Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Zuma: Don't panic

It's a bit late there old boy. Knowing your goofbag supporters in the ANC hierarchy misjudged the whole Mbeki scenario tells us you clowns don't know what you are doing.

So basically, the ANC continues to move chairs around on the Titanic - trading one set of baboons for another set.

Now what should we look forward to? Another fifteen years of misrule and the Mpekites coming back and repeating the pathetic scenario we are witnessing?

And with you at the helm, a corruptible thug-in-chief-to-be of dubious morals, the good ship South Africanic is already listing before it has hit the iceberg.

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The public should not panic about Cabinet resignations, African National Congress president Jacob Zuma said in Mpumalanga.

"The resignations do not pose a crisis and there is no need to panic," said Zuma at a memorial lecture for Gert Sibande in Secunda, Mpumalanga.

"The situation will be managed carefully to avoid any disruption of services."

Zuma was speaking after a third of the Cabinet, including Finance Minister Trevor Manuel, resigned en masse on Tuesday in the wake of the axing of President Thabo Mbeki.

But as markets trembled, Manuel announced he was willing to accept reappointment, and the ANC confirmed that he would get the job back.

Zuma said current political changes were "nothing extraordinary".

"It is part of the turbulence that occurs in politics at some point or other and which just needs careful and skilful management.

"It is a passing phase."

Zuma said the situation would soon return to normal "as we know exactly what we should do and are doing it with speed, precision and sensitivity".

'Don't panic'
"We urge our citizens not to panic and to allow the ANC to manage the situation."

Zuma said the party had called upon ministers and deputy ministers to stay on.

"We respect the decision of those who have resigned.

"The new president will be able to form a capable new government soon that will serve the nation and take forward the struggle to build a better life for all."

Zuma said public servants in departments whose ministers had resigned were urged to focus on the work at hand.

"The political situation will be resolved soon and should not affect service delivery at all."

Zuma said the National Executive Committee's decision to recall Mbeki was painful but necessary for the country and party to move forward.

He said ANC deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe, if given the task, would serve the country well as president until the next elections.

Zuma said he was pleased with the calm and mature way South Africans handled Mbeki's recall.

Rand drops - then bounces back
The resignations, of Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, ten ministers and three deputies, follow the ANC's weekend decision to "recall" Mbeki.

They were announced in a terse statement by the presidency shortly before 13:00.

"All the ministers have expressed their availability to assist the incoming administration in the handover process and any other assistance that might be sought from them," the statement said.

"The resignations will be effective from the day that the president's resignation takes effect [Thursday]."

Reflecting apprehension over Manuel, the rand dropped sharply in the immediate wake of the announcement, slipping from R7.98 to the US dollar to R8.16.

However when Manuel's spokesperson indicated an hour later that he and his deputy, Jabu Moleketi - who also resigned - were available to serve in a new administration, the currency bounced back, and by 14:30 was trading at R8.14 to the dollar.

Economist Mike Schussler was less impressed.

"He resigns and then in the next hour he says he may be prepared to stay on. He should have announced his situation upfront - now people in the market are really confused," he said.

Manuel claimed in his Washington briefing that he was surprised the news had been received in the way it was.

He said his resignation was a principled decision because it was common practice in other democratic countries for Cabinet ministers to go if the head of state did.

This was to allow the incoming president to appoint his own Cabinet.

However, he said he had assured Zuma and Motlanthe - tipped to be the next president - that he was prepared to serve in the new administration.

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