South African president on way out

The World

On the streets of South Africa today there’s an air of uncertainty about the future. Mbeki told audiences last night he was stepping down and had been recalled by his own party. He appeared stoic and somber. His departure reveals the deep decisions in the ANC. The firing is fueled by supporters of Jacob Zuma who want him to become president despite allegations of fraud and corruption against him. Whether these divisions can be healed may affect the future of the ANC. This analyst says Mbeki’s quiet departure could calm things for the moment, but there are fears that the ANC will break along tribal lines giving the potential for civil strife. Mbeki’s departure may also affect Africa’s largest economy in economic ways. Mbeki has been viewed as a pro-business politician but Zuma is viewed as a pro-labor leader. For his part, Zuma is trying to downplay events and today he blamed the media for making too much of Mbeki’s departure. Zuma isn’t president�not yet, there will be an interim president until formal elections can be held next year.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Sign up for The Top of the World, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning.