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15 janvier 2010 5 15 /01 /janvier /2010 10:26

La famine comme arme de guerre. Des images chocs pour mobiliser la générosité internationale. Une nécessité malgré le malaise et l’éthique ?


yartibiafra01Le 15 janvier 1970 finissait l’une des guerres civiles les plus terribles de l’Afrique postcoloniale. Il est vrai que toutes les guerres sont terribles et d’autres, comme le conflit au Rwanda, seront également épouvantables. Plus d’un million de victimes dans un pays pourtant voué à s’enrichir grâce à ses ressources énergétiques.
 
Confrontations ethniques faussement requalifiées en guerres de religion, souvent encouragées de l’extérieur, mainmise des gisements en pétrole et en charbon, position géostratégique… Tout ce qui sera devenu banal par la suite était déjà présent dans la guerre du Biafra.
 
 
Guerre civile postcoloniale
 
De quoi s’agissait-il ? Du Nigeria, presque le double de la superficie de la France, qui fut sous domination coloniale britannique qui, jusqu’à l’indépendance le 1er octobre 1960, avait favorisé les Ibos (ethnie principalement chrétienne vivant au Sud) au détriment des Haoussas (principalement musulmans vivant au Nord) et des Yorubas (musulmans et chrétiens de l’Ouest).
 
Après une série de coups d’État et de fortes tensions ethniques (30 000 personnes auraient été massacrées en 1966), le gouverneur militaire de la région de l’Est, la région la plus riche car recouvrant la partie est du delta du fleuve Niger (pétrole, charbon), le colonel Odumegwu Emeka Ojukwu s’opposa à une partition fédérale qui désavantagerait les Ibos. Il proclama l’indépendance de sa région le 30 mai 1967, sous l’appellation de République du Biafra, le Biafra étant le nom du golfe au sud, sur la côte atlantique, et délimitée à l’ouest par le fleuve Niger et à l’est par la frontière camerounaise.
 
Commença alors le 6 juillet 1967 une longue guerre civile qui ensanglanta et affama le Nigeria.
 
Concrètement, la sécession du Nigeria, anglophone, fut vue par le général De Gaulle comme un moyen de réduire l’influence britannique en Afrique. Soutenant implicitement le Biafra, la cellule africaine de l'Élysée y envoya des mercenaires (notamment Bob Denard). Les mercenaires Roger Faulques, Rolf Steiner et Hank Warton ainsi que le poète Chris Okigbo ont eu ainsi un rôle essentiel au début de la guerre.
 
Les Biafrais envahirent la région à l’ouest du Delta pour conquérir l’ensemble des réserves en pétrole. Représentant 20% de la population totale du Nigeria (et 70% de la population biafraise), les Ibos furent également soutenus par les compagnies pétrolières alors que le gouvernement fédéral du Nigeria était soutenu par la Grande-Bretagne, les États-Unis et l’Union soviétique.
 
Parmi les soutiens politiques à la République du Biafra, par l’influence française, on retrouva Omar Bongo qui devint Président du Gabon le 2 décembre 1967 (il vient de mourir le 8 juin 2009), Félix Houphouët-Boigny (Président de la Côte d’Ivoire) et également d’autres pays africains comme la Tanzanie, la Zambie, l’Afrique du Sud et la Rhodésie. Le Portugal, l’Espagne et Israël également. Même le Vatican se rangea en fin 1968 du côté biafrais (sans doute pour soutenir le "camp chrétien").
 
C’est parce que les compagnies pétrolières (notamment Shell et BP) décidèrent qu’elles payeraient directement au gouvernement biafrais que le gouvernement nigérian a lancé une offensive pour récupérer les territoires de la République du Biafra. Les opérations militaires durèrent deux ans et demi. Finalement, les groupes pétroliers versèrent tous les royalties au Nigeria.
 
En 1968, une véritable guerre de positions eut lieu, rendant les populations civiles dans le plus grand dénuement, dans un étau entre l’armée biafraise (qui comptait 100 000 soldats) et l’armée nigériane (environ 120 000 soldats).
 
Les Nigérians reconquirent le sud de la région empêchant les Biafrais d’avoir accès à la mer. La grave famine qui sévit dans les camps de réfugiés (assiégés par l’armée nigériane) alarma la communauté internationale par une surmédiatisation du drame humanitaire (des sociétés de relations publiques furent même sollicitées par le gouvernement biafrais), ce qui engendra indignation et mobilisation.
 
Selon l’armée nigériane, l’envoi d’aide humanitaire aurait été l’occasion d’aider militairement les Biafrais.
 
Les troupes nigérianes récupérèrent l’ensemble du territoire biafrais et le gouvernement biafrais capitula le 12 janvier 1970. Les combats cessèrent le 15 janvier 1970. Le pays bénéficia de la croissance de la demande pétrolière pour prospérer après cette atroce guerre.
 
Le Président biafrais Ojukwu, qui avait fui quelques jours avant en Côte d’Ivoire, pourra ensuite revenir dans son pays en 1976 (après un pardon accordé par le gouvernement) et sera candidat malheureux à l’élection présidentielle de 2003 (à l’âge de 70 ans).
 
Une guerre qui a été donc vraiment inutile et dont l’enjeu pétrolier était clairement identifié, même si Ojukwu, encore aujourd’hui, rejette cette motivation.
 
Parenthèse : quarante années après le retour à la paix, le Nigeria subit la maladie de son Président. Hospitalisé en Arabie saoudite (à Jeddah) pour une maladie cardiaque grave depuis le 23 novembre 2009, le Président Umaru Yar’Adua n’est en effet plus en état d’assumer ses fonctions. Le 14 janvier 2010, la Haute cour fédérale du Nigeria devait commencer à étudier à Abuja (la capitale) les possibilités d’un transfert de ses pouvoirs à son Vice-Président Goodluck Jonathan. Les décisions sont attendues à partir du 22 janvier 2010. Le vide du pouvoir avait engendré des manifestations de plusieurs milliers de personnes le 12 janvier 2010 au moment où l’Assemblée Nationale débattait de la santé d’Umaru Yar’Adua qui s’était toutefois exprimé le même jour dans une interview sur la BBC.
 
L’humanitaire en campagne médiatique
 
C’est donc à partir de 1968 que les premières campagnes d’appel à l’aide humanitaire furent lancées pour secourir les populations affamées. Les moyens étaient draconiens puisque les affiches montraient des enfants du Biafra mal nourris, squelettiques avec un ventre gonflé qui évoquaient amèrement les photos prises lors de la libération des camps d'extermination en 1945.
 
L’émotion, la tristesse, les sentiments passionnels étaient recherchés pour encourager la charité et la générosité.
 
C’est encore aujourd’hui une question qui, pour moi, est sans réponse. Faut-il utiliser l’émotion jusqu’à en faire de la propagande pour une juste cause ?
 
Le tsunami du 24 décembre 2004, maintenant le terrible tremblement de terre à Haïti du 12 janvier 2010, les multiples campagnes souvent annuelles pour différentes causes, comme la lutte contre la lèpre (il suffit de si peu d’argent pour soigner une personne), le cancer, le sida, le Téléthon, les campagnes médiatiques pour un sac de riz en Somalie, les multiples occasions de favoriser la générosité des gens plus chanceux (pas forcément plus riches), nécessitent et nécessiteront toujours l’emploi d’images fortes, l’emploi de visuels qui choquent, de symboles qui marquent, de photos qui dérangent dans le but de se secouer l’esprit.
 
Le risque, c’est la surenchère : quand le Sidaction veut concurrencer par exemple le Téléthon. Car il peut y avoir une réelle compétition entre plusieurs causes humanitaires.
 
Pour le cas du Biafra, il y avait urgence. Comme pour la population haïtienne aujourd’hui. Et dans l’urgence, on commet forcément des erreurs, on peut pécher par excès ou par omission.
 
On peut penser que la diffusion d’images difficiles, de scènes terribles ne fait que satisfaire un besoin universel de voyeurisme. Que ces images difficiles, que certains ont eu l’occasion de voir dans leur petite enfance, peuvent traumatiser. Mais elles permettent aussi de graver, de ne pas oublier. Elles permettent de réagir. Elles obligent à réagir. Elles peuvent parfois être sujettes à caution, être exercice de propagande (comme les charniers de Timisoara) mais elles réveillent et font réfléchir dans tous les cas.
 
 
Aujourd’hui, Haïti
 
Haïti, un autre Biafra ? Eh non justement ! Car la grande différence, c’est que la guerre du Biafra était largement évitable. Que toutes les parties (intérieures et extérieures) avaient tout intérêt à favoriser ce conflit pour des raisons ethniques, politiques, idéologiques (Ojukwu nourrissait un anticommunisme viscéral), religieuses et bien sûr économiques.
 
Alors que la catastrophe à Haïti n’est pas une catastrophe engendrée par l’homme, mais une catastrophe naturelle. Le vocabulaire est important : la Nature n’est pas forcément belle, n’est pas forcément "humaine". Le naturel n’est pas forcément la panacée.
 
