Hogarth : Read Between the Lines of Praise
President Thabo Mbeki chose to make several pronouncements about the row between Deputy President Jacob Zuma and chief prosecutor Bulelani Ngcuka in Parliament this week.
Mbeki said: "I have confidence in the National Director of Public Prosecutions, as he discharges his responsibilities as required by the law."
It went without saying that Mbeki would surely extend the same compliment to Zuma, his deputy. But it was not to be.
Of course, Zuma was not phased. He told Parliament: "It is only in a mature democracy where a deputy president of a country would be investigated, without any interference or attempt to stop the investigation by the government or the deputy president himself."
Hey, he didn't have much to work with.
We got off lightly
Hogarth was relieved to see that the gods finally smiled on the ultra-left this week.
Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang spent the one day she was made acting president at the Cosatu conference at Gallagher Estate north of Johannesburg.
As far as Hogarth can tell, she was too busy listening to the workers to actually do anything presidential. Phew.
A question of rhetoric
Also making an appearance at the conference was Deputy President Jacob Zuma, whose speech was couched in Marxist lingo clearly aimed at winning over the support of unionists.
He warned delegates that unless "revolutionaries" helped the ANC to "defend the gains of the National Democratic Revolution", the struggle ran the risk of being "hijacked or undermined" by "reactionary forces." To which one unionist was overhead saying: "the revolution was long hijacked by international arms manufacturers."
With acknowledgements to Hogarth and the Sunday Times.