I HAVE listened to the misguided attack on the former president of the ANC, Thabo Mbeki, by Sdumo Dlamini.
I am not shocked that Dlamini decided not to respond politically to concerns that the former president raised during his OR Tambo Memorial Lecture at Fort Hare University last week. It is clear that Dlamini and some elements in Cosatu do not respect freedom of speech. Neither are they genuinely concerned about the real challenges the vast majority of this country's people face.
Dlamini must be reminded that Mbeki did not place our misfortunes on President Jacob Zuma's doorstep as he would like to have us believe. Mbeki was right to express his views about developments in his own country inasmuch as Dlamini has a right to be Zuma's praise singer and therefore be naive about our current reality. South Africa is in grave danger if people like Dlamini can be so politically bankrupt and only trade insults.
The rest of us must try as hard as we can to respond to the strategic issues Mbeki raised. Unlike Dlamini, we cannot pretend all is well in the leadership of the ANC and Zuma's leadership of the country in particular.
You need look no further than the R240-million project in Zuma's private home in Nkandla to see we are well on our way to Mobutu Sese Seko's Zaire. Mobutu, it will be remembered, built a luxurious town in his ancestral village of Gbadolite. It had modern amenities while the rest of the country wallowed in poverty. Most repugnant is that the ANC leadership defends these excesses, which speaks volumes about its morality today.
Sipho Mkwayi, e-mail