On air: Is Thabo Mbeki a disgrace to Africa?

We’re off air now, but feel free to listen to our podcsat and to add your comments below!

Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai wants him removed as mediator in Zimbabwe. It was only yesterday, almost three weeks after the Zimbabwe elections, that the SA government called for the result to be released, and it wasn’t Mr Mbeki saying it. And the critics have more ammunition…

Earlier this week he didn’t raise the situation in Zimbabwe at the UN, on Saturday after meeting Robert Mugabe he said there was ‘no crisis’. If he criticised the Zimbabwean President for not attending SADC talks in Lusaka he didn’t tell us.

We’ve also learned that a shipment of weapons from China and destined for Zimbabwe has arrived in Durban. Dockers are refusing to unload the ship, but the SA government won’t be getting involved. Here’s South African Defence Secretary January Masilela – “If the buyer is the Zimbabwean sovereign government and the seller is the Chinese sovereign government, South Africa has nothing to do with that”.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says, ‘it’s time for Africa to step up’ on Zimbabwe. ‘Where is the concern from the African Union and from Zimbabwe’s neighbours about what is going on in Zimbabwe?” she asked. Where indeed many of you ask?

Mr. Mbeki says the solution in Zimbabwe lies ‘in Zimbabwe’ and that only Zanu-PF and the MDC can resolve it. He also has the power to arrange meetings with Robert Mugabe that few can match. ‘Quiet diplomacy’ has long been his style, and some would point to a similar tactic used by Kofi Annan in Kenya.

So is it hypocritical for those who gave Kofi Annan time, to demand Thabo Mbeki take a blunter approach to Zimbabwe? Stand-offs of this type can spiral into conflicts that last year. If he is treading carefully, maybe that should be applauded?

There’s no shortage of criticism of the SA President, but is much of it coming from people outside of Africa and with little feel for the dynamics and the history that dominate the continent?

Do you think President Mbeki’s conduct has been a disgrace?

52 Responses to “On air: Is Thabo Mbeki a disgrace to Africa?”

  1. April 18, 2008 at 14:32

    There is a difference with kofi annan in kenya trying to bring about a powersharing agreement, and thabo mbeki not even believing there wasa problem despite calls from across africa and the world.

    Unfortunatly the SA government is right, they cannot really get invovled in a private trade agreement between China and Zimbabwee. But if the SA people / dockers are refusing to unload the cargo as they know it will be used to prevent democacy then surely Mbeki should do something.

  2. 2 CarlosK
    April 18, 2008 at 14:41

    Good day

    I have not seen or heard the evidence that would cause WHYS to pose such a question. I have not heard any such description ascribed to George W. Bush and he has initiated world war 111.

    Africans have shown in Kenya that they are capable of resolving their own conflicts with their own people. Lets give the process enough time for it to be resolved peacefully.

    The MDC leadership should continue to exercise patients. Mr. Mugabe cannot steal this election, there are just too many eyes on him. The sorched earth strategy of the MDC is not necessary.

    It is not only the leadership of MDC that wants to see the back of Mugabe, all freedom loving people of the world are waiting with bated breath as well.

  3. 3 ZK
    April 18, 2008 at 14:46

    Thanks for talking about this. As I said in last week’s blank page, it’s time for the world to start pressuring Mbeki. It’s obvious he has lost the confidence of one of the parties he’s supposed to be mediating.

    It’s a pretty clear-cut case of favouritism for Robert Mugabe. “Quiet diplomacy” clearly did not work as the recent developments wrt accusations of treason against Morgan Tsvangirai has shown. If quiet diplomacy was working, that wouldn’t have happened.

    Thabo Mbeki is complicit in the Zimbabwe situation and will be complicit if any violence breaks out. And if Mugabe is to go, Mbeki has to go first, at least as ‘mediator’ in this conflict.

  4. 4 Neal H
    April 18, 2008 at 15:09

    there is no reason for election results not to have been released by now, the only reason they are not being released is because the opposition won. Mugabe fears being tried for crimes once out of power.

