Zuma will hardly be remembered as a president who made important decisions
CAN THE ANC do what its leader has been refusing to do? Can it adopt a clear direction in order to fight the “money sickness” in the ANC?
At the previous conference in Polokwane, President Jacob Zuma took over the party’s leadership with the support of a coalition of those opposing President Thabo Mbeki. There were warnings at the time that the Zuma group wasn’t really unified by an alternative vision with the energy to run the country.
Zuma will hardly be remembered as a president who made important decisions. He’ll be remembered as the man who was in control when the ANC was allowed to collapse into what he himself described last week as avarice, hunger for power and a lack of discipline.
Read on page 26 how Zuma has already been mulling over an important piece of legislation for two months. His weak leadership has given the SA Municipal Workers’ Union the power to throw its weight around and to block legislation aimed at eradicating corruption and poor management.
Over the past few weeks the country – and the ANC itself – has become increasingly frustrated by Zuma’s timid approach to the militant and irresponsible leadership of the ANC Youth League. In Zuma’s Polokwane coalition the trade unions and the Youth League sat in opposing camps. Both are now trying their utmost to exploit the gap in the power vacuum.
However, both trade union federation Cosatu’s approach of protecting workers from competition and the Youth League’s mutterings about nationalisation will cost this country dearly in terms of lost opportunities for economic growth.
FINWEEK joins millions of South Africans in mourning the death of Professor Kader Asmal. He was a valued columnist in this magazine who earned respect for his principled views.
As a Cabinet Minister in the early years of South Africa’s new democracy, he was known as someone who didn’t hesitate to tackle large projects with enthusiasm. For many of those – such as his introduction of outcomes-based education – he was severely criticised, and still is even today.
Unlike many of the generation of leaders who followed him, Asmal’s integrity was above reproach. What he did, he didn’t do for his own benefit but in the firm belief it would provide a better future for the people of SA, especially the least privileged. He was an idealist and a democrat.
We extend our sincere condolences to his wife and family.