Mbeki celebrated across Africa despite detractors at home – Mboweni

2012-11-24 07:16

While South Africans might think former president Thabo Mbeki had done nothing positive for the country, the rest of Africa celebrated him as an “outstanding leader”, former Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni has said.

“His many detractors would have us believe he did nothing for the country during his presidency. They only remember him for his position on HIV/Aids.

“Meanwhile, the rest of the continent celebrates him as an outstanding African leader,” Mboweni said yesterday in Johannesburg, delivering a lecture in Mbeki’s honour as part of the ANC’s centenary celebrations.

Mbeki’s abilities as a leader and intellectual were evident in his recent naming as the Daily Trust 2012 African of the Year.

“Perhaps, as the Bible says, prophets are not recognised in their own country but in far away places,” said Mboweni.

Mbeki’s most important contribution to the country was as deputy president under former president Nelson Mandela following the first democratic election in 1994, he said.

Mandela had left Mbeki to manage the state while he concentrated on reconciliation and nation-building.

“We inherited a bankrupt state, heavily indebted. Mbeki set to put efforts in place to start building the country’s economy.”

Mboweni said Mbeki had many detractors in the ANC.

“A concerted effort was made by some to prevent him from ever becoming the substantive leader of the ANC.

“It was thus no surprise at all that whilst he led the party’s negotiations team in exile, he was quickly replaced when he returned home... and so from chief negotiator he became just a delegate at Codesa [the Congress for a Democratic SA].”

He described the 2007 Polokwane conference, where Mbeki was replaced by president Jacob Zuma, as being “as painful as politics could be”.

“There is surely nothing that can prepare one for a ‘palace coup’ staged by one’s own comrades. That is what happened in Polokwane.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


China's air pollution at doomsday levels

China has long been struggling with air pollution issues but just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse – it has.



Moving short film on ivory trade
10 Tips for Greener Shopping
How safe are your baby products?
5 maps that will change the way you see the world

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

The pace may be slow today and you may struggle to get things off the ground level, but it is important to focus on the structure...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.