Politics / 20 February 2022, 17:39pm/ Thato Lekoena
Former President Thabo Mbeki has strongly condemned ANC leaders who are campaigning for leadership positions, instead of dealing with SA’s challenges:image supplied
Bloemfontein: With the ANC expected to elect new leadership in December this year, former president has lambasted party leaders who are obsessed with campaigning for leadership positions, instead of dealing with South Africa’s pressing socio-economic challenges.
Addressing members of the ANC Free State on Saturday former President
said, he was concerned that some of ANC leaders were focused on the governing party’s internal succession debate and squabbles, rather than “serving the ordinary masses of the people”.
‘We are in February, why should people be campaigning for positions in February?’ the former president asked.
“Even at the January 8th [ANC] rally in Limpopo, somebody stands up in a meeting and says ‘long live, second term for Cyril Ramaphosa’. What is that?
“South Africa cannot solve its problems without the active involvement and conscience involvement of the ANC because of its size. And so the ANC owes it to the nation to behave itself,” Mbeki said.
Mbeki on Saturday wrapped up his three-day trip to the province, he came in the Free State to meet with the provincial leadership to find a middle ground as the province struggles with deep divisions.
The province has an interim leadership following a court order, which disbanded the elected structures.
It is divided along factional lines, with Mxolisi Dukwana acting as a coordinator for the interim provincial committee.
A provincial conference is expected this year, ahead of the ANC’s policy conference.
The divisions have grown deeper as the political future of former leader Ace Magashule hangs in the balance.
Mbeki was handpicked as the ideal man to attempt to unify the province.
The interim provincial committee said it would be engaging Mbeki and other leaders of the ANC.
Mbeki’s visit began on Thursday 17th February, and ended on Saturday 19th February.
Mbeki told a gathering the ANC may need to audit its membership to entrench the renewal project.
Dukwana agreed, saying it would help the party rid itself of unruly members.
We have attracted too many members in the ANC, and many of them are not necessarily ANC members. We need to rid the organisation of these rogue elements, who are only here to enrich themselves – and to pursue their interests in a bad way.
“This has affected the ANC because we are seen as liars and people who are not honest, because we are not keeping to our promises. If we are to deal with renewal, we will have to deal with the membership that we have and the quality,” Dukwana said.
Mbeki has previously stressed his concern about the quality of the ANC’s membership.
Last year, he referenced the party’s decision to involve communities in selecting councillor candidates as a sign that the party no longer trusted the leaders it produced.