The full damage is yet to be felt

2008-12-06 00:00

Just as government policies take time to have a profound and visible impact and effect changes to the challenges they are supposed to eradicate, damage done by the same policies also

takes time to show and have long-lasting effects.

A lot was said about how untimely former president Thabo Mbeki’s dismissal was, especially with just a few months before he finished his term. His friends and foes defended and attacked him, respectively, while they tried to defend their stance but the effects of his policies are yet to be fully felt.

Make no mistake, various groups within various communities already bear the brunt of his arrogance. In just one week, I began to appreciate how people continue to suffer because Mbeki failed to assist them.

The need for the government to tackle HIV/Aids and the challenges it continues to pose has never been greater and Mbeki’s stance on the issue shocked fellow Africans and foreigners alike as he continued to question the link between HIV and Aids while people continued to die like flies.

Instead of injecting tens of billions of rands into the welfare of the people of this country, he was key in procuring arms from foreign companies totalling well over R100 billion in procurement and maintenance.

His approach of treating Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe with kid gloves has been despicable to say the least.

His failure to deal with our northern neighbour decisively has not only made a mess of South Africa but also the whole of southern Africa.

Thanks to Mbeki, Mugabe is still in power and there has been no progress in the mediation talks, cholera is rife and the death figure has climbed to over 1 000 in Harare alone, hospitals are as good as closed and there’s no economy to speak of. It is the indigent and the poorest of the poor who bear the brunt of decisions made at political levels.

In desperation, Zimbabwean nationals have been forced to cross the border into South Africa, bringing cholera with them.

Clearly, we do not operate in a vacuum and had this situation been resolved by our Southern African Development Community (Sadc) leaders when it first occurred, the people of Zimbabwe would have regained their dignity and would be continuing with their lives. It is thanks to an absence of political will and to Sadc leaders, who are dictators just like Mugabe and have no interest in serving the African people, that we are where we are.

From the beginning, Mbeki had the wrong attitude towards governance: one of knowing what is good for the South African public without consulting them or even his party.

The damage this one individual has caused is yet to be felt in this country and beyond its borders.

Join the conversation! 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. 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

Traffic Alerts
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 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.