    If it was an election, it was an election, the ruling powers can’t sit on the results and say “hey, how about a do-over.”

    Mbeki may be a disgrace but the real disgrace is on that whole region of Africa that can’t seem to get its act together without pulling out the machetes and hacking each other to death. These nations need to decide if they are going to join the 21st century or not.

  5. April 18, 2008 at 15:32

    South Africa has the means to put more pressure on Robert Mugabe to soften his attitudes regarding the opposition led by Morgan Tsvangirai. It’s rather queer that the results aren’t released three weeks after the elections. Even recounting the whole votes wouldn’t have taken such a long time. This, maybe, Mugabe is preparing his own results. The opposition is powerless as the army and the courts are under the full authority of Mugabe. The army is on full alert to carry his orders as the courts are apparently politically geared to rule in favour of Mugabe’s decisions.

    Zimbabwe is now a torn country. About a third of its population is now living in neighbouring countries, mainly, South Africa. There is a political discord as the political figures are unable to figure out a way out to the current situation even if it comes to power sharing to save the country from its currents crisis.

    South Africa looks a lame duck as it has to put up with e consequences of Zimbabwe’s political crisis, mainly through the huge influx of the Zimbabweans on its territory. Thabo Mbeki alone can’t solve the political situation in Zimbabwe. It’s up to African leaders to have a united mediation to bring all the parties together. Imposing economic sanctions on this country will just drive it to complete anarchy and massive starvation. African leaders, especially those neighbouring Zimbabwe should have a common vision of what this country should be. Leaving it drift in its current situations is another disgrace to the whole of Africa, which is doomed to have a crisis ended only to be plagued by a new one. A stable Africa is still a dream as there are countries that can’t look normal without international interventions as it is the case in the Ivory Coast and DR Congo. Somalia is left on its own, making lack the political infrastructure of a sovereign country.

    Zimbabwe leaders should choose between being democratic as it is the case of Senegal or chaotic as it is the case in Somalia. Only the national will and fruitful international mediations can save Zimbabwe from falling into the abyss of total chaos.

  6. 6 muthee Mwangi
    April 18, 2008 at 15:44

    Hi WHYS
    Y ou know sometimes i really get a little annoyed whwn tha blunders of one person are taken to represent African in general.
    Now because George Bush and his war mongering henchmen were wrong on the WMD issue in Iraq, can we honestly say he is a disgrace to the whole american people?
    The point am trying to make is that Thabo Mbeki if is in any way a disgrace, it is to himself alone.
    After all, ANC leader Jacob Zuma and a host of other African eminent persons have spoken on the issue and pressutred Mugabe to allow democracy(whatever that means) to thrive in Zimbabwe.

  7. 7 Ros Atkins
    April 18, 2008 at 15:53

    As the leader of a country that reached out to the world to help it put an end to apartheid. It is disgraceful that thabo mbeki is turning his back on zimbabwe when it is calling on him for help. Shame on mbeki
    Kwabena in Ghana

  8. 8 Thabor Ding
    April 18, 2008 at 16:01

    I think the ruling party of Zimbabwe needs to import Kenya election style which ended up the formation of power sharing government. This is going to be an African government culture not only Kenya and Zimbabwe. If the is case, what’s the mean of an election if the election results are not honored by the ruling parties? Let Mugabe stay in power until he died.

  9. April 18, 2008 at 16:07

    South Africa as a regional power has a lot to do to redress the situation in Zimbabwe. Both countries had almost the same history in fighting for democracy. Zimbabwe fought against colonialism; in other words, against the “supremacy” of the whites. South Africa had the worst fight as blacks fought against apartheid. While South Africa seems to have plunged in a democratic process despite the social and economic problems, Zimbabwe is getting just from bad to worse. It can take pride in that blacks are the major rulers. But ironically the Zimbabweans are suffering from a regime that set itself to bring them prosperity.

    South Africa through its historic leaders like Nelson Mandela can put more pressure on Pt Mugabe to stop his intransigent policies proving unpopular at home and abroad. If South Africa continues to play the conspiracy of silence, it is just contradicting its principles for justice and freedom. It will be just a mockery for those regarding it as the champion of political liberation.

