Racially ob­sessed Pres­i­dent

Finweek English Edition - - Letters - JJ

ONE WON­DERS WHETHER our Pres­i­dent is “los­ing it,” as the stu­dents say. It’s a pity, be­cause then we’ll have two of them – one of each side of the Limpopo.

It might look funny, but Mbeki’s tirade against whites, who are con­sid­ered racist be­cause they com­plain about crime – the word “kaf­fir” was used re­peat­edly in the re­port – is cause for se­ri­ous con­cern. It makes me think of the way in which African lead­ers of bank­rupt coun­tries cre­ate a de­spised en­emy on which to fo­cus all the an­i­mos­ity of their sup­port­ers, so as to di­vert the at­ten­tion from their own fail­ure and dis­grace. That’s ex­actly what Pres­i­dent Robert Mu­gabe did with Zim­babwe’s white farm­ers and the Hutu gov­ern­ment of Ruanda with the Tut­sis.

Is there any civilised democ­racy in the world where its pres­i­dent ac­cuses and at­tacks a racial group in racially abu­sive terms? Or where the Min­is­ter of Agri­cul­ture and Land Af­fairs is the com­mer­cial farm­ers’ big­gest en­emy and in­sults and ac­cuses them ev­ery time she speaks in pub­lic?

No­body wants to sound like an alarmist and sup­port ridicu­lous scare sto­ries con­cern­ing the fu­ture, but you can’t help notic­ing the sim­i­lar­i­ties.

What we see and hear about Mbeki aren’t the care­fully con­sid­ered words of a rec­on­cil­ia­tory fig­ure who treats all the peo­ple in the coun­try as equal cit­i­zens. It’s the be­hav­iour of a racially ob­sessed politi­cian who’s chok­ing in his mal­ice to­ward a group that he sees as crit­i­cal of his in­abil­ity to run the coun­try.

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