‘SA shouldn’t crumble over succession’

Speaking at the ongoing Highway Africa 2006 Conference in Grahamstown, Khumalo, who is currently director of corporate affairs at Siemens, said if South Africa crumbled, the whole African continent would feel the consequences.

He since the end of apartheid, South Africa has established itself as the leading peace broker and economic engine of Africa.

“It will be a disaster for South Africa to crumble over presidential succession. We cannot afford to do that because we are the economic and political power-base of the continent,” said Khumalo, adding, “Look at how much a peacekeeping role we have played on the continent: when there was confusion in Liberia after Charles Taylor went into exile, South Africa sent special troops to quell the situation in that country.”

Khumalo said African countries should find solutions to their own problems.

“Much as South Africa is an economic and political powerhouse, African countries should not expect South Africa to find solutions to their problems; countries should have abilities to fix their own problems,” he said.

Zarina Geelo, editor of the Guardian Weekly of Zambia, however, said South Africa should be gracious to other countries.

“You cannot talk about South Africa’s current situation without acknowledging the role and sacrifices countries like Zambia made to bring apartheid to an end,” said Geelo, adding, “Mr Khumalo, as the ex-press aide to Mr Mbeki, should be aware that so many countries in the region sacrificed a lot to liberate South Africa from the shackles of apartheid.”

Khumalo delivered a keynote speech at Rhodes University on Tuesday at the 10th Highway Africa annual conference that attracts journalists from across the continent .

September 2006
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