Le désastre haïtien aurait-il pour autant été impossible à éviter ? Je ne sais pas. Aucun signal avant-coureur n’avait été détecté avant la secousse de magnitude 7,3. Donc, aucune possibilité de prévenir les populations, et même si elles avaient été prévenues, qu’auraient-elles pu faire ? Quitter l’île ? Pour aller où et comment ?
 
L’heure est à l’urgence, pour sauver le plus de vies possible. Puis l’heure sera à la reconstruction. Et à ce moment-là, il devient impératif que les habitants de Haïti se dotent de constructions antisismiques. Comme au Japon. Il est indispensable que la communauté internationale, d’une manière ou d’une autre, puisse aider les Haïtiens dans cette perspective. Car tout porte à croire que d’autres secousses de grande ampleur seront encore à prévoir dans les années ou décennies qui viennent dans cette zone extrêmement sensible.
 
Biafra, Haïti… deux drames humanitaires totalement différents, mais qui ont des conséquences humaines identiques et considérables : rien ne sera inutile pour favoriser l’arrivée de nouvelles aides et de nouveaux secours.
 
 
 
Sylvain Rakotoarison (15 janvier 2010)
 
 
Pour aller plus loin :
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
yartibiafra02 


http://www.agoravox.fr/tribune-libre/article/il-y-a-40-ans-le-premier-drame-68201


http://www.lepost.fr/article/2010/01/15/1888799_il-y-a-40-ans-le-premier-drame-humanitaire-mediatise-se-terminait-le-biafra.html

http://rakotoarison.lesdemocrates.fr/article-119

http://www.centpapiers.com/il-y-a-40-ans-le-premier-drame-humanitaire-mediatise-se-terminait-le-biafra/11248/




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4 janvier 2010 1 04 /01 /janvier /2010 19:37

(photos)


A LIRE :
IL Y A 40 ANS, FIN DE LA GUERRE DU BIAFRA



Les terribles images du Biafra


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26 octobre 2009 1 26 /10 /octobre /2009 08:54

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Ben Ali réélu pour un cinquième mandat à la tête de la Tunisie

http://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2009/10/25/tunisie-plus-de-53-de-votants-a-la-mi-journee_1258580_3212.html#ens_id=1245377&xtor=AL-32280151
http://www.lemonde.fr/web/imprimer_element/0,40-0@2-3212,50-1258580,0.html
Tunisie : Ben Ali réélu pour un cinquième mandat
LEMONDE.FR avec AFP | 25.10.09 | 14h45  •  Mis à jour le 26.10.09 | 07h43


e président tunisien sortant, Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali a été officiellement réélu, dimanche 25 octobre, pour un cinquième mandat avec 89,62 % des suffrages exprimés, selon les résultats définitifs du ministère de l'intérieur. Ces chiffres portent sur l'ensemble des 26 circonscriptions que compte le pays et inclue le vote des expatriés. C'est ainsi à l'étranger que M. Ben Ali a réalisé son meilleur score (94,85 %), contre un résultat à l'intérieur du pays variant entre 84,16 % et 93,88 % (à Monastir, dans l'est du pays). Le président sortant n'a toutefois pas réussi à dépasser les 90 % réalisés lors des deux précédents scrutins, en 1999 et 2004.


 
Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali faisait face à trois candidats de l'opposition parlementaire. Les scores des deux candidats proches du pouvoir se situent à 5,01 % pour Mohamed Bouchiha, du Parti de l'unité populaire, et 3,80 % pour Ahmed Inoubli, de l'Union démocratique unioniste. Ahmed Brahim, quatrième candidat et le seul à se poser en "vrai concurrent" critique à l'égard du régime, a réalisé le score le plus faible, soit 1,57 % des voix recueillies sous la bannière d'une coalition de gauche autour de son parti Ettajdid (le "Renouveau", ex-communiste).

L'ENJEU POUR L'OPPOSITION : LES LÉGISLATIVES

Aux législatives, le Rassemblement constitutionnel démocratique (RCD) du président Ben Ali a remporté 161 sièges sur 214 à la Chambre des députés, grâce à 75 % des suffrages. Les 53 restants seront départagés à la proportionnelle entre six des huit partis en lice. La présidentielle ne constituant pas de véritable enjeu aux yeux des opposants, ceux-ci espéraient surtout renforcer leur présence au Parlement.

M. Ben Ali avait succédé en 1987 au premier président de la Tunisie indépendante, Habib Bourguiba, qu'il avait destitué pour "sénilité". En 2004, il avait été reconduit par 94,48 % des suffrages avec un taux de participation de 91,52 % et son parti avait obtenu une majorité écrasante à la Chambre des députés, des scores contestés par ses adversaires.

Pour obtenir ce cinquième mandat, Ben Ali a mis en avant la stabilité et le développement du pays, en dépit de la crise économique et de la hausse du chômage. La campagne électorale a illustré le fossé existant entre la machine de guerre électorale du RCD, fort de 2,7 millions d'adhérents et profondément ancré dans le pays, et la logistique modeste de l'opposition. La veille du vote, M. Ben Ali avait fustigé "une minorité infime de Tunisiens" qui se livreraient à "une campagne désespérée" pour mettre en doute l'honnêteté du scrutin, surveillé par un "Observatoire national".




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25 juillet 2009 6 25 /07 /juillet /2009 10:44

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Les « noces » au fouet de Loubna

par Thiziri ⋅ mardi 21 juillet 2009 ⋅ Répondre à cet article  
Accueil > Actualités > Les « noces » au fouet de Loubna

Loubna Al-Hussein est une journaliste soudanaise, connue dans son pays pour ses écrits dans le journal de gauche Al-Sahafa. Pour ne pas encourir les foudres de la police des mœurs locale, Loubna s’habille d’un vêtement ample qui la couvre des pieds à la tête. Seule coquetterie que se permet notre consœur, à l’instar de tant d’autres : elle porte un jean sous son « habit de pudeur ».

