L’Afrique du Sud, une exceptionnelle vitalité démocratique en Afrique…

Quelles que soeint les craintes et les apréhensions légitimes suscitées à l’étranger relativement à l’affrontement au sommet du Congrès National Africain (ANC), qui a notamment précipité la démisison de Thabo Mbéki de la Présidence de la République. Force est de reconnaître que ce dénouement témoigne de l’exceptionnelle vitalité de la démocratie sud-africaine, dans un continent (l’Afrique) où, est-il besoin de le rappeller, prévaut le déspotisme héréditaire des auto-proclamés "Pères de la Nation".

Dans un régime politique parlemantaire, le Président Thabo Mbeki a su tirer la leçon de son impopularité et de son isolement politique. Il ne pouvait indéfiniment se cramponner aà la Présidence, alors que la base militante de l’ANC (le parti majoritaire au parlement), et surtout ses parlementaires, réclamaient sa démission.

C’est cela le fonctionnement normal d’une démocratie apaisée. Dommage que ce ne soit point une règle répandue en Afrique. Loin delà…

Je vous remercie

Afrique du Sud : le numéro deux de l’ANC Kgalema Motlanthe choisi pour diriger le pays
LEMONDE.FR avec AFP | 22.09.08 |

Kgalema Motlanthe (Sipa)

Kgalema Motlanthe (Sipa)

Congrès national africain (ANC), au pouvoir en Afrique du Sud depuis la
fin de l’apartheid, a choisi, lundi 22 septembre, son vice-président,
Kgalema Motlanthe, pour assurer la fonction de président de la
République, en remplacement de Thabo Mbeki. M. Motlanthe "sera le nouveau président, pas un président par intérim, il sera le président de la République [avec les pleins pouvoirs] jusqu’aux élections"
générales au deuxième trimestre 2009, a déclaré le porte-parole du
groupe parlementaire du parti, K. K. Khumalo, à l’issue d’une réunion
du groupe au Cap.

Kgalema Motlanthe doit encore être
formellement élu par les députés, mais sa désignation ne fait aucun
doute puisque l’ANC détient plus des deux tiers des sièges à la chambre
des députés. La vice-présidente du pays, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, à qui
la loi accorde la préséance, avait refusé ce poste, affirmant qu’elle
partirait avec le chef de l’Etat.


Le choix de Kgalema Motlanthe semble témoigner d’une volonté d’apaiser la crise née de la
décision du comité directeur de l’ANC, qui a retiré samedi sa confiance à
M. Mbeki, l’appelant à la démission sans attendre l’alternance
découlant des élections générales. Le parti avait invoqué les "interférences politiques" de M. Mbeki dans un procès pour corruption intenté au nouveau président de l’ANC, Jacob Zuma.

Stratège politique de 59 ans connu pour sa modération, M. Motlanthe
est l’une
des figures les plus populaires de la nouvelle direction du
parti. Il a intégré voici quelques semaines le gouvernement Mbeki, en tant que
ministre à la présidence, afin
d’assurer une transition en douceur. Sa nomination pourrait
contribuer à persuader les principaux ministres du
gouvernement sortant de rester en fonction jusqu’aux élections. 

International Herald Tribune

Thabo Mbeki félicite Jacob Zuma.(Photo : Reuters)

Thabo Mbeki félicite Jacob Zuma.
(Photo : Reuters)

By Barry Bearak
Monday, September 22, 2008

Last year, The Financial Mail, one of South Africa’s leading business
magazines, placed a photo of Jacob Zuma on the cover and then,
alongside in big letters, the warning: "Be Afraid."

But what exactly was there to fear?

To all appearances, Zuma did not – and does not – hold any
outrageous or threatening political or economic beliefs. Indeed, the
magazine concluded that he was far more interested in holding power
than in making policy, long on charm if short on intellect.

In recent months, as Zuma has edged ever closer to South Africa’s
presidency, his ideological underpinnings, if they exist at all, have
remained opaque.

Is he the pro-business capitalist who has reassured investors that
"nothing will change"? Or does his heart lie with the trade unions and
Communists, the base of his support?

There is a third possibility, of course. It is that Zuma, as many
here suggest, is the ultimate political chameleon, all things to all
people, someone who senses what his audience wants to hear and then
plays the right tune.

This weekend, these questions assumed greater urgency when the
African National Congress, South Africa’s governing party, prevailed on
President Thabo Mbeki to resign. A caretaker will soon assume his post,
and elections will follow next year. At that point, Zuma will
presumably become the nation’s leader.

South Africa continues to have a healthy economy, the biggest on the
continent. But more than half of the population is destitute, and the
extreme gap between rich and poor grows ever wider.

Zuma, 66, has been president-in-waiting since December, when he
bested Mbeki for the top job in the party hierarchy. His shadow has
loomed over the government ever since, and it now becomes even starker.

He is a husky man with a shaved head, a high-beam smile and an outsize personality. Should people be afraid?

"I can’t tell you why, but he scares me to death," said Rita
Middleton, as she took in the newspaper headlines on Sunday in a
neighborhood grocery.

By all accounts, Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma is boisterous and
charismatic. On stage, he clasps a microphone and sways to the rhythm.

His signature song is a liberation-era ditty called "Bring Me My Machine Gun."

A Zulu, he was born in rural Natal, now called KwaZulu-Natal. His
father died when Jacob was an infant. His mother moved the family to a
suburb of Durban, where she became a maid.

Zuma grew up without formal education. He joined the African
National Congress, then illegal, at age 17 and served in Umkhonto, its
military wing.

In 1963, the apartheid government convicted him of trying to overthrow the government. He endured 10 years in prison.

Zuma considers himself a Zulu traditionalist. Some aspects of that
tradition have upset human rights groups. Zuma has advocated the
practice of testing virgins – inspecting girls to make sure they have
preserved their virtue.

A practicing polygamist, by most counts over the years he has taken six wives.

In 2005, on trial for the rape of a 31-year-old family friend, Zuma
testified that she had seduced him by wearing a short skirt and sitting
in a provocative way.

He said that "Zulu culture" had left him no option but to oblige.
Afterward, he said, he took a shower, believing that it would minimize
the risk of contracting HIV. He was found not guilty.

That same year, Mbeki fired Zuma, his deputy since 1999. Evidence
showed that a Durban businessman convicted of bribery had brokered
payments from a French weapons supplier. The money had allegedly gone
to Zuma.

"Some may think Zuma is a crook, but they don’t think he’s the big fish," said Barney Mthombothi, editor of The Financial Mail.

Much of Zuma’s support within his party comes from the other two
members of the "Tripartite Alliance," the Congress of South African
Trade Unions and the Communist Party.

"Understand that these Communists are not very communist," Adam
Habib, a political analyst, said. "These days, who is? They’re more
like social democrats." At any rate, Zuma often espouses their economic

For the trade unions or the Communist Party, "first prize is getting
someone in power who thinks like you," said William Gumede, the author
of a book about the African National Congress, who continued, "second
prize is getting a guy you believe you can manipulate."

Zuma knows well that many find him troubling and ambiguous. He
busies himself with what the South African news media calls "charm

He is off to Davos, Switzerland, reassuring international lenders,
then back to Johannesburg to mix with the downtrodden in the black
townships, then on to Pretoria to press the flesh with skeptical

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