5 November 2007


A lot of people think that politics can, and should, be divorced from personalities. But what happens in practice is that the more things become political, the more sharply do the individual actors come into focus, and the more clear is the contrast between them.

In revolutionary times life becomes at the same time both more social and more individual. “The free development of each is the condition for the free development of all” [K Marx, Manifesto, 1848]. It has always been so.

How much personality has Thabo Mbeki? When you see the way he wraps himself one day in the clothes of O.R. Tambo, and the next day in the clothes of Chief Albert Luthuli, you know that this man is in trouble. He is actually the son of Govan Mbeki, a true communist. You will not hear the father being honoured by the son, who, even though somehow a president, is a dull and sour fellow. Xolela Mangcu somehow succeeds in being quite funny about him. See the first item below.

The president has not yet finished summoning up the ghosts of Tambo and Luthuli, when “Terror” Lekota, the former BC character, claims Walter Sisulu’s support from the grave – against Zwelinzima Vavi! Lekota is mistaken if he thinks that Vavi is an easy kicking-target, whether with Sisulu’s assistance or without. Lekota is only an empty vessel making a lot of noise. The fact that he is almost the sole minister campaigning for the incumbent is a very eloquent fact, which Lekota is only making more obvious by his antics. See the second and third items.

The next item is a report of what Phutas Tseki told Caiphas Kgosana about Willie Madisha. This is a good example of why there is more of personality, and not less, in revolutionary times. People expose themselves, or prove themselves, under pressure. They can give themselves away, and no more so than when they try to support a pack of lies, like comrade Phutas here.

The Party and the YCL disapprove of all the slanging matches (see the last two items). The Party is very right about one thing at least: we will still be around the day after Polokwane, and most of us will still have to work together. But please God, let Essop Pahad be put out to grass. Not to die. Just to retire. Now that his daughter is well settled. Please. It’s enough, already.

Click on these links:

Handed the holy standards by Tambo, Xolela Mangcu, Weekender (891 words)

Walter Sisulu warned of Vavi, says Lekota, Msomi, City Press (523 words)

Vavi, Lekota spar verbally again, Msomi, City Press (548 words)

SACP R500K donation probe dividing COSATU, Kgosana, City Press (362 words)

SACP statement on the public spats by Alliance leaders (346 words)

YCL NWC Statement, ANC National Conference - Cuba – Matatiele (555 words)


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