Saturday, May 27, 2006

South Africa 'drifting toward dictatorship'

South African president Thabo Mbeki received a stunning rebuke from one his party's most important allies. The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), the country's most prominent labor organization, warned that the country was headed down the path of autocracy.

"The main concern of the committee centres on signs that we may be drifting towards dictatorship," said COSATU's general secretary."This appears in the use of state institutions... in narrow factional fights."

He expressed fears that South Africa could be headed down the same road as its disastrous neighbor Zimbabwe.

The comments were seen as a reference to the tribulations of Jacob Zuma, who was recently sacked as vice-president of the country. Zuma was recently cleared on accusations of rape in a controversial trial but still faces corruption charges, which supporters insist are a politically motivated way to sideline him. Zuma retains considerable support among COSATU members.

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