Tag Archives: Mbeki

I Am The Law, Insists Mugabe!

President Mugabe of Zimbabwe with each passing day is transforming himself into a caricature of every crackpot petty dictator known to the cinema or the literary world. At points, he struts on the stage of power like a second rate Benito Mussolini, and other times, he is a poor version of Joseph Stalin. On his return from the AU meeting, he was greeted by thousands who knew it was better to cheer him than to appear disappointed he was still alive. “I am the president of the Republic of Zimbabwe and that is reality he told the crowd.” If the Movement for Democratic Change refuses to accept that reality he warned, there would be no dialogue with its leaders.

Failure on the part of the African Union to take a strong stand and either suspend Mugabe from the organization or to impose sanctions, have made this two-bit petty dictator believe he is immune to any form of opposition. The cowardly AU even refused to appoint an impartial mediator to deal with the Zimbabwe situation even tough opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, denounced President Mbeki of South Africa for his tight friendship with Mugabe.

Silence Of Nelson Mandela Haunting

The silence of Nelson Mandela on the crisis in Zimbabwe has disturbed many of his admirers who regard him as the moral voice of south Africa. He fought for the rights of all people in his struggle to end white rule in South Africa, but has been strangely silent during the brutal events in Zimbabwe. William Gumede, a political analyst notes, “every voice is needed now. And, Mr. Mandela’s is one that can hardly be bettered in terms of m oral authority.” Some believe he has hesitated speaking because President Mugabe of Zimbabwe hates him and will only do the opposite of what Mandela says.

Another reason may be his loyalty to President Mbeki of South Africa who succeeded him in office. Mandela has hesitated expressing disagreement and, except for the HIV crisis in 2000, has not make negative remarks about his successor. However, the crisis in Zimbabwe requires every voice to be heard. Mbeki’s behavior has been disgusting and lacking in any concern for the oppressed voices of the Zimbabwean people.

The Silence Of South African President Mibeki Is Loud

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.”

What Went Wrong Asks South Africa?

The recent xenophobic violence which swept through South Africa resulting in the death of dozens of people and the destruction of homes and businesses of immigrants is causing South Africans to wonder if their nation has been too complacent about serious structural and economic issues. A special task force probing the violence concludes there was no one cause, but the outbreak resulted from a variety of causes ranging from failure of the government to confront poverty to the presence of millions of immigrants in a nation with a high unemployment rate.The report noted ‘in some cases, there is some evidence of copy-cat activities in which criminals took advantage of the news story to conduct criminal acts” but the violence can not be simply classified as an example of criminals running wild.

The South African government now understands it must protect all those living in the country from violence on the part of those seeking to achieve goals by using the presence of immigrants to vent frustrations. The message to security forces is “no violence will be tolerated.” A major problem when violence initially began was failure on the part of police and army to take immediate strong action to nip the attacks in the bud before they could gain momentum.

Some immigrants may leave South Africa and return home but thousands are unable to go back as is the case of those from Zimbabwe where that nation is in chaos due to the incompetent and brutal actions of President Mugabe. Thousands of immigrants have married native South Africans and have families that can not be abandoned. At present, an important need is for the government to finally show some initiative and provide food, clothing and shelter to those impacted by violence.

South Africa Lull As Nation Picks Up Pieces From Hate

Two weeks of violence and hatred have ripped apart the image of South Africa as a nation which seeks to assume the leadership of Africa. The fury that was unleashed against foreign workers in the country has never previously been witnessed and in the wake of what happened thousands of innocent people are left without a home, without clothes, without a job and without food. Estimates are that up to a 100,000 have been displaced and dozens killed as mobs rampaged through towns killing, beating and burning. At least 50,000 Zimbabweans and Moczambicans have left the country in fear of their lives. There are about five million immigrants in South Africa of whom at least half are from Zimbabwe where President Mugabe has destroyed the economy and viciously attacked opponents.

Reporters have found hundreds of people camped out near police stations huddling under blankets as winter begins. “We are living like dogs,” said a Sudanese refugee, “please tell somebody to help us.” Most aid to refugees is coming from church groups, relief agencies and individuals. Despite making speeches about how terrible everything was, government leaders are not initiating any large-scale relief efforts. The Red Cross has complained about the lack of national coordination to deal with the impact of the riots.

Perhaps, if President Mbeki would exert pressure on his close friend, President Mugabe of Zimbabwe, a fair election in that nation would bring to power a government that would restore the wrecked economy and most probably result in millions of Zimbabweans in South Africa returning home.

South Africans March To End Anti-Foreign Hatred

Thousands of people marched through the streets of Johannesburg holding placards that said: “Xenophobia hurts like Apartheid” or “we stand against xenophobia.” Police said there is a momentary halt to the violence which enveloped the area and led to the death of at least 50 people while forcing thousands to flee for their lives. President Mbeki, whose silence and inaction played a major role in the violence being allowed to occur, finally commented: “Today we are faced with a disgrace, a humilitation as a nation in that we have allowed a handful of people to commit crimes against other Afrcans living in our country.”

