- Thabo Mbeki has weighed in on the debate surrounding #PutSouthAfricansFirst
- The former president is adamant that the people who drive the movement are opposed to the nation's development
- This response has been met with mixed reviews as the debate over foreign nationals continues
Former president Thabo Mbeki recently joined the heated debate surrounding #PutSouthAfricansFirst.
The ex-president has in no uncertain terms condemned the movement, commenting that:
"This thing is systematically organised all the time by people who are opposed to the development of our country. People try to blame the problems we have, and they are very real like poverty, on foreigners and try to drive them away."
Mbeki even went as far as to claim that the people who drive the movement are set on the destabilisation of SA:
"That person is not in the least bit interested in the future of our people, that person is interested in the destabilisation of our country. The notion of South Africa first in terms of our continent is illogical, its completely illogical."
Mbeki used Lesotho as a demonstration as to why African nations needed to work together:
"You take South Africa first, where does alot of our water come from in Gauteng, it comes from Lesotho. What happens if Lesotho said 'Lesotho first' and this water will be cut off, it belongs to us? What happens?"
EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi reacted to Mbeki's comments in agreement with the ex-president's sentiments:
"President Mbeki is right. The notion of #PutSouthAfricaFirst is illogical & meant to destabilise our country. It is a dangerous project that must be rejected by all progressive people. To pursue SA interests must simultaneously and at all material times be also about the continent!"
Mzwanele Manyi did not share Mbeki's opinion in this regard, commenting that the notion needed to be explained to him:
"Out of respect for President Mbeki, we will visit him to explain #PutSouthAfricansFirst. Clearly, he has been fed poison. We undertake to detox him."
Many citizens felt that the comments put forward by the former president missed the mark. Take a look at just a few:
The notion that only 60% of a companies workforce should be South African citizens has riled numerous people amid the current job crisis.
Many felt that the EFF was so intent on focusing on the rights of foreign nationals in the country that the plight facing locals has lost its importance.
Enjoyed reading our story? Download BRIEFLY's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major South African news!