Unisa staff and students, media representatives and members of the public attended the bi-annual interactive session between the Chancellor of Unisa, former President Thabo Mbeki, and students of the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute (TMALI) on 15 August 2019.
The Vice-Principal: Research, Postgraduate Studies, Innovation and Commercialisation, Prof Thenjiwe Meyiwa, opened the session and welcomed the Chancellor and guests.
The audience asked former President Mbeki questions on various topics, such as his view on the ministry of women in South Africa to deal with issues of gender, including femicide, allegations that “monopoly capital” bought and owns the president of the ANC and the Republic of South Africa, reviving a passion for Africa, and the use of African language philosophies by universities.
In addition, he was questioned on current affairs such as immigration and public violence by traders in Johannesburg, why Afrikaners are arming themselves, why some African leaders refuse to leave office and have to “be forced out”, whether western/liberal democracy works for Africa, and whether a five-year period is enough for elected governments to effect change.
Former President Mbeki, in response, said that he believed that there was no need for a separate ministry of women and that the president or a function in the president’s office is best placed to lead on women and gender mainstreaming issues as its impact will immediately be across government.
He further said the challenge with femicide might be linked to ineffective sentencing by courts: sentencing for crimes against women and children needs to send a strong message to the community that such acts against women and children are intolerable.