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.
To date, the ruling party is still nursing the wound it inflicted on itself; the wound of showing Mbeki the exit door prematurely.
Though, ANC’s Mantashe stated in 2008 that the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC)’s decision to oust Mbeki was taken “as an effort to heal and unite the African National Congress”, it is very glaring that the present ANC is a camp clouded with division; intra-party war and above all, a party ‘struggling’ to woo back people’s support and confidence.
However, just like a fountain that never runs dry; the ANC has always sought for Mbeki’s advice and contributions on several issues – which indicates his weighty relevance in the party.
Speaking on the sidelines of the ANC’s 2016 Mandela Day celebrations at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, ANC stalwart and former minister in the Presidency, Essop Pahad, called on the ANC in Gauteng to show respect to Mbeki if it wants to win the upcoming elections.
ANC Still Needs Thabo Mbeki
Pahad described the former president as a precious jewel, who was mishandled by the ANC. He was a man trampled upon and squashed by the ANC.
However, the ANC stalwart believes that Mbeki will go a long way to uplifting the gloomy face of the ANC if consulted and engaged.
“The present leadership of the ANC should take the time and engage with the former president.
They must do everything possible to get to him and engage him so that all of us can continue to make the contribution to strengthen the unity of the ANC.
He has a remarkable depth of knowledge and not only of this country but of the world,” Pahad said.
Ahead of the tough upcoming elections, Gauteng has affirmed lobbying ANC veterans, including former President Kgalema Motlanthe, to campaign for the ANC.
ANC Gauteng, leader Paul Mashatile said his office has also written to Mbeki to ask that he campaign for the party. “I’ve not spoken to him personally, but my office has written to his office.
“The response is that he is still busy, so in the coming weeks you must watch the space.”
It is pertinent to note that since Mbeki was recalled in 2008, he has never been at the front line of ANC campaigns.