Notes from underground

يارب يسوع المسيح ابن اللّه الحيّ إرحمني أنا الخاطئ

Political honeymoon is over for Jacob Zuma

Letter from Africa: Political honeymoon is over for Jacob Zuma | World news |

Whereas the former president Thabo Mbeki was an aloof, out-of-touch philosopher king, we were told, Zuma was a massive presence in every sense, a Zulu warrior king so in touch with the people he had already married four of them.

Well, that’s a nice pithy summing up.

But the article goes on to say:

But the political honeymoon has rapidly slipped into a winter of discontent. Doctors, miners, train drivers and workers in the chemical, construction, energy, paper, printing, retail and state broadcasting sectors have downed tools. More than half a million working days were lost due to strikes in the first half of this year, more than twice that in the same period in 2008. Residents have been warned to expect power cuts at home, no buses or trains to get to work and streets piled high with rubbish.

That really makes it sound as though we’re getting more like Europe every day. Last time I visited Greece hardly a day went by without some or other group of striking workers marching to or from Syntagma Square in Athens.

I wondered what Cosatu thought they were doing, throwing their support behind Jacob Zuma in the general election three months ago. I wonder if they are beginning to wonder themselves.

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