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Mandela finally slams Mugabe's failure as tyrant is stripped of knighthood


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Mandela breaks silence to condemn Mugabe's failure as tyrant is stripped of knighthood


By Michael Lea

Last updated at 9:57 AM on 26th June 2008




  • Nelson Mandela speaks up for the first time against Mugabe's regime to condemn his leadership
  • Queen strips the dictator of his knighthood in symbolic gesture after opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out of run-off
  • Brown orders stronger sanctions to crush Mugabe's regime as England bans Zimbabwe from the Twenty20 World Cup tour

Nelson Mandela has broken his silence on the destruction of Zimbabwe to accuse Robert Mugabe of a 'tragic failure of leadership'.

Although only brief, his words of condemnation will echo around the world and send the strongest signal yet that the tyrant's days in power are numbered.

The former South African president wields the authority both of a global statesman and mouthpiece for millions of Africans.


Enlarge article-1029561-01BE7F9200000578-974_468x311.jpg Message: Nelson Mandela broke his silence over Robert Mugabe in front of Gordon Brown and Bill Clinton at a celebration dinner to mark his 90th birthday


His crucial intervention came in front of Gordon Brown and Bill Clinton during a fundraising dinner in London to mark his 90th birthday celebrations.

It showed that, finally, southern Africa was turning its back on Mugabe after decades cherishing him as an anti-colonialist hero.







Mr Mandela said: 'We watch with sadness the continuing tragedy in Darfur. Nearer to home we have seen the outbreak of violence against fellow Africans in our own country and the tragic failure of leadership in our neighbouring Zimbabwe.'

Hours earlier, the Queen stripped Mugabe of his honorary knighthood and Mr Brown ordered tougher sanctions to help crush his murderous regime.

The removal of Mugabe's knighthood was authorised by the Prime Minister as a symbolic gesture following opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai's decision to pull out of Friday's presidential election in the face of escalating violence.

A statement from the Foreign Office said: 'This action has been taken as a mark of revulsion at the abuse of human rights and abject disregard for the democratic process in Zimbabwe over which President Mugabe has presided.'



Stripped: Robert Mugabe, pictured behind the Queen at a Commonwealth meeting in 1999, has now had his knighthood removed by the monarch


The Government had been reluctant to hand Mugabe a propaganda coup in the election campaign by taking a step that would allow him to claim he was being victimised by his country's former colonial masters.


But with his position now unopposed and worldwide condemnation growing by the day, the Queen agreed to make him only the second world leader after Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaucescu to have an honour removed.

And as international pressure grew, US presidential candidate Barack Obama last night demanded stronger action against Mugabe's 'illegitimate' Government after he had spoken directly with Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.


article-1029561-01BEEBEF00000578-462_468x331.jpg Old friends: Mandela and his wife Graca Machel meeting the Queen yesterday


According to sources, Mr Mandela decided to speak out after months of keeping his counsel only after he arrived in Britain on Monday to learn that Mugabe's rival Morgan Tsvangirai had pulled out of Friday’s election.

A No10 source told the Mail last night: 'It is clear that President Mandela feels strongly enough about this that he would break from his retirement to speak out.'

Pressure will now intensify on Mr Mandela's successor as South African president Thabo Mbeki. Mr Mbeki has avoided public criticism of Mugabe but will almost certainly feel obliged to speak out.

Mr Obama said he had reached out to Tsvangirai 'to share my deep concern for the way his supporters are being targeted by the regime and to express my admiration for his efforts to ensure that the will of the Zimbabwean people is finally respected'.

article-1029561-0178DFCD00000578-430_233x423.jpg Isolated: Mugabe is now even more exposed ahead of Friday's run-off



The Democrat hopeful, whose father was Kenyan, called for tougher U.S. sanctions and urgent diplomacy with African nations to push for new, free elections.

Tsvangirai also emerged briefly yesterday from his refuge inside the Dutch Embassy in Harare to appeal to African leaders to force Mugabe into a 'negotiated political settlement'

Zimbabwe’s neighbours also presented a united front for the first time and urged Mr Mugabe to call off Friday’s presidential vote, as it became clear his one-time allies were finally nearing breaking point.

The leadership of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) - made up of Swaziland, Tanzania and Angola - said that the one-horse race would lack any credibility.

Although some of Zimbabwe’s neighbours had spoken out previously, it was the first time that the SADC, which is responsible for overseeing peace and security in southern Africa, had taken a collective stance.

Mugabe was also condemned for terrorising the people of Zimbabwe by one of his former allies. South African archbishop Desmond Tutu said: ‘He has mutated into something quite unbelievable.


'He has turned into a kind of Frankenstein for his people.'

And Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga warned: 'Zimbabwe right now is a disaster in the making. If the world does not act now, we will soon have a situation very similar to what we saw in Rwanda,' he said referring to the 1994 genocide in which 800,000 people were slaughtered.


What the Daily Mail said on May 16 this year

Mr Mbeki had earlier missed an emergency meeting of southern African leaders to discuss the Zimbabwe crisis.


The South African president has been negotiating between Mugabe and Zimbabwe's opposition since last year but has been widely criticised for being ineffective and

too soft on Mugabe.


The SADC is seen as the only body that can influence events in Zimbabwe and several of its members have been flooded by millions of refugees fleeing the economic collapse, blamed on the 84-year-old dictator, who has held power for 28 years.


Mandela's words are likely to go unheard in Zimbabwe as Mugabe controls the media - and even if they are aired it is almost certain they will accuse him of being in the pay of the British.

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It's all very nice to strip him of his knighthood but WHEN IS SOMETHING GOING TO BE DONE ABOUT ZIMBABWE? (yes, I'm rather passionate about this issue.)


Good lord. Mugabe's tyranny hasn't exactly sprouted overnight, it's been going on for ages; Operation Murumbatsvina, where he forcibly removed people from their homes and put them into slums was ages ago, and Mugabe's been ruling for decades before that. (Although to earn a knighthood, he obviously was "good" once).


Anyway, it's a billion dollars for a loaf of bread there now; inflation is at about 1,000,000%; those who oppose Mugabe are being beaten and arrested; human rights violations are occurring everywhere, but of course America doesn't care because there's no oil or diamonds or any other natural resource in Zimbabwe like there was in Iraq. Somebody, somebody just must ACT, and very soon.

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This whole situation has gotten out of hand. What good is removing his knighthood going to do?


What the government need to do is send in an undercover team, all it would take it one well aimed bullet. Its either that or launch an all out war, and God knows no-body needs another war at the moment.

Get rid of Mugabe, get rid of the problem.


Thats the way I see it anyway...

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This whole situation has gotten out of hand. What good is removing his knighthood going to do?


What the government need to do is send in an undercover team, all it would take it one well aimed bullet. Its either that or launch an all out war, and God knows no-body needs another war at the moment.

Get rid of Mugabe, get rid of the problem.


Thats the way I see it anyway...


Isn't it a weird coincidence that his name begins with "mug", which is what he does to his detractors.:rolleyes:

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