We owe a debt to Zimbabweans, not to Mugabe

Looking at the images of a bruised and battered Morgan Tsvangirai left me wondering about the morality and compassion of our Presidency and Foreign Affairs Department.

Looking at the images of a bruised and battered Morgan Tsvangirai left me wondering about the morality and compassion of our Presidency and Foreign Affairs Department.

The images will make all right-minded South Africans remember our own country during apartheid, when the secret police terrorised so many of our people.

Yet, as our country readies itself to become a teenager, the old cadres who now govern and who endured many similar abuses and atrocities, have seemingly forgotten what it felt like to be randomly detained and often pummelled by "police thugs".

They have lost their voices on Zimbabwe and other human rights abuses.

The reality is that I never endured police brutality. I received a more "fortunate" birth in a better time in our country's history, yet I can recognise the great debt we free South Africans owe to our African neighbours. More importantly, I feel a deep sense of compassion for the injustice facing the people of Zimbabwe.

Mr President and Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, it is time to wake up to the reality that all is not well in Zimbabwe. The best way to show our gratitude for Zimbabwe's help during apartheid is not owed to Robert Mugabe, but to the people of Zimbabwe. You have a moral obligation to help them just as they helped us. Anything less is pathetic.

Darren Sutcliffe, Johannesburg

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