Thursday, December 20, 2007

New ANC leader Zuma ends speech with trademark song.

This is from Reuters. This election shows the degree to which democracy still flourishes in South Africa although it also shows that the government has been quite unable to do much to alleviate the grinding poverty of many blacks. The crime rate is also soaring. Many of Mbeki's policies have been neo-liberal which is why the business community is a bit nervous at Zuma's win. Zuma represents a mass base of the ANC and other parties that have not been raised from poverty. However, given that Zuma is already facing rape and corruption charges he will probably be willing to trade some principle in exchange for some respite from further attacks on his integrity. 9/10ths of reputed integrity is backing the powers that count. Just look at Bhutto and Sharif in Pakistan. Bhutto has talks with Musharraf and agrees to participate in elections but Sharif refused to until in effect his hand was forced by Bhutto. But Sharif cannot run for president because corruption charges against him were not dropped but those against Bhutto were. Sharif has no reputed integrity but Bhutto has--of course in the western media she has lots of integrity too!

New ANC leader Zuma ends speech with trademark song
Thu 20 Dec 2007, 16:08 GMT

[-] Text [+] POLOKWANE, South Africa (Reuters) - Jacob Zuma, new leader of South Africa's ruling ANC, ended his first speech as party chief on Thursday by singing a trademark anti-apartheid guerrilla song "Bring me my machine gun" as supporters sang along and danced.

In stark contrast to the austere and intellectual style of President Thabo Mbeki, whom he defeated for the party leadership this week, Zuma sang the African National Congress guerrilla song called "Umshini Wam".

Hundreds of delegates to the ANC national conference in the northern town of Polokwane sang along, clapping hands and swaying, some holding signs that read "Dictatorship R.I.P".

Mbeki watched impassively as Zuma sang. In his speech, Zuma called for unity in the party and said he would work with Mbeki to heal the ANC after the worst rifts in its history.

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