Mandela And Zuma: A Tale Of Two Presidents | HuffPost South Africa
It might seem like a fallacy when trying to compare the leadership of Nelson Mandela and Jacob Zuma. But we've given it a go. Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki was born on June 18 , in Mbewuleni He met Nelson Mandela and other leaders of the ANC and learnt much about . In March , Mbeki, Albert Dhlomo and Jacob Zuma were arrested in Swaziland, but In July Joe Gqabi, the ANC representative in Zimbabwe, was. Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki is a South African politician who served as the second post-Apartheid .. In December , Mbeki joined Tambo at Heathrow Airport to meet In July Joe Gqabi, the ANC representative in Zimbabwe, was In the early s, Mbeki, Jacob Zuma and Aziz Pahad were appointed by Tambo to.
A comparison is therefore fair. I travelled to virtually every corner of the country.
In the run-up to the elections in the last six months, I personally addressed at least two and a half million people through rallies and meetings across the length and breadth of South Africa. Nelson Mandela in "Dare Not Linger".
When Zuma came to office, his signature promise in was that he would return to the Presidency the Mandela'esque idea of it belonging to the people. President Thabo Mbeki who governed from to was imperious and intellectual and that was how he ran the Union Buildings. The governing ANC felt cut out of the action and so did the people. Zuma promised a return to Mandela's common touch, but has he delivered? We chose a few themes or ideas to compare the two men and use the book "Dare not Linger" as the source of most quotes.
The People Mandela writes: It was moving to observe how the name and reputation of our movement lived in even the remotest rural areas. The president has a delightful common touch and the first term of his administration revealed this as he allowed the nation to let its hair down after the wrought years of the Mbeki presidency. Mbeki's African National Congress is expected to retain its huge parliamentary majority in the April 14 election, the third since white rule ended in He does not move, even within the precinct of an ANC gathering, without a phalanx of 22 bodyguards when I last counted them.
Mandela's book reveals his minders found him a nightmare as he often wandered off without them to talk to people wherever he liked. Zuma has made the circle smaller, taking counsel from a smaller and smaller coterie of loyalists in his Cabinet and in various kitchen cabinets. This has not served the nation well. After being publicly booed at Mandela's memorial at Nasrec, Zuma's minders allow very little spontaneous meeting with ordinary people for fear of how they might react.
Instead, the president is more likely to be found addressing only his guaranteed supporters in carefully managed ANC cadres forums. Stepping outside convention Mandela: Langa writes about Mandela: He didn't hesitate to call to a meeting anyone he deemed suitable to throw light onto a subject. These could be ministers, representatives or leaders of sectors of society, or even heads of state.
The president has made the circle smaller, taking counsel from a smaller and smaller coterie of loyalists in his Cabinet and in various kitchen cabinets. This has not served the nation well as the economy has tanked and the only interesting things the state is doing is in science and technology, in which the president takes little interest.
Mandela and his wife Graca Machel background are on a three-day state visit to Canada. Langa writes about the Mandela era: These were people who had acquitted themselves admirably in their various leadership duties in structures at home and in exile. However, there was still a lot of vetting before a name could be given a green light. The president's 13th Cabinet reshuffle in October was one of caprice and, informed, arguably, by greed.
In fact, reshuffles numbers seven to 13 have largely been irrational actions where the golden thread of political sense was missing. The appointment of David Mahlobo as Minister of Energy is widely seen as an effort to ram through the nuclear deal from which lucrative commissions may stem.
There are some highly talented people in the SA cabinet, but for the most part, they are complements of no-name brands and obscure provincial appointments recommended by the President's kitchen cabinets. This president used the positions of deputy ministers to build national unity. They often came from opposition political parties or from the ranks of coloureds, Indians or whites in order to give effect and meaning to diversity.
The president has ballooned his executive to 39 deputy ministers and he uses these choices to install personal loyalists into powerful positions to bolster and protect him when he faces internal ANC challenges.
