Should Mandela speak out over Zimbabwe?

April 16, 2008

mandela.jpgHuman rights activist Peter Tatchell is criticising Nelson Mandela for not speaking out against Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe.

Here’s what Tatchell, who has twice tried to make a citizen’s arrest on Mugabe, says on his Web site. Do you agree with him?

“Nelson Mandela should publicly urge Robert Mugabe to stand down. He has a duty to support the Zimbabwean people’s democratic will, and denounce the election fraud of the ZANU-PF dictatorship.”

“Nelson is the hero of the anti-apartheid movement, but his silence on Zimbabwe’s unfree and unfair elections is collusion with tyranny. He is betraying his fellow Africans in Zimbabwe.”

“Britain should be pressing African Union leaders, including South Africa’s President Thabo Mbeki and other top ANC officials, to call on Mugabe to retire. They should offer him a face-saving exit strategy. The Zimbabwean crisis needs an African solution.

“People around the world, including Zimbabweans, supported Nelson Mandela’s freedom struggle against apartheid. It is now time that Mandela reciprocated this solidarity by calling for the release of the election results and for Mugabe to concede that he lost the presidential poll.”


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Sorry to point out the obvious, but whilst everyone is ranting about colour and imperialism, people in Zimbabwe are dying. If you look at the facts, life in Zimbabwe is beyond bad for everyone, the government has made some awful decisions and has to take its share of responsibility. The government needs to be replaced via democratic means otherwise all the lives lost (during apartheid, during Nazi-ism, during any imposed regime) fighting to have a say, to have a vote, are wasted.

I don’t think anyone would wants Zimbabwe to suffer – but by saying replacing Mugabe is bowing to white imperialists is such an outdated view. Does that mean every African government who f**ks up can stay in power? because to fall out of power would be bowing to ‘white imperialists’ Or does that mean that if the US and UK support any political party that these will automatically become ‘a puppet’ – because that kind of ridiculous thinking makes Mandela a puppet too???

It’s beyond me that racism is still so rife that someone will support an evil man who is killing thousands, just because of his colour…. and these are the same people who wanted to apartheid to end. Take colour out of the equation and see Mugabe for what he is; once a popular president, who has become a dictator with no respect for any life regardless of skin colour, who has run his country into the ground. In any other continent colour wouldn’t come into it – take your black and white spectacles off and just see the senile old git for what he is – a nasty piece of work whose time has come to an end.

And personally i think it would be great if Mandela spoke out, or Mbeki spoke out, or Zuma spoke out – but for SA condone violence because Mugabe is a black African …. well that’s just bloody stupid! Who are the puppets now???

Posted by Sophie | Report as abusive

He’s 90 you Tatchell you twerp. Give the man a break.

Posted by Stuart | Report as abusive


Right wing governments in Britain and America supported the S African government in the 80′s because they would’ve supported any government (no matter how tyranical) so long as they were opposed to communism. As this is no longer a factor, that is no longer relevant.

They support the Saudi’s because of the oil- let’s get real here, it’s about self interest in these cases, not morals (politicians are snakes, we all know that!)

A lot of the guys who received farms under the Lancaster Agreement couldn’t make a go of farming and sold their farms on the open market.
In fact, the first white farmer to be murdered by Mugabe had bought his farm for the going rate off a black man- that’s a fact!!

You’ve totally ignored my point- the land is Zimbabwe’s main national industry. It doesn’t matter who has the best claim to owning it, if it’s not being used to produce food for the nation (and for export) then everyone in the country will suffer.

You can spout rhetoric all you like, but the fact remains that a country that used to be one of the biggest food exporters in Africa is now unable to feed itself.
That’s a fact!!

