Week of 11 June 1999
- Mbeki Mbeginnings -
President-elect Thabo Mbeki has not yet been inaugurated, nor has the
Parliament of the second democratic republic met - this will happen on
Monday - but already there are indications as to the nature of his
1. Mbeki's inauguration (next Wednesday, 16 June 1999) will cost a reported
2. The office of the deputy president (Mbeki's former office) will be
merged with that of the president and be reduced mainly to ceremonial
3. Mbeki invited Dr Mangosotho Buthelezi, leader of the Inkatha Freedom
Party (IFP) onto the stage with him when receiving the election results
from the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
4. The ministry of public enterprises will be expanded. The Presidential
Review Commission had recommended it be scrapped in the light of
privatisation of state assets.
5. Minister of broadcasting and telecommunications, Jay Naidoo, has decided
to quit parliamentary politics. It was speculated that he would be excluded
from Mbeki's cabinet. Also quitting are minister of education Sibusiso
Bengu, minister of transport Mac Maharaj, minister of foreign affairs
Alfred Nzo and minister of defence Joe Modise.
6. Judge Edwin Cameron, described by commentators as "the brightest legal
mind of his generation", failed to be appointed to the constitutional court
by president Mandela. It was rumoured that although the Judicial Service
Commission had recommended his appointment, Mbeki intervened to ensure the
appointment of Judge Sandile Ngcobo.
7. Mbeki is likely to appoint more advisors, specifically on economics, and
security and intelligence.
- Coalition politics -
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) threatened to make the
Western Cape "ungovernable" if the ANC - which won 42% of the vote in the
province - is excluded from a coalition government. (In fact, chanting and
marching down Adderley can be heard as I write).
The ANC rejected an offer of one cabinet seat proposed by the NNP, DP and
ACDP. The ACDP may refuse to join the coalition if the ANC is excluded. The
NNP and DP need one seat more than they have to form a government. The ACDP
and UDM have one seat each. The press, churches and business leaders have
all lobbied against the exclusion of the ANC.
The ANC and IFP will form a coalition government in KwaZulu-Natal. The
details are being negotiated. The Western Cape is the only province in
which the ANC will not govern. Premiers of all the provinces will be
officially elected on 15 June 1999.
- Weather -
Winter has at last arrived. Temperatures across the country today:
JHB 00/19; CT 08/19; DBN 09/25; Bloem -1/20; PE 13/21.