minister of finance until he dies. At some stage he will be replaced and, for a period, the economy may slumber, eventually stabilising at some point. This situation is bigger and broader than Manuel and the markets need to remain objective about that. There is a contentious issue about having a leader with very limited education, and this issue raises an interesting but subjective debate. My take on this matter is, nowhere in the constitution does it stipulate that a president must have a degree. An individual can have great leadership abilities and valuable political understanding without a formal education. I hold a PhD – does that mean I can or must then run for presidency?
Dr T. Hoeane
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