    One of the face saving choices for Mugabe is to opt for economic integration with South Africa and leave power to a new generation of politicians. Mugabe can’t fight alone when the international community is turning its back on him, leaving him just use his muscles against the continuously impoverished people. South Africa, for its part, shouldn’t continue to condemn abuses far away while it has glaring examples of atrocious human abuses on its borders. South Africa can’t claim to be pan-African and democratic priding itself on its struggles against apartheid while it continues to maintain political ties with a despotic regime. It’s time for South Africa to b clear about the situation in Zimbabwe. Using circumventive diplomatic terms to comment on the situation there without taking an affirmative action is a slap on the face of its own ideal of a proud and united Africa.

  10. 10 Trent West
    April 18, 2008 at 17:06

    NO, Thabo Mbeki is not a disgrace. The right word would be – DINOSAUR. His problem is not that he can not or refuse to see and acknowledge the problem in Zimbabwe, but because of what Mugabe (and Zanu-PF) did for the ANC during apartheid. He position now can be best described as blind loyalty which is a shame.

  11. 11 Peter Gizzi UK
    April 18, 2008 at 17:07

    In an ideal world The Continent of Africa would sort out it’s own problems? I had hoped Mbeke might have been more forthcoming.

    It was said earlier in the week that Mugabe is effectively a “chief”. Is he perhaps seeking his replacment?

  12. 12 Ros Atkins
    April 18, 2008 at 17:17

    Hi Ros,

    I don’t see how Thabo Mbeki is a disgrace to Africa because he doesn’t get anywhere with Robert Mugabe. Zimbabwe’s problems belong to the Zimbabwean people. When they get tired of their own Grand Legume, Robert Mugabe, they will get rid of him. When he eventually leaves office, which will probably be when the entire country is ruined and in civil war, he will be just like other leaders in the region. It’s a shame.

    Scott in the States

  13. 13 ki
    April 18, 2008 at 17:37

    Hey All,

    That Thabo Mbeki could be replaced by Jacob Zuma speaks volumes. His endorsement of Robert Mugabe is a tragedy for the people of Zimbabwe. Not so long ago, people worldwide looked to South Africa for inspiration, now we watch in disbelief as Mr Mbeki holds hands with a dictator and tells us there is ‘no crisis’.

  14. April 18, 2008 at 17:41

    Until the old school leaders of Africa have been removed from power or have died, Africa will never progress.

  15. April 18, 2008 at 17:51

    Hello bbc crew,

    As I once said, only a human being can understand the sufferings of another human being. If our authorities can’t understand this, then they are not humans at all. I have had the chance to be in RD Congo where i find each and every day victims of war, street childrens. The great and uncurable problem they are suffering from is what we cal in french “les blessure interne ou psychologique”. I tell you these are wounds that can not be healed neither in days neither in months but years. The psychological conserquences of war is at times irreversible.
    The very high rates of street children we are having here is due to war, children that have been psychologicaly disturbed, they are afraid of no body, they are ready to afront any type of daily activities such as theft, rape, drugs etc, all these due to what some of them withnessed during the war. A child watching his parents being killed infront of him, watching his or her sisters being raped. With this you are bing tromatised through out your life.

    War is not good, the globe is facing many hazardious problems like drouts, shortage of food. We should foght for these instead of creating conflicks here and there.

    With regards

  16. 16 Kwabena via email
    April 18, 2008 at 17:51

    As the leader of a country that reached out to the world to help it put an end to apartheid it is disgraceful that Thabo Mbeki is turning his back on zimbabwe when it is calling on him for help. Shame on mbeki.


  17. 17 nicholas kariuki muthaara frm embu/kenya
    April 18, 2008 at 17:54

    mbeki,au,un are all a disappointment 2 zimbabwe public.while the international community did everything to solve my kenya post election problem.no one is pressuring mugabe to leave power.