At least 10,000 people are displaced in Cape Town and thousands have left the nation to return to their homes. The best explanation the Mbeki government can offer is to blame the riots on former members of “apartheid security forces,” whatever that means. Mbeki has remained silent about the terror in Zimbabwe so it is not surprising he is silent about violence in his own nation.

South African Army Deployed To Halt Riots

The South African Defence Force is mobilizing and will be sent into areas where mobs have attacked thousands of foreign workers. After days of looting and burning and killing, President Mbeki finally gave the OK for members of the armed forces to enter the violent areas and support police efforts of peace. Thousands of foreign workers have been driven from their homes, their businesses burned down, and many beaten or killed. The latest casualty figures include 42 who have died in the violence. South Africans have directed their anger at foreigners from nations like Zimbabwe and Mozambique. The government of Mozambique says at least 10,000 of its nationals have left South Africa to seek refuge in their home country.

A major factor in the arrival of foreigners into South Africa is the one million who fled Zimbabwe due to the brutal regime of Robert Mugabe who transformed a prosperous nation into one in which milliions are without work or food. South African president Mbeki has stood by in silence and has refused to offer aid to Zimbabwean opposition leaders who seek to restore their nation’s economy and, in so doing, ensure the return home of Zimbabwean refugees. Mbeki even refused to lift a finger in his own nation even though mobs were running wild through the streets.

South Africa can become a successful economic power, but it needs an active government that recognizes oppression elsewhere eventually impacts their country. It will be interesting when the leftist minded Jacob Zuma assumes the presidency next year if he can expand the job market and offer hope to the poor.

South Africa Prepares For Change

The African National Congress which dominates pollitics in South Africa gave Jacob Zuma their full support in his bid for the presidency. The Congress, which regards Zuma as its leader, made clear there would not be any effort to get rid of President Mibeki before he complestes his term as president of the nation. Zuma is due to appear in court on August 14 to respond to charges brought by the Mbeki government of racketeering, money laundeering and corruption. The two men, who once were friends, have now become bitter enemies.

The business world of South Africa is concerned about the election of Zuma who is regarded as much more radical than Mbeki. Zuma has formed close aliances with labor unions and the communist party so his election might well trigger off a fiscal crisis unless step are taken to reassure the business community.

Zuma and Mbeki have clashed over ways to confront issues such as high unemployment, health care, education and the problem of Zimbabwe. Mbeki is a close friend of Robert Mugabe and his refusal to take action after Mugabe’s blatant attempt to intimidate opponents and manipulate votes has caused Zuma to pledge, if elected, he will take a more forceful policy towards Mugabe.

Vioence Escalates In Zimbabwe

The Zmbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights has released a report which expresses their concern over escalating cases of organized violence and torture and the increasing intimidation of medical personnel. They have documented over 900 victims of violence in the post election period. But, they believe their figures grossly underestimate what is happening because in rural areas most cases are not being reported. The doctors are worried that many victims in rural areas fail to receive good medical treatment due to lack of facilities. Most victims have identified the perpetrators as “war veterans,” armed security forces, and ZANU-PF youth militia. Only a handful of violent acts have been committed by members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

Dr.Douglas Gwatidzo, chair of the Doctors Association, said the escalation of violence has risen from about 5 per day last week to about 20-30 this week. Ambasadors from the United States, Germany, the European Unon, Germany, Sweden and Angola visited hospitals to obtain first hand information from victims. An elderly lady told them: “How can an 84 year-old be assaulted simply because her children are MDC?”

Morgan Tsvangirai, head of MDC announced he had informed President Mbeki of South Africa that his services as a mediator were not longer desired. Mbeki has blatantly supported President Mugabe.

African Ministers Try Reason With Mugabe

A high ranking delegation of southern African ministers met with President Robert Mugabe for one more time in an effort to get the wounded tiger of Zimbabwe to devote at least a moment to the needs of his nation rather than to his bruised ego.Angolan Foriegn Minister Jose Jaoao Miranda urged the president to join with all political parties in an effort to have a fair election. Executive director Tomas Salamao of the SADC said he would like to meet with opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai but he is not in the country. No, he is not in Zimbabwe because to do so would probably result in his death from the thugs who roam the nation assaulting those who dared to vote against Mugabe.

The SADC and everyone in the wrold except Robert Mugabe knows the only solution is for a fair election to be held under African Union supervision in order to ensure the Zanu-PF thugs cease attacking innocent people.

The reality is there is slight evidence Mugabe has changed his mind about continuing as president. The African Union can talk and talk but until real action is taken, the thugs who run Zimbabwe will continue their murderous behavior.