The week of hell

Whatever your take on the events that rocked South Africa this week, why was there was a slew of Cabinet resignations, only for many of the ministers to turn around and say they’re still willing to serve?

Why did the Presidency release the names of the ministers who had tendered their resignations? Was there no understanding that they’d be asked to serve under Kgalema Motlanthe?

While it may be normal practice for ministers to resign once the president goes, whichever way you look at it, this was badly handled.

Surely Trevor Manuel would be aware that his resignation would spook the markets?

Do they not have aides with Blackberrys?

The debacle smacks of disorganisation, whatever African National Congress president Jacob Zuma may say about the fracas being “part of turbulence” that occurs in politics, which just needs “careful and skilful” management.

He may have added that the turbulence was of the party’s own making, with the axing of Thabo Mbeki a couple of months shy of his term. What harm could it do to wait? Why the rush? Perhaps ANC voters are wondering the same thing.

Thabo Mbeki
Love him or hate him, Mbeki has been a worthy president. His detractors will point to his handling of HIV/Aids and Zimbabwe, but he’s presided over the longest period of economic growth since World War II and raised the profile of Africa the world over. Farewell.
Waterkloof Four
The murder convicts known as the Waterkloof Four this week exhausted legal challenges to their conviction, and it is now high time they get down to serving their sentences for killing an unidentified man in 2001. After all, they only have to serve 12 years, probably less with good behaviour, for taking a man’s life.

Most-read stories

September 18 to 24

1. SA rocked by resignation of ministers
Finance Minister Trevor Manuel is among 11 Cabinet ministers and three deputy ministers who have resigned.

2. ANC dumps Mbeki, moves to ‘heal rift’
South African President Thabo Mbeki has agreed to resign after the ANC announced that it would remove him from office before the end of his term.

3. ANC plan to topple Mbeki
The African National Congress (ANC) plan to remove President Thabo Mbeki from office is carefully crafted to ensure that his departure will not lead to an early election.

4. SA contemplates life after Mbeki
South Africans are contemplating the end of a political era this weekend after President Thabo Mbeki on Saturday announced his decision to resign after nine years in office.

5. Mbeki resigns before the nation
President Thabo Mbeki has tendered his resignation, he said in a live television broadcast on Sunday.

6. Manuel’s resignation sows chaos
The resignation of Finance Minister Trevor Manuel on Tuesday — alongside 13 senior Cabinet ministers — caused confusion and volatility in the country’s financial markets.

7. Mbeki enters court fray
President Thabo Mbeki filed papers in the Constitutional Court on Monday to join an application for leave to appeal against a Pietermaritzburg High Court judgement on Jacob Zuma.

8. Mbeki remains my comrade, says Zuma
The chief whip of the African National Congress (ANC) told Parliament on Monday the resignation of President Thabo Mbeki should take effect in three days.

9. Mugabe rues Zanu-PF election ‘blunder’
President Robert Mugabe told his party on Wednesday that sharing power with rivals was a “humiliation” that would have to be accepted because it lost March elections.

10. ‘Crisis? What crisis?’ asks ANC
Six of the 15 Cabinet ministers who quit on Tuesday, including Finance Minister Trevor Manuel, are willing to serve again, the African National Congress (ANC) said on Tuesday, adding that there was “no crisis”.

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