This opened the floodgates for massive administrative corruption in what has come to be known as state capture. It is estimated that state capture has cost the country more than Rbn. Ntombela comes across as a birthplace-focused premier, more like her predecessor ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, if the decisions to hold the event and build a skills development centre - officially opened by her and President Cyril Ramaphosa on the same day - in Tweeling are anything to go by. They smack of what Mbeki disavowed: "sentimentality of ethnic identity and the favour of familial patronage". There is a general view in Free State that Parys had become a focal point of developments under Magashule as premier. There is also a general view that Magashule deployed his allies from Parys to head certain departments and municipalities to build "familial patronage".
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Investors balked. The appraisals were harsh. And then there were his controversial policies. He questioned the idea that H. To most of the world, Mbeki is a puzzle — and not a very likable one at that. Even in this abridged version, the book is an impressive feat of journalism. Born in , he spent his earliest years in the Transkei, in the Eastern Cape, where his mother ran a country store.
But she was often in debt and harassed by the authorities. As a young boy, Mbeki read and wrote letters for illiterate customers, fashioning communication between wives and their husbands working in the cities, sharing their hopes, confessions and hardships. At age 8, he was sent away to school. Mbeki joined the African National Congress at age 14 and went into exile six years later, in His father, Govan, who had rarely been at home, was arrested and jailed on Robben Island in with Mandela and other A.
Mbeki spent decades without a home or a family — essentially in transit. His only child, from a teenage romance, disappeared. Mbeki earned an economics degree at Sussex University in England, where he had several English girlfriends Gevisser interviews some of them. And it was Mbeki who — still a relatively young man in an organization that bowed to age and experience — persuaded the graying lions of the A. Gevisser writes well, particularly when he is witness to an event, when his narrative leaps off the page.
Govan Mbeki, who had been more activist than parent, insisted that he be buried in a dilapidated, litter-strewn local cemetery near Port Elizabeth. This produced, as Govan must clearly have understood it would, a painful tableau for his son, the president who had not succeeded in lifting most of his countrymen out of poverty.
He notes that while this is not an authorized biography, Mbeki did cooperate, agreeing to be interviewed seven times, for a total of about 20 hours. During that time, Mbeki never asked Gevisser a question, resisted all small talk and did not touch any food. So it is that Mbeki is sometimes described for pages as patient, hardworking and humble.
But later, Gevisser will also tell us that Mbeki was intensely disliked by everyone around him and considered ambitious and conniving. It is hard to reconcile the pieces. In exile, Mbeki preached negotiation with the South African government while many of his peers talked war. And prodding the African National Congress to embrace the free market was the equivalent of heresy.
With such a record of challenging orthodoxy and being proven right, Gevisser says, it was natural for Mbeki to question the scientific community on the origins of AIDS. Publicly, Mbeki gave up arguing on this point some time ago. But Gevisser says that his views have not changed. In exile, Mbeki was known as the A. He favored whiskey, smoked a pipe and was available to debate politics deep into the night.
When I was covering South Africa from to , that Mbeki was nowhere to be found. He was prickly, distant, quick to dispatch his enemies and surrounded by yes men.
Thabo Mbeki: The Dream Deferred
Please register or log in to comment. Learn about a great man. Jonathan Ball and Exclusive Books invite you to the launch of a profound psycho-political study of the man who has, in effect, governed South Africa since The film is an excavation of the life of Cecil Williams, the South African gay communist theatre director. Aug 26, Sidney Deferrrd rated it really liked it. This title is a story about home and exile. Nathi rated it defdrred it Feb 22, Wessel van Rensburg rated it really liked it Feb 19, There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Feb 10, Khumbulani Ngangelizwe added it.
Who Is Thabo Mbeki?
He shuffles and fidgets as he speaks, his beady eyes focused on either his script or on the audience. Looking at him speak, one gets the feeling that the wealth of knowledge and intellect cannot, will not, be hemmed in, and he fidgets and shuffles even more to let them out. He exudes quiet but profound confidence that belies his short physical stature. After all, he is a man who caught the attention of the intellectual bigwigs of the African National Congress ANC when he was just a teenager. Thabo Mbeki: The Dream Deferred tells the extraordinary story of an extraordinary man.