In his column in Business Day this morning, Tony Leon wrote: “Zille’s reference to Zuma’s personal history was factually correct but tactically questionable. It struck a discordant note in the upwelling mood which flowed from the presidents’s inauguration and the wave of optimism it generated.”
And he was critical of Zille’s Western Cape Cabinet choices, saying: “I think Bill Clinton got it right when, in appointing his first administration in 1992, he announced: “I want a cabinet that looks like America”. The fact that the Western Cape provincial government doesn’t look like SA, or on the face of it is overloaded with testosterone, doesn’t mean it won’t deliver or won’t be vigilant on feminist issues. But it handed a sword to the party’s opponents, who were delighted to plunge it in with vigour. And politics is often more about symbols than substance.”
Pretty much the way I saw it in my blog posts. Now will the DA hacks accuse Tony Leon of sucking up to the ANC?
In his inauguration address at the Union Buildings today, Jacob Zuma went out of his way to heap praise on Thabo Mbeki, his bitter political nemesis for the first time in public since he was fired as deputy president in June 2005.
In June 1999, former President Mbeki came to this very podium to take the oath of office, as the second President of the Republic. He took the country forward as a true statesman.
He made a remarkable contribution towards strengthening our democracy, and laid a firm foundation for economic growth and development.
He made our country an integral part of the continent and worked tirelessly for an African rebirth. Through his leadership, South Africa’s stature grew in the continent and globally.
In his last address to the nation as Head of State in September last year, he demonstrated his patriotism, and put the interests of the country above his personal interests.
Thank you Zizi for demonstrating a character that the ANC had always embodied since 1912.
Mbeki did not leave the ANC to sign up with Cope, the party that was formed after he was fired as President. So the way has been opened for Mbeki to embrace the Zuma presidency and bury the political hatchet.
To do so, he would have to publicly acknowledge Zuma’s presidency and show himself to be loyal to the party. Mbeki refused to campaign for the ANC in the recent election and there were even questions about whether or not he would attend the inauguration.
But these days Zuma has all the cards.
On this day, a decade and a half ago, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was formally elected as the first President of a democratic South Africa.
At that moment a new nation was born, a nation founded on the fundamental principles of human dignity and equal rights for all.
A nation founded on the promise that ‘never, never and never again’ would this land experience the oppression of one by another.
Today, a decade and a half later, we gather here to reaffirm the promise of that great day. Read More…
THERE are two ways of approaching the R75 million that will be spent on inaugurating Jacob Zuma at the Union Buildings on Saturday: As a massive global marketing exercise or as a needless extravagance that sets the wrong tone.
The first approach, which has clearly been taken by government, is to spare no expense to project this event to the nation and the world. There will be a flyover by no less than three passenger jets flying in formation, aerobatic displays by the Air Force and the firing of cannons. There will be a sumptuous banquet where Dom Perignon will be served (funny that, President Obama chose South Africa’s own Graham Beck bubbly for his inauguration …). The idea is to make a massive statement to the country and the world that Jacob Zuma is the new face of South Africa.
The second approach would be to view the inauguration as a statement about setting a tone for the next five years. In a climate of global economic contraction, a modest inauguration without the bells and whistles would tell the nation that we are in tough times and that government intends watching its pennies.
Which do you go for?