Don’t you sometimes get the impression that Thabo Mbeki has really just been a caretaker President? He’s so aloof and distant, and the only time he emerges from his study is to fire a member of his cabinet.
We shouldn’t complain though, given Africa’s democracy record. I think we’re pretty fortunate to have a nice, quiet, well-behaved President. But wouldn’t it be great to just have some scandal, for heavens sake? Couldn’t he just lash out at the Press, the TAC or the Opposition <yawn>?. No, he’s Mr Nice Guy.
There are a few thousand images of our President available. All of them have him posed with his mouth firmly shut. I wonder why? I found this one though.
The latest news is that the TAC are taking him to court, to force him to provide reasons to retain the services of the Health Minister. While I’d also like to hear these reasons (like some juicy scandal between the two of them while in exile in London during the Swinging Sixties.), if I was President, I’d just tell them to piss off, and then ban them, or something. But I suppose, that’s why I’m not President of this country.
Then there is Zimbabwe. What hold could Mad Bob <spit> possibly have over Mbeki? This quiet diplomacy is definitely a cover-up for some much larger issue. Maybe the three of them? Mmm.
Then there is his cabinet. What a boring bunch of roll-necks gathered at that feeding trough. Hell, Jacob Zuma is probably the liveliest of a bad bunch. And what’s this new word “collective” that Mbeki used in his reasons to fire the Deputy Minister of Health for doing her job? She didn’t work well within a “collective”. What a load of crap !! Are they ministers with a mandate, or is this just a dictatorship anyway, and the cabinet, and Parliament for that matter, is all just window dressing?
I would personally like to see Trevor Manuel as the next President of South Africa. He’s done a great job so far, he’s well-liked, he seems to have some command over the English language, and he at least has a sense of humour. But the chances of him even being considered for the position? NIL. Why? Because he ain’t Black enough, that’s why. In fact, as a coloured, he is particularly light-skinned, and he seems to be getting whiter as he gets older. Now that’s bad for promotion within the ANC.
Which brings me to a little story that always makes me smile. Apparently when Nelson Mandela was trying to quickly string together a cabinet after the first elections, he asked the question, “Are their any Economists here?” Trevor Manuel stuck his hand up, and was duly made Minister of Finance. It was only later that he admitted that he couldn’t hear a thing at the bottom of the table, and thought Madiba has said, “Communists“.
So unfortunately, at the end of the day, after all of the ass-kissing is finished, we’ll get another compromise candidate, and my money is on a woman. She’ll be Black, probably a Xhosa, with some unpronounceable *double-barrelled name that we’ll get the hang of eventually.
*Just an aside here, what is it with these double-barrelled names anyway? Are black men (well all men actually) so emasculated that the women get to keep their maiden names. What happens in the next generation? Will the next female have three surnames? Damn, I have a headache.