The Brouhaha over Mbeki’s leaked letter to President Jacob Zuma has taken a different turn. Just when we thought the matter is over, Thabo Mbeki has chosen not to ignore Zuma’s rant.
Thabo Mbeki has hit back on President Zuma for lambasting him over the leaked letter while addressing ANC members in Dumbe, KwaZulu-Natal.
Over the weekend, President Zuma indirectly slammed Mbeki and some ANC veterans for the letter. He bashed Mbeki for weighing in on ANC challenges from afar, whereas during his time, little was done to address same challenges.
The former president maintained that Zuma should have focused on the content of the letter and the message it passed across with “requisite seriousness”, rather than grumbling that it got leaked to the media first before getting to him.
In the early hours of today, Thabo Mbeki Foundation released a statement on the leaked letter. The foundation insisted that the letter was hand-delivered to ANC Gwede Mantashe at Luthuli House, insisting that it must have been leaked by an ANC member.
The foundation also argued that if it was an open letter, the foundation wouldn’t have delivered it at Luthuli House nor hand-delivered it to Mantashe. It remained adamant that the letter was leaked by someone in the ruling party’s camp.
“Regrettably, the letter was subsequently leaked to the media by persons we do not know, which then published it during the morning of November 3. This suggests that the print media would have been in the possession of the letter by November 2,” the Thabo Mbeki Foundation said.
Earlier this month, Mbeki wrote to Zuma, asking him to meet with the embittered 101 ANC stalwarts. Pouring out his feelings in a tersely worded warning letter, Mbeki urged President Zuma not to shrug off concerns and worries of embittered members, or minimize the importance of ANC Veterans’ dissatisfaction with his leadership.
In his letter, he urged Zuma to go back to the drawing back and pick up the values of the ruling party from where he abandoned them. He upheld that Zuma should in his capacity as ANC President listen to the shrill cries of the 101 ANC veterans, who sacrificed a lot for the progress of the party.
Mbeki was referring to Rivonia trialists Ahmed Kathrada and Andrew Mlangeni and Denis Goldberg, who vented their spleen at Luthuli House recently.