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Sep 16 2008

Vintage Thabo

Published by at 10:18 am under Opinion,South Africa

First published on my old blog on 19/5/2008. 

It was reported this morning that Thabo Mbeki launched an enquiry into the reasons behind the Alex violence. Typical. The place is burning, and he puts a committee together to investigate. That, point one. 

Point two: What if the committee comes to the conclusion that Mbeki’s politics towards Mugabe was the main cause of the violence against the Zim refugees? That would be cute, oder?

A final thought: Mbeki has always said South Africa’s history of being a bad neighbour prevents it from being firm towards Mugabe and Zimbabwe in the post-apartheid era. Everything should be done to show Zimbabweans and other countries in Southern Africa that the new South Africa is a friendly neighbour with no intention of playing “big boy” in the region. 

Isn’t it ironic how Mbeki’s policy towards Mugabe (to be the friendly neigbour at all costs) have backfired on him and on South Africa as a nation (with the violence of South Africans on Zim refugees in Alex and elsewhere on the Rand)? 

A last observation: 

These events are proof (again) of the importance of policies. 

Policies, policies. Clinton once said: It’s the economy, stupid. But, I say: It’s the policies, stupid. What they are, how you implement them and (very, very important), how you communicate them to the voters. 

Of course, your policies should be correct, but (almost) more important is how you bring them over to the people. Mbeki had the wrong policy towards Mugabe, but also failed to communicate (explain) it to his people. Result: South Africa sits with a “war” on it’s hands.

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