Mbeki, who succeeded anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela in 1999, said South Africa faced unsustainable levels of poverty and unemployment.
Former South African President Thabo Mbeki warned today that the country is sitting on a ticking time bomb and could face an Arab Spring-like uprising triggered by social upheaval.
“One of my fears, comrades, is that one of these days we (…) will have our own version of the Arab Spring,” Mbeki said in tribute to Jessie Duarte, deputy secretary general of the African National Congress, who died in the past. weekend due to cancer.
The factor that triggered the Arab Spring was the suicide by immolation of a Tunisian street vendor, Mohamed Bouazizi, harassed by the police in Tunisia.
His death marked the beginning of a national uprising that led to the flight of dictator Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali into exile and sparked the 2011 “Arab Spring” riots.
“One of my fears is that one of these days it will happen to us,” said Mbeki, who left the presidency in 2008.
“You can’t have so many unemployed, so many poor, people faced with this anarchy” and “corrupt” leaders, he said, warning: “One day it will explode.”
Mbeki criticized the government of President Cyril Ramaphosa for the lack of a national plan to fight poverty, inequality and unemployment, which is over 34.5%, and youth unemployment, which is at 64%.
Cyril Ramaphosa did not participate in the funeral ceremony, which was attended by Vice President David Mabuza.
Source: With Agencies