Mbeki: SA's made progress, but not enough

The former president says more must be done to achieve progress in nation building and reconciliation.

Former South African President Thabo Mbeki. Picture: Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG - Former president Thabo Mbeki says South Africa has not made enough progress in achieving true nation building and reconciliation.

Mbeki was speaking at an event in Midrand, marking the South African Human Rights Commission's (SAHRC) 20-year anniversary.

The commission is holding a two-day seminar aimed at highlighting its role in society and discussing racism.

Mbeki says South Africa continues to be defined by economic inequality and remains an unequal society.

"They stand at the centre of South Africa's future as the home of a stable democracy, human right, equality, peace, stability and shared prosperity."

He adds South Africans must discover why significant strides have not been made to reverse the imbalances of the past.

"We must deal with our political past honestly, frankly and without equivocation so that the purposes, which most of us agreed to establish, are achieved."

The former president says the country needs to move rapidly to build a non-racial society envisaged by the Constitution.


Mbeki says racism should be treated as a national emergency and he's warned against complacency.

He says if the country is to fight racism, citizens must all agree to a common national agenda aimed at eradicating the legacy of apartheid.

Mbeki says recent racial comments made by Penny Sparrow and others echo subjective racism in the country.

The former president says it's a sad reality that 22 years into democracy, South Africa still remains a divided nation.