  18. 18 Devadas. v via email
    April 18, 2008 at 17:55

    in a way yes not solely on his stance on zimbawe issue but his overall governence of south africa which was fought and won by great nelson mandela from apartheid rulers has been made a mess by mbeiki by his weak governence which has made south africa a place of thuggery and unsafe place to live .
    no wonder his hide and seek stance in zimbawe issue which has left many over the worl particularly africa very disappointed .
    africa has a whole is becoming a rudderless ship as there are no leaders with vision at present.

    Devadas. V, India

  19. April 18, 2008 at 18:03

    I think Mbeki knows what Zimbabwe needs at this time, I’ve been disappointed by the media when it comes to isues concerning Zimbabwe and Mugabe.It seems Mugabe has done great and he’s still doing great to his country.Mbeki him self seem to conquer with Mubabe and the masses , if that was not the case then violence would have been the order of the day from the day of voting , but since every one in Zimbabwe likes Mugabe he should reign.Mbeki is doing perfectly well in the mediations.

  20. 20 JulianB
    April 18, 2008 at 18:08

    Mbeki is an embarrassment to South Africa. He is a denialist of the first rank; first AIDS then his own leadership crisis at home and Zimbabwe. As a South African living abroad because of the extreme level of violence and parlous job situation there, I am angry that the South African government gets off lightly in world forums simply because of South African past history. Tell it like it is in
    Zimbabwe. Hats off to the dockworkers!

  21. 21 JulianB
    April 18, 2008 at 18:23

    The ironies of day to day politics never cease to surprise me. Who would have thought that it would be Jacob Zuma who spoke out clearly on the Zimbabwean question? Of course Zuma uttered the words we all wanted to hear first from Mbeki, that the election results need to be made public immediately! Mbeki is a denialist of the first rank regarding Zimbabwe. Hats off to the Cosatu dockworkers in Durban. Send that ship home unloaded to China.


  22. 22 Kwezi Mjumbe
    April 18, 2008 at 18:35

    As an African in the diaspora currently, i find it highly ironic that such a question is being posed and it seems that it is a western on-sided discussion.

    Folks, the days of neocolonialism and colonialism are over. Both Mr. Mbeki and Mr. Mugabe are [and will continue to be] African emancipating patriots for both gentlemen understand firmly that Africa can not truly be liberated until such that the its economies are free from western interference.

    To be clear, Mr. Juma has nothing to say in this regard since he is not leader of the ANC nor the Republic of South Africa until 2009. His comments have no merit until such time he may [or may not] assume office.
    Mr. Mbeki is accutely aware of the situation on the ground and comprehends that his nation currently cannot tolerate an such influx of Zimbabweans fleeing to RSA when RSA is having its own problems of meeting a certain standard for its own populace.

    Further, father Mbeki is not the current leader of the African Union nor of SADC. Every member of SADC has an investment in any other member of SADC economic and political situations for the benefit of all SADC members. Therefore, it is not up to Mr. Mbeki nor Mr. Khama nor dos Santos, nor Mwanawasa nor any member of SADC as an individual to make any declarations or policies against another SADC member state, it is up to them all to make a statement when and where they see fit.

    What the west can and should do it to cease and desist from its systemic critiques of African applications of democracy a mere less than sixty years post independence. Since the west cannot even muster getting the principles right for their own populaces themselves.

  23. 23 John Smith
    April 18, 2008 at 18:36

    One has to rationalize the position of MBeki. He is a defeated leader who is hanging on to the last of his days in power. He understands the plight of Mugabi, having gone through it himself. He was never the best person to arbitrate this issue, but I don’t think it fair to call him an embarrassment. I would rather just call him a failure

  24. 24 Banks via text
    April 18, 2008 at 18:39

    Mbeki is Mugabe’s poodle, it seems. Must be some dirt behind their curtains .

    Banks, Amsterdam

  25. 25 Banks via text
    April 18, 2008 at 18:41

    Mbeki is Mugabe’s poodle, it seems. Must be some dirt behind their curtains .

    Banks, Amsterdam

  26. 26 WG
    April 18, 2008 at 18:42

    HIV doesn’t cause AIDS, so there is no AIDS crisis in his country, so for years he did nothing.

