Monday, May 26, 2008

Mbeki: Nation disgraced by violence


No, Mr President, YOU are a disgrace.

Holding hands with a despot like Robert Mugabe is a disgrace.

Allowing Zimbabwe to fail is a disgrace.

Letting in millions of illegals into the country without control is a disgrace.

Having incompetent buffoons as ministers in your cabinet is a disgrace.

Ignoring rampant crime is a disgrace.

Ignoring Aids is a disgrace.

Misusing state power for your own personal ends is a disgrace.



South African President Thabo Mbeki has made a rare national address in which he condemned anti-immigrant violence as "an absolute disgrace."

Warning of a return to the country's violent past in its struggle against apartheid, he said the unrest had besmirched the image of the country and had soiled the reputation of liberation heroes such as Nelson Mandela.

"Never since the birth of our democracy have we witnessed such callousness. We must view the events of the past two weeks as an absolute disgrace," he said during an address broadcast on national television and radio.

Facing increasing criticism of official dithering in the face of a national crisis, he called for tolerance, peace and understanding of the causes of migration.

"The shameful acts of a few have blemished the name of South Africa," he added.

The death toll from two weeks of anti-immigrant violence, which has seen gangs of armed gangs purge slum areas of foreigners, rose to 50 on Sunday as thousands more migrants fled their homes to pour into community centers.

Soldiers were sent onto Johannesburg's streets on Thursday for the first time since the end of apartheid in 1994 to help police quell looting, raping and killing.

The army has been providing logistical support and back-up during search and arrest operations.

National police spokesman Dennis Adriao said fresh violence erupted in four provinces overnight Saturday, but that there had been no new fatalities.

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