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LETTER: Mbeki has enough knowledge, experience of governance to advise

Published Mar 1, 2022

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WE ALL know there is freedom of expression in South Africa, but that should not always warrant a response of insults and disrespect to those views different from one’s own perspective.

Particularly when the commentator is a former president like Thabo Mbeki or a distinguished jurist like Mogoeng Mogoeng.

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It should not matter that you simply do not like someone, your human emotions and taste mean nothing in the face of facts. If you have not walked a certain route then you should ask those who know the way. In this regard, there is no sane reason why we should always be reminded about Mbeki’s views on HIV/Aids every time he suggests what is not in line with our sacred desires.

If the desire of the clever and enlightened is for the ANC to lose power that is not the reality of the past election result and therefore of the majority of voters. Elections are won through the reality of electoral support and not political fantasies of opposition parties or intelligent wishes of a minority grouping.

But then again the capacity of South Africans to deliberate honestly on issues and manage to reach reasonable agreement is deteriorating. Let us then begin by stating that in the first instance, Mbeki did not invent HIV/Aids, and in the final instance, as the president at that time, he obeyed the Constitution’s ruling on the matter and my interpretation is that this should be the end of the matter and the only lenses by which the whole issue of Mbeki and Aids is viewed.

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And when he suggests that the ANC is too big to fail and that if it were to collapse South Africa would be ungovernable that merits a respectful examination of his views. And that should happen solely on what he has said and what he has gone through as a former president of both the organisation and state.

It is not for couch potatoes who neither have experience nor knowledge of the inner workings of these institutions to hurl insults.

The truth of the matter is that if the ANC is not prepared to hand over power in a democratic manner through multi-racial support from the public, for its transformation, then there is a good chance that it would sabotage any development outside its constituencies and policies.

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Again if ANC members are not reformed and capacitated to share power, the same members can cause something similar to the July unrest as the current president has already insinuated. It appears then that the views of Mbeki are well-calculated insights and warnings to the nation by someone who has no reason to betray the country for the sake of the ANC.

An observant society would take such advice seriously instead of arguing for argument’s sake. Anyone who thinks that the DA, which cannot even fully equate the human status of whites and blacks in a province, can do so nationally and without resorting to apartheid tactics, is dreaming and snoring.

As for the EFF, they do not have the human capital and methodology to govern without brutal force and deviation from the democratic details of the law. The result would be a society refusing to be governed.

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Khotso Moleko Bloemfontein

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