I READ with interest an article by Paul Whelan, The Richmark Sentinel, where he posits that Thabo Mbeki was never a government in and all by himself.
He argues, giving due consideration to the fact that he was the head of state and the primary decision maker.
Some will argue, as many have done, that Mbeki, because of his perceived intellectual prowess, dictated to his yes men in government the direction and position the government should take despite what everyone thought.
One thing is clear, many in the ANC felt alienated by Mbeki.
They struggled to engage him on issues and, even worse, to influence his decision-making. This may explain why many within the alliance came out guns blazing in Polokwane intent on seeing the king fall.
This also explains why many in the alliance, having succeeded in Polokwane to get rid of Mbeki, continue their efforts to discredit the man and cheapen his achievements and legacy.
A working example is the strength of mind of the Young Communist League in calling for the prosecution of the former president for what they call the genocidal effects of his "so called denialist" approach in dealing with the scourge of HIV- Aids.
The point made by Whelan on the issue of collective responsibility is one that needs further interrogation as I can assert that many within the current administration can be said to have partnered with Mbeki in committing the said crime.
We need to be careful as citizens not to be influenced by this urge to score political points when there is very little in it for us. We need to learn, as Whelan suggests, that we need to begin to think for ourselves.