Posted by Steve | Report as abusive

Susan – There you go spouting out utter trash and lies about thousands dying. That statement is a Total lie and you know it is . The imperialist financed, puppet Tswangiraa and his MDC,on a daily basis issue all sorts of lies and fairy tales regarding the situation,(which the poodle and gutless Western press , print as fact without even bothering to verify if it true or not.) but to date they have not made such a silly statement about thousands dying as they know Zimbabawe is a very modern country as African countries go and if such things were really happening they could be very easily investigated, to prove if they were true or not . To date the MDC claim that twenty people have died in the the run up to the elections. The goverment and severall genuine impartial groups have asked them for the details and circumstances of the alleged Twenty deaths, and their is no surprise that the MDC, will not furnish them or any Independent group with the details , the reason being that they are lying through their teeth. The Zimbabwean Goverment, official figures of death related to the recent elections ,stand presently a six person’s, they released their names and circumstances of their deaths.Those who have died belonged to both the MDC and ZANU-PF. Six death in any situation is not good , but hell you like to exaggerate, bloody thousands. You say the Goverment has made some bad decisions, yes they have, particularry in the eyes of British and American Imperialist. Their first mistake was to go ahead and return the land stolen a gun point , and the Indigenous people driven into what were nothing more than concentration camps. Their options were , work for the white (mainly) British racist or starve. It is well documented that the racist white settlers killed or stole upwards of one million cattle belonging to the indigenous people, mainly to stop what they claimed was over grazing, but the indigenous people believed it was to protect their own markets, and make the people reliant on their products. Another mistake the Zimbabwe Goverment made was to assist the Goverment of the Congo to repel , a American and British backed terror group based in Rwanda, which they were supporting , as a means to controll huge swathes of that mineral rich country. The American and British, interference , goes way beyond simply supported one political group or another in a country, If the Americans and British gave two s–ts about Zimbabawe , why they did they impose the sanctions that have brought Zimbabawe to it knees. Tswangira if he really cared about Zimbabawe , why did he request the sanctions that have caused so much devastation ,both to the economy and the Zimbabwean people.Tswangira him self is not effected by the sanctions which he called for , for a man who claims to be a poorly paid Union leader , he lives quite well. For instance how can a man on such a miserly salary , afford to send his children to one of the most prestigious public schools in Australia. His eldest son who appears to have no mean of income, is well known for his flash cars and has just moved into a new luxury home in Avondale. Tswangira himself also like to go on spending sprees to the prestigious Sandton Shopping Mall in Sandton Jo,Burg, and a recent visit there he was mugged at gun point and his cell phone stolen along with other personal effects. This for a simple Union worker, with a meagre salary, is certainly living it up, and you do not have to be a brain surgeon to work out were the cash to live this rich lifestyle comes from. Sanctions imposed on Iraq because Bush and Blair lied to their own people that Iraq had WMD, cost the lives of over Two Hundred And Fifty Thousand children under the age of five. Now these figures are fact and are documented both by the UN, and impartial human rights groups. Do you find it beyond you also that,people could support such people that would sacrifice so many innocent live for OIL. As you seem to be all for removing dictators and despots , do you support the removal of the King of Saudi Arabia, the unelected leaders of Oil rich Kuwait. What about the daily slaughter in Palestine, by Israel. On a recent visit to a fair trade in Zimbabawe , I stayed in hotel on the north of Harare, which is a well known drinking den for the white Farmer’s, they openly support Tswangira,and many write monthly cheques to finance the MDC, why did they do this I asked severall of them,and they boast because he is our man and we are going to get the farms back that have been returned under Land Reform.This is no secret and Tswangira, plans to grab the farms back and give them to the white racist again. In fact many white farmers who farms were given back to the Indigenous people, from whom they were stolen ,were so sure of a MDC election victory, that they have returned from abroad were they had settled this past numbers of years. Zuma speak out Mandela speak out, for god sake these people are not puppets of the West, they know what the Imperialist are up to , just like the majority of Africa does. I say once again to the people of Zimbabawe ,ignore these hypocrites pretending they give two dam about your country,when they turn a blind eye to real death and destruction in places like Iraq, Palestine , Saudi Aribia etc, and then pretend they care about Zimbabawe. Tswangira has been allowed to cause so much suffering along with his Imperialist paymasters. Do not let this Imperialist lying monster into power or you will soon know what a corrupt despot really can do to your freedoms and natural resources. It crunch time , many now throughout the world , thanks to the Internet,what a bad piece of work Tswangira really is. Bernard IRELAND.

Posted by bernard | Report as abusive

Steve -Right wing and left wing governments, supported S.Africa, since the first racist Goverment was installed in S.Africa, decades before Communism was a issue. for god sake man Britian fought the Boer war to try and controll the huge wealth there , in diamonds, gold and other mineral’s had bugger all to do with Communism least your truthful and accept, the point and that it all about self interest, and just like in Saudi Aribia, it the oil,amd in Zimbabawe its to put the brakes on land reform ,and to stop the growing influence of China as regards Zimbabawe’s huge mineral reserves.

Posted by bernard | Report as abusive

I believe that Peter Tachell has got it all wrong to think that African and international countries were helping the honourable Nelson Mandela in gaining liberation. Mr. Mandela and his comrades never fought for his freedom but for the South African freedom and that leads us to succession leadership. His successor (with the collective leadership) has done a lot for the country and the African countries. Please don’t get it wrong it is no over yet untill we are all liberated. We have the ANC led government and we also have a strong and fresh ANC leadership to take care of political and social issues. No one has objected to Mr. Mandela’s call for retirement because he is no power hungry and he gave the baton to the younger generation. Probably you will be the first persson to lay critics when Mr Mandela due to his age comments in a maaner that is not political matured or according to his reputation.
Mnumzana (Sir,)please get your facts straight.
Mthunzi Dyalvani

I was wondering how much effort has been taken by the current South African leaders and/or Mr Mandela to discourage the violence by South Africans on Zimbabwen refugees. Does anyone know? I would think that words from a man being such a national hero would do wonders to stop such brutality. Or?

Posted by Carl | Report as abusive

Ok, so Mbeki stands up and rebukes Mugabe, tells him to hang and retire. THEN WHAT???????
I think most of you people do not know the type of person Mugabe is. He thrives in isolation since childhood. He likes to be a matyr eventually. He will not budge believe me. He would rather be killed than give in to external forces. Thats why I support him so much.What is in Zimbabwe that outsiders seem to know more than Zimbabweans themselves? WHy is there no noise about problems in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Rwanda where people are dying enmasse on a daily basis.Long live uncle Bob. Surely only God will remove him from there.

Posted by Abel | Report as abusive

Mandela should be asking himself what did he do fro SA. Aprthaeid is alive and well, powerty is as bad as ever. Whites kept their mainds and possession stolen from the blacks. SO, he does not have any moral authority over Mugabe, at least Mugabe is trying to give land to the blacks, Land that was stolen by the white racist colonialists.

Posted by Carlos | Report as abusive