Monday, October 27, 2003

The ANC has dismissed as speculation the story that Cyril Ramaphosa might be contemplating a political comeback. Its true that his name was included on the Western Cape candidates list, but he still has the right to withdraw, which he is -- apparently -- likely to do. Ramaphosa was, it seems, nominated, despite the fact that he didn't want to be.

It is, incidentally, interesting to note that Jacob Zuma garnered the second-most votes in the Western Cape, after Thabo Mbeki. A lot of people, including such esteemed publications as The Economist, have been saying that, following allegations of corruption, Zuma is a spent force. The fact that he has retained this level of support suggests that we shouldn't jump to this conclusion too quickly. Of course, a great deal hinges on the outcome of the Hefer Commission. As Farrel Lifson pointed out via our comments section, the Commission has split the ANC, with an array of ANC heavyweights coming out in support of Bulelani Ngcuka. If Zuma's accusations that Ngcuka was an apartheid-era spy turn out to be ill-founded -- as seems increasingly likely -- then he will almost certainly suffer real damage. If, on the other hand, he is vindicated, then he could receive a massive boost, and do damage to those who have sided with Ngcuka. We shouldn't, in other words, write off Zuma yet, at least not until the Hefer Commission is wrapped up. Sadly, for those intrigued by the ever-thickening plot, this is likely to take some time...


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