Baleka Mbete will not be the deputy president of South Africa and instead will take up a role at Luthuli House as chairperson of the ANC. No one knows exactly what is happening behind the scenes at the ANC with regards to Mbete but this is the most likely explanation:
Mbete wanted to remain as the deputy president of South Africa when Jacob Zuma was appointed president of the country. But it looks like Zuma has decided to go with caretaker president Kgalema Motlanthe as the deputy president of the country. A move that Mbete was clearly not happy with.
On Wednesday in parliment, Mbete ‘refused’ to be sworn in as an MP. I use the word refused in inverted commas because some circles say Mbete refused to be sworn in on her own terms whilst some people say that Mbete and the ANC were not yet clear on what role Mbete would take up by the time Wednesday came thus she was not sworn in.
But now it looks clear that Mbete refused to be sworn in after being snubbed of the deputy president position. But as a former deputy president, Mbete is entitled to her R1.8 million pension for life and other perks such as bodyguards, an official car and staff at taxpayers’ expense. Not bad money at all!!
Reports in todays Sunday Times suggest that Mbete “behaved like a school girl” when she snubbed being sworn in as an MP, a move they say embarrassed the ANC. One would be tempted to say there is already infighting in the new ANC administration ‘before a ball has even been kicked’. This is politics after all and nothing will ever be clear and smooth sailing from here on out.