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A leader of Machiavellian tendencies who impressed abroad, not at home

Thabo Mbeki's ousting was painted yesterday by African National Congress African National Congress (ANC), the oldest black (now multiracial) political organization in South Africa; founded in 1912. Prominent in its opposition to apartheid, the organization began as a nonviolent civil-rights group.  secretary-general Gwede Mantashe as a means to salvage unity in the ruling party. But his removal has everything to do with political score-settling aimed at clearing the name of Jacob Zuma Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma (born Inkandla, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, April 12, 1942) is a former Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa and current deputy president of the governing political party, the African National Congress (ANC). , the presumed next President of South Africa The President of South Africa, in full, the President of the Republic of South Africa is the head of state and head of government under South Africa's Constitution.  after elections next year.

Opposition leader Helen Zille Helen Zille (9 March, 1951 -) is the Mayor of Cape Town in South Africa's Western Cape province and leader of the Democratic Alliance political party, South Africa's official opposition.  said the move 'has nothing to do with unity and everything to do with Zuma's people now getting their hands on, and suppressing, paperwork detailing 783 bribes totalling 4.2m rands (£275,000)', allegedly paid between 1999 and 2005 when Mbeki sacked Zuma as deputy president. But Mbeki's departure is no surprise. His presidential post has been under threat ever since December last year when the ANC ANC
African National Congress

ANC African National Congress: South African political movement instrumental in bringing an end to apartheid

ANC n abbr (=
 conference in Polokwane humiliatingly Adv. 1. humiliatingly - in a humiliating manner; "the painting was reproduced humiliatingly small"
 elected Zuma to the ANC presidency. He should have resigned then, rather than wait for Judge Chris Nicholson - in his judgment 10 days ago over the credibility of the Zuma case - to imply that Mbeki had interfered with the judiciary to nail his old rival.

In the end Mbeki, the past master of co-option who since succeeding Nelson Mandela in 1999 has brought old apartheid foes into line, cut a lonely figure as his destiny was sealed. The assertion by Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka that she would resign in solidarity had no impact. What the Zuma camp is believed to have obtained - during a week of furious behind-the-scenes negotiations - is a pledge from Finance Minister Trevor Manuel that he would stay on. Highly regarded internationally, Manuel is the rambunctious Zuma camp's ticket to international credibility.

At home it is easy to confuse the will of ordinary South Africans - millions of whom have not had a taste of the country's annual 4 per cent growth rate in Mbeki's nine years - with the vengeful offensive of the Zuma camp, personified by ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema, who ever since the Polokwane conference has been pledging to 'kill' and 'crush' in Zuma's name. Malema frightens people, and it will be an early test of Zuma's political credibility if he manages to shed him now.

Mbeki, the black Englishman with sharp intellect and Machiavellian tendencies, has impressed abroad more than at home. He devised the African Renaissance, put Africa on the G8 agenda and oversaw the creation of the African Union. Like the late, great Prime Minister Jan Smuts - who established the League of Nations but was unpopular domestically - Mbeki revels in international diplomacy, though the jury is still out on his work for Zimbabwe. While Mbeki was seeming to fly the flag for South Africa, he was denying the link between HIV HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), either of two closely related retroviruses that invade T-helper lymphocytes and are responsible for AIDS. There are two types of HIV: HIV-1 and HIV-2. HIV-1 is responsible for the vast majority of AIDS in the United States.  and Aids at home. Thousands died while the government until four years ago blocked free access to anti-retrovirals even as drug prices were dropping. His seeming determination to be 'in denial' over South Africa's rampant crime problem may also have claimed lives.

Mbeki, always aloof and uncomfortable on the hustings HUSTINGS, Engl. law. The name of a court held before the lord mayor and aldermen of London; it is the principal and supreme court of the city., See 2 Inst. 327; St. Armand, Hist. Essay on the Legisl. Power of England, 75. , never connected with the ANC's grassroots. He neglected the party, whose left-wing alliance partners - the South African Communist party South African Communist Party (SACP) is a political party in South Africa. It was founded in 1921 as the Communist Party of South Africa. The SACP is a partner of the Tripartite Alliance which consists of the African National Congress and the Congress of South  and the Cosatu trade union movement - picked up the pieces and shored up Zuma's revenge.

At provincial level, the disarray has grown into infighting in·fight·ing  
1. Contentious rivalry or disagreement among members of a group or organization: infighting on the President's staff.

2. Fighting or boxing at close range.
. Almost every week, at local party meetings, militants come to blows or are killed. The control of resources and patronage has trumped political ideology.

Mbeki loyalists - those who remain - suggest that Zuma's camp is the one that operates on patronage. But there is also evidence of the reverse. Mbeki has made a career out of co-opting his rivals or, failing that, of drumming them out of politics. He succeeded in 2001 with Tokyo Sexwale and Cyril Ramaphosa after accusing them of plotting to depose To make a deposition; to give evidence in the shape of a deposition; to make statements that are written down and sworn to; to give testimony that is reduced to writing by a duly qualified officer and sworn to by the deponent.  him. But sacking the stubborn, self-made and populist Zuma over corruption allegations in 2005 turned out to be his worst mistake. The arms deal scandal left Zuma tainted, but Mbeki is tarred too.
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Date:Sep 21, 2008
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