Langa writes that Mandela spent a lot of time thinking about "How are the interests of the different national groups to be accommodated within non-racial unity? After the arrest and imprisonment of Sisulu, Mandela and his father—and facing a similar fate—he left South Africa as one of a number of young ANC militants Umkhonto we Sizwe cadres sent abroad to continue their education and their anti-apartheid activities. He ultimately spent 28 years in exile, returning to his homeland only after the release of Nelson Mandela.
Mbeki spent the early years of his exile in the United Kingdom. Inaged 19, he arrived at the brand-new University of Sussexearning first a BA degree in economics, and then remaining to complete a Master's degree in African studies. While at Sussex he saw himself as a representative of the ANC and helped motivate the university population against apartheid.
He received military training in the Soviet Union and lived at different times in BotswanaSwaziland and Nigeriabut his primary base was in LusakaZambiathe site of the ANC headquarters.
InMbeki was sent to Botswana, where he engaged the Botswana government in discussions to open an ANC office there. He left Botswana in While in exile, his brother Jama Mbeki, a supporter of the rival Pan Africanist Congresswas killed by agents of the Lesotho government in while attempting to assist the Lesotho Liberation Army.
His son Kwanda, the product of a liaison in Mbeki's teenage years, was killed while trying to leave South Africa to join his father. When Mbeki finally was able to return home to South Africa and was reunited with his own father, the elder Mbeki told a reporter, "You must remember that Thabo Mbeki is no longer my son.
He is my comrade! Following the Soweto riots — a student uprising in the township outside Johannesburg — he initiated a regular radio broadcast from Lusaka, tying ANC followers inside the country to their exiled leaders.
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Encouraging activists to keep up the pressure on the apartheid regime was a key component in the ANC's campaign to liberate their country.
In the late s, Mbeki made a number of trips to the United States in search of support among US corporations. Literate and funny, he made a wide circle of friends in New York City.
Mbeki was appointed head of the ANC's information department in and then became head of the international department inreporting directly to Oliver Tambothen President of the ANC.
Tambo was Mbeki's long-time mentor. BushJuly Mbeki with Russian President Vladimir Putin5 September InMbeki was a member of a delegation that began meeting secretly with representatives of the South African business community, and inhe led the ANC delegation that conducted secret talks with the South African government.
These talks led to the unbanning of the ANC and the release of political prisoners. He also participated in many of the other important negotiations between the ANC and the government that eventually led to the democratisation of South Africa. Role in African politics[ edit ] See also: Presidency of Thabo Mbeki Mbeki giving a speech to District Six land claimants in Cape Town Mbeki has been a powerful figure in African politics, positioning South Africa as a regional power broker and promoting the idea that African political conflicts should be solved by Africans.
He has also tried to popularise the concept of an African Renaissance. He sees African dependence on aid and foreign intervention as a major barrier, and sees structures like NEPAD and the AU as part of a process in which Africa solves its own problems without relying on outside assistance.
Kabila inwith Thabo Mbeki, George W. Bushand Paul Kagame. Mbeki has sometimes been characterised as remote and academic, although in his second campaign for the Presidency inmany observers described him as finally relaxing into more traditional ways of campaigning, sometimes dancing at events and even kissing babies.A look at Thabo Mbeki's recall - Will Zuma resign or be recalled?
He sometimes used his column to deliver pointed invectives against political opponents, and at other times used it as a kind of professor of political theory, educating ANC cadres on the intellectual justifications for African National Congress policy.
Although these columns were remarkable for their dense prose, they often were used to influence news. Although Mbeki did not generally make a point of befriending or courting reporters, his columns and news events often yielded good results for his administration by ensuring that his message is a primary driving force of news coverage.
He drew criticism from the left for his perceived abandonment of state-interventionist social democratic economic policies, such as nationalisation, land reform, and democratic capital controls, prescribed by the Freedom Charterthe ANC's seminal document.