South Africa's parliament will this week begin the process
of electing a possible new president after Thabo Mbeki tended in his
resignation. Mbeki stepped down as South Africa's president after the national
executive of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party last Friday
called upon him to resign. In a televised speech last night Mbeki said he had
presented his resignation letter to the speaker of parliament adding that he
would leave his post once a new president is chosen.
political observes say it is unclear who would be chosen to succeed Mbeki to
finish his term of office, which expires early next year. Professor Rok Ajulu
is a political science professor in South Africa. He tells reporter Peter
Clottey from the capital, Pretoria that the ruling party and Mbeki's move are
unprecedented in South Africa's political history.
the announcement of the National Executive of the ANC that they have decided to
recall President Mbeki, the president had a press conference at which he
announced that he had tended his resignation, which then goes to the speaker of
parliament. And the parliament would now begin the process of electing a
successor," Ajulu noted.
said the move by the national executive forcing the president to step down is
new to South Africa's politics.
is un-chattered waters indeed. This is the first case in South Africa and
indeed in the continent where a sitting president can be re-called by his own
party. But the processes here are such that the president is elected by
parliament from the leading party so as they say the process deploys the
presidency and therefore the party, which deploys is the ANC has the right to
recall him if they feel that he has not followed the policies or he has not
performed his work to the satisfaction, and I think this is what has happened
in this case," he said.
said Mbeki's trouble started after a judge dismissed graft charges against ANC
president Jacob Zuma on technical grounds, citing political interference.
this decision to recall him (Mbeki) obviously hinges around the judgment the
previous Friday when Zuma questioned the processes that the prosecution
authorities followed. And I think we need to remind ourselves that the judgment
was based on technical processes. The judge did not pronounce on the guilt or
otherwise of Zuma, and indeed this says that as soon as due processes are
followed, the NPA (National Prosecution Authority) can re-institute the trial
processes," Ajulu pointed out.
said supporters of ANC president Jacob Zuma were reportedly upset with Mbeki
and his cabinet about possible political maneuvers on the graft charges against
mere fact that the same judgment also made inferences about political
interference from the politicians on the prosecution authority strengthens
those within the ANC who felt that Zuma has been treated unfairly, and that
there was political interference from the president and his cabinet. This is
the excuse that has been used now, to institute the processes, which has led to
the recalling of President Mbeki," he said.
concurs that the latest political development in South Africa depicts the
deep-seated rift within the ruling ANC party.
been clear for quite sometime now, the ANC is terribly divided between the two
camps that there are being perhaps indeed exists factions and there are serious
divisions within the two camps. But lets put it this way in the ultimate
analysis I think that what we are looking at here is political contestation
between the two powerful forces; Mbeki on the one hand and Zuma on the other.
So, if you cut out all the legal processes, this in the political analysis is a
political struggle. And in political struggle the question of strategies and
tactics, the person with the superior actually wins," Ajulu noted.
of embattled former South African President Thabo Mbeki are reportedly
considering a split from the ruling ANC party and contest elections as a
breakaway party in 2009.
political analysts say Mbeki's downfall came about a week after a judge
suggested there was high-level political meddling in the graft case of Mbeki
rival and ANC President Jacob Zuma, who is considered to be the frontrunner to
win the next presidential election next year. Although Mbeki's willingness to
give up the reins without a fight suggests an orderly transition of power, a
number of ministers have threatened to resign rather than serve in a