Wednesday, December 19, 2007 at 6:29 AM

ANC hails its new leader (South Africa’s next president): “Zuma, Zuma, Zuma”

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

They should please not choose someone of whom most of us would be ashamed. Our country deserves better. We’re very worried that [Zuma] had relations with a woman who regarded him as a parent; and, although he is very likeable, we have to ask ourselves: ‘What is happening in the ANC?'” [Archbishop Desmond Tutu in the South African Mail and Guardian newspaper]

After days of internecine wrangling over petty procedural matters, delegates attending the leadership conference of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) finally got down to the business of voting for a new president today. And, as widely expected, they elected Jacob Zuma over incumbent Thabo Mbeki by an overwhelming margin.

In fact, of the 3,834 voting delegates, Zuma received 2,329 to Mbeki’s 1,505. More importantly, however, this election puts Zuma in the catbird seat to be elected president of South Africa in 2009.

But even though the arch rivals demonstrated encouraging camaraderie by embracing after the results were announced, I have no doubt that Mbeki – who is now, effectively, a lame-duck president – will do everything that remains within his power to ensure that Zuma does not succeed him as president.

For now though, I refer you to the back story on their rivalry in the Related Articles below and shall close by echoing Tutu’s lament:

What’s happening in the ANC when its members can so blithely elect a suspected thief and rapist to be their leader?

Indeed, South Africa deserves better….

* Published originally yesterday at 4:13 pm

Related Articles:

Mbeki versus Zuma for ANC leadership

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