Nzimande: Mbeki one of ANC's greatest intellectuals

Mbeki was inaugurated as Unisa’s new chancellor at the main campus in Pretoria on Monday where he used his address to condemn attacks on foreign nationals.

FILE: Former South African president Thabo Mbeki. Picture: Facebook.com

PRETORIA – Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has described former President Thabo Mbeki as one the greatest intellectuals the African National Congress (ANC) has ever produced and has praised him for his stamina.

Nzimande previously faced off against the former president and he was among the people who defended President Jacob Zuma and attacked Mbeki before his recall.

Mbeki was inaugurated as Unisa’s new chancellor at the main campus in Pretoria on Monday where he used his address to condemn attacks on foreign nationals.

“I must confess, one thing I have admired is your stamina,” Nzimande said.

Compliment after compliment, from Blade - a man who once led the charge against Mbeki - calling him an Aids denialist, aloof and intolerant.

“Despite whatever differences we might have had, since I have known you from 1986, I want to say without fear of contradiction you are one of the greatest intellectuals produced by our movement.”

Nzimande thanked Mbeki for accepting the job as chancellor despite all his commitments, adding that they expect him to be an intellectual leader at Unisa.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)