Vous en rencontrerez des milliers comme ça dans les rues d’Alger, de Ghaza ou de Djakarta. Loubna est donc une femme en hidjab, selon les canons du moment, et qui ne se dévoile que dans ses articles qui ne ménagent pas le régime. C’est sans doute là qu’il faut chercher, d’ailleurs, la cause réelle de ses récents déboires. Le 3 juillet dernier, Loubna Ahmed Al-Hussein, journaliste et employée d’une représentation locale des Nations unies, participait à une fête dans un restaurant de Khartoum. Un groupe de policiers investit les lieux à la recherche de femmes qui portent le pantalon, parmi les 300 ou 400 personnes présentes. Le port d’un jean, même recouvert d’un paréo descendant à mi-cuisses, étant assimilé à une tenue indécente. Loubna est donc conduite au commissariat en compagnie de douze autres jeunes femmes, dont plusieurs sont originaires du sud animiste ou chrétien, non astreint théoriquement à la charia. Sur les treize jeunes filles emmenées au commissariat, dix sont convoquées quelques jours plus tard au même endroit. Elles reçoivent chacune dix coups de fouet avant d’être remises en liberté, leurs tenues ayant été jugées non conformes mais relativement décentes. Une accusation plus grave est lancée contre Loubna et deux autres « prévenues », celle d’atteinte à la pudeur publique et de comportement indécent. En vertu de l’article 152 du code pénal soudanais, les trois accusées risquent d’être condamnées à une peine de 40 coups de fouet chacune. Mais Loubna est une femme qui a de la ressource et du ressort. Sitôt informée de la peine encourue, elle a fait imprimer quelques centaines de cartons d’invitation, de ceux qu’on utilise habituellement pour un mariage. Une photo de Loubna, telle qu’habillée le jour de la rafle, illustre l’invitation adressée, en priorité à des journalistes et à des diplomates étrangers. Ces derniers sont conviés à une noce peu commune puisqu’il s’agit de la flagellation en public de Loubna, et à une date non encore fixée. C’est ainsi que notre jeune consœur a choisi de riposter aux charges injustes et infamantes retenues contre elle : entourer l’affaire d’un maximum de publicité. Le résultat a dépassé toutes les espérances puisque la classe politique soudanaise s’est ébrouée à l’annonce de cette flagellation. A l’étranger, l’affaire a été largement médiatisée, à l’exception des journaux des pays proches du régime soudanais qui sont loin d’être majoritaires, heureusement. « Je veux que les gens sachent ce qui s’est passé », a affirmé Loubna Al-Hussein sur le site « Facebook ». Je le fais moins pour moi que pour les dix jeunes filles fouettées. Imaginez leur état d’esprit lorsqu’elles sont sorties tête basse du commissariat. Imaginez le choc que cela représente pour leurs parents et leurs proches. Qui va croire dans notre société qu’une jeune femme a subi le châtiment du fouet pour le simple fait d’avoir porté un pantalon ? Il faut que tout le monde apprenne la vérité sur ces flagellations. Elles sont quotidiennes et touchent des centaines voire des milliers de personnes. Il faut dénoncer l’injustice que constituent cet article 152 et ses applications. « Au moment où j’ai été arrêtée, je portais la même tenue que celle que j’arbore lorsque je passe à la télévision. Est-il concevable que l’on fouette une femme parce qu’elle porte un pantalon sous son vêtement traditionnel ». On peut imaginer aussi l’humiliation infligée à des centaines de femmes, invitées à une fête et littéralement assaillies par des groupes de policiers, défenseurs de la morale dite islamique. Au Soudan de Omar Al- Bachir, accusé de génocide au Darfour par la Cour pénale internationale, les femmes sont les premières, et souvent les seules justiciables de la charia. On leur enseigne depuis l’enfance que l’islam a libéré la femme des entraves de la « djahilia », mais elles attendent toujours qu’on les libère du joug des mâles musulmans. Je m’étonne, au demeurant, que nos vaillants chevaliers de la foi n’aient pas protesté contre le fait que Lucy, notre aïeule supposée (1), soit exposée sans vêtements. D’accord, c’est une très vieille grand-mère et on ne lui voit plus que les os, mais tout de même. Je parie que la prochaine copie qui sera commandée aux Ethiopiens sera celle d’une Lucy en hidjab, pour bien montrer que la charia peut s’appliquer avec effets rétroactifs. Ce qui serait encore plus dramatique, pour moi, c’est de découvrir un jour que je pourrais être un lointain parent d’Abou-Soufiane ou de Karadhaoui, à cause de cette sacrée Lucy (2). Une qui devra revoir la sienne de copie, c’est la chaîne d’information saoudienne « Al-Arabia ». Vendredi dernier, elle a tenté d’apporter sa pierre au système de défense hâtivement bâti autour de l’affaire des moines de Tibhirine. Elle nous a donc servi sur un plateau l’interview de l’émir des GIA, repenti, Layada. Ce dernier a tenté tant bien que mal de rejeter les accusations sournoises que Paris nous sert avant chaque saison des amours. Ce monsieur qui a reconnu avoir commandité l’assassinat de Djaout, et qui a combattu l’ANP, se surprend aujourd’hui à défendre l’honneur de notre armée. Piètre avocat, puisque Layada n’est pas connu pour être quelqu’un de supérieurement intelligent. Il y en avait trop sur sa feuille de route : défendre en même temps Bouteflika, les généraux, les pirates du Boeing d’Air-France est une mission ardue. Vous vous rendez compte des efforts surhumains que cela exige d’une personne, normale, repentie et recyclée comme Layada ? Il est du bois dont on fait les inquisiteurs et même si la chaîne « Al-Arabia » s’est échinée à lui servir la soupe, le jeu n’en valait pas la chandelle. A trop vouloir prouver... Sayid Qimni est un historien, comme le monde arabe en a bien peu. Il ne fait pas de l’autoflagellation pour expier un crime depuis longtemps oublié. Dans un moment de faiblesse, il a fait acte de repentance publique reniant ce qu’il avait écrit, regrettant les vérités trop vite exprimées. Allez donc faire autrement quand vous avez un pistolet pointé sur votre nuque ou un couteau caressant votre jugulaire. Ce n’est pas exactement ce qui est arrivé à Qimni, mais ce qui aurait pu lui arriver, et le conditionnel est ici prémonition. Très vite, Sayed Qimni a surmonté sa peur, sa lâcheté, ont crié trop vite des écrivains, bien à l’abri dans des pays sûrs. C’est, entre autres, le jugement aussi péremptoire qu’injuste du philosophe jordanien Chaker Naboulci, et celui de quelques exilés libéraux, plus portés à l’incitation qu’à l’action. Sayed Qimni vient de recevoir la plus haute distinction de l’Etat égyptien, au titre des sciences sociales. Deux autres universitaires de renom, dont Hussein Hanafi(3), ont reçu le même trophée, mais seul le nom de Qimni a soulevé une tempête à « Al- Azhar » et dans les milieux intégristes. On a entendu et lu des protestations qui ressemblaient à autant d’appels au meurtre émanant de théologiens qui prononcent des sentences et se lavent les mains par avance de leur exécution.

A. H.

Le Soir

(1) Au fait, que deviennent Adam et Eve dans tout ça ?

(2) Au fait, pourquoi un tel déploiement de forces pour protéger finalement une copie ? N’oublions pas que nous sommes à l’ère des clones et que ce qui est bon pour Lucy peut l’être pour qui vous voulez.

(3) Ce dernier a été surnommé le « Vicaire du diable » par les islamistes.



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10 mai 2009 7 10 /05 /mai /2009 20:20

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http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page72308?oid=128222&sn=Marketingweb%20detail
Jacob Zuma announces cabinet choices
The Presidency
10 May 2009


Pravin Gordhan appointed finance minister, Trevor Manuel to head up planning commission


Statement by President Jacob Zuma on the appointment of the new Cabinet, May 10 2009

Members of the media,

Good afternoon and thank you for joining us.

We have since the launch of the ANC Manifesto indicated the type of new administration we envisaged in terms of size, shape and political focus.

We wanted a structure that would enable us to achieve visible and tangible socio-economic development within the next five years.
It should be a structure which would enable us to effectively implement our policies.

The structure of Cabinet and national departments has therefore been re-organised to achieve better alignment between the structure, our electoral mandate as per our election Manifesto, and the developmental challenges that need to receive immediate attention from government.

In summary, some of the changes in the structure of government are the following:

Following extensive research on international models on how governments in other parts of the world plan and monitor performance, we have decided to establish a National Planning Commission which will be based in the Presidency.

The NPC will be responsible for strategic planning for the country to ensure one National Plan to which all spheres of government would adhere.

This would enable us to take a more comprehensive view of socio-economic development in the country.
 
We have also created a monitoring and evaluation competency in the Presidency, to monitor and evaluate the performance of government in all three spheres.

There will therefore be two Ministers in the Presidency, one responsible for the NPC and the other for Monitoring and Evaluation as well as administration in the Presidency.

Other changes are the following:

The Department of Minerals and Energy will be split into two separate departments of Mining and of Energy, each with a Minister.
The Department of Education will be split into separate Ministries, one for Basic Education and the other for Higher Education and Training.
The Department of Housing will be called the Department of Human Settlements to take on a more holistic focus.
There will be a new department of Rural Development and Land Affairs, which are part of our key priorities for the next five years.
The Department of Water affairs and Forestry becomes the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs.
A new Department of Economic Development has been established to focus on economic policymaking. The implementation functions will remain with the Department of Trade and Industry.
A new department of Tourism has been created.
Agriculture becomes Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
The Department of Provincial and Local Government becomes Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.
A new Ministry has been created for Women, Youth, Children and People with Disability, to emphasise the need for equity and access to development opportunities for the vulnerable groups in our society.
The Cabinet that will fulfill our objectives is composed as follows:

The Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa will be Mr Kgalema Petros Motlanthe.

The rest of Cabinet in alphabetical order is as follows:

1.
 Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
 Tina Joemat-Peterson
 
 
 Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
 Dr Pieter Mulder
 
2.
 Minister of Arts and Culture
 Lulu Xingwana
 
 
 Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture
 Paul Mashatile
 
3.
 Minister of Basic Education
 Angie Motshekga
 
 
 Deputy Minister of Basic Education
 Enver Surty
 
4.
 Minister of Communications
 Siphiwe Nyanda
 
 
 Deputy Minister of Communications
 Dina Pule
 
5.
 Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs
 Sicelo Shiceka
 
 
 Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs
 Yunus Carrim
 
6.
 Minister of Correctional Services
 Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula
 
 
 Deputy Minister of Correctional Services
 Hlengiwe Mkhize
 
7.
 Minister of Defence and Military Veterans
 Lindiwe Sisulu
 
 
 Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans
 Thabang Makwetla
 
8.
 Minister of Economic Development
 Ebrahim Patel
 
 
 Deputy Minister of Economic Development
 Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde
 
9.
 Minister of Energy
 Dipuo Peters
 
10.
 Minister  of Finance
 Pravin Gordhan
 
 
 Deputy Minister  of Finance
 Nhlanhla Nene
 
11.
 Minister of Health
 Dr Aaron Motsoaledi
 
 
 Deputy Minister of Health
 Dr Molefi Sefularo
 
12.
 Minister of Higher Education and Training
 Dr Blade Nzimande
 
13.
 Minister of Home Affairs
 Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
 
 
 Deputy Minister of Home Affairs
 Malusi Gigaba
 
14.
 Minister of Human Settlements
 Tokyo Sexwale
 
 
 Deputy Minister of Human Settlements
 Zou Kota
 
15.
 Minister of International Relations and Cooperation
 Maite Nkoana-Mashabane
 
 
 Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation (1)
 Ebrahim Ismail Ebrahim
 
 
 Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation (2)
 Sue van der Merwe
 
16.
 Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development
 Jeff Radebe
 
