Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Friday, June 27, 2008

Thinly veiled threats of a 'More of the same" leadership
Many people have spent the last year asking themselves what a Zuma presidency will look like, and it fascinates me how the public view of Zuma has turned from one of ridicule and contempt into one of sympathy and resignation. This has been aided both by a typical human need of introspective self-protection and of course, by the bumblings of, and revelations about, State President Thabo Mbeki.

Many have felt betrayed by the revelations of Mbeki's opportunistic manipulation of state organs through various manifest and psychological techniques. However, one has to look to Zuma's use of his legal teams with regard to anything relating to his graft case to negate the view that he will be any different.

Yesterday, Zuma's legal team warned the Constitutional Court that the way it handles its complaint against Cape Judge President John Hlophe will have consequences for "confidence" in the bench, patently a thinly veiled threat to the positions of those sitting judges. Whilst the overbearing use of political power is not unusual in most countries of the world, especially in the US and UK, Zuma's use of it since he has taken power of the party must be a strong forebearer of how he wishes to lead.