A week before President Thabo Mbeki's State of the Nation address, his “age of hope”, trumpeted in last year's speech, is at risk. Despite 96 straight months of economic growth his recent dismissal of concerns about of two of South Africa's most pernicious social ills -- crime and corruption -- have undercut public confidence in his presidency.
Thabo Mbeki's intellectual biographer clearly sees it as his job to justify the president's ways to South Africa. He does this not just by parroting his subject and muse but also by sallying forth to yap, Maltese poodle-style, at the president's adversary of the moment.
Controversial draft legislation aimed at overhauling the structure of the judiciary has been shelved after the intervention of President Thabo Mbeki. Senior government and parliamentary officials say formal consideration of the proposed laws has been suspended, and will not begin again until they are redrafted.
President Thabo Mbeki and his government are desperately trying to limit public embarrassment over the widely publicised political conditions they have reportedly attached to an emergency bail-out for President Robert Mugabe. They should have followed the diplomatic principle enunciated by classical Greek dramatist Euripides.
An African agenda for the July meeting of the Group of Eight (G8) industrialised nations is to be canvassed when President Thabo Mbeki meets United States President George Bush in Washington next week. Bush extended an invitation to Mbeki a few weeks ago for talks at the White House, partly to discuss the upcoming summit at Gleneagles in Scotland.
South Africa has made advances in buttressing democracy since the end of apartheid in 1994 and the nation's second black President, Thabo Mbeki, is the ''pre-eminent political figure'' in the process, said the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (Idasa) on Monday.
A day after the official opposition Democratic Alliance gave President Thabo Mbeki a ''D'' in its ''report card'', a national survey suggested that 2004 had in fact been the president's personal best, with an average of 58%. According to Research Surveys, for three years -- 2000 to 2002 -- the president's approval rating was generally in the low 30s.
The South African Secret Service (SASS) is selling a luxury waters-edge property it bought less than three years ago as a discreet pow-wow venue for President Thabo Mbeki and his diplomatic guests. The 14ha Hartbeespoort Dam estate is being marketed at R26-million to R30-million -- an all-time high in an area that has become a playground for Gauteng's very rich.
For the democratically elected leader of a country it was a strange motto but Thabo Mbeki seemed to relish it: no one likes me, I don't care. It started as a terrace chant of defiance by fans of Millwall, the London football club loathed by rivals, and at some point South Africa's president made it his own.
Cookies and tea with Graeme Smith, a hunt for Miss Daisy, a possible dagga-smuggling operation, a Darth Vader impression, cricket and croquet. What could it all mean? Read President Thabo Mbeki's diary and find out.