Mbeki and human rights

Philip L Ferguson PLF13 at SPAMstudent.canterbury.ac.nz
Thu Dec 16 13:31:41 MST 1999

Russell G writes:
>So what do list members think about this?  For once I tend to agree with
>Mbeki's approach which seems to indicate a refusal by the government to be
>sucked into the current wave of moralistic attempts to prosecute former
>despots/demonise China. . .

>It must be clear to Mbeki that appeals to international tribunals and
>support for them, are a potential double-edged sword for SA.

I assume it very much is.  Since the ANC had decided to let all the old
torturers and tyrants from the apartheid era go free, it is rather
difficult for  Mbeki to go along with tribunals chasing after former rulers
of other countries.

So it is self-interest which motivates Mbeki.  I would say that rather than
agreeing with Mbeki's approach, it is a matter of pointing this out.

While I am opposed to all these international tribunals, and the attempt to
have Pinochet tried in Spain, I see no reason why peple who committed
crimes - or, really, the people who ordered the barbarism - in South Africa
under apartheid facing justice within South Africa itself.  Or Pinochet
being strung up by people *in Chile*.

Philip Ferguson

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