 
 Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development
 Andries Nel
 
17.
 Minister of Labour
 Membathisi Mdladlana
 
18.
 Minister of Mining
 Susan Shabangu
 
19.
 Minister of Police
 Nathi Mthethwa
 
 
 Deputy Minister of Police
 Fikile Mbalula
 
20.
 Minister of Public Enterprises
 Barbara Hogan
 
 
 Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises
 Enoch Godongwana
 
21.
 Minister for the Public Service and Administration
 Richard Baloyi
 
 
 Deputy Minister for the Public Service and Administration
 Roy Padayachie
 
22.
 Minister of Public Works
 Geoff Doidge
 
 
 Deputy Minister of Public Works
 Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu
 
23.
 Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform
 Gugile Nkwinti
 
 
 Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform
 Dr Joe Phaahla
 
24.
 Minister of Science and Technology
 Naledi Pandor
 
 
 Deputy Minister of Science and Technology
 Derek Hanekom
 
25.
 Minister of Social Development
 Edna Molewa
 
 
 Deputy Minister of Social Development
 Bathabile Dlamini
 
26.
 Minister of Sport and Recreation
 Makhenkesi Stofile
 
 
 Deputy Minister of Sport and Recreation
 Gert Oosthuizen
 
27.
 Minister of State Security
 Siyabonga Cwele
 
28.
 Minister in The Presidency (1)
National Planning Commission
 Trevor Manuel
 
29.
 Minister in The Presidency (2)
Performance Monitoring and Evaluation as well as Administration in the Presidency
 Collins Chabane
 
30.
 Minister of Tourism
 Marthinus van Schalkwyk
 
 
 Deputy Minister of Tourism
 Thozile Xasa
 
31.
 Minister of Trade and Industry
 Rob Davies
 
 
 Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry (1)
 Thandi Tobias
 
 
 Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry (2)
 Maria Ntuli
 
32.
 Minister of Transport
 Sbusiso Joel Ndebele
 
 
 Deputy Minister of Transport
 Jeremy Cronin
 
33.
 Minister of Water and Environmental  Affairs
 Buyelwa Sonjica
 
 
 Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental  Affairs
 Rejoice Mabhudafhasi
 
34.
 Minister of Women, Youth, Children and People with Disabilities
 Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya
 

We stated clearly during the campaign that we want an efficient, caring and effective administration, which will be accessible and responsive to the needs of the people.

We reiterate that we will not tolerate laziness and incompetence, and that we will emphasise excellence and achievement from the Cabinet and the public service.

With these objectives in mind, I am confident that the new structure of government will enable the state machinery to speed up service delivery.

Civil servants will not lose their jobs as a result of these changes. This is a matter of principle in terms of the country's labour relations dispensation.

I however want to stress to our public servants that the era of hard work has begun. Public servants who do their work diligently and efficiently have nothing to worry about.

I wish the new team all the best with their responsibilities.

We request the South African public and all key sectors of our society to support them in their national service.

Let me also take this opportunity to wish all South African mothers well on Mother's Day today.

Mothers are the backbones of our families, communities and our nation.
We truly appreciate their role in our society, in both the public sphere and within families.

I thank you.

Issued by The Presidency, May 10 2009

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Trevor Manuel kicked upstairs
Reuters
10 May 2009


Outgoing finance minister to head powerful new planning body based in presidency


PRETORIA (Reuters) - Trevor Manuel was appointed to head a powerful new planning body on Sunday, keeping South Africa's former finance minister at the heart of policy-making in President Jacob Zuma's first cabinet.

A day after taking office, Zuma named tax authority chief Pravin Gordhan to replace Manuel in another sign of continuity as Africa's biggest economy heads towards its first recession in 17 years.

"I think the positions that the financial markets were worried about have been skilfully handled," said independent analyst Nic Borain.

Manuel had been in the job for 13 years, making him the world's longest-serving finance minister. Investors approved of the tight monetary and fiscal policies he kept in place.

"Comrade Trevor Manuel has been given a new structure, a very powerful structure that is going to work out a national plan of government," said Zuma who expects a positive financial market reaction to Gordhan's appointment.

As well coping with the fallout from the global financial crisis, Zuma also faces pressure to deliver on 15 years of promises by his ruling African National Congress (ANC) to tackle widespread poverty, crime and AIDS, and create jobs.

The ANC won an election landslide on April 22, keeping the dominance it has held since the end of apartheid in 1994. Zuma made his way to the presidency despite facing trials for rape and corruption. All the charges were dropped.

His toughest task may be balancing the interests of unions and communists who helped him rise to the top against those of investors who fear he will steer the economy to the left.

Some of the more vocal left-wingers found places in the cabinet, but not holding key economic portfolios.

COMMUNISTS

South African Communist Party General-Secretary Blade Nzimande was named minister of higher education and training.

"He certainly put his own staff on the cabinet which I think is a good thing," said Nel Marais, acting managing director at Executive Research Associates.

"There are quite a few strong new faces in the cabinet that played a significant role in Zuma's political fight for survival in the past few months."

Zuma also reached out to Afrikaners, many of whom feel excluded 15 years after the end of white minority rule. He named the deputy agriculture minister from the Freedom Front, which explicitly aims to protect Afrikaner interests.

Top businessman Tokyo Sexwale, who returned to politics two years ago, became minister of human settlements.

But Zuma left out Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who is back in parliament after a fraud conviction. The ex-wife of anti- apartheid symbol Nelson Mandela had been tipped for a cabinet post despite being seen by many as a divisive figure.

Possibly in a sign of tougher measures against violent crime before next year's soccer World Cup finals in South Africa, Zuma created a new ministry specifically for the police.

Zuma named his predecessor, Kgalema Motlanthe, as his deputy. Motlanthe had served in a caretaker role since Zuma's rival, former President Thabo Mbeki, was forced from office last September by the ANC.

Although markets were expected to welcome the key economic appointments, some pundits questioned how effectively Manuel's new planning commission and another new economic ministry would work with trade and finance ministries.

"All those, plus deputies, will be fighting for the same bowl. Coordination from that point of view is going to be hugely problematic," said Marais.

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Zuma cabinet largely bad news - Helen Zille
Helen Zille
10 May 2009


DA leader says growth in size of executive adds financial and administrative burden


Zuma cabinet revamp raises more questions than answers

With few exceptions, President Jacob Zuma's new cabinet is bad news for South Africa.  Although several serial under-performers of the Mbeki era have been dropped (such as Dr Manto Tshabala-Msimang, Ngconde Balfour, Mandisi Mpahlwa and Charles Nqakula) others have been retained, and in some instances moved to crucial portfolios.

In addition a host of sinecure deputy ministries have been created, more to solve the ANC's internal political problems at taxpayers' expense, than to add value to service delivery.

The President's decision to revamp the structure of cabinet also raises more questions than it provides answers. It remains to be seen whether the splitting of certain portfolios and the creation of a planning commission within the Presidency will have any positive effect on service delivery.

The cabinet has grown substantially in size, to 34 Ministers, adding a significant cost and administrative burden. Of particular importance in this regard is the creation of a National Planning Commission based in the Presidency. While the DA welcomes the appointment of Trevor Manuel as the head of the commission, we will fiercely resist any attempts by this Ministry or the newly created Cooperative Governance Ministry to undermine the constitutionally entrenched autonomy of the three spheres of government.

We will also watch two critical new appointments very closely, namely that of Ebrahim Patel as the head of the newly created Ministry of Economic Development and that of Pravin Gordhan as the new Minister of Finance. We hope that these appointments do not herald a departure from sound macro-economic policy making and implementation and that there will not be a radical overhaul of economic policy, simply to appease COSATU and the SACP.  President Zuma is heavily indebted to both these organisations for his political resurrection, and the Cabinet is clearly structured to repay these debts. If President Zuma was to threaten international investor confidence to repay political debts, it would be a serious setback for South Africa's attempts to weather the global financial crisis and establish a sound basis for future investment and economic growth.

It remains to be seen how much power the new Economic Development Department is granted, and to what extent this power may infringe on the previous responsibilities of the Department of Finance. If the Department of Finance has been downgraded to the role of mere budget-making, then this move constitutes a real concern.

Of particular concern is the appointment of Angie Motshekga as Minister of Basic Education and Blade Nzimande as Minister of Higher Education.  Angie Motshekga is known for her infamous statement, in defence of Julius Malema, that an education is not a necessary requirement for leadership.  Blade Nzimande, as the Minister of Higher Education, is a Marxist ideologue, whose appointment raises concerns about the future of higher education in a global knowledge economy.

The DA is relieved that there is no place in the Zuma Cabinet for a number of ministers from the previous administration whose tenures were nothing short of disastrous. These include Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, Ngconde Balfour, Mandisi Mpahlwa and Charles Nqakula. It is however lamentable Nosizwe Mapisa-Nqakula has been shifted to the critical portfolio of Correctional Services when her time as Minister of Home Affairs saw her lurch lethargically from one crisis to another.

