This morning, I was sure that, as my eyes were still bleary, I heard the news that Thabo Mbeki had been re-elected as leader of the ANC. I was so convinced of this that I prayed thanksgiving for continuing stability in South Africa. Yet it seems I must have dreamed it as it was SO not the case. In fact the news of the results only came out this evening and was completely the opposite.
Instead of the relatovely more moderate, temperate Thabo Mbeki (who has admittedly exhibited some odd views about AIDS), it is Jacob Zuma, tried for rape, facing corruption charges and still likely to become President of South Africa.
I understand that Thabo Mbeki could not be president for a third term and so, the ANC members may well have felt it more sensible to elect a president to the congress who COULD yet the heightened passions surrounding the election have me worried. Archbishop Desmond Tutu doesn't endorse either man. It wouldbe interesting to hear what his opinion of the new deputy leader of the congress is as apparently it would be the deputy who would become the country's president if Zuma was stripped of office after corruption charges. Not too much hope there though as Kgalema Motlanthe was closley linked to Zuma in defending him against the accusations of corruption.
In contrast we had the result of the Liberal Democrat leader election and Jeremy Paxman challenging Nick Clegg to tell the audience 3 interesting things about him. I thought he did pretty well in his speech. It was empassioned, dynamic and sounding like a man who REALLY is serious about getting into office.