During the fight by South Africans to end apartheid people from throughout the world lent their support in this effort to achieve freedom. But, today, President Mbeki of South Africa refuses to condemn the brutality occurring in neighboring Zimbabwe which is ruled by his buddy, Robert Mugabe. Kenya Prime Minister Raila Odinga blasted Mugabe as a dictator and demanded action. South African opposition leader, Helen Zille, urged Mbeki to do something to help the people of Zimbabwe. “What will it take for you to acknowledge what is happening in Zimbabwe? How many people must be detained, trtured or killed? What are you in your role as mediator doing to ensure that the election reflects the will of the Zimbabwean people?” She charged his appeasement of brutality was a disgrace to the South African people.
South Africa has come a long way in its fight for racial equality. A white South African woman is standing up for the rights of black people in Zimbabwe while a black skinned president refuses to lift his hand to end brutality being inflicted on an African nation. The silence of appeasement echoes loudly across the African continent. As Tendai Biti, of the Zimbabwean Movement for Democratic Change noted: “it is almost as if the regime is sending out a message to the region, to the international community that it doesn’t care, that it has no respect for life, it has no respect for the rule of law.”