Jump to navigation

Published 2nd April 2004

Vol 45 No 7

South Africa

Thabo's test

The ANC will win the elections but the size of its victory will determine the President's powers

The test is personal. The campaign for the national elections on 14 April is dominated by President Thabo Mbeki's speeches and his face on the television and the election hoardings. Mbeki personifies the African National Congress. Two weeks before the elections, the party had not announced its candidates for the premierships of the nine provincial governments. Loyalists are expected to vote for the party regardless of its candidates. It is an odd choice of tactics: Mbeki is not a natural campaigner, especially when compared to his predecessor, Nelson Mandela. The ANC will win easily. Mbeki's stature in the movement and grip on the government rests on the size of that win. If the party gets the 70 per cent of the vote predicted by some pollsters, it will be unchallengeable in parliament. Moreover, Mbeki's hold on policy - on economic reform and redressing apartheid discrimination - will remain the government's mantra. An ANC 'super-victory' (of 70 per cent plus) will ensure that Mbeki retains control of the succession in 2009 and the political jockeying beforehand.

Vote for the big bucks

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

View site

Late last year, the African National Congress ran out of cash. It could not pay its 500 staff their November and December salaries on time or give them Christmas bonuses. Now it do...

Starting again

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

View site

Military might and economic rigour have sustained Kigali's recovery

Ten years after Rwanda's genocide, its economic growth is fast but much faster for some sectors and for some people than for others. The government depends heavily on foreign aid. ...

On trial for genocide

The outpouring of grief and horrific memories ten years after Rwanda's genocide has been accompanied by a less dignified round of finger-pointing among governments, diplomats and j...

To plot or not

Politicians in the power-sharing government fall out over coup allegations

Facts are sacred and thin on the ground for Congolese struggling to make sense of what lay behind three hours of shooting in Kinshasa in the early hours of last Sunday. Whatever th...

After the phoney war

The Marcoussis peace accord is dead and a new opposition is born

Opposition parties and rebel groups have formed a common front against President Laurent Gbagbo and his militias after scores of people were killed when police fired on demonstrato...

Under arrest, again

Darfur burns as the US deadline for a peace deal for the South draws near

The National Islamic Front claims to have foiled a coup attempt but its arrest of senior military officers and NIF founder Hassan Abdullah el Turabi owes more to pressure from Darf...


Out of funds

President Robert Mugabe seems bent on getting Zimbabwe thrown out of the International Monetary Fund. It is hard to do but this year, he might succeed.

True confessions

Amid the swirl of rumour and counter-claim surrounding March's alleged mercenary-led coup, enter a new ingredient - a 13-page, handwritten, signed confession by Simon Mann, the Old...

Pattni's list

A candid 250-page statement from businessman Kamlesh Pattni, the man accused of launching the billion dollar Goldenberg export scam, listing 13 prominent members of ex-President Da...