Is Mbeki’s time up?
South African President Thabo Mbeki did not get to bask long in the success of securing Zimbabwe’s power-sharing deal before finding himself in the firing line again at home.
Now his most strident foes – who can be found within his ruling African National Congress – say he should be pushed from office after a judge made clear he saw political interference in the corruption trial against ANC leader and longstanding Mbeki rival Jacob Zuma.
Zuma has said the ANC should stay united ahead of the election in April, when Mbeki has to step down anyway, and was quoted as saying that wasting energy on trying to force the president out sooner was like “beating a dead snake”.
South Africa’s economy has grown steadily with Mbeki in power, although that growth is slowing now, but the president’s critics say only the rich have benefited and accuse him of failures over everything from power shortages to xenophobic attacks to crime to AIDS.
Until recently, Mbeki’s soft diplomatic tack on Zimbabwe had been branded a failure by many too.
Has Mbeki had a fair hearing? What will his legacy be as the man who followed Nelson Mandela to the presidency? Should he go sooner rather than later?
What do you think?