Monday, 2 March 2009

Lekota Speaks Out On Jacob Zuma

    Mosiuoa Lekota and I

On Mosiuoa Lekota's first worldwind stop in the UK as President and Leader of the Congress of the People (COPE), the main opposition party of South Africa I had the opportunity to hear firsthand about COPE and its divorce from the ANC. When Mr Lekota arrives he greets me in Setswana, one of the 11 official languages of South Africa. I smile and politely nod, and so he repeats himself. My colleague explains that I do not speak the language and we come to the agreement that the next time we meet I shall be fluent! If anyone ever doubted, Mr Lekota is a fiercely proud South African and comes across as a calm man who takes no nonsense at all.

Mr Lekota first began by explaining what lead him to present his "divorce" to the ANC. He states: "The ANC were veering away from the initial core objectives of the party such as rule of law, freedom of choice before the people, equality before the law and were unwilling to listen to voices that were talking about this. In such circumstances I could not comply in what I saw as a betrayal". He explains that the main issue regarding the divorce centres on principle rather than personality "The issue is about principle. People do not join an organisation on the basis of liking each other but based on mutual principle".

In regards to Jacob Zuma, Lekota believes that facing charges of rape and corruption is a principle that he cannot support and does not send a good message to the people of South Africa. As a result Mr Lekota does not believe Mr Zuma is the right person to lead South Africa. Despite Mr Lekota being the Leader of COPE surprisingly he will not be running for president. Instead, Mr Lekota wants to act more as a mentor to those that are rising up the ranks and share with them his wealth of experience in politics. I could not help but feel deep admiration for this as we are all too familiar with many leaders within Africa that feel it is there birth right to stay in power and are unwilling to help others rise to the ranks.

South Africa's new COPE party expects more than 20 percent of the vote in the April general election and hopes opposition parties will together be able to unseat the ruling ANC.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice article. Liked reading it. And agree with this guy, it is sad how politics seem to develop in South-Africa lately. I can hardly believe Zuma will most likely be the new president in six weeks time. Haunted by corruption charges, rape accusations, intimidation, extortion and (ab)use of power; I do not think the man is fit to lead such a beautiful, dynamic and colourful country as South-Africa. Although I was not the biggest fan of Mbeki either, I think he brough prosperity, real alternatives, ideas which could be implemented and a stable economic policy. Zuma's populist views, fed with incosistent decisions and personal attacks on people and institutions, make him a risk to a stable, peaceful South-Africa. I really hope COPE will do well and will be able to form some sort of counter-power against the almighty and massive ANC.

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