Tag Archives: ANC

South African Leader Jacob Zuma Headed For Trial

Jacob Zuma, leader of the African National Congress(ANC), and the individual expected to be elected to the presidency of South Africa, was dealt a serious judicial blow when the nation’s Constitutional Court in a ten to one vote ruled legal documents obtained in police raids. The court also in a unanimous ruling, sad the National Prosecuting Attorney(NPA) could seek access to documents which relate to charges of corruption and fraud held in other locations of the world. The documents which were found are central to the success of any criminal prosecution which might be brought against the ANC leader. The court responded to claims by ANC officials they were biased and merely attempting to carryout a political vendetta against Zuma: “The cases have been considered and decided in the normal way, in accordance with the dictates of our oath of office and in terms of the Constitution and the law, without any fear or prejudice.”

There are reports of a possible way to resolve the issues raised by the case by some form of amnesty for Zuma. The case is critical to the meaning of democracy in South Africa. Jacob Zuma is a prominent leader of the ANC and his charismatic approach to politics has earned him widespread adulation among millions, but the essence of a democracy is the rule of law, not the rule of popularity. Jacob Zuma could become a national hero if he would accept the court’s verdict and withdraw from his candidacy for president.

Zille Charges: African National Congress In Shambles!

helen Zille, leader of South Africa’s Democratic Alliance and mayor of Cape Town, charged the African National Congress(ANC) was divided as the old National Party of apartheid days, between the “verligtes” and the “verkramptes.” The former were those who wanted to reform apartheid and possible even end it, while the latter wanted to continue the cruel policies of apartheid. “The ANC, after only 14 years, is showing the same schism. It is also divided between its verligtes who support constitutional rule, and its verkramptes who want to subordinate the Constitution to the pursuit of power.” She drew attention to remarks by ANC leader, Jacob Zuma, who said openly that the ANC was more important than the Constitution. Zuma is charged with corruption and could wind up in jail, but Zille believes his supporters will do everything possible to avert this possibility since the ends justify the means.

Zille insists every liberation movement goes through the same cycle of power. “Liberation struggles are about attaining power. Constitutional democracy is about limiting power. Very few activists who have engaged in liberation struggle understand this distinction.” Those who fight to attain power equate their power with furthering the ideas of the struggle and any attempt to limit power is thus regarded as counter-revolutionary.

Zille is seeking to create a new political alignment in South Africa in which ANC believers in constitutionalism will join forces with other groups such as the Democratic Alliance in order to create a new South Africa which is based on respect for constitutional law. South Africa needs a new political vision if it is to pursue the road of democracy.

Where Oh Where Is President Mbeki??

South African President Thabo Mbeki who has been attacked for his lack of leadership in dealing with the anti-foreign riots which have swept his nation, is now being forced to confront questions about present handling the crisis. Two weeks have passed during which time rioters have attacked immigrants, burned their shacks, and, in some cases, killed these innocent people, but the president of the nation apparently has other things to do than visit scenes of the violence and offer reassurance to the afflicted. According to Olmo von Meijenfeldt, of the Institute for Democracy in South Africa, “a strong appeal to the South African people from the president would be very welcome indeed.”‘ He noted Mbeki has a distant style of leadership, and he is not the sort of man “to put himself in the forefront.”

Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils admitted the government knew tensions were growing. “Of course we were aware there was something brewing. It is one thing to know there is a social probelm and another thing to know when that outburst will occur.” Of course, it was no secret there were tensions over foreigners getting jobs in a nation which has extensive poverty, but that was even more cause to take proactive measures to head off the problem.

Moesties Mbeki, the president’s own brother believes “the current government has lost its credibility.” His brother failed to exert leadership during the ongoing crisis in Zimbabwe and his comment that no crisis existed made him the laughing stock of Africa.

The African National Congress leader Jacob Zuma will most probably become the next president of South Africa. Unless he initiates vast programs to deal with poverty, there will be other riots in the coming years.

