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.