Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Monday, July 02, 2007

Mbeki's Play: Paranoia or Power?
Mbeki's insistence that he will stand for a third term as ANC party president raises some interesting debate. The majority of the party leaders want the ANC president to be the state president, and with the status quo of Zuma's bid, Mbeki should not currently be overly concerned about maintaining decision-making control. So, is Mbeki really interested in hanging on for purely power-hungry reasons? Or is it something else?

Well, if there's one thing that we know about our Thabo, it's that he is inhumanly paranoid. Paranoia about Zuma's chances, and about his lack of control thereof, would explain this move more with more cognisance than Mbeki's hunger for power. Mbeki has always signalled that he wants a hand in the succession decision, and this is his chosen methodology of doing so.

That being said, I do hope that he doesn't succeed in his third term bid, and can rather gain his desired control another way. The possibilities of two such powerful centres concerns me greatly, especially if the state president should fall foul of Mbeki's legendary stubbornness.