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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Thabo Mbeki to Resign as SA President!

Holy crap!
"South African President Thabo Mbeki will accept a call to resign by the governing African National Congress (ANC), his spokesman has said."
I had read about the possibility of this yesterday but I didn't think it would actually happen.

The sad thing is that this is totally political (and somewhat vindictive since Mbeki's term was up next spring anyway). Mbeki deserved to be removed years ago for his dangerously idiotic beliefs on HIV/AIDS and, more recently, his less-than-stellar efforts in dealing with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. Speaking of which:
"The ANC secretary general said this was not punishment for Thabo Mbeki, adding that the president would be given the chance to continue his role as mediator in Zimbabwe."
So, I have no idea what the effects will be for Zimbabwe. Will Mbeki stay on as negotiator? If so, will his power in that role be diminished as he is no longer a head of state? Could he possibly be even more impotent in the negotiators role anyway?

As much as I am not sad to see Mbeki go, I'm just not sure about his likely successor, Jacob Zuma, either. There have been a lot of negative stories swirling around him for a while. Corruption charges (which may have been trumped up by Mbeki and which led to Mbeki's downfall) and a high profile rape case in which he was acquitted of raping an HIV-positive woman and then taking a shower afterward to keep from contracting the virus. Not exactly a huge step forward in the understanding of HIV or the epidemic for South Africa.

So, who knows what comes next. We are talking about Africa, after all.

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