Page last updated at 17:55 GMT, Monday, 22 September 2008 18:55 UK

SA's Mbeki resigns: Your views

Front page of South African Sunday Times saying "OUT!" alongside photo of Thabo Mbeki

South Africans share their views about Thabo Mbeki's resignation, after accepting a call by the governing African National Congress to quit as president.

Click on the links below to read their views:

Nomsa, 34, physicist, Cape Town

Bona, 50, unemployed nurse, Durban

Henry, Pretoria

Moses, 25, student, Johannesburg

Robert, 42, accountant, Durban

I watched the press conference yesterday with a lump in my throat.

I was really sad to see how it was done - the way he was treated - the way people were saying the things they said on national TV.

And now, I am scared because to me it is like people are too hungry for power... saying things like 'I would kill for Zuma'.

What message is that sending not only to the rest of the world but to young people in South Africa?

Thabo Mbeki with delegates and African leaders at signing of Zimbabwe power-sharing deal
Thabo Mbeki insisted quiet diplomacy would work for Zimbabwe

President Mbeki had a great political career; he did a good job not only for our country but for our continent as a whole.

Yes he failed in some areas but he still did a lot of good.

He was helping and had helped to bring peace to many parts of our continent - Zimbabwe and Sudan; and Burundi, the DRC and Liberia.

And the economy - I am a physicist and not an economist but I would say it is better now.

This whole thing will not just affect us, it will affect everyone up to Sudan.

This fiasco is all because of infighting and I don't agree with the way events have been conducted.

Mbeki is a member of the ANC but he was also the president of the republic.

We should have been asked. I understand it is not easy to consult 47m people but there should've been room for public debate.

However, I am so impressed with the way Mr Mbeki has handled it all. Yesterday he looked strong and composed and so together.

The resignation of Mbeki is long overdue. He was gradually destroying the ANC that we Africans see as one of the vibrant political institutions in Africa
Akoi Dakaka, Monrovia

The idea of Jacob Zuma as president is not a nice thing to me. Someone who allegedly raped an HIV-positive woman... I can't believe he is fit to lead our country. [He was acquitted.]

We as woman, we are really worried because of this rape issue. He is nonsense.

We need a good leader.

It is obvious that the ANC is split into two camps now. I just hope that after this whole fiasco is over there can unity again.

We have a terrible past. We need to move forward and be united. We need to do something useful. We need to develop our country and ourselves.

I just hope that whoever gains power does the right thing.

I just want to live in peace.

In my opinion it's the right thing.

Since Polokwane we have been waiting and then with all the Zuma things going on... it was inevitable.

Then the NEC (National Executive Council) decided that he must stand down and so he has. I am glad he did so so willingly.

Very glad actually.

In fact I think Zuma is the right candidate. Since he stepped down from vice-presidency it was really unfair.

Everyone here already sees him as the future president.

But he must wait for the election and until that comes, someone must take over as acting president.

Mr Mbeki has done his role excellently but his time has come to an end.

During his term he served his country well. No-one is 100% right and I accept that what he did, he did.

But life must change. We need jobs.

Since 2005, I have been unemployed. I am a qualified nurse.

I have a family and should be supporting them but I can't.

I get part-time work but it's not sufficient.

Thankfully my wife has a job and manages to support us all.

He must go.

People here believe that the president hasn't listened to the common man's or done anything about them.

Mbeki's views on HIV/Aids and his denial over it caused great damage.

The economy is apparently doing so well and yet what has the common man got to show for it?


And the Zimbabwe crisis has directly contributed to the drop in the economy and increase in unemployment.

It is good that he went because if he had insisted on remaining in power then he would have risked destroying his legacy further. Added to by the fact that there certainly would have been political turmoil across the country.

I, like many others, believe that Mbeki's behaviour has not in anyway differed from how other African dictators behave.

It is good that he resigned.

I was not really surprised considering the way the ANC have been acting.

South Africa family watching Thabo Mbeki's resignation speech
Thabo Mbeki announced his resignation on state television

It was like the decision had been made ages ago.

No, I wasn't surprised.

I don't really have a problem with Jacob Zuma but everyone knows that Cosatu [Congress of South African Trade Unions] wants change and so who will Zuma tow the line with... because you know, Cosatu, they control them.

And Cosatu sometimes talk rubbish - the way they have been treating our judiciary system.

And that Julius Malema guy too, who said that he would kill for Zuma (back in June)... so the youth of this country know what to do if Zuma is prosecuted.

I like Mr Mbeki because of his intellectualism and the way that he goes about things with his own mind.

He is not influenced by the George Bush's of the world.

I also believe we need to find African solutions for African problems.

So many have criticised Mbeki for not alleviating poverty and the housing problem but I think it's in every state of the world. Things like that are part of life, wherever you live.

I think the problem is the media - they are the ones that exaggerate. Wherever I go around, I see houses being built and so I don't where they get some of their reports from.

And anyway, I hate to think what my country's foreign policy will be like under Jacob Zuma. The way he's portrayed around the world - It's shocking. How will the big powers ever take him seriously?

Mr Zuma mustn't go around promising gold medals to everyone here.

One wonders what will happen if Zuma fails in the next election.

Why should people think that by changing leaders they will change the economic and social life?

Well-wishers hug Thabo Mbeki after his resignation speech
Millions still support Thabo Mbeki

Rather, they should understand that Mbeki has tried to hold this country together for a period of 10 years now and so far, so good.

Things are not so bad!

Sure Mbeki was about to go anyway.

Nowhere is it written as law that he will rule South Africa forever. So why the unnecessary hurry? This is typical African behaviour which leads nowhere!

People from Zuma's side think there will be a huge change. They are thinking that because they are poor they will soon be rich now.

When one government leaves and another comes in there is no change. But the belief in the Zuma cocoon is that if Mbeki is removed then they will socially or economically benefit.

I say to them:

Maybe it is better the devil you know than the one you don't.

If you look at most of Africa - the countries who gained independence in the 1960s, 1970s but then after eight years everything went zig-zag and such a mess.

People get in and then do what? Are they trying to satisfy their ego or the national interest?

Mbeki has tried and he is trying. Things cannot be delivered at once. There is a process.

South Africans are misguided by the ethos of apathy. They suffered a lot and are traumatised and so now they look to the government to provide everything; just folding their hands and sitting back in their locations and doing nothing.

It is a problem.

The effects of apartheid cripple us today - the number of skilled workers are very low. Instead foreigners come to do our jobs. The jobs are there but most people haven't been properly educated and so don't know how to do them.

We know that no government can provide everything. Even in Libya, Gaddafi can't.

South Africa's government is constrained by a lot of problems and the masses have to understand that. They have to add to the effort.

Because people are uneducated, they are vulnerable.

Mbeki has not brought poverty to our country - he has handled an economy that was in a very bad way and because of him and his policy of Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) it isn't anymore.

It is outrageous to hurry him out. There was no need.

And it could be very dangerous. No-one can promise everything.

People lust for power but then when they have it, what will they do?

Even by unconstitutional means?

They have hidden agendas to fill their bellies and satisfy their stomachs.

If you would like to join Africa Have Your Sayto debate this topic LIVE on air on Tuesday 23 September at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published. You can also send an SMS text message to +44 77 86 20 20 08.

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific