Monday, September 10, 2012

News National Bheki Cele rallies to unseat Zuma at Mangaung

09 SEP 2012 12:46 - SAPA Sunday reports claim former top cop Bheki Cele is rallying opposition to President Jacob Zuma ahead of the ANC's elective conference in Mangaung. SPECIAL FOCUS ANC Policy Conference 2012 OUR COVERAGE Mangaung offers our best chance Malema the Joker isn't to blame this time Strategic ABZ victory spells trouble for Zuma MORE COVERAGE Ethekwini throws muscle behind Zuma 'Anyone but Zuma' faction wins day in OR Tambo Oilgate report timing questioned ahead of Mangaung The Sunday Times reported that Cele was drumming up support for an "Anyone but Zuma" camp in the president's home province of KwaZulu-Natal, which was regarded as a Zuma stronghold. According to the newspaper, Cele had held meetings with Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, Arts Minister Paul Mashatile and anti-Zuma groups. Cele was believed to still have influence in KwaZulu-Natal, where he previously chaired the eThekwini region. As such, he would reportedly be a useful ally to Motlanthe in the province, which has the greatest number of party members. In Mpumalanga – also previously regarded as loyal to Zuma – Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale, who is reportedly thought to be interested in standing for the presidency, was expected to attend a "cadre's assembly" with North West Premier Thandi Modise and ANC Youth League deputy president Ronald Lamola on Sunday. One of the camps opposed to a second term for Zuma met in Sandton on Wednesday and decided to support Motlanthe for president and Sexwale for deputy. The Sunday Independent reported that Cele attended the meeting, but he denied doing so and said that at the time, he was at his home in Durban, sleeping. "Unless somebody says I was a Holy ghost, which can be at two places at once," he told the newspaper. Overthrow According to the Sunday Independent, Cele, Sexwale and other ANC leaders were identified in an intelligence document as plotting to overthrow Zuma at the Mangaung conference. The ANC Youth League, which was previously thought to back Sexwale for deputy president, had now reportedly decided to back ANC treasurer Mathews Phosa instead. The Sunday Tribune reported that the party's provincial and regional chairmen had been warned that turning against Zuma would result in their influence over government tender processes coming to an end. An unnamed source told the newspaper: "We were told that we would be out in the cold ... that we would go hungry". A pro-Zuma camp, called the "national coalition", was reportedly expected to tell Northern Cape chairperson John Block that if he pledged support for Zuma, corruption charges against him would be withdrawn. According to the Sunday Tribune, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize, Free State Premier Ace Magashule, Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza and Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande were rumoured to be members of the national coalition. – Sapa Mail & Guardian - Malema the Joker isn't to blame this time 03 SEP 2012 20:29 - VERASHNI PILLAY Malema is feeding off the violent chaos at our mines, much as the Joker from Batman would. But he's not the one to blame, writes Verashni Pillay. SPECIAL FOCUS Malema fuels the fire Marikana: Platinum mines in chaos OUR COVERAGE Take heart, sisters, spring has arrived Verashni Pillay: Strike a woman, you strike a hollow memory Verashni Pillay: DA vs Cosatu and the lessons they offer The Joker in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight is a terrifying character. Forget good and evil: in the late Heath Ledger's take on the classic villain, we are presented with someone who prizes violent chaos as an end in itself. One can understand the rationale of the classic bad guy: power mongering or accumulation of wealth. The Joker on the other hand – like Loki in Norse mythology – feeds off chaos. I can't help but think of both the Joker and Loki as I watch Julius Malema move from one tense situation to the next, stirring up already violent emotions among frustrated miners. It's the violent mines tour and it's taken him from the horror of Lonmin's mine in Marikana, to Aurora's mine in Springs and then on Monday, like clockwork, to Goldfield's mine on the West Rand. He was out doing what he does best: stoking the rage of the largely powerless and leaderless with simplistic half-truths and dangerous assertions. "Make the mines ungovernable" and "lead yourself" is his rallying cry in the face of the horror of 34 miners having already lost their lives doing just that. It seems like sinister mischief – plain and simple. As the Joker points out to Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight: "Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I'm an agent of chaos." But there is something honest about the Joker that ultimately endeared him to many fans in Ledger's version of the character. He truly doesn't care about any of the human motives for evil. He sets fire to a mountain of money and laughs at pain. "Do I really look like a guy with a plan? You know what I am? I’m a dog chasing cars. I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught it. You know, I just … do things," he says. Malema on the other hand is the more garden-variety bad guy. He has a nose for chaos and a more pedestrian desire for power. It's a horrible combination. The perennial bad boy of South African politics has re-emerged after an expulsion from the ANC that did little more than strip away what slight reservations he may have once had. Now it's become a free-for-all with Malema regularly playing on the same riff: Jacob Zuma is the worst president ever and needs to be replaced at Mangaung come December. But these days he has far better material to work with: angry miners who have, until now, been largely ignored by those who mattered. Malema has the best news sense of any politician in this country and sniffing out a platform to make himself heard about his new nemesis, he seizes it. The dirty and meaningless politicking is a weary but familiar sight but the opportunistic manipulation of such an incredibly dangerous situation is not. Where cool heads and firm leadership are needed to address the legitimate concerns of striking miners, Malema has stepped into the vacuum to offer fiery rhetoric and violent invective. And that's the real tragedy here. Malema isn't the reason we're experiencing the deepening crisis at our mines, the lifeblood of our economy. He is doing what any mischief-maker would: taking the opportunity handed to him on a silver platter by leaders who have absconded their responsibilities. In many ways Malema is really just being true to character. If anything, he is the only one doing his job brilliantly, while the mine bosses and ANC and union leaders offer no clear leadership in a situation that desperately needs it. Indeed South Africa seems to be all out of heroes to step in and save the day. The Joker ultimately meets his match in Batman, and balance between the forces of good and evil, order and chaos, are restored to a degree. But our golden days of great leaders who could step into a situation threatening to detonate and restore a semblance of order seem woefully far away. Zackie Achmat drove that change for HIV/Aids denialism, Jonathan Jansen did it for the racial tinder pot at the University of the Free State and Nelson Mandela personified that kind of leadership with the Rugby World Cup plus countless other tense situations. In a time like this we need a strong leader who can remind the miners, the mine bosses and the unions that we are better than this; that we can resolve the situation without further bloodshed. What we don't need is Malema playing with fire – all for the worst kinds of political opportunism. But in the end that is all that we – and the miners – are going to get, until a real leader steps forward. At the end of The Dark Knight the bat signal is smashed and the hero disappears. It's difficult not to wonder if we're in the same predicament. Verashni is the deputy editor of the M&G online. You can read her column here, and follow her on Twitter here. Mail & Guardian Comments by Sonny Is this how ZULU's settle scores? In the olden days it was on the 'BATTLEFIELDS'........ The enemy of my enemy is my friend. MALEMA FOR PRESIDENT! ZUMA BETTER HAVE A GOOD WITH DOCTOR - MAYBE THE ONE AT MARIKANA!

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