African leader right to seek world change

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 08 September, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 08 September, 2002, 12:00am

David Pyott's letter 'Principled man with an impossible dream' (Sunday Morning Post, September 1), misses Thabo Mbeki's point entirely regarding the scrapping of a world order based on the survival of the fittest. Mr Pyott takes the South African President's heartfelt plea at the Earth Summit in Johannesburg too literally.

Mr Mbeki refers to the fact that the 'accepted' formula of rich nations solely looking out for their own interests at the expense of much poorer nations, who continue sinking into further poverty, disease and mountains of debt, simply does not work. History has shown us time and time again that very often the result of such high-handed indifference is further desperation, famine, terrorism and war.

Mr Mbeki simply and quite rightly asks those nations who are better off, in other words 'fitter' than the many poorer nations, to extend a helping hand to those people in the world who are much less fortunate than ourselves.

The fortunate among us should beware of complacency. Mr Mbeki's plea is a timely reminder for all of us to take a look inside ourselves and ponder what dwells there.