Mbeki’s act of chivalry post applauded

The Star Early Edition - - FRONT PAGE - MPILETSO MOTUMI mpiletso.motumi@inl.co.za

IT MAY have hap­pened 12 years ago, but for­mer pres­i­dent Thabo Mbeki’s ges­ture of gal­lantry is back on so­cial me­dia.

A photo taken by En­ver Es­sop has sur­faced on Face­book and made waves.

The pic­ture was taken in 2002 and shows Mbeki hold­ing a chair and car­ry­ing it off a stage.

On his Face­book page, Es­sop has cap­tioned the pic­ture and ex­plains what was hap­pen­ing on that day 12 years ago.

“Our ex-pres­i­dent Thabo Mbeki hosted a me­dia event at Ta­ble View ho­tel in the Water­front (in Cape Town). Ev­ery­one was seated, and there was only one woman stand­ing.

“Pres­i­dent Mbeki asked her why she was the only woman stand­ing when ev­ery­one was ei­ther seated or sit­ting on the floor.

Woman shocked when then pres­i­dent gave up his chair for her

“She replied that all the seats had been taken.

“And then, what hap­pened next will live with me till the day I die as it’s the first time ever I see a pres­i­dent take his own chair and per­son­ally carry it to the woman, who was shocked.

“But I was very for­tu­nate to cap­ture it, as it was so un­ex­pected.”

Es­sop has been re­ceiv­ing a num­ber of friend re­quests and con­grat­u­la­tory re­marks from peo­ple since the photo was posted.

He re­ferred to the photo as an “iconic mo­ment” he would never for­get.

Many com­ments on his page were com­pli­men­tary to the for­mer pres­i­dent, with many call­ing him a true gen­tle­man who did a noble deed.

The pic­ture was shared more than 800 times on Face­book, with peo­ple us­ing the hash­tags “hum­ble”, “lead­er­ship”, “pres­i­dent” and “wow”.

Many peo­ple com­pared him to the cur­rent pres­i­dent, say­ing they doubted he would have done the same for the woman.


REAL GEN­TLE­MAN: Then pres­i­dent Thabo Mbeki car­ries his chair off the stage to a woman who didn’t have a place to sit.

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