Brilliant mind, but without a heart

2016-02-24 06:00

I FEEL compelled to have my say on Thabo Mbeki’s sudden reappearance in our politics.

Having read his numerous letters wherein he seeks to defend his controversial decisions made while he was president, I have lost whatever vestiges of respect I had for him.

We were taught never to kick a man when he’s down, so after he left office we stopped our attacks on him.

We would welcome him back if he showed some contrition, but ironically, his letters are nothing but a manifestation of what he denies.

They show just how aloof and detached he is from reality.

South Africa is not suddenly going to think he didn’t accuse his cabinet colleagues of plotting against him, or that he loved and invited detractors like Nelson Mandela did, or that he was actually an HIV/Aids activist, not a denialist who caused the deaths of thousands with his arrogance and indifference to human suffering.

Mbeki is a brilliant mind, but without a heart.

His lack of emotion is coming through those letters again as he fails to make amends with the nation he harmed.

He reminds me of Tony Blair, Britain’s most successful Labour prime minister, who, having won three successive elections, ended up a pariah after refusing to apologise for starting a war premised on a lie.

Mbeki’s hubris will drive him to a similar fate.

WARREN OLIPHANT

Via email

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