In amongst one of the historically turbulent times of this global society, South Africa's ruling party has opted for a brief period of lull. Kgalema Motlanthe, as president, is the calm between the surrounding storms of Thabo Mbeki's departure and Jacob Zuma's ascension.
Motlanthe, who will only retain presidency until the 2009 election, recalled his time in Robben Island's community of ANC prisoners as "the most productive years" of his life.
Most importantly, he is not an AIDS denier, and he removed the government's AIDS denier away from the Health portfolio. This alone will help alleviate mass suffering.
There is no report on the reasons for Motlanthe's installation in the role, but he has been officially endorsed as the actual, not "interim" president. As Zuma's erstwhile deputy, there is no expectation he will run for president next year.