South Africa’s former president, Kgalema Motlanthe says it would be good for the African National Congress (ANC) to lose the 2019 general elections.
Answering a question from Stephen Sackur during an interview with BBC News Africa, Motlanthe asserted that it would be ideal if the electorates vote out the ANC in 2019 so that the party will renew itself.
The former president, who is one of those people that are not happy with ANC’s corruption and scandal-plagued governance said since “the party has become associated with corruption, it has to lose for the penny to drop.”
He continued by saying that “it would be good for the ANC itself if it was voted out, because…those elements who are in it for the largess will quit, will desert it, and only then the possibility would arise to salvage whatever is left of it.”
He also expressed strong confidence that South Africans will do ‘the right thing’ come 2019, adding that he’s ready to accept a potential defeat in 2019 for the ruling party.
Motlanthe, who served as South Africa’s president between 2008 and 2009 was once a good friend of President Jacob Zuma.
Their relationship, however, is currently at a low ebb due to the alleged corruption and scandals that became the order of the day under Zuma’s watch. He has, on several occasions, called on President Zuma to step down for showing the ANC in a bad light.
Although Zuma has continued to deny any wrongdoing, several attempts by the opposition to remove him from office failed.
The last charge was the eight motion of no confidence against him held on August 8. In spite of the fact that Zuma survived the attack, over 30 Parliament members from his party voted with the opposition for the first time.
President Zuma, who is accused of being in the center of a corrupt network in government, is expected to step down as the leader of the ANC and as South Africa’s president in 2019.
Prior to his election as the president in 2009, Zuma was charged with corruption over a multi-billion dollar 1999 arms deal in 2005. The next year, the court dropped a rape charge against him.
In 2016, the court ordered that the 783 corruption charges over the arms deal be reviewed. Although he has appealed, the ANC recently admitted that it working on how to get an amnesty for the embattled president.
Last year, Zum made headlines for using taxpayers’ money to refurbish his ancestral home in Nkandla. The presidency confirmed that he has repaid the money but opposition parties say he isn’t off the hook yet.
The president is currently battling to clear his name in the Public Protector’s state capture report, which found that he benefited from his relationship with the Gupta. In this case, his son, Duduzane Zuma is also a suspect along with so many members of his cabinet.
So far, only seven ANC members have indicated interest in replacing him. Zuma’s ex-wife cum AU former chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa are two candidates that have dominated the build-up to the party’s much-anticipated December elective conference.