Other appointments which raise alarm bells include the appointment of Susan Shabangu as the Minister of Mines, a critical industry for South Africa's long term economic growth, the shifting of the highly effective Barbara Hogan from Health to Public Enterprises in what appears to be punishment for her outspoken comments on the Dalai Lama, and the appointment of Jeff Radebe to the exceptionally important Justice Ministry.

Radebe has left a great deal of mess for his successor at the Department of Transport to deal with and it is unlikely that he will perform any better at the department of Justice. Shabangu's appointment is concerning, given her woeful tenure as Deputy Minister of Minerals and Energy.

The cabinet announced today needs to be given time to properly judge its performance. The DA for its part will watch each of these ministries very closely and hold them to account for any misstep. We will do everything in our power to ensure that each new minister respects the constitution and that corruption and mismanagement is appropriately dealt with.

Statement issued by Democratic Alliance leader, Helen Zille, May 10 2009

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Pieter Mulder appointed deputy minister
Sapa
10 May 2009


Freedom Front Plus leader says his party will remain a critical opposition


PRETORIA (Sapa) - Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Mulder said on Sunday President Jacob Zuma had "reached out to Afrikaners" by appointing him as Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

"President Jacob Zuma has in the recent past on various occasions reached out to the Afrikaner and other minorities," Mulder said after his appointment.

"President Zuma has now followed it up after the election by offering a deputy minister's position to the FF Plus in continuation of his reaching out to the Afrikaner."

Mulder said he had broadly engaged with Afrikaner cultural and Agricultural organisations about the issue and asked their advice about the offer.

"Their overwhelming and unanimous reaction was that the hand of cooperation which is being extended to us should not summarily be slapped away but should be seen as an opportunity," he said.

The FF Plus would make use of the opportunity by raising issues such as Afrikaans universities and education, name changes, affirmative action and poverty, self-determination, the status of the Afrikaner enclave Orania, and general minority rights.

The FF Plus saw the acceptance of the offer as a political experiment which held specific advantages for South Africa, Mulder said.

"For our supporters and for the agricultural community. The decision will however, from time to time, have to be re-evaluated on the hand of certain guidelines in order to ensure that the objectives of this are still being attained."

Mulder dismissed the idea of a coalition between his party and the ANC.

"There is no question about a coalition or any other similar agreements between the ANC and the FF Plus," he said.

"In talks about the issue, President Zuma agreed that the FF Plus retains its autonomy as a political party, as well as its critical role as opposition party in full."

Asked about Mulder's appointment, Zuma said the ANC's approach was to "cooperate with other political parties".

"Pieter Mulder is a South African who belongs to a particular political party.

"The approach of the ANC is how to cooperate with other political parties. I think this is good for the country," Zuma said.

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ANC caucus congratulates new cabinet members
ANC parliamentary caucus
10 May 2009


New team composed of capable and experienced men and women


 ANC Caucus Statement on the new Executive

The ANC Parliamentary Caucus welcomes and congratulates members of the Executive of the fourth democratic government, whose appointments were announced by the President of the Republic this afternoon.

The composition of the team is consistent with the kind of government that the ANC has committed itself in its 2009 elections manifesto: "a government with both experience and political will, a government that fully understands what needs to be done to address our apartheid past, a government that puts people first (batho pele) and builds a participatory democracy".

This new team of capable and experienced men and women ushers in a new era of intensified government service delivery.  As Caucus we are confident that working together with the people, the new executive will lead the country on the path to realizing the vision of renewal articulated by the President of the Republic yesterday.

We wish the new Ministers and Deputy Ministers well and assure each one of them of our unwavering support as they begin the critical task of serving the needs and aspirations of our people.

Statement issued by the ANC Parliamentary Caucus, Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, Cape Town, May 10 2009

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Jacob Zuma elected South African president

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Sapa
06 May 2009

ANC leader receives 277 votes in national assembly to Mvume Dandala's 47

PARLIAMENT (Sapa) - ANC president Jacob Zuma is officially South Africa's fourth president-elect.

Zuma beat Mvume Dandala of the Congress of the People by 277 votes to 47 in the 400 seat National Assembly on Wednesday.

The Democratic Alliance's 67 MPs all abstained and there were three spoiled ballots.

Zuma will be inaugurated in Pretoria on Saturday.

In his brief acceptance speech, Zuma said he was overwhelmed by the responsibility that had been "thrust" upon him and humbled by the opportunity to serve as South Africa's fourth president.

South Africa was a "remarkable country with very special people", having made history in 1994 when "together we discarded our tragic past and opted for harmony, peace, and stability" instead.

Zuma said he hoped to lead the country on a path of friendship, co-operation, unity and faster change.

He also intended to "start a new chapter" in relations between government and opposition parties.

His administration would concentrate on the five priorities of education, health, land reform and rural development, crime fighting and job creation.

"We are determined to leave our indelible mark in these five areas," Zuma said.

He also thanked and lauded outgoing President Kgalema Motlanthe.

Zuma was congratulated by all opposition parties, who also warned they would continue to play their role as watchdog.

Zuma will be inaugurated in Pretoria on Saturday.

Earlier, Zuma was nominated by Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, but when Chief Justice Pius Langa called for further nominations, Cope's Mbhazima Shilowa nominated Dandala.

On Wednesday morning, African National Congress national executive committee member Max Sisulu was elected Speaker of the Assembly, with Nomaindia Mfeketo as his deputy.

This followed immediately after Langa had sworn in the Assembly's 400 newly elected MPs in batches of ten.

Earlier the new COPE MPs had received a cool welcome from the ANC benches in the Assembly.

When Cope leaders Mbhazima Shilowa, Dandala and Smuts Ngonyama were called forward to take their MP oaths the sound of jeers and boos filled the assembly.

Former Congress of SA Trade Unions president Willie Madisha, now sitting in the back benches of Parliament for Cope, also received a sarcastic welcome from his former allies.

"I did expect that we would receive a different reception," Ngonyama, the former ANC spokesman, said outside the National Assembly.

"But we started Cope with conviction and resolve to make sure the ruling party is challenged and to make sure that we have a stronger democracy."

Ngonyama said he felt strange to be up against his former colleagues.

"It did feel strange," he said.

"But we are determined to build strong debate in Parliament."

New MPs took the oath or made a solemn affirmation in groups of 10 under the watchful gaze of VIPs and guests filling the public galleries above.

Zuma, Finance Minister Trevor Manuel, ANC veteran Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and SA Communist Party general secretary Blade Nzimande were among the first to raise their right hands and accept their seats in the Assembly.

Education Minister Naledi Pandor rounded off the first 10.

Social Development Minister Zola Skweyiya was not among the ANC MPs who took the oath. The party announced on Wednesday that he has resigned his seat for health reasons.





Jacob Zuma's first speech as South African president

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Jacob Zuma
06 May 2009

Promise made of new chapter in relations between govt and opposition

ADDRESS BY HONOURABLE MR JACOB ZUMA ON HIS ELECTION AS PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA, NATIONAL ASSEMBLY, CAPE TOWN, MAY 6 2009

Honourable Speaker and Deputy Speaker,
Honourable President of the Republic of South Africa,
Honourable Members,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,

I stand before this House and the nation overwhelmed by the responsibility that is being thrust upon my shoulders.

I am truly humbled by the opportunity to serve as the fourth President of the democratic Republic of South Africa.

South Africa is a remarkable country with very special people. We normally get caught up in our day-to-day challenges and forget to appreciate this fact. We made history in the world in 1994 when together we discarded our tragic past, and opted for a future of harmony, peace and stability.

We elected our first President, our icon Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, whom we all love dearly. Madiba taught us the importance of forgiveness, reconciliation and humility.

He made us walk tall and feel proud to be South Africans.

As President of the Republic, I will do my best to lead the country towards the realisation of Madiba's vision of a truly non-sexist, non-racial South Africa, united in its diversity.

With the support of my organisation the ANC, as well as all South Africans, I hope to lead the country on a path of friendship, cooperation, harmony, unity and faster change.

Honourable Members, we have just emerged from very vibrant elections.

The Independent Electoral Commission, which can always be relied upon to deliver free and fair elections, rose to the occasion.

The millions of South African voters made us, their public representatives, the custodians of their hopes and dreams.

The next five years will depend on us as public representatives to serve them with dignity and respect and to maintain the decorum of Parliament, which is the face of our democracy.

Our people have high expectations. As the Executive, we will do our best to be more hands-on, more accessible and to deliver on our commitments.

We also intend to start a new chapter in relations between Government and the Opposition. We reiterate that it should be possible to work with Opposition parties on issues that are in the national interest.

While appreciating a robust Opposition, we also trust that we will be able to move slightly away from the dogmatic approach, which turns every issue into a contentious one.

On the side of the Executive, we will also need to try to avoid being over-defensive, and not view all criticism from the Opposition in a negative light.

We can surely be able to build a working relationship that emphasizes oversight, while also allowing cooperation where necessary.

Honourable members, it is going to be a busy five years. We have deliberately given ourselves five priorities to focus on which will make us more effective in implementation.

