12 Apr 2005

M & Ms?

The Western media seem baffled by South African President Mbeki's supine acceptance of Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe tyranny . Once more the endlessly disapointing Mbeki has waved the wand of democratic acceptance over Uncle Bob's vile "election". They are wondering: does the fraternal Mbeki fear more turbulence in Zimbabwe if Mugabe falls? Is that in South Africa's interests?........... blah- blah, spin- spin.

Contrast this to Mandela, who once famously commented on Uncle Bob to the effect that some African presidents had so outlived their stay that the people could take up arms and shoot them out of power.

The reason Mbeki does not pull the plug on Uncle Bob is that Zimbabwe's "land re-distribution" is of course something Mbeki and the ANC want to keep up the sleeve, as a means to cling to power , if they have to. Mugabe has usefully shown how you can tough it out and hang on as long as you play the right brand of fascist demagogery.

Who wants to throw away his aces in a game of political cards? The use of race, or tribe, skin tone, hair type or even height ( see Rwanda and Burundi) as ways to stay in power are the foundational cornerstones of post-colonial African politics, as they were in colonial times. Is the ANC exempt from this just because they walk, talk and sound like comical clones of the most PC type of post-modern Westerner? How dare we even think this!

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