It seems that Thabo Mbeki has now jumped in to defend Robert Mugabe, scratch the surface of an African democrat and there is a raging lunatic despot waiting to spring forth. According to this report Mbeki has sent a snotty letter to George Bush for being nasty to that nice Mr Mugabe, and for being disrespectful to the people of Zimbabwe for daring to criticise Mugabe.
Forgive me but a country's president starving his own people half to death, and rigging election after election, is hardly showing immense respect to his people. And with the rate of decline in South Africa I would have thought Mbeki would have enough on his plate sorting his own mess out.
On gaining independence in Zimbabwe, and the subsequent end of apartheid in South Africa, the world thought that both countries would prosper and break the tradition of wealthy and relatively stable African countries gaining self-government then sliding into poverty and dictatorship. How wrong the world was.