As you are aware we will focus on education, health, land reform and rural development, the fight against crime as well as creating decent work. We are determined to leave an indelible mark in these five areas.

Our most immediate priority is to respond decisively to the challenges posed by the global economic downturn.

We must move quickly to implement the framework agreed by government, business and labour to protect jobs and boost the economy.

It is my fervent hope that our public servants heard our campaign message and understand that it shall not be business as usual. We expect hard work and utmost dedication.

Honourable Members, allow me to point out that it was quite a moving moment for me to be sworn in again as a Member of Parliament, even though my membership was just for a few hours.

I have a special relationship with Parliament, especially this House.

I have sat in various sections and now know every corner of the House.

In 1994 I used to sit in the cross-benches as an NCOP KwaZulu-Natal representative, when I was still MEC for Economic Affairs and Tourism. In 1999 I moved to the front benches as Deputy President of the Republic.

Members who were part of the last Parliament will confirm that I was a very well behaved Member. I attended sessions and presented myself timeously for the fortnightly Deputy President's question time.

I dutifully answered all questions, amid occasional heckling from the Opposition benches.

Honourable Members who would not let me rest and kept me very busy with questions included the Honourable Koos van der Merwe and Velaphi Ndlovu of the IFP, Pieter Mulder of FF Plus and the Honourable Cherilyne Dudley of the ACDP.

I was also a proud recipient of little notes from Honourable Members from various political parties, usually gossiping about each other, which I have kept very safely at home.

I left rather unceremoniously on the 14th of June 2005, without an opportunity to say goodbye to all my friends. However, Members will recall that I continued to visit, now sitting in the public gallery during the opening of Parliament and other occasions.

However, despite all this dedication, I automatically lose my seat on being elected President!  I am therefore considering running for honorary life membership! I am sure that even the DA would support such a motion!

Honourable Members, let me use this opportunity to congratulate our new Presiding Officers, and wish them well on their appointments.

We also recognise the contribution of all our former Presiding Officers.

We must also acknowledge and thank the outgoing Cabinet for their good service. I will not dwell too much on the matter of Cabinet, Honourable Speaker. I understand the anxiety.

I intend to have my Cabinet assume office by the 11th of May, so that we can get down to business. I have gained immensely from the wisdom of the top five ANC officials whom I have consulted on the matter.

I should be able to produce a team that will work very hard, and with the necessary speed. We mean business when we talk about faster change.

The new team will build on the work of the Cabinet of my long-time friend, comrade and brother, the outgoing President of the Republic, Comrade Kgalema Motlanthe.

On behalf of all South Africans, let me extend our sincerest gratitude to President Motlanthe for his service to the nation.  He has acquitted himself well, and has definitely been equal to the task.

Honourable Members, I also wish to reiterate our appreciation to all South Africans for participating actively in the elections.  We must emphasise that the responsibility of voters did not end at the polling stations.

Working together we must now do much more to build a better South Africa.

I wish all Honourable Members an enjoyable, successful and fruitful stay in Parliament.

I thank you all for your confidence in me and in the ANC.

Jacob Zuma


Issued by the African National Congress




President Zuma must respect and uphold the Constitution - DA

Top stories
Ian Davidson, MP
06 May 2009

Statement by Chief Whip Ian Davidson, MP, parliament May 6 2009

Speech given by DA Chief Whip Ian Davidson, at the First Session of South Africa's Fourth Parliament, Cape Town, May 6 2009

On behalf of the Democratic Alliance (DA) I would like to congratulate President-elect Jacob Zuma on his election as the next president of South Africa.

The President-elect will take up the highest office in the land with a great deal of support, but also with the burden of high expectations on his shoulders. The most important job for the new President will be to build a society in which all South Africans have the opportunity to improve their lives.

It is our sincere wish that he will rise to this challenge.

We hope the President-elect will act to bring South Africans together and build confidence in our future.

We call on him in particular to ensure the Constitution, and the critical institutions that uphold constitutional values, are protected and strengthened. After years of bitter conflict these very foundations of our democratic order are in desperate need of healing and repair.

The DA for its part will support the President-elect in any endeavour which respects and upholds the Constitution and which will make real and sustainable inroads into rolling back crime, poverty and unemployment.

There are, however, serious issues that must still be resolved regarding the alleged conduct of the President-elect.

The real test of the forthcoming presidency will be whether the judicial process is allowed to run its course in an unimpeded and dignified manner.

For the sake of the future of our democracy, it is a test we dare not fail as a nation.

Ian Davidson


Issued by the Democratic Alliance


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The ANC's official biography of Jacob Zuma

Home > Politicsweb > Homepage > Top stories ANC
05 May 2009


The ruling party on the man chosen as its nominee for president of South Africa

ANC PRESIDENT JACOB ZUMA WILL BE THE NOMINEE OF THE ANC FOR THE POSITION OF PRESIDENT OF SOUTH AFRICA

JACOB GEDLEYIHLEKISA ZUMA: AN EXTRA-ORDINARY LIFE

African National Congress President Jacob Zuma will be the nominee of the ANC for the position of President of South Africa in the National Assembly on Wednesday, 6 May 2009. He will be inaugurated on Saturday 9 May at the Union Buildings in Pretoria .

It has been a long road for Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, born in 1942 in Inkandla, KwaZulu Natal to Gcinamazwi and Nokubhekisisa Zuma.

His father gave all his children names that expressed his mood and feelings during the period of their birth.

Writing in his autobiography, which is expected to be published before the end of 2009, Zuma says: "For reasons only known to him, and it's a story we never got to know, he said in Zulu: "Ngeke ngithule umuntu engigedla engihlekisa!" (I will not keep quiet when a person pretends to like me when he doesn't). Thus Joseph's name is Ngekengithule and mine Gedleyihlekisa, with the name given to me by my mother being Mhlanganyelwa. It perhaps all makes sense now, for the literal meaning of the name is when people conspire or gang up against you!"

Zuma is a leader with outstanding qualities. He is renowned for his legendary patience and his listening, consensus-seeking and conflict prevention skills.

He is respected for his ability to make all individuals who touch his life feel valued and important. He motivates people and enables them to realise their potential and contribute to the country and the organisation.

A consummate political strategist, Zuma faces the task of taking South Africa forward in the next phase of its freedom, during which we need to enhance service delivery and improve government performance. He will need to lead the country in ensuring that the policies developed over the past 15 years meaningfully improve the lives of the poor.

Early political consciousness and activism

Influenced by a trade unionist family member, he became involved in politics at an early age, joining the ANC in 1958. He became an active member of the ANC's armed wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe, in 1962, following the banning of the ANC in 1960.

While on his way out of the country in 1963, he was arrested with a group of 52 recruits near Zeerust, and sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment, which he served on Robben Island . After his release, Zuma helped mobilise internal resistance and was instrumental in the re-establishment of ANC underground structures in the then Natal between 1974 and 1975.

He left South Africa in December 1975 and for the next 12 years was based in Southern Africa, first in Swaziland and then Mozambique. During this period he was involved in underground work with former President Thabo Mbeki and others, giving leadership to ANC structures operating inside South Africa .

He also dealt with the thousands of young exiles that poured out of South Africa in the wake of the Soweto uprising in June 1976. He became a member of the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) in 1977. By the end of the 1980s he was head of the ANC Intelligence Department. He became widely known is this critical position at a time when the ANC had the difficult task of protecting the organisation from infiltration and to ensure its survival.

Return from exile

Following the unbanning of the ANC in February 1990, he was one of the first ANC leaders to return to South Africa to begin the process of negotiations with the then apartheid regime. Like other leaders involved in talks he had to convince the ANC membership and support base of the need to negotiate with an apartheid regime that was intent on maintaining its power and influence.

He was instrumental in organising the Groote-Schuur Minute between the De Klerk government and the ANC that reached important decisions about the return of exiles and the release of political prisoners.

His strategic thinking and conflict resolution skills played a pivotal role in ending conflict in KwaZulu Natal and the then PWV region, where state-sponsored violence was tearing communities apart.

In 1991, at the first ANC conference held in South Africa since 1959, he was elected Deputy Secretary General.

After the 1994 elections, Zuma requested to be deployed to KwaZulu Natal to work to cement peace between the ANC and Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP).

He joined the provincial government as MEC of Economic Affairs and Tourism. He played an instrumental role in normalising relations within the multiparty government of the ANC and IFP.

As MEC Zuma worked hard to develop the tourism industry in the province and was highly regarded by the sector. He created a good working relationship between business and labour, and worked tirelessly to facilitate new investments into the KwaZulu Natal economy.

In December 1994, he was elected ANC National Chairperson. An exception was made in the ANC Constitution to allow him to serve as both provincial chairperson and National Chairperson. The ‘Zuma clause', as the constitutional amendment was popularly known, was made in recognition of his outstanding leadership qualities.

Deputy President of the Republic

Zuma was elected ANC Deputy President in December 1997. He served as Deputy President of South Africa from 1999 until June 2005.

