Quote of the week

[Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro] possesses, however, few of his predecessor’s resources, lacking not just oil revenue but Chávez’s surplus of charisma, humour and political skill. Maduro, unable to end the crisis, has increasingly sided with the privileged classes against the masses; his security forces are regularly dispatched into barrios to repress militants under the guise of fighting crime. Having lost its majority in Congress, the government, fearing it can’t win at the polls the way Chávez did, cancelled gubernatorial elections that had been set for December last year (though they now appear to be on again). Maduro has convened an assembly to write a new constitution, supposedly with the objective of institutionalising the power of social movements, though it is unlikely to lessen the country’s polarisation.

Greg Grandin
London Review of Books
28 November 2007

Friend of Jacob Zuma Speak

The Friends of Jacob Zuma website has always been a font of interesting comments – even if some of the comments seem to be posted by slightly unhinged individuals. The post-weekend offerings are particularly interesting and also quite thought-provoking (I am not being sarcastic). For example Philani writes:

CDes, when SABC and the likes, rant about the economy or the Rand if and when our Pres, in waiting Mr J Zuma, becomes the President of the country, I can only draw the words of the wisdom and stalwart of the ANC, HARRY GWALA what he said in my home town Umlazi in the late nineties, when white people said if the ANC rules the Rand and the Economy will suffer, as if the Stronger Rand benefited us anyway. So he said ” ITS VERY STRANGE THAT THE PEOPLE ON TOP OF THE TREE (Rich people) KEEP ON SAYING TO THE PERSON ON THE GROUND(Poor people), HEY DO NOT SHAKE THE TREE YOU WILL FALL, MEANWHILE HE IS BUSY EATING THE FRUITS OF THE TREE YOU(The poor), KEEP WATERING EVERY DAY”
I think I have heard those word before and the SABC and rich people keep on repeating it. 3rd termers want to protect their pockets, not the ANC. If they play hard ball, let also play hard ball.

Harry Gwala made a good point. Remember all the white people complaining about sanctions during the apartheid years. of course, only time will tell whether Mr Zuma and those close to him will not soon see themselves as sitting at the top of the tree. They might then forget those who are watering the tree and rather look out for each other. It has happened before.

Another post, this time from Senzo:

Over the weekend I was glued to the radio news and I kept updating the Micro-Soft Spreadsheet I had prepared as the voting the results were being announced. After six provinces had announced results the SABC kept saying that TM was ahead, just because four provinces (EC, NW, WC & Limpopo) had nominated him while JZ only had two (Mpumalanga & FS). However, my MS Spreadsheet told me different news from the results of these six provinces. The news was good! After these six provinces, excluding the ANCYL, JZ was ALREADY AHEAD by 72 votes! KZN, GP, NC & ANCWL results were just a STAMP that JZ is the next president as he had already won with votes from those six provinces. This should serve as an encouragement to FJZ in the provinces where TM won. The votes we got from TM’s provinces combined to give us victory after just six provinces.

It is quite ironic that the SABC is targeted by so many in the Jacob Zuma camp (and with good reason I might add) because this mirrors the criticism of the SABC of other progressive voices that might not perceive a Jacob Zuma victory as in their interest. Can it be that we will experience a second Prague Spring if Jacob Zuma is elected President of the ANC because there will not be one party line that could be followed?

It all seems to point at the extreme fluidity in our politics at the moment. Who says a one party dominant state cannot have interesting politics!

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