Friday, September 17, 2010

Mbeki Worried About The State of Current African Leadership

Former President Thabo Mbeki says
some African leaders see academics as a threat

Former South African president, Thabo Mbeki, is troubled by poor leadership in Africa and says various governments on the continent are not doing enough to safeguard the independence their predecessors fought really hard to gain.

President Mbeki participated in the Tshwane University of Technology’s public lecture series on Thursday, 16 September 2010. During the lecture members of the public are also allowed to interact with the speaker by asking questions.

As he entered the hall Mbeki was greeted by singing, dancing and chanting which is a sign that the former South African president who was asked to resign from his position by the ruling African National Congress still has a massive following. There were two big halls booked for the event with broadcasts to various venues in other TUT campuses. The lecture was also broadcast on DSTV.
With that much support Mbeki was however interrupted by a member of the university’s Student Representative Council (SRC) who threw a banner at him shouting, “Sihamba noZuma” (We are with Zuma).

Although late to react the bodyguards quickly pounced at the man, slapping him and escorted him outside the hall. While everyone was confused and cameras flashing Mbeki quickly asked everyone not to panic and continued with what he had to say.

Those who hadn't booked spaces were turned away
as there was a huge interest in the Mbeki lecture

Mbeki, who now chairs an African Union committee tasked with looking after the Sudan, says many African leaders are worried about their pockets and the presidential seat is their way of getting out of the poverty they would have grown up with. He says they often are too scared to leave their positions with the fear those who take over from them would uncover their wrong doings in office, Mbeki says many conflicts on the continent are often started by corrupt leaders.

He says they are caused by the “concentration of political power in the hands of the political elite which abuses its power to accumulate wealth for itself and particular factions of the population, marginalising important sections of that population.”
While these leaders are trying to keep themselves in power, they then stop holding regular elections and use repressive measures to rule their countries.

He believes the international community often does not react soon enough when these conflicts break out. He also says African bodies don’t have enough funds to deal with problems on their own and often fail to curb problems early.

“The African Union will have to pay particular attention to matters of the early warning of impending conflict and addressing the root causes of each and every conflict ,” he says.

Fomer President Thabo Mbeki
is worried about corruption in Africa

Mbeki believes that a major part of the African Renaissance should be to transform the continent to that of peace.

During the meeting he was thanked by a delegation from Ethiopia. The group says they have driven from their country crossing ten borders, arriving in Pretoria on the day of the Mbeki lecture at TUT, in order to highlight a need for peace and democracy in Africa.

One of the questions he was asked by a member of the public was related to the need for good African university education. Mbeki believes that there are leaders who shun good university education. “We had African leaders who saw universities as institutions of opposition to themselves,” he responded.

Ending his lecture Mbeki called for all Africans to play their part in emancipating the continent. At the end of his 'Africa-War and Peace' lecture the crowd cheered again showing they still massively support the country's former leader.


  1. Shuuu, that was such an embarrassing act. What message is he sending about TUT?

  2. I think that should not overshadow what was a great speech. President Mbeki gave a good speech and the idiot that interrupted proceedings is not even an ANC member.