During his tenure he distinguished himself in his role as mediator and facilitator of peace on the continent, especially in Burundi . He managed to secure several agreements, which led to elections and the installation of a democratic and legitimate government in Burundi . The Burundi peace facilitation took two intensive years of hard work. He was patient, resilient and very thorough, listening to all rebel groups and the government of Burundi , ensuring that all felt their views and role was unimportant.

He also assisted in securing peace agreements in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), including an agreement between Rwanda and the DRC. Given his undying passion for conflict resolution, he is expected to take forward his interest in promoting reconstruction and development in former conflict areas to enable peace to hold.

As Deputy President he also worked hard to promote nation building and smooth relations between all South Africans. As Leader of Government Business, he worked to ensure good working relations between government and political parties in Parliament, and between Parliament and the Executive.

He kick-started the process of promoting positive values through the launch of the Moral Regeneration Movement. The purpose was to galvanise government and civil society around a campaign to promote values such as respect for the sanctity of human life, for the next person, private property, to deal with the disregard for the law of the land, lack of parental control over children, and the general blurring of the lines between right and wrong.

Passion for education and rural development

Born and bred in the countryside, Zuma has a passion for rural development. It is his wish that his Presidency should result in a huge difference in the lives of people residing in rural areas, with faster delivery of water, electricity, quality education, health facilities and income generating activities.

The ANC's decision to prioritise education has his personal stamp to it. Not one to be defeated by adversity, he established an informal school in his village. He educated himself as his father had died and his mother could not afford to pay for formal schooling for him.

How exactly he educated himself remains unknown to most South Africans. He talks about the night school he established, in the autobiography that he is still working on: "My brother Joseph also wanted to be part of this self-education, informal education. We eventually started with more than half a dozen others. The minute we started, word spread like wildfire, we also instantly became ambassadors and sellers of our school, as we did our homework during herding. For those reasons, we did Zulu, arithmetic and a little English. We even did a little bit of dramatic sketches and cultural activities. I was the pioneer of the school and used to extol its virtues so much that even those who attended formal school would join us in the evening for more classes. Here we earnestly learnt to read and write in Zulu. We would also read and write letters for our parents and mothers whose husbands were writing from the mines in Johannesburg . I remember reading Ilanga laseNatali, as well as the weekly uMafrika and Bona magazine. Amazingly, Bona had Zulu and English editions, same stories, same layout, same everything except languages. You have no idea how this facilitated my learning especially the English language. I had begun, when in Durban , foraging into the Mercury newspaper as well. These were truly wonderful self-education times."

Because of these experiences, Zuma resolved to work tirelessly to provide education for underprivileged children. In 1998 he established the Jacob Zuma RDP Educational Trust Fund, out of a R500,000 seed capital which had been given to him, as MEC for Economic Affairs and Tourism in KZN, to support any RDP project of his choice.

The fund has educated more than 20,000 children at primary school level to university. Beneficiaries are primarily from impoverished backgrounds in rural areas. The ANC decision to expandno-fee schools will assist hundreds of children who depend on the Trust. Zuma is Chancellor of the University of Zululand , another example of his passion for education.

Persecution and trial by media

Zuma has gone through a difficult period, facing accusations of corruption, during which he faced an ongoing trial by media. Over the course of eight years, his rights, privacy and dignity were repeatedly violations. The accusations arose out of his relationship with friend and comrade, Schabir Shaik, who was his financial adviser.

This relationship has been frequently misrepresented. The plight of returning exiles forced them to seek financial support from friends and relatives. In the case of Shaik, Zuma solicited a loan with an undertaking to repay, which Zuma has started to do. Despite the fact that Zuma had no involvement in the arms deal, and had no power to "protect" companies involved in the deal, prosecutors tried to link the loan to the arms deal.

Zuma has consistently maintained his innocence, and has insisted that the charges were politically motivated. Throughout the process, he has offered his fullest cooperation with the investigation, has always submitted himself to due legal process, and has sought to protect his rights through whatever legal remedies he has considered appropriate.

Following a startling discovery of telephone transcripts confirming that the case against him was fatally tainted by political interference, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) dropped the charges, lifting a load that had taken a heavy toll on the Zuma family.

Forged in adversity

From growing up in a poor family to surviving the apartheid police and exile, to the eight years of being pursued by prosecuters, Zuma's life has been characterised by adversity.

He has prevailed by maintaining a positive outlook, an inner strength and the ability to remain focused on doing what he believes is right.

"I am tempted to say that almost every stage of my life has been a test of character, of strength, skill and later leadership. Almost all of these challenges have made me into a stronger person. I have never failed to learn from my mistakes, nor repeat them, nor pretend I never committed them in the first place. I am made of sterner stuff, even if I say so myself. I am tempted to say I know no man alive who has witnessed the struggles that I have survived. They may have come close but not what I have gone through, since I was born,'' he writes.

He was elected ANC President in December 2007, becoming the ANC's candidate for South African president in the 2009 elections.

His wishes: "The unity of all South Africans black and white, better quality education and health care, safer communities with less crime, more decent jobs and well-developed rural areas, a better Africa and a better world."

Personal

Zuma is married to Sizakele (MaKhumalo), Nompumelelo (MaNtuli) and Tobeka Madiba. He has 19 children, to whom he is very close.

He loves sports especially soccer and rugby and was a keen soccer player in his youth. He dabbled in ballroom dancing on Robben Island . South Africans know and love him for his prowess on the dance floor and his impeccable vocal chords.

Awards/Decorations/Bursaries

Honoured with the Nelson Mandela Award for Outstanding Leadership in Washington DC , US (1998)
Received an Honorary Doctorate of Literature from the University of Fort Hare (2001).
Received an Honorary Doctorate of Administration from the University of Zululand (2001).
Received an Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy from Medical University of Southern Africa (2001).
Honorary Doctorate from the University of the North (2001).

Issued by the African National Congress, May 5 2009

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Malgré la scission de l’ANC, le parti de Jacob Zuma a gagné son pari et confirme sa victoire politique sur Thabo Mbeki esquissée dès le 18 décembre 2007 : Zuma s’apprête à devenir le successeur historique de Nelson Mandela, Frederic De Klerk et Pieter Botha dans une Afrique du Sud en proie à des difficultés majeures.



C’est à ce type de scrutin que l’on s’aperçoit que la France est dotée de solides institutions électorales, que ce soit dans les procédures de vote ou dans ses instituts de sondages qui égrainent les estimations le jour du vote, comme l’a montré encore la dernière élection présidentielle.
 
 
Attente des résultats électoraux définitifs
 
Alors qu’en France, il suffit d’attendre quelques heures après la fin du vote la publication des résultats définitifs (généralement communiqués par le Ministère de l’Intérieur dans la nuit du dimanche au lundi), dans certaines autres grandes démocraties, il faut encore plusieurs jours de dépouillement.
 
Ce fut le cas des États-Unis qui donnèrent le nom du vainqueur dès la nuit du 4 au 5 novembre 2008, mais qui devaient attendre plusieurs jours avant de rendre définitifs les résultats dans certains États (sans même parler des élections américaines de novembre 2000).
 
 
Nouvelle victoire électorale en Afrique du Sud
 
Ce fut aussi le cas de la République d’Afrique du Sud dont les électeurs ont voté le 22 avril 2009 et ont dû attendre trois jours avant de connaître les résultats définitifs d’une journée électorale à la fois sans surprise mais avec une réelle concurrence depuis la fin de l’apartheid et les premières élections libres en 1994.
 
Je ne rappelle pas ici le contexte politique de ce 22 avril 2009 et l’on pourra se référer à mon précédent article sur le sujet le cas échéant.
 
La victoire de l’ANC (Congrès national africain) ne faisait aucun doute mais avec deux inconnues : quelle serait la part électorale du parti sécessionniste issu des partisans de l’ancien Président Thabo Mbeki (le Cope, Congrès du peuple) ? et quelle serait la hauteur de la victoire de l’ANC ?
 
 
Les paris du Cope
 
Le Cope avait la trop grande ambition d’empêcher une majorité absolue de l’ANC au sein de l’Assemblée Nationale, un objectif très irréaliste quand on prenait connaissance des sondages des semaines précédant le scrutin.
 
En revanche, il avait un second objectif, moins ambitieux, celui d’empêcher l’ANC d’avoir les deux tiers des députés (élus à la proportionnelle, donc d’avoir moins de 66,7% des voix). Pourquoi un tel seuil ? Parce que c’est le seuil nécessaire pour pouvoir réviser la Constitution (rappelons qu’en France, c’est le seuil de trois cinquièmes qui est nécessaire, soit 60,0% donc moins contraignant qu’en Afrique du Sud).
 
Or, ce second objectif a finalement été atteint in extremis : l’ANC n’obtient en effet que 65,90% et 264 sièges sur 400, c’est-à-dire qu’il lui manque un siège s’il veut avoir cette majorité. L’ANC perd 33 sièges par rapport à l’Assemblée sortante (entre 2004 et 2009, beaucoup de députés avaient rejoint l’ANC en cours de mandat).
 
