Tags: Report | Blames | South | African | President

Report Blames South African President

Thursday, 17 May 2001 12:00 AM

The leadership failure of Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and Zimbabwe's president was primarily due to to the forced land seizures of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe - and Mbeki's reluctance in criticising these policies, wrote the influential think tank.

In its annual report on the world's strategic balance, the IISS said Mbeki's "shaky stewardship" of South Africa had moreover helped to create a "regional leadership vacuum," while his "tepid diplomatic reaction" to Mugabe's aggressive land seizures reflected "his inclination to curry favour with his predominantly black constituency."

The think tank said Mbeki had "pitted blacks against whites and implemented racially divisive programmes to secure elections."

The International Institute for Strategic Studies cited the ruling African National Congress's party distributing electioneering pamphlets during the December 2000 elections, which depicted the opposition Democratic Alliance - whose leader, Tony Leon, is a South African Jew - as Nazi-saluting white supremacists.

"Mbeki has not been up to the challenge" of resolving one of South Africa's most serious problems - that of Aids," the report went on.

"His idiosyncratic and scientifically dubious stance on Aids" - that poverty rather than the HIV-virus was a primary cause - "did not help his credibility."

South Africa is home to an estimated 4.7 million HIV carriers, approximately one-tenth of the population and more than any other country in the world.

As for Zimbabwe, the IISS said, as long as Mugabe remained in power, there was little chance the country would ever be able to extricate itself from economic and political disarray.

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The leadership failure of Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and Zimbabwe's president was primarily due to to the forced land seizures of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe - and Mbeki's reluctance in criticising these policies, wrote the influential think tank. In its annual...
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Thursday, 17 May 2001 12:00 AM
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