Max du Preez

Confronting leadership

2008-12-03 08:45

Max du Preez

The present fluidity in our politics gives us voters the ideal opportunity to call our politicians' bluff.

We should start by confronting the new leadership of the ruling ANC with the promises they made when they were campaigning against Thabo Mbeki.

Cosatu and the South African Communist Party, who are now dominant in the ANC, ran a strong campaign against Mbeki's role in Zimbabwe. They expressed their solidarity with the people of that country and launched vicious attacks on Robert Mugabe, calling for his swift removal.

The SACP and Cosatu now call the shots in government. The man they threatened to kill for, is now the president of the ruling party. The president of the country is beholden to them.

Kgalema Motlanthe replaced Mbeki as president more than two months ago. Since then matters in Zimbabwe had deteriorated significantly: more than 600 (some say more than 1 000) people died of cholera; more young children's physical and mental development is now compromised because of a lack of proper food; education has ground to a halt in many areas; and soldiers have started looting businesses and are clashing with police in the streets.


Why is the new ANC leadership not doing anything decisive to end the crisis? All we know is that Motlanthe has "urged" Mugabe and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai to "implement the power-sharing deal" they agreed to earlier.

Does the ANC even remember that the MDC had won the presidential and parliamentary elections early this year? Why then the pressure on it to blindly implement an accord that would give almost all significant cabinet portfolios to Zanu-PF, including the military, and would force the two parties to "share" responsibility over the police?

Botswana, Zambia and Tanzania are all sick of the region's pampering of Mugabe. If South Africa stood up tomorrow with a firm, quick exit strategy for Mugabe and his top generals, we could have a government of national unity in Harare by early 2009.

Let's face it: every day we do nothing in Zimbabwe, more irreparable damage is done to human beings.

Sadly, there seems to be a serious lack of political will in Luthuli House. They are little better than Thabo Mbeki himself.


But let's not confine ourselves to the ANC when we call politicians' bluff. For instance, we can now ask the former minister of Defence and his deputy who are playing holier-than-thou now that they have their own party, Terror Lekota and Mluleki George, why they helped to block a proper judicial investigation into the arms procurement deal years ago.

As Defence Ministry insiders they must know something about who took what kind of kickbacks from whom. Will they now tell us, please?

For as long as we don't have a proper, independent commission of enquiry into the arms scandal, we will not be able to trust the politicians of the ANC and Cope. We should force them to say categorically whether they are for or against such an enquiry.

We as voters have a wonderful opportunity between now and the general election next year to squeeze answers out of our politicians and to embarrass them into speaking something resembling the truth.

After that, we're stuck for five years and our strongest manifestation of democracy will be our newspapers and independent radio and television.

Send your comments to Max.

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.


SHARE: publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.