Thursday, May 29, 2008

Mbeki ‘has lost the faith of the people’

Give them a finger and they’ll take an arm. Now that comrade Zooma is a done deal, the commies and Cosatu are feeling all balsy about giving Mbeki a lot of flak – publicly.

Where was all the disapproval of Mbeki before the Polokwane conference? It isn’t like Mbeki turned crappy overnight.

It’s all bullshit.

Mbeki is starting to look like the devil you’d rather have than Zooma - if Zooma lets himself be controlled by the commies. It’s as if they have the keys to the Union Buildings already.

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ANC allies call for president to be put on a leash and obey orders

Cosatu wants President Thabo Mbeki to be allowed to see out his remaining 10 months in office — but says he must be put on a tight leash.

The union federation’s general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, said yesterday that, though most South Africans had lost confidence in Mbeki’s leadership, it was not necessary to kick him out of the Union Buildings because general elections were only months away.

But Mbeki’s stay should be subject to a number of conditions, he said, including making him and his cabinet take orders from the ANC and its alliance partners.

Vavi said the trade federation’s central executive committee, its third-most powerful structure, had decided it would not be strategically sound to force Mbeki out of office a mere 10 months before the next elections.

“The [committee] says people are correct to lose confidence in him and in his leadership; all of us agree. We see the chorus in every editorial, we see all the calls that are being made.

“But the point that the [committee] is making is: look, it is 10 months to the next elections — what is the point?

“If it were two or three years, half his term, surely we would then say he must be recalled,” said Vavi.

The Cosatu leader said that if such a decision were to be taken now, it would have a number of implications. Among them would be the difficulty of calling an early national election and choosing who would be in charge in the interim.

If Mbeki were removed now it might cause instability in the government and society as a whole, he said.

“That is why the view is that ... he might as well just continue, on condition that he is held accountable,” Vavi said.

He called for a special summit of the government and of the ANC-led alliance to stipulate how to keep Mbeki on a leash.

“Protocols must be developed to ensure that things that happened in the past that have angered us, like the appointment of the SABC board, do not re-occur …

“That is the only way we think that we can hold him accountable — if we tie him to a protocol ... to say this is how the government should be conducting [itself] and these are the directives that are coming from Polokwane and should be taken forward by the government. And anybody that steps out of line, it must be made clear, would risk being recalled by the ANC,” Vavi said.

The president can be removed by the ANC, which has a two-thirds majority in parliament, if the party and its allies feel that he has stepped out of line.

Vavi’s comments come after weeks of calls for Mbeki to step down.

These have been made by a range of organisations and individuals, who accuse him of failing to give the country leadership on matters ranging from the Zimbabwe crisis to the xenophobic violence.

At the weekend, the Sunday Times ran a front-page editorial urging Mbeki to step down.

Within the Jacob Zuma-led ANC, the SA Communist Party and Cosatu, there is growing anger at Mbeki, who is accused of not implementing some of the ruling party’s decisions.

For example, he has delayed obeying ANC orders to appoint ANC deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe to his cabinet.

The new ANC leadership is also not happy with Mbeki’s confirmation of his controversially selected SABC board, despite the opposition of party MPs.

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