Former South African President Thabo Mbeki thinks the only way the ANC can be healed is for Zuma to engage aggrieved members.
Pouring out his feelings in a tersely worded warning letter, Mbeki urged President Zuma not to shrug off concerns and worries of embittered members, or minimize the importance of ANC Veterans’ dissatisfaction with his leadership.
Former President Thabo Mbeki urged Zuma to go back to the drawing back and pick up the values of the ruling party from where he abandoned them.
He upheld that Zuma should in his capacity as ANC President listen to the shrill cries of the 101 ANC veterans, who sacrificed a lot for the progress of the party.
Former President Thabo Mbeki was referring to Rivonia trialists Ahmed Kathrada and Andrew Mlangeni and Denis Goldberg, who vented their spleen at Luthuli House last week.
His full statement reads:
“As you‚ Comrade President‚ will have done‚ I have gone through the names of the 101 veterans who supported the press release in question. Like you‚ I have been struck by the reality that this collective of 101 veterans represents a very senior‚ outstanding and historic echelon of the leadership of the ANC and the national democratic revolution… It is made up of cadres of the ANC… whose involvement in our all-round struggle spans a period of over 60 years.
Like you‚ I have been struck by the reality that this collective of 101 veterans represents a very senior‚ outstanding and historic echelon of the leadership of the ANC and the national democratic revolution… It is made up of cadres of the ANC… whose involvement in our all-round struggle spans a period of over 60 years.
The point I am trying to emphasise is that it is imperative that all of us‚ including the current ANC NEC‚ (National Executive Committee) understand that the 101 veterans are in fact eminent leaders of our movement and revolution‚ and have to be respected and treated as such by those who occupy administrative positions as members of the NEC and other seniors structures of the ANC.
To put this matter frankly‚ which I know you will understand‚ it is perfectly obvious that very many among the 101 veterans are in fact eminently politically very senior to many who currently serve as members of the ANC NEC.
These veterans have advanced extremely serious observations about the current situation as it relates to the ANC and the democratic revolution.
All these are eminently political in nature and demand a political response. Accordingly‚ it is absolutely incorrect to respond to these observations by resort to administrative means. Administrative responses cannot solve political problems but can only serve to worsen the political crisis!”
Meanwhile, Zuma is yet to reply Mbeki’s letter. ANC Secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, who was copied in the letter refused to comment. He insisted that Zuma is the only one qualified to respond to Mbeki’s letter.