Surely Ido Lekota, a Sowetan columnist, is duty bound to give readers both sides of the story and not just his own hackneyed version of events?
How can he object to Leon's argument that people in Africa need to become as wealthy as possible, as soon as possible? Only the most irrational analyst would want to consign millions to the misery of poverty. This is not what Leon wants.
Leon spoke at the Oxford Debating Union on climate change. The thrust of his speech was that the developed and developing worlds have different responsibilities. The developed world has a moral obligation to effectively regulate their industry to mitigate the effects of climate change because they have the resources to do so.
But the developing world cannot afford to impose such a regulatory burden on their industries because it will limit their capacity to generate the economic growth they desperately need to alleviate poverty. Leon argued that the best thing the developing world, and Africa, can do to help fight global warming is to develop as quickly as possible.
Leon did not argue that the developing world must aim for the ecological footprint of, for example, the US.
Naturally, as we aim to improve the livelihoods of those in Africa, we must not bypass the goals of sustainability, and enter into the path of what is termed "overshoot".
Martin Slabbert, spokesman for the leader of the opposition,