Monday, December 01, 2003

The BBC is reporting that City Press (the newspaper that first broke the Ngcuka spy story) has apologised for harming the dignity and reputation of Bulelani Ngcuka.

Unfortunately, I can't give you a link to the story itself because City Press is one of the growing number of SA papers that requires a subscription in order to read their website. Interestingly, the price is quoted in US dollars which suggests that the service is aimed at South African expats who can't otherwise get hold of the paper version. In other words, more blatant opportunism. I'm thinking of boycotting all such papers and, of course, if Southern Cross boycotts you, you're gonna know all about it...

Back to the Ngcuka story. Now that the show is over we can begin to speculate about the possible fallout. Ngcuka, without doubt, has emerged as one of the strongest figures in SA at the moment. Whatever stories were circulating about him (and by the sounds of it there were a number of them) they have been well and truly discredited. Even if there are people within the ANC who still believe that he was a spy, it is very unlikely that they would be so stupid as to air such allegations in light of the mauling that Schaik and Maharaj received. Does this mean that Ngcuka will now get on with the job of investigating the arms deal and answer the question we all want to know the answer to, namely: is Jacob Zuma corrupt. If he does, he's going to have to move quickly. If Zuma manages to get himself annointed Mbeki's successor (as seems increasingly likely) then it's very possible that one of his first moves will be to get rid of Ngcuka.

More on this as and when I have time...

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