South Africa: Don't forget Mbeki and De Klerk

Mike Trapido argues that two men who made FIFA 2010 World Cup in South Africa possible have been largely overlooked:”They are two of our former presidents, Thabo Mbeki and Frederik Willem de Klerk.”

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  • Trapido is very correct. In the quest to appease the new leaders who turfed Mbeki, there is an attempt to obliterate Mbeki’s efforts in regard to 2010. De Klerk, in fact, was asked by Mbeki, so was Tutu and so was Madiba. Danny Jordan has told this story of how Mbeki marshalled all these key figures to Switzerland for the Bid presentation. For example, FW was on his way to London for an engagement, but after TM prevailed on him and even gave a lift in the Presidential jet, he obliged. The Arch was in Jamaica, TM used his power to get him to Switzerland. Madiba had special needs and TM commandereed that he gets a comfortable flight.
    If that is not a sign of maturity and magnamity from a political leader, who focused on the big prize than his ego, I do not know. All the infrastructure, the Team that was overseeing the guarantees and implementation of the programme to host FIFA 2010 WC happened under his watch. He left before the results were announced and asked Madiba to stay behind for the results – thus allowing Madiba to be the embodiment of that decision,
    At least FIFA recognised him the other day, just before the opening match.

    Trapido is therefore right, Thabo and FW put their weight behind that bid.

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