Thank you “Thabo Mbeki” welcome “Kgalema Motlanthe”

Ferrier International thanks President Thabo Mbeki for all his hard work in getting AFRICA to be the driving force it is today, and for securing South Africa as the economic hub of Africa. We trust that he will continue with AU and get AFRICA to be bigger than China and others countries that are supplying the World market. Africa has the potential to be bigger than China and others in exporting goods to the World market if we all work together.

GOD blessed Africa with abundant land, water, sun, air, oil, gold, chromium, antimony, coal, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, tin, uranium, gem diamonds, platinum, copper, vanadium, salt, natural gas, and other minerals, agricultural wealth, wild life, natural beauty and an excellent climate that allows growth. We just need to do our part and work together in South Africa and Africa and GOD will shine His glory upon Africa as we humble ourselves, and be of ONE accord.

We welcome the new President Kgalema Motlanthe of South Africa and trust that He will continue with the vision and purpose of South Africa and Africa.

GOD BLESS SOUTH AFRICA

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Please read more about our new President of South Africa as published by IOL New and-? Pretoria News.

For now ‘Mkhuluwa’ is our man

By Fiona Forde

To friends and family he is fondly known as “Mkhuluwa”, or the Elder One. But to you and I he is now President Kgalema Motlanthe, the man who will lead the country into the next general election.

Quite some political leap from the minister without portfolio position he held only on Monday. Yet only very little is known about the man who now holds the most high-profile office in this country.

But Motlanthe is no stranger to strife. Born in 1949 in a village near Bela Bela, not far from Warmbaths in Limpopo, he was the youngest of 13 children in a working-class family who later moved to Alexandra only to be forcibly removed to Meadowlands a short time later. He lived there for many years.

He joined the ANC in his early 20s and until the party was unbanned in 1990 he did his fair share of struggle footwork alongside his comrades.

In 1976, just a few months before the Soweto uprising, Motlanthe was detained for his activism. He was held for 11 months before being charged in 1977 under the Terrorism Act. He was banished to Robben Island for the next 10 years.

Walter Sisulu became his mentor behind bars and imparted to Motlanthe lessons in political life that he carries with him to this day.

On his release he focused his efforts on trade unionism and joined the National Union of Mineworkers. That was in 1987, the year of the Great Strike, and Motlanthe chaired the strike committee on the union’s behalf.

Five years later, when Cyril Ramaphosa resigned as secretary-general of the NUM to join the leadership of the ANC, it was Motlanthe who stepped into the void.

He would fill Ramaphosa’s shoes again in 1997 when he was elected secretary-general of the ANC when his predecessor opted to join the business world, the same year Thabo Mbeki became party president.

For five years he occupied an office on the 6th floor of Luthuli House. In 2002 he was re-elected to the office and there he remained until he became deputy president of the party late last year, beating Jacob Zuma’s former wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma with 2 346 votes compared to her 1 444. For that he was promoted to the 11th floor of the ANC headquarters.

Last July Motlanthe was appointed to Parliament as a minister without portfolio in the Presidency. This was a contingency measure, as the ANC leadership saw it, should the need arise. Less than eight weeks later, it has.

There are few in the ranks of the 96-year-old movement who have a bad word to say about Mkhuluwa. To them he is the silent but strong force that exudes calm in a moment of panic – a man whose cool-headed outlook sees him through many a tough time. His is the voice of reason they regularly turn to in the sometimes disparate tripartite alliance. He is an intellectual of note, a comrade whose door is always open. He possesses great wit which he unleashes with a dry sense of humour.

Mkhuluwa is also a man of principles, a paragon of political correctness as some like to say, an admirable attribute to most minds.

It is that very correctness that drew the wrath of Julius Malema a few weeks back. Motlanthe, rightly, spoke out about the attacks on the judiciary prior to Judge Nicholson’s landmark ruling.

They were remarks that hailed from people “predicated by ignorance”, Motlanthe said. Malema did as Malema does. But Motlanthe just rose above the rancour.

He is credited with a formidable grasp of international relations. His excellent organisational skills are widely recognised. He has been the architect of political education in the party ranks down the years and the driving force to salvage the character of the ANC he believed was fast being lost to material gain.

Motlanthe was one of the first to raise his voice against the cancer of corruption. “We believe South Africa will never be able to overcome corruption unless the ANC itself is incorruptible,” he argued in 2000.

Yet in the years that followed, his own name did not escape scandal, and although cleared by the Public Protector on one account, questions still linger about the Oilgate saga, despite his insistence of innocence.

He raised a number of eyebrows last year when he embedded himself in the Zuma camp, believing the hoax e-mail saga to be true.

But despite those blobs of grey, Motlanthe has a record past. He was the one who told Mbeki to keep Zuma in his cabinet when the president wanted to drop him in 2004.

A year later he was the first of the ANC leadership to speak out about Zanu-PF monopolising Zimbabwe’s political landscape.

During the ANC conference in Polokwane last year, he warned delegates that though they might have wanted to stem Mbeki’s ambitions, the party’s constitution was not a document to be tampered with.

Yet despite his position in South Africa’s political life, he is ferociously private, without ever giving too much away about Mkhuluwa, the man. He is married with two daughters and one son and maintains his family life in Midrand, Gauteng.

On Monday he stood before the TV cameras as Jacob Zuma endorsed him as a holding president.

For now, Motlanthe is the man.

  • This article was originally published on page 2 of The Pretoria News on September 23, 2008

FERRIER International keeping you informed. GOD Bless our nation and Africa.

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