Mbeki’s litany of blunders

WHEN one buys a house, it’s logical to start fixing what’s broken.

On the other hand, it’s illogical to let your family live in a newly purchased but dilapidated house while you go around repairing the neighbourhood homes.

Like it or not, this is what former president Thabo Mbeki did during his presidency – tried to fix Africa’s problems and ignored the fact that he swore an oath to serve the people of South Africa.

After all, one can count among his “accomplishments” successive changes which rendered the education system ineffective; his refusal to heed Eskom’s yearly warnings about the need to expand power generation and an arms deal which he told troops at his last military review wasn’t corrupt, but that a few weeks later was shown to be so.

There was the deaths of an estimated 365000 people due to his refusal to dispense antiretrovirals through state hospitals; the rise of unchecked corruption in government departments; and creation of a culture of entitlement among civil servants; leadership disasters of the police; disbandment of commandos and subsequent increase in farm murders.

Further there was incompetently run land restitution programmes; increasingly disruptive unions and poor labour relations in most economic sectors and pursuit of racially based employment policies.

I regard Mbeki as a better president than Jacob Zuma, but there’s plenty to criticise him about including his “quiet diplomacy”.

M Negres, Port Elizabeth

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