Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Mbeki and the olive branch
Politically speaking, I think Mbeki has handled the recent threats and rumbles from the Cosatu/SACP alliance very well. Under immense pressure from public commentary and street riots, Mbeki has held his tongue and has not elevated the rift to a governmental level, which is to his great credit. He could easily have fanned the flames of discontent, but by keeping quiet he has given the other tri-partite members little platform for argument and few opportunities to launch a decisive political move, which has shown that the best place for the SACP and Cosatu lies within the ANC alliance, not outside of it.

Yesterday, Mbeki made comments in support of the tri-partite alliance and extended an open hand to the SACP and Cosatu, saying:

"The alliance also needs to engage more directly and coherently in political and ideological struggle that is taking place in our country, countering the conservative positions that continue to dominate public discourse. It is quite clear that we cannot undertake this task successfully unless we are united as a democratic movement, as an alliance, Cosatu, as (the SACP)... as the ANC.

There are many who would like to see the democratic transformation of South Africa fail. They would like to see an alliance that is divided, that is unsure, that does not know what it is doing. We cannot allow that to happen."

Well handled.