South Africa News

Fikile Mbalula: It was wrong & reckless for ANC to remove Thabo Mbeki

African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Fikile Mbalula says it was “wrong” and “reckless” for the party to remove Thabo Mbeki from his presidential post just a few months before his term ended.

Mbalula addressed the media regarding issues in the domestic and geopolitical environment on Wednesday.

The secretary-general was asked about speculation about former First Rand chair Roger Jardine’s possible presidential bid as either an independent presidential candidate, or a collective candidate for the Multi-Party Charter For South Africa.

In response, he said he was not surprised by the possibility, but said it would fail, just like the Congress of the People (Cope).

“People who are fearful are the ones entertaining issues of the Multi-Party Charter, not the ANC,” said Mbalula.

“It’s up to him, if he wants his political legacy to disappear over the Moonshot Pact, it’s up to him.”

Mbalula said Jardine would not be the first member of the ANC to leave the party for another party.

“Anyone does things. Mosioua Lekota went to form Cope, and Thabo Mbeki’s name was thrown around over that. But Mbeki over time clarified he had nothing to do with Cope. But they left anyway.”

While others decided to leave, Mbeki remained in the party despite his removal, said Mbalula.

‘Mbeki didn’t steal’

“That thing of removing the president triggered their anger about the Polokwane conference to form an organisation. The conference was something that led to them forming an organization.,” he said.

“When the ANC took a reckless and wrong decision to remove Mbeki when he was left with a couple of months in office. It was a reckless decision.

“Why do you remove somebody who has not stolen from the government, who was doing his job. What did he do? That’s the man who was supposed to ask the question: ndenze ntoni [what have I done]? He didn’t. He wrote a letter, addressed a press conference, and left. He didn’t fight over it, even though he had all the reasons. Then it triggered some to start an organization.

“But that political party is dying a natural death now.”

Mbeki was removed from his position in September 2008 following a meeting of the party’s national executive committee.

Today, he is one of the biggest critics of the party.

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