Staying longer in power will cloud a liberator’s mind’s eyes from seeing the suffering of the poor and weak. And looking at the background of Thabo Mbeki it was normal that he forgot the suffering of the poor because like Meka said in the Old Man and The Medal: “the mouth that has once tasted milk can never forget the taste of it” Though he was a liberator but his background unlike that of Zuma ushers him to be with the Capitalists of SA and the world. Zuma’s, paints a caricature of a comeback kid who never forgot his background. He constantly visited the people and sang freedom songs in the streets with them. Just the fact that his entire team won is a strong enough message that the poor may not be strong but if given a voice will speak louder.
Mbeki’s rejection is a rejection of capitalism that has entrenched itself more than the social and compassionate economy that the South Africans deeply need. After Mandela, Mbeki drove the country into black apartheid where there was a dichotomy between the wealthy blacks and the poor ones. The gap between the poor and the rich widened rather than shrink. In Zuma, the people see an icon of hope and expectation that tells a tale of every poor South African’s dream that all men born equal can strive for equal opportunities.
Nonetheless, Zuma’s elections poses a trickish challenge because if he underachieves then power could be rotational in the sense that the South Africans would want to try the white minorities because they must have experimented the power of the rich black and now the poor black to no meaningful good of the average South African. That too would be a good thing to see how all three groups fare in communicating with the poor and needy of their society. But if Zuma succeeds it will take a long time for South Africans to try another party because “on ne change pas l’équipe qui gagne”. Therefore, Mbeki and the rest of ANC have the vested interest to give Zuma the necessary succor rather than try to alienate him and make him fail.
However, the elections tell a tale of South Africa’s political maturity. They have managed to elude the pestilence of anarchy and autocracy that has bedeviled Africa since the departure of the colonialists. Their constitution has remained the highest law of the land, interpreted by independent jurists and the people respect it. They have thwarted the conversion of presidents into monarchs. South Africa is a classic example that when the constitution is held in high esteem, power though may tarry but could easily trickle down to the masses and poor without the use of force, and shedding of blood.
Until then, let time be the judge.
Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk.