Jackson Mthembu, the former national spokesperson for the African National Congress and now the party’s Chief Whip has announced his plans not just to leave his political party the ANC, but also to totally keep off politics at the national level.
The ACN veteran was speaking to Stephen Grootes on Xolani Gwala’s show on Radio 702, when he revealed his plans to stay away from politics for the sake of his family.
Giving details about his plans for his future, the politician said he needed to spend time with his family and would make a decision on his future after the ruling party’s general elective conference in December.
“After that conference, after we have put in a collective leadership who will save our movement, a collective leadership who will clean our government and the image of our movement, I am indeed prepared to consider whether I should step down,” Jackson Mthembu stated, adding that he wanted to focus on being a present father and husband to his family, including his troubled son who is currently serving time in prison.
He says he feels that his absence could have contributed to his son’s recurring drug problems. “I think I could have done better,” he said, lamenting that his previous marriage had collapsed due to the political environment around the ANC’s general election in 1991.
Mthembu made it clear that there was no point in being a revolutionary and serving the people if you were not there for your own family. “I cannot be an absent father, I cannot be an absent husband, notwithstanding the good that some of us are expected to do for the revolution. The revolution expects me to be a good father and a good husband too.
The Chief whip, however, noted that before he leaves, he would make sure he plays a role in ensuring that the ruling African National Congress in good hands and to ensure that the legacy of the party continues.
He also warned that if the party did not confront its challenges, it would fall apart and lose any credibility needed to contest an election.
“If we do not, as the ANC, do everything in our power to confront these challenges head-on, we might have no ANC at all. We might have no credible ANC to contest any coming elections, let alone 2019,” Mthembu said.
“We have to do everything in our power now to save the ANC. We need good-quality leaders, not tainted by corruption, not tainted by state capture.
Speaking of his public support for Deputy President and Presidential hopeful Cyril Ramaphosa, Mthembu said he believes that for the ANC to be the movement that the people yearn it to be, Ramaphosa must be rooted in.
Jackson Mthembu said he will be supporting Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa because, among other pressing issues affecting the party, he would effectively deal with the issue of state capture and take the country to the promise land.
“If we are able to deal with state capture, all those state-owned enterprises that are supposedly captured, government departments that are supposedly captured … then we will be on the right track.”
“One will be rooting for Cyril Ramaphosa, of course, who is already committed to dealing with all the challenges we are faced with, including challenges of state capture, manipulation of ANC processes and of using state instruments to discredit and character-assassinate members of the ANC,” he said.