 
Près de 66% pour l’ANC toujours ultra-majoritaire
 
Un léger recul de 4% donc pour la formation hégémonique issue du combat anti-apartheid de Nelson Mandela si l’on rappelle les scores des précédentes élections : en avril 2004, l’ANC avait obtenu 69,7% (279 sièges) ; en juin 1999, 66,4% (266 sièges) et en avril 1994, 62,7% (252 sièges).
 
Un score toujours très élevé mais qui ne remet pas en cause la nature honnête, « transparente, loyale, libre et crédible » de ces élections (selon la mission d’observateurs de l’Union africaine) au contraire d’autres États africains.
 
Concrètement, l’ANC reste confirmé au pouvoir pour la quatrième fois consécutive par une population pourtant de plus en plus réticente à la politique gouvernementale menée par ce parti (qui laisse au bord de la route près de la moitié de la population dans un état de grande pauvreté et d’insécurité) mais qui ne voit aucune autre solution de rechange.
 
D’ailleurs, l’abstention a été assez élevée puisque seulement 77,3% des inscrits sont allés voter. Cela reste malgré tout des scores très honorables si l’on les regarde avec des yeux français ou américains.
 
De plus, l’absence très relative de la majorité des deux tiers n’a pas beaucoup de signification politique puisque les dirigeants de l’ANC avaient réaffirmé qu’ils n’avaient aucune intention de modifier la Constitution de 1996 qu’ils avaient eux-mêmes contribué à mettre en place.
 
 
Résultats des autres formations politiques
 
Au-delà de l’hégémonique ANC, vingt-cinq autres formations ont participé à ces nouvelles élections générales, parfois uniquement d’origine provinciale.
 
Le Cope de Mosiuoa Lekota (59 ans) n’obtient que 7,4% alors qu’il tablait sur une quinzaine de pourcents, laissant la place de leade de l’opposition à l’Alliance démocratique (DA), parti d’opposition déjà d’avant la fin de l’apartheid, qui récolte 16,7%, soit plus de 4% supérieur à son score de 2004. Un autre parti, l’IFP, dirigé par Mangosuthu Buthelezi (80 ans), termine avec 4,6% en perdant un tiers de ses voix de 2004 et en constant déclin depuis 1994 où il représentait 10,5% de l’électorat. Tous les autres partis ont obtenu moins de 1% des voix.
 
 
Le détail des quatre principales formations politiques
 
ANC : 65,9% (11 650 748 voix) et 264 sièges.
Alliance démocratique : 16,7% (2 945 829 voix) et 67 sièges.
Cope : 7,4% (1 311 027 voix) et 30 sièges.
IFP : 4,6% (804 260) et 18 sièges.
Autres sièges : 21 répartis dans 9 autres partis.
 
Total suffrages exprimés : 17 680 729.
 
 
Dans les neuf provinces sud-africaines
 
Si l’ANC est majoritaire dans huit provinces sur neuf (avec une très bonne performance au Kwazulu-Natal, province natale de Jacob Zuma face à l’alliance AD-IFP), la véritable surprise est la victoire de l’Alliance démocratique dans la province du Cap Ouest où il obtient 51,2%.
 
 
Un vote utile ?
 
La dirigeante de l’Alliance démocratique, Helen Zille (58 ans), a donc proposé la constitution d’un front d’opposition réunissant notamment le Cope et l’IFP.
 
Ces élections ont donc surtout favorisé les trois grandes formations nationales au détriment des petits partis en focalisant l’attention sur l’Alliance démocratique et sur le Cope qui, à eux deux, gagnent presque 12% (le Cope ne partant de rien) par rapport à 2004 alors que l’ANC ne perd qu’un peu moins de 4%.
 
 
Zuma bientôt couronné
 
Après l’obstacle judiciaire levé le 12 avril 2009 pour clore les poursuites judiciaires, les élections du 22 avril 2009 ouvrent donc la voie "royale" de la Présidence de la République d’Afrique du Sud au président de l’ANC, Jacob Zuma (67 ans), autodidacte et résistant dès son plus jeune âge à l’apartheid.
 
Malgré les déclarations très violentes de l’archevêque Desmond Tutu (77 ans), Prix Nobel de la Paix (1984), qui considère que « Zuma n’est pas du tout un modèle à suivre pour notre jeunesse. Il n’a pas les qualités qu’il faut pour diriger notre nation. » mais soutenu par un autre Prix Nobel de la Paix (1993), Nelson Mandela (90 ans), Jacob Zuma ne semble plus inquiéter les puissances financières du pays.
 
Sa personnalité est très contrastée et reste diversement ressentie par la population : quand certains n’hésitent pas à évoquer sa polygamie, ses affaires de corruption, ses abus sexuels, son inculture, son biographe Jeremy Gordin souligne que « l’homme a du charisme, il est chaleureux, proche du peuple et les gens d’en bas se reconnaissent en lui. » ainsi que ses talents de médiateur dans plusieurs conflits du continent africain (notamment au Burundi).
 
 
Une Présidence bien difficile pour Zuma
 
Jacob Zuma, qui va être élu au plus haut niveau de l’Afrique du Sud le 6 mai prochain, aura fort à faire : redresser une situation intérieure très enlisée par la criminalité, le chômage, la pauvreté et le sida, tout en préservant tant la confiance de la population que celle de la communauté internationale et plus particulièrement des investisseurs occidentaux.
 
Après bien des péripéties, bien des controverses, Jacob Zuma arrive au pouvoir au même âge que De Gaulle en 1958 et pour rassurer, il pourrait reprendre à son compte cette question si gaullienne : « Pourquoi voulez-vous qu’à 67 ans, je commence une carrière de dictateur ? ».
 
Il va maintenant avoir la capacité de montrer à sa juste mesure ses qualités d’homme d’État. Ou pas.
 
Souhaitons-lui bonne chance.
 
 
 
Sylvain Rakotoarison (27 avril 2009)
 
 
Pour aller plus loin :
 
 
 
 
 

 

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(dépêche)


Résultats définitifs :

RESULTS

ANC: 65.90%
Democratic Alliance: 16.66%
Cope: 7.42%.
Votes counted: 17.68m
Turnout: 77.3% Source: IEC


ANC is denied two-thirds majority

The ruling African National Congress (ANC) has won South Africa's general election but failed to obtain a two-thirds majority, final results show.

The party received 65.9% of about 17m votes, the Democratic Alliance 16.66% and the Congress of the People (Cope) 7.42%, election officials said.

A two-thirds majority in parliament is needed to change the constitution.

The outcome clears the way for ANC party leader Jacob Zuma to become president when parliament convenes.

ANC supporters have been holding celebrations around the country ahead of the announcement of the final results.

The ANC lost the Western Cape province to its rivals - the only such defeat.

The election turnout was extremely high, as much as 80% in some places, in the country's fourth and most competitive poll since the end of apartheid 15 years ago.

In Kwazu-Natal, home province of ANC leader Jacob Zuma, the ANC says it has taken all the strongholds of the Inkatha Freedom Party, giving it an outright majority there for the first time.

"It is a joyous if not an outright emotional day for the ANC," the South African Press Association quoted ANC provincial secretary Senzo Mchunu as saying.

Mobbed

Meanwhile, DA leader Helen Zille returned home to Cape Town to a hero's welcome.

She said the party would be looking to form a coalition.

Analysts say this is likely to be with Cope, formed by dissident ANC supporters of former President Thabo Mbeki who resigned last year after losing a power struggle with Mr Zuma.

Much has been made of the ANC getting two-thirds of the vote, the majority needed to push through constitutional changes.

But the ANC has said it has no intention of changing the constitution as it co-authored it - and Mr Zuma is set to become the country's next leader as parliament elects the president by a simple majority.

Mr Zuma, a populist who spent 10 years in prison during the apartheid era for ANC membership, faces challenges including a struggling economy and soaring violent crime.

HAVE YOUR SAY

Ntombi, Cape Town
Charges of corruption against the 67-year-old were dropped just two weeks before the poll after state prosecutors said there had been political interference in the case.

The BBC's Africa analyst Martin Plaut says the ANC leader is still something of an enigma - part Zulu traditionalist, part international leader who jets around the world.

During the fight against apartheid Mr Zuma was head of internal security for the ANC, when some people were killed and some tortured.

It is not clear how much he knew or sanctioned, says our correspondent.

But Mr Zuma is also a skilled conciliator, credited with ending the political violence in KwaZulu-Natal and helping to bring peace to Burundi.

African Union observer mission head Salim Ahmed Salim said the poll had been free, fair, transparent and credible.

Its vibrancy "had done honour not only to the people of South Africa but to Africa as a whole", he said.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/africa/8017713.stm

Published: 2009/04/25 11:29:12 GMT

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Résultats officiels
de l'élection présidentielle 2012
 


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