    There is no crisis in Zimbabwe, despite 3 million Zimbabweans who have fled across the border to South Africa, so he does nothing.

    It all sounds familiar really. How such an aloof, detached, insensitive bureaucrat became President of South Africa is beyond me.

    Zimbabwe is land locked. If South Africa and the other front line states wanted to end this, they could do it tomorrow by cutting off the supply of all luxury goods to Zimbabwe and banning the movement of all high ranking Zimbabwean officials across their borders.

    I also think Morgan T has shown his political naivety in this whole affair. First he’s willing to take part in a run-off before any results are announced (I think ZANU saw this as weakness, which may have been one of the reasons they pulled out of transition talks), then he’s not going to take part, then he’s going to take part again – decisive he is not! Also, why hasn’t he appealed to the rank and file of the police and military to defend the constitution of Zimbabwe and any new government, because they have made no real gains under Mugabe. That would set the police chiefs and generals worrying!

  27. 27 Maina via text
    April 18, 2008 at 19:11

    Mbeki is biased n should step aside in the Zimbabwe crisis.

    Maina, kenya.

  28. 28 Binga via text
    April 18, 2008 at 19:13

    I suspect Mbeki is not doin enough. No wonder he went to zimbabwe & cant call mugabe to order. Mbeki should be ashamed of not helping the zimbabwe people.

    Binga, Nigeria

  29. 29 S.K via text
    April 18, 2008 at 19:17

    Why are you leaving britain out of the Zimbabwe problem? Why are you not talking about the Land agreements which britain signed wen giving independence.


  30. 30 Peter via text
    April 18, 2008 at 19:21

    I think Mbeki has let us down not once but several times be4. He is a disgrace to the entire SADC region.

    Peter, Zimbabwe.

  31. 31 Sydney via text
    April 18, 2008 at 19:23

    I think Mbeki is not telling the truth and it so embarrassing because there there no way people can vote and wait for more than 15days without a result..come oon mr mbeki, what are we waiting for! gun shots?

    Sydney, Zambia

  32. 32 Kafi via text
    April 18, 2008 at 19:24

    It isnt the 1st time winners are denied in democratic elections. Why should the west blame Mbeki when they accepted it in algeria and to hamas.

    Kafi, Kampala.

  33. 33 Edward via text
    April 18, 2008 at 19:24

    Thabo Mbeki is walking a tightrope. It is becoming increasingly difficult for him to remain neutral while dealing with both ZANU PF and MDC.

    Edward, Ghana

  34. 34 Sammy via e-mail
    April 18, 2008 at 19:40

    After Mandela for sure
    Mbeki has become a big let down for Africa.
    Traditionally, a South African leader is normally perceived as a leader of Africa. But not for Mbeki.
    He is always going anti-clockwise vis-a-vis the wishes and expectations of Africans.
    I long to see Mbeki’s back and to welcome Jacob Zuma who I believe will take South Africaa and Africa to greater heights!
    Sammy, Tanzania

  35. 35 Emiko via text
    April 18, 2008 at 19:43

    Mbeki is a complete disgrace to the image of the great Nelson who handed over to him. If African leaders dont learn to face the truth it will never grow.

    Emiko, Nigeri

  36. April 18, 2008 at 19:52

    Actually, I read an article in the Times of South Africa about the Trade Union that refuses to unload weapons from a Chinese boat that docked in Durban, South Africa.

  37. 37 Simon via e-mail
    April 18, 2008 at 19:58

    Shame on President Mbeki, his government was the first one to disown Kenyas President Kibaki. Africa will never witness such betrayal and this clearly shows that we are yet to fight dictatorship. Class struggle is Africas biggest nightmare and mbeki has no goodwill to end this social economic stratifiation. Shame on him.


