11 September 2017

South Africa: Op-Ed - Mugabe Should Criticise South Africa, Not Mandela


In the same way that Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe believes Nelson Mandela failed to stand up to whites during the pre-1994 negotiations, Mugabe should recognise that we - South Africa - have failed to deal with him and his failed leadership in Zimbabwe.

Over the past few days, Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe publicly lashed out at our former late president Nelson Mandela suggesting that Madiba betrayed black people when apartheid was defeated. "What was the most important thing for Mandela was his release from prison and nothing else. He cherished that freedom more than anything else and forgot why he was put in jail."

These are the words that prompted ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe to lodge a complaint with his counterpart in the Zanu-PF urging him to rein in Mugabe and to warn him against tarnishing Mandela's name. Mantashe was scathing; he reportedly said to Zanu-PF that while Mugabe is critical of Mandela, he has destroyed his own country's economy.

I have tracked mixed reactions to Mugabe's remarks. Many are furious that he has the audacity to speak ill of Mandela while not saying a word about how his wife escaped justice after assaulting a South African.

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