Friday, July 24, 2009

Internetix Mark Gevisser #internetix

Mark Gevisser's keynote speech at Internetix 2009 in Cape Town, in tandem with a chat I had with him at breakfast, leads me to a significant reframing of the Zuma PRESIDENCY. I've been a pessimist about South Africa's hopes under Zuma. Given the bloke's shady past.

But the presidency is not the man. The man may be flawed. But his presidency has much more at stake than he has.

These are the key points I took away from Mark's insights:

o Zuma's 'dishonest' past almost forces an honest presidency. He has to be seen to be spick and span.

o He comes from a security background. He's a spook. He has several cellphones on him at all times. Each hooked up to a different 'cell' of his intelligence network. Subsequently, he has a very attuned ear. Knows what's happening.

o He's taking aggressive action against corruption. He's being SEEN to be walking the talk. Gevisser reckons he's potshotting at soft targets for the moment. Easing off on loyalists. But that'll probably change.

o The ANC 'formation myth' crystalises around the inviolability of the South African constitution. Messing with the constitution messes with the formation myth. And messing with the formation myth leads to party instability. Gevisser reckons that the formation myth is our biggest insurance policy against constitution meddling.

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