The UN covers itself in glory yet once more. Faced with an election that is so blatantly a piece of political theatre, orchestrated by violence, as to be recognized by any intelligent observer as null, the UN security council considers a statement that the result can have no legitimacy, but...
South Africa, backed by Russia and other countries, opposed it.
Talk about the ironies of history. That it should be South Africa of all nations that led the opposition to calling this charade - a brutal farce - what it really is, is a tragedy when you remember the solidarity that was mobilized across the world in support of the people of South Africa in their struggle against apartheid. Thabo Mbeki bears the major responsibility for that. It is often said that the reason for his stance is a sense of solidarity with a leader who also fought against a white supremacist regime, as well as gratitude for the support Zanu-PF extended to the ANC. One of Mbeki's brothers, Moeletsi Mbeki, suggests another factor may have been at work:
[He] says the alliance between the two men springs more from a political than a personal affinity: Both Mugabe and Mbeki view the trade union movement as a common threat.
Mugabe's nemesis, Tsvangirai, is a former trade union leader. And Thabo Mbeki, whose fiscally conservative economic policies alienated the powerful Congress of South African Trade Unions, lost the leadership of the African National Congress last year to Jacob Zuma, who had the unions' backing.
Thabo Mbeki and Mugabe are both British-educated politicians who feel they were trained to govern, Moeletsi Mbeki said, arguing that Mugabe sees Tsvangirai, who never attended college, as "the riffraff."
"It's a class thing," he said. "The same with my brother: master's from Sussex."