- Thabo Mbeki has spoken out on the killing of George Floyd
- The former president said the visuals of Floyd being killed by a white police officer on the street brought back memories of apartheid
- Mbeki said that international order continues to be segregated according to racial lines
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Former President Thabo Mbeki has joined the list of former heads of states who have spoken out about the murder of George Floyd.
"The response we have witnessed in the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing in the United States is a reflection of pent-up feelings of frustration at the persistence of racism and that black lives have not mattered in that country."
Mbeki indicated that there is an urgent need for the criminal justice system in the US to be reformed and reaffirmed that the problem of the colour line, first given prominence by civil rights activist WEB du Bois in 1990, remained a challenge in the 21st century.
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Speaking to the SABC's Sherwin Bryce-Please, Mbeki said the visuals of Floyd's last moment, him being pinned down on the street by a white police man as the life drained from his body, brought back painful memories of apartheid.
The former ANC president added:
"For us as South Africans and black South Africans it really was a recall back to the apartheid years because that kind of behaviour of white police officers against black people in South Africa was normal, was standard. It was a reflection of this very deep-seated white superiority notion that black lives don’t matter, that in fact these black people are subhuman, you could treat them anyhow."
Mbeki spoke about the Global-South divide and how it remains an unequal relationship. He suggested that the process of globalisation had perpetuated elements of apartheid’s gross unfairness, including a discriminatory political and socio-economic international order, one that continued to highlight the problem of the colour line.
Mbeki added that uprooting racism was something that should involve everyone, doing meaningful things that produce results, a real national project with international implications.
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