The Economist weighs in against Mbeki, Zuma and the ANC in general

Two imperfect candidates - one will decide the future of South AfricaThe Economist has some interesting articles on ANC leadership election happening this weekend (here is the best one, but also here, and here). Basically they are saying that it is a pity that the ANC are choosing “between two deeply flawed candidates, neither of whom should be running the ANC or the country after next year”.

The article has scathing criticism of both candidates:

  • “Mr Zuma should have been ruled out on several counts. His dreadful views on sex were revealed during his trial for rape last year. He was acquitted, but claimed that he could tell by the way a woman sat whether she wanted to have sex with him and that his Zulu culture demanded he should oblige her; also that he could avoid contracting HIV by taking a shower. He may soon be charged again with corruption.”
  • “Mr Mbeki is standing just to stop Mr Zuma. But Mr Mbeki has shown by his own autocratic ways and weird views on AIDS—which he seems to think is not caused by HIV—that he too should no longer be leading the ANC”.

The real problem in South Africa is something that the articles do mention: there is no competition for the ANC.

“14 years of unbroken power have given way to corruption, factionalism, paranoia and arrogance” within the ANC. Although the ANC has “on the whole done a good job” since 1994, it is now no longer the party that should be leading the country. The ANC should spend a term in opposition so that it can “purge or renew itself”.

The problem is that the masses are an unthinking lot who blindly vote along historical lines despite the current problems in the ANC. If only they would see past race and think rationally they would know that there is a better, if imperfect, alternative – just look to Cape Town!

“South Africa deserves a lot better.”