Saturday 15 June

In Mbeki and After, Reflections on the Legacy of Thabo Mbeki, Ed D Glaser, Wits University Press, 2010

This chapter examines the experience of one of South Africa‟s foremost pro-poor civil society movements, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), and uses it to reflect on the role that was played by social justice organisations during Mbeki‟s presidency (1999-2008). It juxtaposes the attitude of Mbeki‟s two governments to civil society organisations with the constitutional vision of active citizenship. It shows how, under Mbeki, organisations of civil society that were independent of the African National Congress (ANC) were frequently denigrated by senior ANC leaders. When, on issues such as HIV/AIDS and poverty, they persisted with campaigns that ran contrary to the party line, concerted efforts were made to label and hence to delegitimise them. In the process, Mbeki sanctioned the erosion of key principles of constitutional governance and a contempt for principles of the rule of law.

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