Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Friday, August 04, 2006

Mbeki Playing Politics?
Our president, Thabo Mbeki, has always seen himself above the ramblings of petty politics, and has seldom felt the need to dip his toes into its muddy pool. Why then, was he out making very Cosatu-friendly statements about rich employers?

Mbeki has clearly gained no friends in Cosatu and the SACP over the past 18 months, and these recent statements should be put in that context. If anything, Mbeki is an ANC party man, and the calls from Cosatu and the SACP to split from the tri-partite alliance would have stung him deeply. Further, Zuma's trial is about to begin, in which Mbeki is expected to be called to testify within the cloud of conspiracy theories and populist anger. Gaining allies within Cosatu at this time is vital, and it must be for this reason that he poked his head from between the curtains.

It seems that it has worked. For now...