Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Mbeki's Control
A day into the ANC policy conference, and as expected, it seems that Mbeki is holding a tight rein on things so far. From stage managing his and Zuma's entrance, to leading off with veiled threats to alliance partners and playing down the succession debates, it is clear that Mbeki sees this conference as very much working to his agenda.

It also gave an insight into Mbeki's personal viewpoint on the tri-partite alliance, clearly illustrating his view that the ANC is the political wing of the alliance, whilst the SACP and Cosatu are there to fulfil operational duties in the alleviation of poverty and worker's rights. Mbeki clearly sees the SACP and Cosatu as not being political parties, and not ever being political rivals to the ANC. Rather, he sees them as conduits for the implementation of their own worker policies, and of policies conducted on behalf of the alliance. This is as much a put-down to their political aspirations, as in my opinion, a fair reflection of the current and foreseeable future status quo.

The other important development so far is the death of the Eastern Cape ANC branch's Mbeki third term proposal. With the election of Zuma men to the key KZN branch, and their outright rejection of the proposal, it seems this will never get off the ground. As I've stated before, I don't think Mbeki will be too stressed about that, given Zuma's current predicaments.

So far, as expected...