CAPE TOWN, South Africa — Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has criticized former South African President and Nobel Laureate Nelson Mandela for allegedly taking a soft stance on white South Africans through his reconciliatory policies.
Mugabe’s comments were made in a yet-to-be-aired documentary produced by Dali Tambo, the son of South African anti-apartheid hero Oliver Tambo.
AFP reports that Mugabe described Mandela as “too much of a saint” in the television interview, in a seeming reference to Madiba’s reconciliatory and rainbow nation approach toward white South Africans after the fall of the apartheid government.
Mugabe said that Britain – with whom he has had a fraught relationship over the land grabs – “will praise you only if you are doing things that please them”.
“Mandela has gone a bit too far in doing good to the non-black communities, really in some cases at the expense of [blacks]…,” he is quoted as saying.
In the same documentary, the 89-year-old leader disclosed that he will not step out of power as long as the people of Zimbabwe still need him, despite his advanced age.
“And when people still need you to lead them, it’s not time, sir, it doesn’t matter how old you are, to say goodbye,” Mugabe reportedly told Tambo.
“There is a fight to fight. My people still need me,” said Mugabe who has ruled the Southern African country for the past three decades and is seeking re-election in polls expected this year.