More heat has been unleashed on the ruling African National Congress (ANC) for their inability to handle critical issues that has befallen them in the recent years. The former statesman Mbeki tells ANC and president Zuma in particular, to be familiar with the state’s constitution and stop lying to themselves and the people of south Africans.
Mbeki who was speaking at the 20th anniversary of the constitution in Freedom Park yesterday, referred to Zuma’s apology after the damning findings by the Constitutional Court against him last month, where he cited bad legal advice for ignoring Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s Nkandla report, as lack of familiarity with the constitution.
“A lot of our people are not familiar with what this constitution says. The consequence is that we sit in government and do something that is wrong and even unconstitutional. Mmusi [Maimane, the DA leader] will say it’s incorrect and so will the judges, but where is the rest of society?”
The statesman went on to tell President Zuma to be aware of paragraph 5.2.7 of the ANC’s constitution which states that all ANC members shall “observe discipline, behave honestly and carry out loyally the decisions of the majority and decisions of higher bodies”.
“Leadership should not tell lies to itself but understand the situation in the country, all the challenges and, indeed, why it was elected. You go to parliament not only to represent the people but to demonstrate this by the interventions you make to solve the problems facing you. ” Mbeki tells ANC and leader Zuma
Mbeki suggested that the leadership of the country critically assess and understand where it stands with its constituents. “I think what’s clear to all of us is that there’s a lot of restlessness in the country,” he added.
“I think that if there was a better familiarity with the Constitution then you would have a bigger social intervention in defence of the constitution against whatever negative is being done,”
Though the former president shied away from directly responding to a request for him to give his evaluation of the country’s current leadership, he quoted Bheki Cele’s comments after addressing an empty rally, saying this was indicative of the state of the party.
“The people are disaffected, the people say these rallies don’t work.”
However, the former statesman supports President Zuma’s call for a national dialogue saying it formed critical parts of discussion around transformation.
Mbeki Tells ANC to always remember that the Constitution was a national contract that belonged to all and they must join the rest of South Africans to familiarize with it.
“A lot of our people are not familiar with what this book constitutes,” he added as he joined other statesmen in giving a brief background on the journey to the formation of the Constitution.