Pilger writes that as the first liberation president, he ordered a ridiculous and bloody invasion of tiny Lesotho. He allowed South African armaments to be sold to Algeria, Colombia and Peru, which have notorious human rights records. He invited the Indonesian mass murderer General Suharto to South Africa and gave him the country's highest award . . . He recognised the brutal Burmese junta as a legitimate government.There's also some shocking facts about the economic policies followed by the ANC.
"The unspoken deal," Pilger writes, "was that whites would retain economic control in exchange for black majority rule." Thus secret meetings were held in Britain before 1994 between the current president, Thabo Mbeki, members of the Afrikaner elite and companies with big commercial stakes in the country. Mandela told Pilger: "We do not want to challenge big business that can take fright and take away their money . . . You can call it Thatcherite but, for this country, privatisation is the fundamental policy."This might explain Christopher Hitchens comments at a recent, poorly-attended lecture on Thomas Paine in Brighton, as described by Donald Clark. After the "lazy pen portrait" of Paine, there was a fractious question and answer session in which Hitchens appeared, to at least one person who attended, tired and emotional:
Q Who, in our own times, has taken up Paine’s causes?Ah yes, we know - with Pilger's help - how that bullfrog differs from those other two.
A Perhaps Havel and Mandela. Certainly not that bloated bullfrog who sits astride Venezuela.