Former President Thabo Mbeki’s continuous absence at ANC campaigns is now a source of worry to the ruling party.
Principal political parties like the ANC, DA, EFF and IFP have also been crisscrossing the country; drumming up support for themselves ahead of August 3 election; but ANC’s former charismatic leader, Mbeki, is nowhere to be found.
Mbeki has continued to absent himself from most ANC events; and this, the party says may pull down the number of ANC supporters.
However, ANC’s president, Jacob Zuma said he is not bothered much about Mbeki’s absence because ‘he knows who Mbeki will vote for’.
And I believe by saying that, Zuma tends not to undermine Mbeki’s charisma and the number of people who will queue behind him [Mbeki] to vote for any party he goes for.
Mbeki’s Absence At ANC Campaigns Not A Source Of Worry
This is the first time Zuma will be commenting on Mbeki’s continuous absence.
Addressing journalists on Thursday, during a campaign in Maboloka, north of Brits, Zuma said he believes Mbeki has made a choice not to whistle for the ANC as an individual.
He suggested that Mbeki’s silence might be tied to his several other busy schedules; however, “That is wonderful, and I know who he is going to be voting for.”
He added: “I can’t discuss that [Mbeki’s decision] because we make choices.
We make choices as individuals. We have joined organisations because we made choices as individuals, and as individuals we can make that choice: How far do you go; how far do you work, and I don’t think I want to discuss individual choices.
I think comrade Mbeki, the former president, has made a statement. He is a member of the ANC in good standing. That is wonderful, and I know who he is going to be voting for. You don’t know the reasons – he might be busy – why he is not campaigning, whatever.
He might not be feeling like campaigning for whatever reasons. I don’t think that is a matter we need to take a lot of time about. Fact of the matter, it is not all of the members of the ANC who campaign, so there is no problem.”
Thabo Mbeki’s traumatic removal in 2008 has come and gone; but the bitter truth remains that the ANC wouldn’t have carried out such demeaning decision assuming it foresaw the web of downswing awaiting the party years later.
It is pertinent to note that since Mbeki was recalled in 2008, he has never been at the front line of ANC campaigns.