Controversy In South Africa

President Thabo Mbeki who succeeded Nelson Mandela is confronting a serious challenge to his continued leadership of the African National Congress. Many critics such as Jacob Zuma, who has strong ties with the trade union movement, want Mbeki not to continue heading the ANC, and they don’t want him subverting the South African Constitution by trying for a third term — only two terms are allowed.

Many critics regard Mbeki as failing to address issues of poverty, and, of leaning over backwards to accomodate business interests. Most likely, he had to be careful not to alienate the business community — look at the chaos in Zimbabwe where Mugabe essentially destroyed the business community and wrecked his nation’s economy. Somehow, South Africa has to find a middle way in which business is not frightened, but stronger efforts are made to deal with poverty and housing needs.