Mbeki has failed the poor

The current political, social and economic uncertainties have presented all South Africans with a formidable and astounding challenge.

The recent xenophobic attacks have painted a negative picture of our country and distorted our good reputation.

For once I wished not to be a South African.

These attacks on foreigners paralleled the global hikes in food prices that have been met with discontent, particularly in Africa.

The overwhelming number of those affected are the poor. The poor always have to bear the brunt of bad decisions made by a few political elites.

In South Africa especially, a substantial number of people was and is still adversely affected by this. This is not to leave Zimbabwe out of the picture. There rising prices fell on fertile ground since the economy was already in dire straits.

A constellation of issues led to what we now see in South Africa. First, the succession debate that aroused a fierce public political discourse. The second and final culmination of the succession debate was the Polokwane conference.

This conference marked blatant divisions in the ANC that many of its people failed to acknowledge, notably President Thabo Mbeki.

The issue of power cuts was another dilemma.

The issue of violent crime has often been seen as a primary reason for emigration.

I concur with the view that Mbeki's defeat in Polokwane has led to an exodus of skilled people.

It goes without saying that Mbeki has been a prominent player in shaping the economic path of this country. He has done an exceptionally good job and deserves a pat on the back .

But that does not justify the fact that he has also failed the majority of poor people, having been remote from their realities.

Leeto Khoza, Johannesburg