Botswana's former president blasts self-serving leaders

27 November 2017 - 08:28 By BONGANI MTHETHWA
Former President of Botswana Festus Mogae. File photo.
Former President of Botswana Festus Mogae. File photo.
Image: David Livingston/WireImage

Former Botswanan president Festus Mogae says African leaders should ask themselves whether they are promoting peace or have departed from ubuntu and acquired a selfish character that encourages self-interest.

He was the keynote speaker at the annual Chief Albert Luthuli Memorial Lecture at the University of KwaZulu-Natal's Westville campus on Saturday. This year marks 50 years since Luthuli, the longest-serving ANC president, died on July 21 1967.

He said Luthuli's values should continue to be the lodestar of African leadership today.

"Chief Luthuli bequeathed to us a tradition of tolerance, love, mutual respect, multiracialism and, above all, peaceful settlement of differences in all spheres of life. He remains not only an inspiration to African leaders, but is also a symbol of peace upon which we should reflect and from which we should learn."

Mogae, who is the chairman of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission on the Implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan, said Luthuli was a "distinguished man of peace" whose voice could not be drowned by the oppressor.