Mbeki: Zim Land Reform Was Delayed To Save SA From Apartheid
Former South African president Thabo Mbeki has said that Zimbabwe’s land reforms were delayed so as not to scare the whites in his country at a time when negotiations for the end of apartheid was at an advanced stage.
Speaking at the inaugural Zimbabwe Diamond Conference Mbeki said:
As an outstanding act of African solidarity, the government of Zimbabwe decided on this delay expressly to facilitate the then on-going negotiations in South Africa, from 1990 onwards, concerned that nothing should be done in Zimbabwe which would so frighten the white South African population that it would oppose our own country’s transformation.
Critics of Zimbabwe’s land reform have laid into President Robert Mugabe querying why he had waited for ten years after the expiry of the negotiated ten year period under which the government would not cease land from white farmers. After the expiry of that grace period, Mugabe an the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo wanted to cease land but were asked not to do so by the Commonwealth and South Africa so as not scare the whites in that country, fearing a similar thing would happen at the end of apartheid.
Mbeki also called for the government to aid the new farmers and to revive the land audit, with the aim of dealing with corruption that took place during the revolution.
He then accused Western government of using land reform as an excuse to topple Mugabe.
Mbeki is the man of the moment on this continent after winning African of The Year last week.