The state of the SA democracy is a national issue that should bring everyone on the roundtable, including the past political leaders like Thabo Mbeki
So, former President Thabo Mbeki will today join two other former presidents and a former deputy president to discuss a possible way out of the country’s current political problems.
The other prominent leaders who would join in the national dialogue include the foundations of former presidents FW De Klerk, and Kgalema Motlanthe, former deputy president Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Desmond and Leah Tutu, Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe, Chief Albert Luthuli and Helen Suzman.
Mbeki, De Klerk, Motlanthe and Mlambo-Ngcuka will address the national dialogue to “provide a safe non-partisan platform to South Africans of all races to confront the crisis in political governance, the toxic political environment, and state of the economy”.
National Foundations Dialogue Initiative chairperson Nomhle Canca said ahead of the dialogue, that there would be discussions on various threats to young SA democracy.
These threats, according to Canca include:
- The prevailing mood of despair and foreboding in society;
- The diminishing of confidence and erosion of trust, poverty;
- A divided nation;
- A stagnant economy and growing disparity between the affluent and the poor;
- Rampant crime which outstrips the capabilities of the criminal justice system; and
- The unabated attacks and erosion of State-owned entities.
Nomhle Canca noted, ahead of the meeting, that the dialogue would assess South Africa’s journey so far since its last convention for SA Democracy – Codesa – which resulted in a negotiated settlement to end apartheid.
Canca also noted that no stone would be left unturned in discussing issues leading to the national crisis, the country’s challenges, failure, opportunities missed and what need to be done to put the country back on track.
“The national dialogue will take the form of an imbizo in a traditional society where the people come together to talk about matters of concern or Town hall engagements, in the American context,” Canca said.
No doubt the SA political system is in shambles with most of the government sectors being affected.
— Matshidiso Madia (@tshidi_lee) May 5, 2017
While critics point fingers at President Jacob Zuma, saying he is the root of all South Africa problems, a lot more sees him as just a component of the problems.
CEO of the Thabo Mbeki Foundation, Max Boqwana, said the national dialogue is not an attempt by former presidents to “govern from the grave”.