Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Can this go on?
I’m hoping against hope that the latest attack on Morgan Tsvangirai will be the straw that breaks the back of Thabo Mbeki’s proverbial quiet diplomacy camel. It’s simply inexplicable that after fighting so hard for human rights in this country, our government applies a head in the sand approach to some of the worst human rights offences Southern Africa has seen.

I used to give Thabo the benefit of the doubt on his quiet diplomacy policies, but things have simply got out of hand. With the first attacks on Tsvangirai two or three years ago, our government should have realised that a new approach was needed, rather than dogmatically sticking to their incumbent policies. All South Africa looks like now is a disinterested “I’m OK Jack” kind of neighbour, with little interest in the suffering of Zim’s peoples, whilst we build up the largest economic powerhouse in Africa.

I’m sure it’s not as cold or simplistic as that, but that is the deserved perception in much of Africa, and the world. Those that enjoyed Mugabe’s “sticking it to the West” attitude have surely hopped off that soapbox under the steady weight of human suffering, absolute poverty and hopelessness that is the current Zimbabwe.

Come on Thabo. Stand up and make us proud again.