Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, not merely the president of Liberia, but the first female to become president on the continent of Africa gave the Nelson Mandela lecture in South Africa. Nelson Mandela applauded as she denounced the crime of Zimbabwe where President Robert Mugabe has not only stolen and election but brutalized his own people. She expressed her “solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe” and expressed sorrow so few African leaders had joined in attempts to restore to the people of Zmbabwe their right to elect whom they please as their leader. Ms. Sirlead noted in 1985 her nation had a sham election and no one in Africa took action so Liberia was torn to shreds for thirty-five years in civil war.
President Sirleaf expressed the key point of what is happening on the African continent when she said her firm conclusion is “that Africa is not poor, but it has been poorly managed.” The tragedy of Africa is the lack of attendance at her lecture by President Mbeki of South Africa whose cowardly support for Mugabe has shamed his nation in the eyes of the world.