Mbeki celebrates his social media reach
Former president Thabo Mbeki’s letters aiming to tackle “historical distortions and falsehoods” during his time in office generated 8.5 million hits across the Thabo Mbeki Foundation’s social media platforms‚ says its CEO‚ Max Boqwana.“These reflect people who viewed the articles‚ shared and commented on them‚” he said. “We have also received hundreds direct feedback through emails‚ letters‚ calls and direct conversations‚” Boqwana said in a statement.Don't blame me: MbekiA majority of the readers were from South Africa‚ followed by the United States‚ the countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region and Nigeria‚ in that order.Elect a president who is capable and upholds the law‚ Mbeki saysInvitations for public discussions in South Africa and the Southern Africa region have also been extended to Mbeki and the foundation. “We have honoured some of these invitations where we could‚ and are considering others.”Boqwana said the Facebook responses included those who agree with the facts proffered in the articles: “In this group some attest that they have always known the truth and were aware of the falsifications‚ while others submit that they were genuinely unaware of these facts”.“There are also those – a small minority – who howl in derision and seek to convince all of us that since they are the undisputed authors of authentic history‚ their opinion must‚ as a matter of necessity‚ be accepted as the genuine reflection of public opinion‚ regardless of any correct factual basis. Within this group there are some who without any provocation‚ express unjustified anger and rage and continue to hurl insults.”Despite this‚ Boqwana said the foundation took heart that “there is a genuine and widespread interest in the kind of open engagement which was generated by the articles”.“The interest in this process has been demonstrated particularly by the young people of our country who were not politically aware or active during the period when President Mbeki served in senior positions both in the ANC and in Government.”In May‚ the foundation would participate in the Foundations Initiative on a National Dialogue; the 20th anniversary celebration of the adoption of the South African Constitution; and the 7th Africa Day Lecture and Panel discussion to be held at Unisa‚ focusing on the role of the International Criminal Court in Africa.