  38. 38 Moses Magoola
    April 19, 2008 at 12:06

    Thabo is an un culculative leader trying to avenge the brunt of the South African colonial legacies in a different context(Zimbabwe). Zimbabwe is different from South Africa and besides, siding with Mugabe to hurt the west in the so called “Mbeki’s quiet diplomacy” is a falacy demonstrated by an average leader for a country like South Africa. His quiet diplomacy is stagnant and not moving the country any where. Without any positve progress for Zimbabwe, Mbeki MUST show his back because he has failed to represent those that assigned him the role(people of Africa). Politically and economically, Zimbabwe has sunk to levels of no return before the eyes of hypocritical leaders that have failed to exercise the value of rescuing a neighbour and this practise is deeply engrained in traditions of most African societies. After all Mbeki’s time is up and come on Zuma and sort out the Mbeki’s trush. May be that is why he stood in your way so that you could not assume ANC’s presidency.Unfortunately for Mbeki, Zuma took the battle one and battle II is as good as finished come the next South African Elections.

  39. 39 Chi Primus
    April 19, 2008 at 12:35

    The open and public denunciation of President Mbeki by MDC and her leaders is a mistake that the MDC will regret deeply. Morgan isn’t learned yet how to be presidential and diplomatic. He gaffed when he made that declaration.

  40. 40 Trudi Morgan
    April 19, 2008 at 14:07

    Zimbabwe Calls to the World

    The bread-basket is overturned,
    Houses and homesteads burned.
    Why is it so?
    A very old man in power
    Who long since has had his hour
    Will not let go.

    Listen now to Tendai:
    How many men must die
    Before it ends?
    The people have made their choice;
    Now hear the people’s voice:
    Where are our friends?

    Our land hovers in limbo:
    There is no way to go,
    Nothing to do
    But wait in hope and fear.
    Is our deliverance near?
    We look to you.

    Trudi Morgan

  41. 41 Mark
    April 19, 2008 at 18:18

    It’s easy to fall into the trap of looking at Zimbabwe today, sympathize with countless millions who are suffering there or who were forced to leave while forgetting how it got that way. Mugabe was elected, yes elected on the promise of taking land from the white farmers, descendants of the colonial settlers, and giving it to black Zimbabwegians. It’s the same kind of agrarian land reform slogan tyrants from Stalin and Mao, to Castro came to power with. And like them it brought famine. Britain even gave Mugabe money to buy the land from the owners but instead, the lawless tyrant allowed and even encouraged throngs to run the farmers and their employees off the land, looting their homes, even killing them. Now Mugabe’s cronies, the “war veterans” have the land but don’t have a clue about farming. The one time bread basket of Africa has become a basket case and when the people who voted Mugabe in realize the consequence of their mistake, they seem surprised that not only won’t the tyrant give up power willingly in an election but that nobody from the outside will come to their rescue. It’s a crisis of their own making and it may be hard to hear but in a sense, they like people everywhere got the government they deserve. They made their bed, now it’s up to them to lie in it or get a new one.

    Of course there is one place which could help but won’t and that is the United States of America. Don’t even think about it. Every time America rescues someone, the world shrieks. It was only at the last moment that the US kept Kosovo from turning into a replay of World War I using weapons intended for World War III. So America will not meddle in Africa’s internal affairs, it will not oust Mugabe, it will not attack the Sudan, it will not play this no win game. Iraq was not invaded to rescue Iraqis from Saddam Hussein and Afghanistan was not attacked to rescue the Afhanis from the Taleban and al Qaeda, those wars were fought to protect Americans from perceived threats, real or not. OK Organization of African Unity, United Nations and the rest of you overpaid underworked diplomats, the ball is in your court. Let’s see what you do now. The lives of millions depend on it.

  42. April 20, 2008 at 10:46

    That man Mbeki is much more than a DISGRACE. Wonder what school he went to and what lessons he has learnt.

    he is more of a woman than a man. In short, mere mention of his name give me untold headache.

  43. April 20, 2008 at 19:03

    Yes, this solidarity with Mugabe is an unqualified disgrace, and is ruinous to Thabo Mbeki’s reputation.

    Forget quiet diplomacy au Kofi Annan. There’s something more complex going on here. I and many other watchers of the developing situation would conclude that China is playing some sort of role in all this.

