Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

South Africa: Mbeki in the Arms Deal Spotlight

analysis

Photo: Sofia Tosolari
South Africa- Navy President Mbeki and the SAS Amatola (file photo).

Former President Thabo Mbeki appears at the Arms Deal Commission today to explain his role in the costly scandal. There are questions he has to answer, but GREG NICOLSON worries it's just another waste of taxpayers' money. In case we didn't have enough of that.

Reclaiming dignity. Realising liberation. Uniting Africa. Confronting international subjugation. Mbeki's 1999 inauguration speech poetically outlined the philosophies underpinning his presidency. "Our nights cannot but be nights of nightmares while millions of our people live in conditions of degrading poverty," he said. "Sleep cannot come easily when children get permanently disabled, both physically and mentally, because of lack of food. No night can be restful when millions have no jobs, and some are forced to beg, rob and murder to ensure that they and their own do not perish from hunger."

Since his 2008 recall, Mbeki lives in relative obscurity, sometimes attending to issues of peace and stability on the continent, occasionally emerging to make a local speech, but his legacy has lately been defined by current politics. The DA and EFF say the ANC was all right until President Zuma stepped up. The ANC of today points to improvements made since 2008, such as the...

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InFocus

S. Africa: Mbeki Faces Arms Deal Commission

South Africa- Navy President Mbeki and the SAS Amatola (file photo).

Former president Thabo Mbeki has appeared before the Seriti Commission of Inquiry to explain his role in the country's largest post-apartheid weapons deal. Read more »