LETTER: Bring back Thabo Mbeki
Research shows the man who ran SA successfully for nine years is the most popular political leader
The Social Research Foundation report showing that former president Thabo Mbeki is the country’s most favoured political leader should be taken extremely seriously by any party in decline that is fast becoming irrelevant (like the ANC).
Mbeki makes more sense than our current president — he knows how to run a country. He was decisive and no pushover. He did not just tell us what we wanted to hear. That is why he was characterised as “aloof”.
I’m not holding any breath though. The ANC is known for burying its head in the sand and resorting to populist stances. So the decision on electing new leaders next year rests with us. After all, in 2018 Malaysia returned Mahathir bin Mohamad to power at the prime age of 92 after he had previously governed that country — successfully — from 1981 to 2003.
Mbeki, who will only be 82 next year, ran this country successfully from 1999 until 2008. Our economy was about to grow by double digits when he was in charge. We had a budget surplus of more than R100bn, and the Scorpions were catching corrupt criminals.
In the UK, after numerous foreign policy bungles by the Tories that are highly likely to cost them Downing Street and several seats in parliament, former prime minister David Cameron has been brought back as foreign secretary to sort out the mess.
Cameron’s job is straightforward. He must fix the UK’s deteriorating relations with the EU and deal with the Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Gaza conflicts.
So, bringing back leaders who can act as a bridge during difficult times is not without precedent. I suggest that after next year’s election any coalition government that is formed should appoint Mbeki as interim president for two years.
During that time his mandate should be to strengthen coalition governments, revive our economy (he has done this before), fix the crime situation and rebuild the military and SA foreign policy.
JOIN THE DISCUSSION: Send us an email with your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters of more than 300 words will be edited for length. Anonymous correspondence will not be published. Writers should include a daytime telephone number.
Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.