Mbeki is still a hero to many

2011-07-23 14:22

Songezo Zibi’s piece “Where have all the Mbeki fans gone?” (City Press, July 17) has opened a debate that has become taboo in South Africa.

This debate is going on in ­corners and in dark allies because people are scared to be heard praising one of Africa’s, and the world’s, most brilliant minds.

I personally think that people are actually scared to be alienated ­politically, socially and economically by those who wrestled the reins of power from Mbeki.

The emergence of the Congress of the People (Cope) came about as a result of the ­so-called fans being vocal in their support of Mbeki and his ­ideas.

It is no secret that Cope was destabilised by various forces that wanted to make sure that anyone who supported Mbeki would be dealt with severely.

It is not surprising that the “fans” would want to remain silent in their support for Mbeki.

Mbeki is one of the best minds this country has seen in the last two decades.

What he has achieved in terms of profiling the importance of Africa and creating some kind of identity for Africans can never be ­over-emphasised.

He gave us Africans the voice to challenge the Western “masters” who always want to dictate the ­African agenda to us.

Mbeki’s stance on Zimbabwe, Sudan, Ivory Coast and many ­other hotspots in Africa are no ­coincidence. It is just sad that some of us did not understand his strategy and how he operated as the head of state.

Going back to Songezo, I sincerely believe that Mbeki still has a lot of support within the ranks of the ANC, as well as with other ANC sympathisers and ordinary South Africans.

A fear of alienation is the cause of their silence on Mbeki and his achievements.

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