    If the Chinese want to get at Zimbabwean minerals, Mugabe must be kept in power. Tsvangarai is seen as the West’s man, not the person to do a quick and untidy deal with China.( Chinese arms delivered to Zimbabwe are paid for by “access to the Zimbabwean economy”.)

    There already are some 5000kms of Chinese-laid railroad, linking ports to mines in Africa. There have been several reports of the presence of armed Chinese soldiers in Zimbabwe specifically.

    The shipload of Chinese arms destined for Zimbabwe, having been contemptuously chased out of Durban harbour by an heroic South African trade union, is insistent enough not to turn tail and head home, but actually to be heading for Luanda, Angola. (As the Olympic torch travels around the world, by the way).

    Under these circumstances, it seems reasonable to suppose that Thabo Mbeki, a friend of China, is aiding Chinese economic plans for Zimbabwe, plans which might restore some sort of prosperity to Zimbabwe and eventually re-legitimize the Mugabe regime.

    Or, what else might possibly make sense?

  44. 44 pal
    April 20, 2008 at 20:40

    I think the question is a ‘disgrace’. I think George Bush and Tony Blair are a disgrace yet I’ve never heard the BBC pose this question about them. Fair and impartial reporting?

  45. April 21, 2008 at 07:58

    As regards Pal’s comment : The question whether George Bush is a disgrace to America has been asked and answered many times already. See the global press generally.

    Re: Tony Blair. Mistaken, wrong-headed, naive..yes. A disgrace to the UK? No.

  46. April 21, 2008 at 08:51

    there is no crisis in zimambwe,
    mbeki is just misunderstood

    April 21, 2008 at 16:42


  48. 48 pal
    April 21, 2008 at 23:28

    Donovan, my point is the media ( British at least) seem to have special descriptions for some that are not in the ‘national interest’ per say, this is demonstrated by the language used e.g ‘Monster’ ( the independent newspaper) a ‘disgrace’ ( bbc). i have not heard a question on the BBC ‘ world have your say’ which even asks the question such as ‘ is Bush a disgrace to the U.S.A’. correct me if I am wrong.
    My point is that the debate is being led by editorialised reporting, this is because there is an agenda at play, and we should all be aware of this. The other point is that this is the language of power, you will not find such language being used against powerful nations e.g Saudi Arabia because it suits us not too.

  49. 49 Streathamite
    April 24, 2008 at 19:35

    I don’t think I’ve EVER come across a more gutless, less inspiring and simply less leader-like politician than Thabo Mbeki. When I think what a hero his dad was, it makes you despair (and I’m sure ol’ Govan would weep if he could witness this). There’s not been a single challenge he’s led the way to tackling head-on; not crime, not AIDs, not redistribution, and certainly not Zimbabwe. In Fact, the lads of SATAWU have really shown up for the clueless wimp he is.
    well done the dockers!

  50. 50 Dennis
    May 11, 2008 at 16:47


    Thabo Mbeki is a not a perfect person for Africa

    Dennis from Madrid, U.S.A.

  51. 51 Louise Cripps
    June 1, 2008 at 08:14

    Britain under the leadership of Harold Wilson in the 1960’s was solely responsible for the mess Zimbabwe has become. Ian Smith warned the world of what would happen if independence was given to the blacks. Nobody would listen. It’s Britains responsibility to get the country out of the mess now. Britain should be intervening and getting rid of Mugabe and giving refugee status to the white farmers who are being kicked off their land.

  52. 52 Jack
    June 23, 2008 at 18:07

    “Disgrace” is putting it lightly. Thabo Mbeki has denied HIV causing Aids, that there is a problem with crime in South Africa (despite what stats show-it’s abominable) and now that there is no crisis in Zimbabwe. He’s simply a lame-duck president. Denying all inconvenient facts just goes to show what a weak leader he is. South Africa’s government is a classic case of neo-patrimonialism, where loyalty holds precedence over the law and what is “right”. He should start focusing on domestic matters, as well as the travesty happening ‘next door’, instead of on his pipe-dream of a unified Africa.

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