Mother of Nation calls for sanity

That's why we still call her the Mother of the Nation.

That's why we still call her the Mother of the Nation.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela is the only senior political figure who has had the stature and the guts to state the obvious: the succession battle is ripping the ANC to pieces; the protagonists had better settle their tiff now for the good of the party and of the country; Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma should step aside as gracefully as they can.

She says she will invite them to a conference where they can smoke the peace pipe and plan an orderly exit within five years to hand over to a younger generation of ANC leaders.

To an outsider it all seems so obvious. But the insiders caught in this internecine battle can't discern the forest from the trees .

Sources in Zuma's camp fear Madikizela-Mandela is trying to suck up to Mbeki so he will grant her a pardon for her kidnapping conviction. With the momentum on their side, what's in it for them?

Mbeki's true believers huff about the formalities and sniff that they haven't even seen a formal invitation. Naturally these technocrats expect correct procedures to be followed and all the i's dotted and t's crossed before they'll consider anything.

Get off your duffs, gents, and grasp this opportunity before you take us all down with you.

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