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Articles on Thabo Mbeki

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South Africa’s democratic era presidents, Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki, Kgalema Motlanthe, Jacob Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa. Penguin Random House South Africa

South Africa needs strategic leadership to weather its storms. Its presidents have not been up to the task

Mandela, the first president of a democratic South Africa, made big strategic choices – not necessarily the right ones, but certainly ones that were befitting of the times.
A protest in Johannesburg against the lack of service delivery or basic necessities such as access to water and electricity. Photo by Marco Longari / AFP via Getty images

South Africa has been warned that it faces an ‘Arab Spring’: so what are the chances?

The country is still a very different political space. It’s a noisy democracy with a free media, lots of dissenting voices, and insulting the government doesn’t carry any overt sanction.
South African president Cyril Ramaphosa delivers a speech next to a statue of the late former president Nelson Mandela in Cape Town in 2020. EPA-EFE/Ruvan Boshoff

South Africa since 1994: a mixed bag of presidents and patchy institution-building

The extent to which presidents adhere to the constitutional written code will have profound implications in relation to their use of executive power.
Former presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Thabo Mbeki share a light moment at a meeting of the G8 and developing nations in Tokyo in 2000. EFE-EPA/Michel Euler

Mbeki and Obasanjo: case studies in the use of soft power in Africa’s interests

Former presidents Obasanjo and Mbeki have arguably made the most important contribution to Africa in the 21st Century by promoting peace, democracy, regional integration and pan-Africanism.

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