Global News Journal
Beyond the World news headlines
from Africa News blog:
Given that the leaders of the world's most firmly capitalist countries are splashing around unprecedented billions to nationalise banks, prop up industry and try to get economies moving, it might seem churlish for anyone to question South Africa's ruling ANC for planning to spend a bit more freely.
This weekend, the African National Congress set out its election manifesto priorities of creating jobs and improving education and health - promises interpreted by many as marking a generally leftward shift under the leadership of president in waiting Jacob Zuma.
But the plan raises the questions of how the spending will be paid for and how dramatic a shift to the left there will be - of major interest to investors as well as South Africans.
"Zuma did not attach a price tag to the manifesto, but ANC leaders privately admit, to allay fears of a tax hike, that it would be too costly to implement," said this article in the Sunday Independent.
There was jubilation, defiance and a sense of history in the making in this farming community this week when some 4,000 South Africans gathered to lay the groundwork for what may be a seismic shift in the political landscape.
It is too early to say whether the birth of the Congress of the People will be the political equivalent of an earthquake or a minor tremor. But there is no denying that the new political party caught the nation’s attention with the inaugural conference in Bloemfontein.
The African National Congress faces the biggest internal crisis of its history after the decision to oust President Thabo Mbeki following suggestions of official interference in the corruption case against his rival, party leader Jacob Zuma.
South Africa’s ruling party has stressed that the decision of the executive was unanimous. Mbeki’s resignation speech also made clear he was not planning to fight.
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.
When Kenya played Zimbabwe in last Saturday’s World Cup qualifying game, the chant of “Mugabe must go” echoed around the stadium from some 36,000 Kenyan fans as Zimbabwe’s football team came onto the pitch.
Africa’s leaders have tended to take a much less vocal approach to Zimbabwe’s crisis.