South Africa Prepares For Change

The African National Congress which dominates pollitics in South Africa gave Jacob Zuma their full support in his bid for the presidency. The Congress, which regards Zuma as its leader, made clear there would not be any effort to get rid of President Mibeki before he complestes his term as president of the nation. Zuma is due to appear in court on August 14 to respond to charges brought by the Mbeki government of racketeering, money laundeering and corruption. The two men, who once were friends, have now become bitter enemies.

The business world of South Africa is concerned about the election of Zuma who is regarded as much more radical than Mbeki. Zuma has formed close aliances with labor unions and the communist party so his election might well trigger off a fiscal crisis unless step are taken to reassure the business community.

Zuma and Mbeki have clashed over ways to confront issues such as high unemployment, health care, education and the problem of Zimbabwe. Mbeki is a close friend of Robert Mugabe and his refusal to take action after Mugabe’s blatant attempt to intimidate opponents and manipulate votes has caused Zuma to pledge, if elected, he will take a more forceful policy towards Mugabe.

African National Congress Seeks Compromise

The African National Congress has asked President Mbeki to appoint its deputy president, Kgalema Motianthe, to Parliament. Motianthe is a left-wing intellectual who is an ally of Jacob Zuma, president of the ANC, but who faces criminal charges for money-laundering, fraud and raceteering in court. Zuma and Mbeki have been fighting over leadership of the ANC, and since Mbeki’s term as president soon ends there is need for a compromise candidate if Zuma is convicted of the charges. The ANC dominance in South Africa ensures its candidate will be elected president next year.

Zuma has aroused anxiety among South African busness leaders due to his inflammatory rhetoric and his close ties with labor unions so there is need for someone who can maintain stability and prevent creating a financial crisis in South Africa. The last thing the African continent needs is another Zimbabwe economic fiasco.

Zuma Blasts Mbeki Inaction On Zimbabwe

African National Congress President Jacob Zuma stated in blunt terms the Zimbabwe election fiasco was a violation of the rights of its people. “It’s not acceptable. It’s not helping the Zimbabwean people who have gone out to..elect the kind of party and presidential candidate they want, exercising their constitutional right.” His comments distanced the incoming president of South Africa from Thabo Mbeki whose timid reaction to the violation of Zimbabwean rights has been severely condemned by other African nations. Zuma told reporters, “the electoral commission must isssue the results because it is actually destoryng its own credibility as an institution that is supposed to be neutral.”

For the first time, a South African leader acted as a leader when Zuma said “I imagine the leaders in Africa should really move in to unlock this logjam. Concretely, this means African countries should identify some people to go in there, probably talk to both parties, call them and ask them what the problem is, as well as (talk to) the electoral commission.”

Meanwhile, the Chinese government, which shipped a boat load of weapons to the Mugabe government, may have second thoughts about its delivery since dockworkers in African nations are opposing unloading the cargo. They may decide to back off on delivery due to problems created by the dockworkers. China may unleash another storm of world protest if it proceeds with sending arms to a nation whose leader has denied his people their right to freely elect a president.

Jacob Zuma Zooms Around Corruption Charges

The possibility of “imminent” corruption charges being filed against Jacob Zuma, who was elected head of the African National Congress, raised new issues concerning his bid for the presidency of South Africa. His financial adviser, Schabir Shaik, is already serving a 15 year sentence after being found guilty of taking bribes. Initial corruption charges against Zuma were halted in September, but due to a continuing vigorous investigation, it appears the basis for an indictment now exists. Acting national director of public prosecutions, Mokotedi Mpshe, said, “the investigation is complete. All that we are doing now is to tie the loose ends. The investigation, with the evidence we have now, points to a case that can be taken to court.”

Zuma indicated he wanted his day in court to present his version regarding the allegations of corruption. At a press conference, he stated his willingness to work with outgoing President Thabo Mbeki, despite the acrimonious relationship between the two leaders of the African National Congress. In response to questions about Zimbabwe, Zuma made vague remarks that he continued hoping there would be changes in the collapsed nation ruled by Robert Mugabe, but he opposed sanctions against the country. “We are going to continue with quiet diplomacy.”

It is unusual for a presidential candidate in any nation have to spend time in court responding to charges of corruption. The more intriguing question is what would happen if Zuma was convicted as well as winning the election to the presidency? Could he pardon himself?