Let sleeping dogs lie
Mbeki’s essays won’t correct history, but will offer insight into self-delusion, writes
commissioner Jackie Selebi certainly felt that way, to the extent that he spent hours personally interviewing Nkambule in a bid to bolster the plot allegation. To them, Nkambule had the solution to the president’s fears and their mission was to prove the plot. Lewis Hamilton in the business world. What was not known was how far Mbeki would be prepared to go to secure his position: that he would be prepared to let them be subjected to being labelled potential enemies of the state by presidential henchmen, a label that carried real and present danger to them.
As harrowing as that episode was, the three leaders accepted Tshwete’s apology and moved on. The country moved on. The plot was only spoken about in passing as a bookmark in our history – until this week, when Mbeki opted to give us his unconvincing and self-serving version.
One can understand that the 73-year-old would want to begin to present a more saintly picture of himself so that posterity remembers him for the good he did instead of the controversial chapters of his public life. In this quest, he will probably also give us his take on the age of Aids denialism, “clarity” on the South African government’s role in aiding and abetting Robert Mugabe’s destruction of Zimbabwe, his protection of Selebi when the top cop had sold his soul to crooks and an explanation of why he coldly dismissed the deaths of 2 000 babies at Frere Hospital as statistically insignificant. One could go on and on, but we have to save the trees.